This easy Cornbread Dressing with Sausage is baked outside the bird yet remains remarkably buttery and moist. This southern Thanksgiving recipe is a hit at my Midwest holiday table every year!

This easy Cornbread Dressing with sausage is baked outside the bird but still so buttery and moist! Bring a taste of the South to your Thanksgiving table.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Cornbread Dressing with Sausage Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Cornbread: Since we’re dressing it up so much with the rest of the ingredients, the semi-homemade route is totally acceptable here. Start with cornbread from a bakery or bake a boxed cornbread mix, like Jiffy, or read on for my tips about how to make cornbread from scratch (see Recipe Tips and Variations). Dry the bread up to 3 days in advance (keep it covered with a dry kitchen towel on counter, or slice and dry in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes before proceeding with Step 1).
  • Chicken broth or turkey broth: Opt for homemade chicken broth or turkey broth if you have it, otherwise boxed or canned stock or broth works, too.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Place the cornbread into a large bowl. 
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Stir in sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  3. To the cornbread, add celery and sausage mixture and toss to combine. Add eggs, dried thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and parsley. Stir in turkey stock, a little at a time, until it forms a moist mixture. 
  4. Place mixture in prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crispy, about 20 additional minutes. Serve.
This easy Cornbread Dressing with sausage is baked outside the bird but still so buttery and moist! Bring a taste of the South to your Thanksgiving table.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 10 side dish-sized servings, ideal for enjoying alongside Perfect Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving or any entree the rest of the year. (This is far too delicious to reserve for just one day!)
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: After you’ve assembled the stuffing, refrigerate it up to 1 day in advance. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Keep stuffing tightly covered with foil and bake until mostly heated through, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crispy edges form, about 10 to 20 minutes longer.
  • For homemade cornbread: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a square 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine:  ¾ cup stone-ground cornmeal, 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together: 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons cooled melted butter, and 1 cup buttermilk. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared dish and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Stuffing a turkeychicken, or hen: For food safety reasons, and for a more evenly cooked bird, most modern recipes don’t encourage stuffing a turkey. If you decide to stuff your turkey, make sure the stuffing is warm when it goes in so it has a head start in cooking (either because you just finished making it, or because you made it in advance and reheated it). Use a large spoon or your hands to loosely stuff the body and neck cavities (do not pack it tightly because the stuffing expands while it cooks). Truss the main cavity with trussing pins to keep the stuffing inside. The stuffing must register 165 degrees on an internal thermometer to be safe to eat.
  • Mix up your meats: I love the flavor sweet Italian pork sausage lends to this cornbread dressing. If you prefer, feel free to swap in regular pork sausage, hot Italian sausage, chorizo, or sweet Italian turkey sausage.
  • Upgrade with a garnish: If you happen to have extra fresh sage, thyme, or parsley hanging out after preparing the rest of your Thanksgiving menu, dice it and sprinkle it on top of this Cornbread Dressing with Sausage.

More holiday side dish ideas

Someone scooping cornbread dressing out of a silver pan.

Cornbread Dressing with Sausage

This easy Cornbread Dressing with Sausage is baked outside the bird yet remains remarkably buttery and moist. This southern Thanksgiving recipe is a hit at my Midwest holiday table every year!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 10 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 226

Ingredients 

  • 16 ounces cornbread cut into 1/2-inch cubes and dried overnight on counter (about 1 pound, see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sweet italian sausages casings removed
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 celery ribs with leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or turkey broth

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Place the cornbread into a large bowl. 
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Stir in sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • To the cornbread, add celery and sausage mixture and toss to combine. Add eggs, dried thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and parsley. Stir in turkey stock, a little at a time, until it forms a moist mixture. 
  • Place mixture in prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crispy, about 20 additional minutes. Serve.

Notes

  1. Cornbread: Since we’re dressing it up so much with the rest of the ingredients, the semi-homemade route is totally acceptable here. Start with cornbread from a bakery or bake a boxed cornbread mix, like Jiffy, or read on for my tips about how to make cornbread from scratch (see Recipe Tips and Variations). Dry the bread up to 3 days in advance (keep it covered with a dry kitchen towel on counter, or slice and dry in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes before proceeding with Step 1).
  2. Chicken broth or turkey broth: Opt for homemade chicken broth or turkey broth if you have it, otherwise boxed or canned stock or broth works, too.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 10 side dish-sized servings, ideal for enjoying alongside Perfect Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving or any entree the rest of the year. (This is far too delicious to reserve for just one day!)
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Make ahead: After you’ve assembled the stuffing, refrigerate it up to 1 day in advance. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Keep stuffing tightly covered with foil and bake until mostly heated through, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crispy edges form, about 10 to 20 minutes longer.

Nutrition

Calories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 456mgPotassium: 129mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 298IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. I am curious why you specifically point to it being made outside the turkey. I and three other generations of women in my family have stuffed turkeys with cornbread stuffing.

    1. For food safety reasons, and for a more evenly cooked bird, most modern recipes don’t encourage stuffing a turkey. If you decide to stuff your turkey, make sure the stuffing is warm when it goes in so it has a head start in cooking (either because you just finished making it, or because you made it in advance and reheated it). Use a large spoon or your hands to loosely stuff the body and neck cavities (do not pack it tightly because the stuffing expands while it cooks). Truss the main cavity with trussing pins to keep the stuffing inside. The stuffing must register 165 degrees on an internal thermometer to be safe to eat. I hope this answers your question! Thanks! – Meggan

  2. I use a similar recipe for cornbread dressing.
    Breakfast sausage works well, and if you can get it, cajun boudin is a good addition.
    It is seasoned well, and has rice, as well as pork and pork liver.5 stars

  3. I’ve been waiting for this one. Being GF, it’s one I’m trying with this year’s bird. You do not publish anything that is not absolutely delicious!!!

    I’ve just started blending Italian sausage into recipes that call for ground beef and we love it.