Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, this classic Sausage and Cornbread Dressing recipe is a sure fire way to turn a non-believer into a stuffing lover! This is a must-have at any Thanksgiving table!
I've never been much of a dressing fan. I find most dressing recipes to be a bit too mushy for my taste, and I'd generally rather have an extra helping of mashed potatoes. But I have to say, this cornbread stuffing recipe that I'm going to share with you today has totally changed my mind about stuffing.
Now admittedly, it took me several tests to get this recipe just right. The flavor was there from the start, but I just couldn't get my texture the way I wanted it, which is a slightly crispy top and soft and fluffy in the middle, without being mushy. Four tests and a whole lot of homemade dressing later, I feel confident that I (finally) nailed it.
Tips for how to make cornbread dressing
- Make the cornbread the night before and leave it out all night so that it gets slightly stale.
- In the interest of eliminating unnecessary dishes for you to wash, I do most of the cooking in saute pan. Although you will need a medium bowl to hold the sausage while the onions and celery begin cooking, all the remaining steps occur in the saute pan.
Helpful Ingredient Information
- Cornbread: I like to use Jiffy cornbread mixes to make my cornbread because it's super easy, but if you would rather make a different favorite recipe, just know that this recipe calls for two 8 inch pans of cornbread.
- Sausage: I like to use pork sausage for this but if you want to make it healthier, feel free to use poultry sausage.
- Vegetables: Onions and celery add delicious flavor and texture. I saute them in the grease from the sausage and a little butter to really maximize the flavor.
- Seasonings: The combination of ground sage, dried thyme, kosher salt and black pepper really bring it all together!
- Chicken (or turkey broth): I use broth the add moisture to the dressing because I don't use it to stuff my turkey. If you plan to stuff your turkey with this, omit the broth.
Do I have to dry out cornbread for stuffing?
Technically you don't, but I think it creates the very best texture if you do (I'm a person who cannot stand mushy stuffing).
How long do I cook sausage stuffing in the oven?
I bake this for a total of 45 minutes- 30 minutes covered and then another 15 minutes without the cover.
Can I make stuffing ahead of time?
Yes! You have two options. You can prepare it all the way up to baking and refrigerate until you're ready to bake (before serving). You may need to adjust the bake time to make sure it warms though. The other option is to prepare it and then reheat it prior to serving.
Can I stuff my turkey with this instead of baking it in a pan?
Yes! If you're planning on stuffing the bird with it, you'll want to omit the chicken broth. This makes enough stuffing to fill one 12 lb. - 14 lb. bird.
What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?
Technically, stuffing is stuffed into another food, in this case a turkey. Dressing is baked in a pan. But so many use the words interchangeably, including myself.
This will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator after it's been cooked.
Ingredients that can be prepped ahead:
- Chop onions
- Chop celery
- Make cornbread
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Sausage and Cornbread Dressing
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter
- 2 cups onion, finely diced (around 2 medium onions)
- 3-4 large celery ribs, finely diced
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 8 inch pans prepared, day-old corn bread, (I made 2 pans of Jiffy corn bread the day before and left it out all night)
- 1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth (omit this if you're using this as stuffing- it makes enough to stuff a 12-14 pound bird)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large saute pan, saute the sausage over medium-high heat using a wooden spoon to break it up into bite-size pieces, stirring often until brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the sausage crumbles from the pan, into a side bowl and melt butter in the empty pan.
- Add onions and celery and season with sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute stirring often until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Stir sausage back into the pan and crumble both corn breads into the pan.
- Add broth and stir well to combine.
- Pour the corn bread mixture into the greased 9" x 13" pan and cover with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.