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Cornbread Stuffing

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Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

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This old-fashioned Southern cornbread stuffing has a rich, almost spoon bread consistency.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

This Southern-style cornbread stuffing has a rich, almost spoon bread consistency and a toasty golden top. 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.

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. Also, note that this stuffing is best cooked in a baking dish separate from the bird.

What you’ll need To Make Cornbread Stuffing

ingredients for cornbread stuffing

This recipe calls for spicy pork sausage. The sausage doesn’t add a lot of heat to the dish, but if you’ve got guests that are really sensitive to any heat at all, feel free to substitute the spicy variety with mild/sweet sausage. The only real difference between the two is that the spicy version contains some red pepper flakes in addition to the other seasonings both varieties have.

How To Make Cornbread Stuffing

Begin by making the cornbread. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.

whisking eggs in mixing bowl

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

whisking the milk into the eggs

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

combining the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

Whisk well.

whisking the dry ingredients

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

adding the milk mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients

Whisk until smooth.

whisking batter

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

cornbread ready to bake

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.)

baked cornbread cooling on rack

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.

cubes of cornbread on baking sheet

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

toasted cornbread cubed cooling

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

cooking the sausage for cornbread 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.

breaking apart the sausage with a spoon

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and 3 tablespoons of the butter to the pan. cooking the vegetables

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

adding the garlic to the vegetables

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

adding the herbs to the vegetablesIn another bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, broth, and salt.

whisking the custard

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.

mixing all of the components for cornbread stuffing in a bowl

Transfer the soaked cornbread mixture to a greased baking dish, and make sure that 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 stuffing ready to bake

Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 35 minutes.

baked cornbread stuffing

Serve warm.

How to Make Cornbread Stuffing Ahead of Time

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.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

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Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

This old-fashioned Southern cornbread stuffing has a rich, almost spoon bread consistency.

Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients

For the Cornbread

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick (½ 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
  • ¼ 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
  • ½ 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/Freezer-Friendly 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. It can also be frozen after baking, tightly covered, for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve it, defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Reheat it, covered with foil, in a 325°F oven until hot.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 541
  • Fat: 33 g
  • Saturated fat: 16 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Sodium: 654 mg
  • Cholesterol: 209 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • This recipe was outstanding and very simple to make. I substituted dried spices for the fresh and used Jiffy cornbread to make this last minute addition and everyone still raved! Thanks so much for a simplified version of a great dish.

    • — TAMMY R SOULE on November 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • I wanted to try a new cornbread dressing recipe and this was perfect! It was a hit at my Thanksgiving table and turned out even more flavorful than I’d hoped. I followed the recipe exactly as written except I crumbled half the cornbread and cubed the other half – loved the consistency as a result. I used spicy Italian pork sausage and it added lots of flavor and moisture without too much heat. This will be my new go-to recipe at holidays!

    • — Brantley on November 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Do you use the entire pan of cornbread in the dressing/stuffing recipe?

    • — Marie on November 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes that’s correct. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’d like to divide this into 2 separate pans. 1 to cook now and one to freeze for later. How long would I cook for 8×8 pan? And is it necessary to bake both before freezing 1??

    • — Belle on November 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Belle, I think the cook time will be 30 to 35 minutes, and it’s fine to freeze the second pan before baking.

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hello,

    Can I use Plant base butter and Oat Milk for to substitute for Milk and butter? Have you tried substituting before?

    Thanks in advance.

    • — Jackie on November 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jackie, I haven’t tried it with those substitutes but I think it should work. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Thank you so much for getting back so quickly! I am making my whole thanksgiving from you!
    Trying the turkey in the oven for the first time too. Your recipes are amazing!

    • — Melissa on November 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn cannot wait to make this for Thanksgiving!
    If i prepare the cornbread today will it be fine to prepare the rest Wednesday and then bake Thursday ?
    Thank you so much
    Melissa
    Happy Thanksgiving

    • — Melissa on November 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yep!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • Two Questions: 1) Can I use beef broth for a guest that doesn’t eat poultry?
    2) Can I divide it up to bake in smaller dishes ?

    • — SuzR on November 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes. The beef broth will slightly change the flavor of the stuffing but it will still be good (and make sure you get low-sodium beef broth). Hope everyone enjoys

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • My mouth is watering looking at this recipe. I really need a different stuffing recipe this year and this looks like IT. Do you think beef chorizo would work with this? I have family that doesn’t eat pork and I feel like turkey sausage wouldn’t have enough fat or flavor, but which substitution would you recommend?

    • — Jay on November 13, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jay, Beef chorizo would work here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • Jenn, thank you for this recipe! I made it for our Thanksgiving last year and I use the top cornbread every time I make your chili recipe! Today, I did both! Thank you! FANTASTIC!

    • — Christine on September 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • So so delicious. I made this according to the recipe using Gluten Free flour and it was great but I felt like maybe too much cornbread. So for Christmas I substituted 1/2 cornbread for just plain white gluten free bread which I toasted and then cooked in oven to get crispy. It was awesome. Both are great but I preferred 1/2 and 1/2 with regular bread. Jen is a star. she is my go to recipe diva!

    • — Anne on January 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday , it was AMAZING! My husband raved about it and said was the best ever! Thank you for your incredible recipes!

    • — Melissa on November 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious- tastes just like my Grandmother used to make. Bittersweet as I miss her so much – it in a way she’s here with us today. Thank you.

    • — Lee on November 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Happy Thanksgiving. Want to make tomorrow so can I use White cornmeal and buttermilk instead of reg milk?

    • — Denise F on November 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Denise, White cornmeal is fine, but I’d stick with regular milk. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2020
      • Reply
      • Looked at recipe again what size pan do you use and do you butter it before corn bread mixture goes in? Thanks.

        • — Denise F on November 25, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Denise, Scroll down beneath the photo tutorial or click on the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page, and you’ll find more detailed instructions. But yes you do grease a 9×13 pan. 🙂

          • — Jenn on November 25, 2020
          • Reply
  • Can I substitute turkey sausage? If so, what kind?

    • — Denise on November 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Denise, Turkey sausage would work here and I’d get whatever brand bulk turkey sausage your meat case carries. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you for taking the time to reply. Happy Holidays and be safe!

        • — Denise on November 25, 2020
        • Reply
        • Is baking powder really tablespoons? I have never seee that before, but commmenters seem ok with it…. here goes….

          • — Abby K on November 20, 2021
          • Reply
          • Yes, you’ll need 1-1/2 tablespoons. 🙂

            • — Jenn on November 20, 2021
          • Hi Jen,
            I understand the cornbread is an integral part of the recipe but I am pressed for time and already bought packaged cornbread cubes.. do you think I could use them instead? If so how much should I use? Thank you!

            • — Lorraine on November 23, 2021
          • Hi Lorraine, I think it would work as long as the cornbread cubes aren’t too sweet, and you would need 8 to 9 cups.

            • — Jenn on November 24, 2021
  • Hi Jen:

    Happy Thanksgiving. I cannot find any stone ground or wholegrain corn meal in the stores. Is it ok to substitute regular yellow corn meal? If yes, do I buy fine or coarse grind? Or do you think it is better to buy Pepperridge Farm Corn Bread Classic Stuffing and use your Easy Sausage and Herb Stuffing recipe instead?

    Thank you very much for the best food blog site. After trying many recipes from your site, I have learned that your recipes always turn out better than the other recipes with thousands of positive reviews from famous chefs.

    • — Cecilia on November 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Cecilia, thanks for your nice words about the recipes – – so glad you like them! Regular yellow cornmeal is fine and I’d go for either the fine or medium ground. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jen, Happy Thanksgiving 🍁
    Sweet Italian sausage will work ?
    Thank you .

    • — Cristina on November 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • The recipe calls for 1/4 C fresh herbs. If I use dried herbs, how much would you recommend I use of each?

    • — Jessica on November 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jessica, I’d use a healthy tablespoon total and you can break it down into whatever herbs you want. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, can I sub olive oil for the butter? We have a dairy allergy in the family. I know there’s no sub for the flavor of butter though!

    • — Danelle on November 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, I think olive oil will work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I am wondering if I could sub bacon for the sausage and if so, how much would I use? My family loves cornbread and bacon stuffing and I have been on the hunt for the perfect recipe for years. Since everything I’ve made from your your book and website comes out fabulous I am thinking maybe this might be it! Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • — Denise on November 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Denise, I haven’t tried this with bacon but I think it would work. I’d recommend 3/4 lb. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it with this tweak!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Excellent, flavorful stuffing! This recipe’s a keeper.

  • Our host got sick for Thanksgiving and I was given the job of stuffing on short notice. I’ve never made stuffing and was a bit worried! I made this and it was a huge hit. I ended up using 3 Jiffy cornbread boxes and the directions for those baked for 40 minutes and then followed the recipe after that. Everyone said the stuffing was the highlight of the meal. This has been requested for next year. Thanks for sharing!

  • Can I omit the sausage ? If so, should I make any adjustments to the recipe?

    Thank you

    Michelle

    • — michelle daniels
    • Reply
    • Hi Michelle, Unfortunately, this recipe really relies on the sausage for flavor and fat. I’d look for a different recipe. Sorry!

  • Is the pork sausage called for in this recipe Italian sausage or the breakfast type sausage made by Jimmy Dean and other makers of pork products? I have never added sausage to my dressing and want to buy the right product. Thanks!

    • Italian sausage – hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • Hi Jen,

        Would you recommend adding apples or cranberries to this recipe?

        • — Emmie on November 11, 2020
        • Reply
        • Sure, you could add some apples and (dried) cranberries to this. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

          • — Jenn on November 13, 2020
          • Reply
  • I am vegetarian (mostly) … can I make this stuffing without the meat? Should I add more herbs, celery etc…?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Marilyne, I wouldn’t recommend this without the sausage as it contributes so much of the flavor – sorry! If you’d prefer to go meatless, you may want to take a peek at this Challah and Wild Mushroom Stuffing. Hope that helps!

  • Could you use this recipe or any of your other stuffing recipes to stuff mushrooms?

    • Sure, Barbara, that should work. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  • My mother is a New Englander and hates cornbread dressing. I made this anyway and to her surprise she loved the flavor! I added an extra half cup plus of chicken broth as we prefer a more moist dressing. Definitely a five star!

    • — Kelley Rosenbach
    • Reply
    • Can I use pork sausage? I’m making this on Thursday!

      • — Nikki on November 22, 2020
      • Reply
      • Yes definitely.

        • — Jenn on November 22, 2020
        • Reply
  • 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
    • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • I don’t recommend leaving out the eggs, Shannon — sorry!

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

      • 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
        • 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!

  • Is it possible to leave out the sausage? I was thinking of making this without any meat.

    • 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.

  • Hi Jen!

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

    Thanks!
    SL

    • Hi Steph, I don’t recommend it as I believe that product has leavening in it. Sorry!

  • Can I make ahead and freeze?
    Bake first and then freeze? Or just to the point before baking?

    • 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!

  • 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
    • 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!

  • 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
    • 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!

  • Can I make this gluten free by using one of the gluten free flours?

    • 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!

  • How is this cornbread for serving as is? I’m looking for a good basic cornbread recipe. Thanks.

    • — Eileen J Feldman
    • 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).

  • Can I make and bake on Tuesday night and warm up in the oven on Thanksgiving?

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

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