Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

I’m squeezing in one more new recipe this week before I sign off for a bit and start cooking for Thanksgiving: a Southern-style cornbread and sausage stuffing. What I love about this stuffing, other than the flavor, is the texture. The bottom has a rich, almost spoon bread-like consistency, while the top is toasty and golden-brown. It’s a little more time consuming than traditional stuffing because it’s made with homemade cornbread (no cheating! store-bought cornbread is too sweet and won’t work) but you can break the steps of the recipe up over a few days, if you’d like. Note that the cornbread in this recipe is intentionally dry and bland, so don’t worry if you taste it while you’re cooking and it seems plain. The sausage, eggs, and butter in the stuffing balance it all out.

Cornbread and Sausage StuffingBegin by making the cornbread. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Add the milk and whisk until evenly combined. Set aside.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Whisk well.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Add the milk mixture and the melted butter to the dry ingredients.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Whisk until smooth.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Bake in a 350°F-oven until lightly golden around the edges and set, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, 20 to 30 minutes. (Cornbread can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.)

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Cut the cornbread into 1-inch squares. Place the cut cornbread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 250°F-oven until lightly toasted, about 1 hour.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Cool the cornbread on the baking sheet, about 15 minutes.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

To make the stuffing: Place the sausage in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Cook, stirring and breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the largest bowl you have (it needs to fit all the cornbread), leaving the fat in the pan.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and 3 tablespoons of the butter to the pan. Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Cook until the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Off the heat, mix in the herbs then add the vegetable mixture to the bowl with the sausage and mix to combine.

Cornbread and Sausage StuffingIn another bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, broth, and salt.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Add the dried cornbread cubes to the sausage and vegetable mixture and pour the egg mixture over top. Fold the mixture a few times with a large rubber spatula, being careful not to break up the cornbread too much. Let the mixture sit, folding carefully a few times, until the cornbread is saturated, about 10 minutes.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Transfer the soaked cornbread mixture to a greased baking dish, making sure the sausage and vegetables are evenly distributed. Try to arrange some of the larger pieces of cornbread on top; it looks prettier. Dot the top of the stuffing with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 35 minutes.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Serve warm.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

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Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients

For the Cornbread

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1-1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

For the Stuffing

  • 1 lb bulk hot pork sausage
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herb blend (I use equal parts thyme, rosemary and sage)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

For the Cornbread

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan or spray with a nonstick cooking spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and whisk until evenly combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk mixture and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake until lightly golden around the edges and set, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 250°F and set the oven rack in the middle position. Cut the cornbread into 1-inch squares. Place the cut cornbread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 1 hour. Cool the cornbread on the baking sheet, about 15 minutes.

For the Stuffing

  1. Place the sausage in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the largest bowl you have (it needs to fit all the cornbread), leaving the fat in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and 3 tablespoons of the butter to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Off the heat, mix in the herbs. Add the vegetable mixture to the bowl with the sausage and mix to combine.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, broth, and salt.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.Add the dried cornbread cubes to the sausage and vegetable mixture. Pour the egg mixture over top. Fold the mixture a few times with a large rubber spatula, being careful not to break up the cornbread too much. Let the mixture sit, folding carefully a few times, until the cornbread is saturated, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the soaked cornbread mixture to the prepared pan, making sure the sausage and vegetables are evenly distributed. Try to arrange some of the larger pieces of cornbread on top; it looks prettier. Dot the top of the stuffing with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 35 minutes. Serve warm.
  5.  Make-Ahead Instructions: The cornbread can be prepared up to two days ahead of time. Cut it into cubes and let it dry out on the countertop overnight instead of toasting it in the oven. If you'd like the assemble the stuffing in advance, prepare it up until the point of baking, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to a day ahead of time. When ready to serve, bake as directed, allowing a few extra minutes in the oven.

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn, Awesome recipe, used bulk turkey sausage and it was still great. Only change that I made. Will make again and make the cornbread ahead of time. Thanks Jenn. This one is the bomb!!!! Turned out perfect.

    • — Arlene A Nelson on November 26, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this for Thanksgiving this year. It was a hit!! I will definitely be making this delicious recipe more often. Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Julie on November 23, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, Happy Thanksgiving! This cornbread stuffing recipe is terrific! I substituted King Arthur GLUTEN FREE All Purpose Baking Mix instead of AP flour and otherwise followed your directions to a “T”. I was a little nervous since I had never made this recipe but it was FABULOUS and I can always count it on you for perfection! I also made your Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel (substituting Gluten free KA Flour as needed) and Creamy Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes….all received rave reviews. I love your recipes and have such confidence in achieving 5 star results. Thank you!

    • — Julie on November 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • ☺️

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • Can I omit the egg in this recipe? I prefer a more traditional/dry stuffing but am intrigued with the in ingredients of this recipe and want to try it!

    • — Shannon on November 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • I don’t recommend leaving out the eggs, Shannon — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • I tasted the cornbread and am worried I did something wrong. Is it supposed to be a bit salty? I guess I thought it would taste sweater. I’m pretty sure I followed the recipe to the tee. I’m making the stuffing today.

    • — Rebecca Crakow on November 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, Yes it should be a bit salty and kinda dry/plain – it is not sweet. No worries!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thanks for your reply. The stuffing was very good, but I think I’m going to add more sugar/ less salt. I like a sweeter dressing.

        • — Rebecca Crakow on November 22, 2018
        • Reply
  • Hi Jen, do you think it would be OK to use sourdough or challah bread for this stuffing? No-one likes cornbread in my family!

    • — Alison on November 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Is it possible to leave out the sausage? I was thinking of making this without any meat.

    • — SK on November 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • I SK, I wouldn’t recommend this without the sausage as it contributes so much of the flavor. If you’d prefer to go meatless, you may want to give this Challah and Wild Mushroom Stuffing a look.

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen!

    Can I replace the yellow cornmeal with Buttermilk white cornmeal
    Mix from White Lily?

    Thanks!
    SL

    • — Steph on November 17, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Steph, I don’t recommend it as I believe that product has leavening in it. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • Can I make ahead and freeze?
    Bake first and then freeze? Or just to the point before baking?

    • — Nancy Fazio on November 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, I haven’t frozen this, so I can’t say for sure how it will impact it. That said, I think you could get away with freezing it before baking. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • I have a family cornbread recipe that I love. How many cups of cornbread does your recipe yield so I can sub in the correct volume of my recipe? Thank you!

    • — Janice Shankman on November 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Janice, Honestly, I’m not sure…I didn’t measure when I was testing the recipe. But if you wanted to wing it, you’d need enough cubes to fill a sheet pan in a single layer. That said, I really recommend sticking with the cornbread recipe here; it’s intentionally dry and plain so that holds up well and complements the flavors in the stuffing. I’ve tried the dish with other cornbread recipes and it doesn’t turn out as well. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • Could I actually stuff the turkey with this stuffing. Our family prefers the turkey with the stuffing cooked inside the bird not as a casserole.
    The same question for your herb and sausage stuffing recipe….they both look so delicious. It is such a treat receiving your weekly emails…thank you for your inspirations! Ps. Love your cookbook!!
    Dale Anne

    • — Dale Anne Whitehead on November 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Glad you are enjoying the cookbook! 🙂
      I wouldn’t recommend using this stuffing inside a turkey- it’s got a souffle-like texture and I fear that if you push it into the turkey cavity, it will just come out too mushy. You can use the herb and sausage stuffing in a turkey; you may want to cut the broth back a little as the turkey cavity will add a decent amount of moisture to it. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • Can I make this gluten free by using one of the gluten free flours?

    • — Karen Cadden on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, I haven’t made a gluten-free version of this, but I suspect it should work. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you make it this way!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • How is this cornbread for serving as is? I’m looking for a good basic cornbread recipe. Thanks.

    • — Eileen J Feldman on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Eileen, I definitely would not use this as cornbread – it’s intentionally dry and plain. Instead, I’d recommend this recipe (which you can make in an 8-inch pan and cook for 30 min, if you’d like).

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • Can I make and bake on Tuesday night and warm up in the oven on Thanksgiving?

    • — Karen on November 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, I think it would be much better if you assembled it on Tuesday and refrigerated it, then baked it on Thursday.

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2018
      • Reply

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