Nov 1, 2018
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Making Cornbread Dressing (or stuffing) with Sausage is hands down, the best version, and my mother-in-law’s classic southern recipe is the perfect savory sidekick to a well-cooked turkey.
The salty pieces of cooked sausage and the buttery flavor of cornbread provide ample flavor to every bite so that it’s a feast for the palate. The hearty texture is uniform throughout compared to stuffing made with bread.
Sausage Dressing Recipe
What I love about her recipe is that the Italian sausage’s flavors really come through and whether you double this recipe and use some of it to stuff the turkey or serve it on the side, you’ll want to eat a few servings for sure.
This dish can also be made ahead of time and only need to be baked or warmed up on Thanksgiving day.
Making this classic recipe is super simple, just watch how easy it comes together.
This Cornbread Stuffing will be a hit for Thanksgiving and if you’re looking for more help with planning a menu my Giving Thanks, a holiday menu, is just what you need. It has 23 fall-inspired, mouthwatering recipes to choose from with a daily prep guide and an hourly recipe queue for Thanksgiving day so everything gets baked, roasted, assembled, and cooked before the guests show up.
And you still get a chance to freshen up, slip into your outfit, and greet those guests knowing dinner is ready to serve.
Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Plan & Guide
Inside this eBook, you’ll find 23 Thanksgiving recipes for easy entertaining. PLUS, done-for-you daily holiday prep, helpful kitchen notes, and hour-by-hour timing instructions for Thanksgiving day.
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How to Make Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
What I love about this recipe is that you can make it entirely from scratch or semi-homemade. Whether you make your cornbread with the recipe below, buy the cornbread box mix, or buy it already made, it comes out perfectly moist and crumbly every time.
My biggest tip to cut a little prep time on the big day is to make the cornbread a day ahead. It will save you time, and toast faster, you want the cornbread to be lightly browned and dry so it will soak up more of the broth and flavors.
With that being said, let’s make this sausage and cornbread stuffing:
- Make the cornbread
Prepare the cornbread. Regardless if you use a homemade recipe or boxed, you’ll need 4 cups crumbled.
While the cornbread cools, preheat the oven to 400F and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Coarsely crumble the baked cornbread and spread it in an even layer onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Brown the sausage
In a large skillet, brown the sausage, celery, and onion for 10 minutes until the sausage is cooked through. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan.
To the sausage, add cornbread, parsley, and seasonings. Toss to combine before adding the chicken broth and beaten egg. Stir thoroughly.
Spoon the cornbread mixture into the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. In the final 10 minutes, remove the foil and finishing baking until the top has a golden-brown crust.
Gluten-Free Cornbread Dressing
This recipe is that it can easily be made gluten-free by using an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free baking flour (my favorite one is made by Bob’s Red Mill); however, be careful that not all gluten-free flours work the same so check out the notes in the recipe below for more information.
Dressing vs Stuffing
If you are wondering why some people call this recipe “dressing” and others “stuffing” is because while some people use this side dish to “dress” the meal, others use the dressing to stuff the turkey and in that case, it’s called stuffing. Many of us do a combination of both.
In this version, I didn’t add any dried fruits or nuts, although some people add 1 cup of chopped chestnuts and even ½ cup of dried cranberries. If you choose to do that, you would add them to the bowl along with the crumbled cornbread and combine them with the rest of the ingredients.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
For the Cornbread
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus butter for baking dish
For the Dressing
- 4 cups cornbread* coarsely crumbled and toasted
- 1 lb Italian sausage casings removed
- 2 cups celery chopped
- 1 cup onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning*
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 egg lightly beaten
For the Cornbread
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and butter. Pour the liquid mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the cornbread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.
For the Dressing
- Preheat oven to 400F and butter or grease a 9×13 baking dish or, a 3-quart dish of any shape.
- Coarsely crumble the cooled cornbread and place crumbles on a baking sheet. Bake cornbread crumbles for 8-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes until crumbles are toasted evenly. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325F and grease or spray a casserole baking dish.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, celery, and chopped onion for 8-10 minutes, until the sausage is thoroughly cooked, making sure to break up the meat into small pieces throughout. Spoon cooked sausage into a large bowl, leaving any oil behind.
- To the large bowl, add crumbled cornbread, finely chopped parsley and seasoning. Toss to combine. Add the chicken broth and beaten egg and combine.
- Next, spoon cornbread and sausage mixture into the casserole dish and cover.
- Bake in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes. In the final 10 minutes, remove the cover to brown the top.
This is very tasty with Jimmy Dean sage sausage. I added half a cup of leftover dressing crumbs to use it up and 2 biscuits I had left from breakfast. Tasted the mixture before adding the eggs. Added some pepper flakes too.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I use JD all the time too. Delish!
Hi – Does your cornbread recipe yield exactly 4 cups of crumbles? Cooking for a large crowd and I’d like to increase the dressing recipe by 50% – does that mean making another batch of cornbread?
I would make 1.5x the recipe.
Hi Laura, you mentioned Italian sausage in the beginning of the recipe. The ingredients list is pork sausage. Which one do I use?
Thank you for your help.
Either will work. Italian sausage is made with pork sausage (typically). I’ll change it to reflect it. Thank you!
Hi Laura! Making this for our meal tomorrow. Is it ok to use the box of Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffing instead of making cornbread?
Hi Cece, sorry for the delayed reply, I took some time off to be with my family for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I have not tried that stuffing. I hope it came out ok and you had a wonderful time with your family! Laura
Could I wait to add the liquid until before I bake if I’m making ahead? I just don’t want soggy bread. Thanks
Hi Gina, sorry for the delayed reply, I took some time off to be with my family for Thanksgiving. You follow the whole recipe except baking it. That’s it!
Could I mix it up the night before and bake it or would that change the texture too much?
Delia, that’s exactly what I do! 🙂
Perfect!! Thank you.
Can I make this in advance? If so, how far in advance? Would I refrigerate or freeze? This looks really good and I can’t wait to try next week!
Make this 3 days in advance and keep in the fridge, covered. Enjoy!
I might’ve overlooked it but what size casserole dish did you bake it in?
this fits in a 9×13 inch baking dish 😉
Hi Laura, your recipe sounds good. I am thinking of adding some apples to the mix. It just sounds good. Have you ever done that or had anyone else try it.
absolutely! Add 1-1 1/2 cups of chopped apples. Delish!
I also add apples to my cornbread and sausage stuffing/dressing. Golden delicious …. so good!
Hey Laura this recipe looks amazing! I just had a question regarding the cornbread recipe. You use regular milk and Paula uses buttermilk. Is there a reason why you used regular milk? I want to make this and was just curious. Thanks!
Hi Lisette, the reason I use regular milk is because I found there was no real difference when I made it with buttermilk vs. regular milk and I know most people have milk at home so therefore, I used regular milk instead. have a terrific thanksgiving!
Just added to my Thanksgiving meal Plan!!
It looks like it has the perfect crumble texture. YUM
This looks amazing Laura!!! I just printed it out to make this Thanksgiving!