Sausage, Sage & Cornbread Stuffing

Stuffing made with toasted cornbread, sausage, and sage. Perfect gluten-free side dish for Thanksgiving. Make-ahead options.

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Photography Credit: Elizabeth Stark

Simple swaps can give old favorites new life. In this Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, I swapped traditional cubes of rustic white bread for toasted cornbread to make a stuffing that feels fresh without straying too far from the familiar (and beloved).

Cornbread lends a faint sweetness to the stuffing and a distinctive toothsome texture, while flavors like browned sausage and fresh sage strike familiar flavor notes. Cornbread stuffing is also an excellent option for those who need to eat gluten-free.

This stuffing ends up closer to a classic Thanksgiving bread stuffing than a true Southern-style cornbread stuffing, but with flavors and ingredients that everyone can enjoy.

Cornbread StuffingTo make cornbread stuffing, you’ll first need to make cornbread. I used Elise’s classic Southern cornbread recipe from here on Simply Recipes.

Her cornbread recipe has a gluten-free version and a version that uses some flour. I found that the all-cornmeal (gluten-free) cornbread was more crumbly and, likewise, made a more crumbly stuffing. Cornbread made with some all-purpose flour held its shape better in the stuffing, giving me larger pieces of cornbread in each bite.

Both cornbread recipes work fine in this recipe, so pick the one that works best for you. Either way, you’ll end up with a delicious stuffing.

Sausage, Sage & Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings

The cornbread can be prepared several days ahead.

The prepared stuffing can also be prepared the day ahead and kept refrigerated.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Southern cornbread, prepared and cooled (follow the gluten-free option, if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil (or other neutral, heat tolerant cooking oil)
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet or mild Italian sausage (4 to 6 links), casings removed and broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Method

1 Toast the cornbread cubes: Preheat oven to 350F. Cut the cornbread into 1/2-inch cubes; you should have about 8 cups. Spread them on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast the cubes in oven for 10 minutes, flip, and toast 10 minutes more or until cubes look toasted and golden (about 20 minutes total). Let the cubes cool slightly, and then place in a large mixing bowl.

Cornbread, Sausage & Sage Stuffing

2 Turn oven heat up to 375F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.

3 Brown the sausage: Set a large, deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and then sausage. Use a spoon to break sausage into smaller hunks as it cooks. Cook until the sausage nicely browned on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl and pour off pork fat.

Cornbread, Sausage & Sage Stuffing

4 Cook the onions and celery: Turn the heat to medium and add 4 tablespoons butter. Add onions, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook 7 minutes or until very tender and fragrant. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Cornbread, Sausage & Sage Stuffing

5 Combine the stuffing ingredients: Spoon the onion mixture over the toasted cornbread. Fold in browned sausage, herbs, and stock. Taste and add salt as needed. Finally, fold in the eggs and mix until well combined. Some of the cornbread will crumble, which is fine.

Cornbread, Sausage & Sage Stuffing Cornbread, Sausage & Sage Stuffing

6 Spoon stuffing into buttered baking dish. At this point, stuffing can be covered and refrigerated for 1 day.

Cornbread, Sausage & Sage Stuffing

7 Bake the stuffing: When ready, bake stuffing until piping hot and golden brown on top, 35 to 45 minutes. If the stuffing begins to brown too much on top during bake time, cover loosely with foil. Serve hot.

 

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Elizabeth Stark

Elizabeth Stark, along with her husband Brian Campbell, shares her passion for simple, seasonal recipes on the award-winning food blog, Brooklyn Supper. Though Brooklyn will always have a place in her heart, she now lives with her family in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.

More from Elizabeth

Links:

Slow Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing from Serious Eats

Cornbread Stuffing

7 Comments

  1. Sophia

    Question: If I used a different cornbread recipe, how many cups of cornbread would I need to make this?

  2. Tim

    Love this recipe but if I wanted to spice it up with jalapeño how/when would I add it? (I’m an OCD recipe follower and not that creative )

  3. [email protected]

    Nothing like a sausage and cornbread stuffing.

  4. Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    We would have this stuffing over Christmas too here in the UK. This is a wholesome beautiful and delicious recipe. Thank you!

  5. Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    My mouth is watering! I’m so excited for thanksgiving food

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