Sausage, Sage, and Cornbread Stuffing


Thanksgiving stuffing with toasted cornbread, sausage, and sage is a great gluten-free side dish for Thanksgiving. Plus, you can make it ahead!

Photography Credit: Elizabeth Stark

Simple swaps can give old favorites new life, don’t you think? This stuffing recipe opts for cornbread!

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).

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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 Stuffing

How to Make Cornbread Stuffing—Gluten Free!

To 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.

Make-Ahead Suggestions

You can make the cornbread for this recipe up to three days ahead, wrap it in plastic, and store it on the counter. You can also make it well in advance and freeze it until needed; thaw before using.

The stuffing can also be assembled up to a day in advance and then baked just before serving.


Sausage, Sage, and Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

  • 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.


  • 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


1 Toast the cornbread cubes: Preheat oven to 350°F. 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 375°F. 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.

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10 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Alyssa

    Thank you for such a delicious recipe! I made it for thanksgiving this year and fiancé said he never eats stuffing and then proceeded to eat almost the entire batch. He said it was hands down his favorite dish, and mine too! It was super easy to make and loaded with flavor. I already have requests to make again! Thank you!


  2. Marta Rivera

    This recipe was delicious! I doubled it and froze a pan for later. It was just as amazing as the fresh batch.

  3. Lolly

    Really fantastic— added dried cranberries as is our favorite ingredient and poultry seasoning —I hope it freezes well cuz that’s what I did. Thank you!

  4. Sophia

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

    Show Replies (1)
  5. 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 )

    Show Replies (1)
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