Every year I make it, this cornbread and sausage stuffing is the most coveted side dish at the Thanksgiving table. Slightly sweet, packed with savory veggies and smoky sausage, you might not want to leave any room on your plate for the turkey once you try this stuffing recipe!
This stuffing is the best stuffing I’ve ever had. It’s a pretty bold statement, but I have several family members who can attest to this. I’ve had my fair share of stuffing and most are some variation of the same ingredients, but when I made this for Thanksgiving the first time, my dad declared that it was his “favorite, by far.” Now, it’s become a tradition in my family.
What makes this cornbread and sausage stuffing recipe so special? I think it’s the combination of cornbread and sourdough. You get the best of both worlds! The cornbread is my favorite part, though. The sweet and crumbly texture is scattered throughout every bite and the breakfast sausage amps up the flavor. I’ve never been a fan of actually stuffing the bird—so I guess you could call this dressing—but whatever you call it, this will be a winner at your table.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a rundown of the ingredients you’ll need to make cornbread and sausage stuffing:
- Sourdough bread
- Unsalted butter
- Baby bella mushrooms – You can use white mushrooms, too.
- Chicken broth – Here’s how to make your own chicken broth.
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh sage
- Dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Breakfast sausage – Use your favorite! One made with maple syrup is especially good in this cornbread and sausage stuffing.
How to Make Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
Here are my step-by-step instructions for making the best Thanksgiving stuffing you’ve ever had:
Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the sourdough and cornbread on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until they’re lightly toasted.
Cook the vegetables. While the bread is in the oven, sauté the vegetables with a stick of butter for about 10 minutes, or until they’re soft and tender. Stir in the herbs and chicken stock, then reduce to a simmer.
Cook the sausage. In another skillet, brown the breakfast sausage. Drain off the fat, then add it to the skillet with the vegetables and remove from heat.
Make the stuffing. Place the toasted bread in a large, heat-proof bowl. Pour the vegetable-and-sausage mixture over the bread, and toss gently until most of the liquid is absorbed. Pour into a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish.
Bake the stuffing. Bake the stuffing uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is toasty and browned on the top.
Tips for Success
This cornbread and sausage stuffing recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are some tips I’ve learned over the years:
- Use fresh herbs. Aside from the thyme, the herbs in this recipe are fresh. This comes through in the flavor of the stuffing, so don’t swap them for dry.
- Dry out the bread. Even if your bread is a little stale, I recommend drying it in the oven. The bread needs to be hard all the way through, otherwise the stuffing will be soggy.
- Keep an eye on it. If your stuffing seems to be browning on top too quickly, you can tent it with foil and then remove it in the last 5 minutes of cooking time to get the top get crispy.
Can Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing Be Made in Advance?
Yes, you can prepare cornbread and sausage stuffing up to the point of baking and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a day. Take it out of the fridge while the oven preheats, then bake it according to the recipe instructions.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days. You can reheat the stuffing in the microwave, or in the oven at 350ºF, until it’s warmed through. Reheating it in the oven prevents it from getting soggy.
Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
- ½ loaf of sourdough bread, cubed
- 6 ounce (170 g) baked cornbread, cubed
- ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter
- ½ large onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 5 ounce (142 g) baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ¾ cup (414 ml) chicken broth
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) fresh sage, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound (454 g) breakfast sausage
- Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and place cubed sourdough & cornbread on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes until they're lightly toasted and golden. Remove and set aside. Keep oven temperature.
- In the meantime, while the bread is toasting, sauté your veggies (onions to garlic cloves) with the stick of butter in a large skillet. Sauté until veggies are soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Then stir in all the herbs and chicken stock. Let simmer while you cook the sausage in a separate skillet.
- Brown the breakfast sausage in a separate skillet. Drain and add to the veggie mixture and turn off the heat.
- Add your toasted bread to a large bowl and carefully pour the chicken stock mixture over the bread. Using a spatula, gently toss the mixture until all is incorporated and not much liquid remain.
- Pour the contents of the bowl into a large casserole dish. I used a 2 1/2 quart oval casserole dish.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until lightly brown on top.
- Remove and serve!
- If you have leftovers, place in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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