This cornbread sausage stuffing recipe is the perfect sweet and savory dressing for your Thanksgiving feast – or any time of year. With delicious cornbread, breakfast sausage, and aromatics, this easy cornbread stuffing recipe will be the star of the holiday table. Plus, it’s so easy to make that beginning cooks can make it!
What is cornbread sausage stuffing?
Cornbread sausage stuffing is a side dish you can make in a casserole dish. It’s made with real cornbread and savory breakfast sausage.
This side dish recipe will feed a large family. It’s the perfect thing to make for Thanksgiving or potluck dinners!
Why this cornbread stuffing recipe works
- Cornbread has the perfect texture to soak up all the flavors in the stuffing.
- The aromatics fill your kitchen with the most tantalizing smells – you’ll want to eat before it’s even done cooking.
- All the whole ingredients taste fuller and bolder than a store-bought bag of stuffing mix.
- It’s easy to make this as spicy or mild as you like it. Use spicy sausage or mild pork sausage.
Stuffing vs. dressing – what’s the difference?
Before having a cooking website, I didn’t really take the time to use cooking terms properly. Stuffing vs. dressing was always a hot topic.
Stuffing is a bread-based dish that you cook inside the turkey’s cavity. It’s stuffed inside the turkey. Dressing is the same ingredients, but you cook it in a separate casserole dish.
I have always used the term stuffing, although I never cook it inside the turkey. So technically, this is a dressing recipe, but most people do use the term stuffing more loosely these days!
Ingredients needed for cornbread sausage stuffing
Here’s what you’ll need before you make this delicious dressing:
- Breakfast sausage
- Yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- Fresh sage
- Fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Unsalted butter
- Eggs, beaten
- Turkey broth
Best cornbread to use in stuffing
There are so many stuffing recipes with different types of bread, but I am partial to cornbread stuffing. The sweet and savory combination is great to combat all the heavily savory dishes on the Thanksgiving table.
You can use my easy skillet cornbread recipe, or as my girl, Ina Garten would say, “store-bought is fine”!
The key is to use a day or two of old cornbread, so it holds up to all the other ingredients. If you don’t buy it in time to let it sit out, you can break it up and toast it in the oven to dry it up a bit.
Honestly, it’s so much easier just to let homemade cornbread sit out for a day or two. It will grow perfectly stale and be easy to crumble!
Best sausage for Thanksgiving dressing
For the sausage, I like to use breakfast sausage. Italian sausage has different herbs in it, which can alter the taste, and I wouldn’t recommend a sweet sausage because cornbread is already sweet.
You can find the breakfast sausage by the bacon at your local grocery stores. For instance, when I made this cornbread sausage stuffing, I used the Smithfield brand (pictured above) for this recipe, and I’ve also used Jimmy Dean!
How to prep in advance
My biggest tip when it comes to Thanksgiving is to do all your prep work in advance.
Chop the celery and aromatics and store them in a separate container with a lid. They will stay fresh for a day or so.
I like to sit down the day before and prep all my ingredients. If you need to pull off a bunch of thyme leaves, it’s perfect to do sitting on the couch watching tv. And, so much less stressful.
Chopping your vegetables in advance will allow you to just go to your pre-chopped containers and scoop what you need as you cook.
How to cook dressing ingredients
- First, you are going to brown the breakfast sausage. Cook the sausage through, then using a slotted spoon, set it aside.
- Next, you’re going to add the butter, celery, and onion, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the garlic and fresh herbs, and cook until fragrant.
- Add the onion, celery, and sausage mixture to the same bowl as the breakfast sausage you cooked, and mix to combine.
- Add the cornbread pieces and gently mix to combine all of the elements. I like having big chunks in my cornbread, so I am extra careful when stirring.
- Add the cornbread stuffing/dressing into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Whisk together eggs and turkey broth in a small bowl and pour over the stuffing.
How to bake cornbread sausage stuffing
- Place in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes until the top begins to brown.
- Remove from oven, and then you can top with additional fresh thyme leaves.
If preparing in advance, wait to pour the broth in until you’re ready to bake in the oven.
I hope your family and guests enjoy this delicious cornbread stuffing/ cornbread dressing on Thanksgiving!
For the web story version of this recipe, click here!
Looking for other Thanksgiving recipes?
- Easy Wet Brined Turkey
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole with Fried Shallots
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
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Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
- 1 batch cornbread or storebought, 1 or 2 days old or toasted, roughly crumbled
- 1 ½ pound breakfast sausage not sweet
- 2 cups celery chopped
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
- 4 teaspoons fresh thyme removed from stem (divided)
- ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups turkey broth
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- In a large skillet over medium/high heat, cook sausage until browned. About 5-8 minutes. Remove from skillet and put into large mixing bowl
- In the same skillet, add the butter, onion, celery, and sauté until softened. About 3-5 minutes. Add in garlic, sage, and 2 tsp of thyme and sauté another minute until fragrant. Remove from skillet and add to the mixing bowl with sausage.
- Add the roughly crumbled cornbread and gently mix. Add the other 2tsp of fresh thyme on top.
- In an oven safe baking dish, coat with nonstick spray, then add the cornbread mixture.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and turkey broth then pour over the cornbread mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes, top should brown. Remove from oven and can serve immediately or if prepping before can be reheated prior to serving.
- Cornbread should be 1 or 2 days old, or you can toast fresh cornbread.
- Do all of your prep work the day before!
- If preparing in advance, wait to pour the broth in until you're ready to bake in the oven.