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Cornbread Stuffing

Savory and hearty cornbread mixed with sausage and seasonings make this cornbread stuffing the ultimate holiday side dish. It’s the best of both worlds, blending everything you love about rich cornbread and herbaceous stuffing. 

A wooden spoon in a casserole dish full of cornbread stuffing

 

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is getting to make and eat Thanksgiving and Christmas food. And one of my all-time favorite things to eat at the holidays is stuffing. Unfortunately, a lot of stuffing recipes are boring, dry, and outdated. That’s why my new go-to dressing is this cornbread stuffing recipe, which uses homemade cornbread instead of regular bread.

The cornbread is hearty and rich, and it’s mixed into a meaty, aromatic, and herbaceous stuffing that’s packed with sausage and garlic. It’s the perfect blend of holiday stuffing and fresh cornbread, two of my favorite foods. You’ve got to make it! 

Why This Is the Best Cornbread Dressing Recipe

This meaty and rich cornbread stuffing is a staple in my kitchen at the holidays, but it’s also great year-round. Here’s why you’re going to love it.

  • Easy to make. This recipe is jam-packed with strong flavors, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. The instructions are very straightforward, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort. If you’re worried about making holiday meals, this is a great stress-free dish to try. 
  • Perfect for the holidays. You can make this cornbread dressing all year long, but it’s really a perfect side dish at Christmas or Thanksgiving. Stuffing is a holiday must, and the cornbread in this side dish creates a hearty and savory new take on an old classic. 
  • Great for old cornbread. This easy cornbread stuffing recipe includes instructions for how to make cornbread. But if you already have some old cornbread lying around, that’s even better! The dressing is even better with slightly stale cornbread, so I make this recipe anytime I have leftover cornbread around the house. 
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for cornbread stuffing: a dish of cornbread, a bowl of sausage meat, a bowl of onions, a bowl of celery, a stick of butter, a bottle of chicken stock, a bowl of garlic, and a bowl of dried spices

Ingredients Needed

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this moist and rich holiday side dish. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card at the end of the page for the exact amounts of each ingredient.

For the Cornbread: 

  • Cornmeal
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Eggs – You want to use large eggs for this recipe. 
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter – The butter will need to be melted.

For the Stuffing:

  • Breakfast sausage
  • Onion – I use a yellow onion for this recipe, but a red or white onion will work fine.
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried sage
  • Chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper – Always use freshly cracked pepper. 

How to Make Cornbread Stuffing

This show-stopping holiday side dish is surprisingly easy to make. Here’s how to do it. 

To Make the Cornbread:

  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 375F, and grease a 13×9-inch baking pan. 
  • Mix the dry ingredients. Add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
  • Whisk the wet ingredients. Add the melted butter, eggs, and buttermilk to another bowl, and whisk until well combined. 
  • Mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
  • Bake. Pour the cornbread batter into the pan, and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cornbread. 
  • Dry out. Let the cornbread cool at room temperature, then cut into cubes. Let the cubes dry out at room temperature for a few days. If you don’t have the time for this step, you can bake the cornbread cubes in a 250F oven for 50-60 minutes. 
Overhead view of a tray of cornbread chunks

To Make the Stuffing:

  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 350F, and grease a casserole dish or a 13×9-inch pan.
  • Cook the meat. Cook the sausage in a large skillet until it’s browned and cooked through, making sure to break the meat apart as it cooks. Remove the meat from the skillet and drain the excess fat..
  • Sauté the veggies. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onions and celery. Cook until soft, about 7-8 minutes, then add the garlic. Sauté until you can smell the garlic, about 1-2 minutes. 
Onions and celery in a skillet with butter
  • Add the herbs. Remove the veggie mixture from the skillet and stir in the herbs.
  • Mix. Add the veggie mixture, meat, and cornbread cubes to a large mixing bowl with most of the chicken broth. Toss to combine, adding more broth as necessary based on how dry your cornbread is. You need to add enough broth to make the cornbread moist.
Chicken broth being poured into a mixing bowl with cornbread, sautéed onions and celery, and sausage meat.
  • Bake. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake until golden brown, which should take about 30-40 minutes. Serve immediately. 

Tips, Tricks, and Variations

Here are a few of my favorite tricks to use when making hearty holiday cornbread stuffing.

  • Use room-temperature eggs. Anytime I’m baking I be sure to use room-temperature eggs. When eggs are cold they don’t mix as well with other ingredients, which can lead to dry, dense, and inconsistent batters. Take the eggs out of the fridge about 30 minutes before making the cornbread for the best results.
  • Make it spicy. A lot of people love spicy cornbread, and it works great for this Thanksgiving dressing. If you want to make the cornbread spicy, just add some fresh or pickled jalapeños to the batter. It will give the cornbread stuffing an extra kick. 
  • Use old cornbread. For best results, make the cornbread 2-3 days before you plan on making the stuffing. This recipe is best with slightly stale cornbread, so the stuffing really benefits from making the cornbread a few days in advance. 
Close up of a casserole dish full of cornbread stuffing

What to Serve With Homemade Cornbread Dressing

My preferred way to eat savory and rich cornbread dressing is on a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner plate with a big holiday feast. But you can also serve this recipe as its own entree at any other time of the year. If you do that, I recommend serving it with a salad or another fresh veggie side dish. Because the dressing is so hearty and filling, it pairs nicely with a bright and refreshing side dish. Here are a few of my favorites. 

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover meaty cornbread dressing will last in the fridge for 4 days, as long as you store it in an airtight container. You can reheat it in the microwave in 30-second increments, or in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes. 

Can You Freeze This Cornbread Stuffing Recipe?

Absolutely! Just make sure the stuffing is completely cooled, then place it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in a 350F oven for about 25 minutes, or thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave. 

Close up of the corner of a casserole dish filled with stuffing, with a wooden spoon in it

More Easy Holiday Sides

As much as I love a roast turkey or baked ham, I think the best thing about Christmas and Thanksgiving is the endless side dishes. Here are a few of my other favorite holiday sides for you to make this winter.

Yield: 12

Cornbread Stuffing

Close up of a wooden spoon in a casserole dish of stuffing

Cornbread stuffing is the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish. Hearty, savory, and meaty, it's everything you love about cornbread and everything you love about dressing, combined in one.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cornbread:

  • 3 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 whole large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Stuffing:

  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

To Make the Cornbread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375º F, then grease or spray a 13x9-inch pan. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter to a mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  7. Slice the cornbread into cubes and let it dry out for a couple of days. Or if making the day of, arrange the cubes a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes at 250º F to dry out the bread and get it a little bit crunchy.

To Make the Stuffing

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F, then grease a large casserole dish or a 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it apart until it's cooked through. Remove from the pan and drain away excess grease.
  3. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the celery and onions, and sauté for 7-8 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until you can start to smell it.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the herbs until well combined.
  5. In a very large bowl toss together the cornbread cubes, onion mixture, sausage, and broth. Start with about 3 cups of the broth and mix. Add more as necessary to coat and start to slightly soften the bread. You will need close to 4 cups if you let your bread sit out for a few days. If you dried it in the oven the day off, you will need closer to 3 1/2 cups.
  6. Once everything is moist and combined, spread into the prepared dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments, or in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes.
  • For best results, make the corbread 2-3 days ahead of time.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 472Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 139mgSodium 1238mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 15g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Did you make this recipe?

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Sandra

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Such an amazing stuffing! Adding this to our Thanksgiving menu!

Catalina

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

I was looking for a new stuffing recipe for this year's Thanksgiving! It sounds so tasty!

Allyson Zea

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

This recipe looks delicious! I can't wait to try it this holiday season!

Katerina Petrovska

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Wow! This sounds fantastic! I can't wait to try it!

Beth

Monday 30th of October 2023

MmmMMM! Stuffing is just about the best food you can have for the holidays. At least for me. I can't wait to try your recipe.

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