Easy Cornbread Stuffing
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Easy Cornbread Stuffing is, well, stuffed with deliciously seasoned sausage, vegetables, and a handful of herbs for an abundance of flavor and a tender texture. In just two hours, you’ll have a whole batch of the most delicious cornbread sausage dressing made and ready to go for Thanksgiving Day.
Save yourself some time and oven space this holiday season by preparing my easy cornbread stuffing ahead of time! It’s moist, tender, and better than any plain ol’ boxed mix you can find.
Easy Cornbread Stuffing
Holiday cooking is really all about the seasonings.
Balancing the salty and savory with the sweet and herbal. It might seem tricky, but it isn’t – at least, not with my make ahead stuffing recipe!
It’s a roadmap to ridiculously flavorful, moist, and tender stuffing that will make your whole holiday meal one to remember!
Complete the meal with my ultimate Thanksgiving menu and desserts list.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Buttermilk Cornbread – My recipe for sweet Southern cornbread is what I recommend using.
I find it has the perfect body and flavor for cornbread sausage dressing! But, if you find yourself short on time, then store bought is fine.
- Italian Sausage – I use mild, but you could use sweet or hot, if that’s your preference.
Other ground meats make suitable substitutes, or leave the sausage out entirely!
- Celery, Yellow Onion and Minced Garlic – The three most flavorful veggies you can find!
There’s room to mix and match: carrots can replace celery, any onion is fine, and chives can sub in for garlic in a pinch.
- Ground Black Pepper, Thyme and Sage – Fresh herbs are usually preferable, but I find that the concentrated taste of ground seasonings adds the most flavor to this make ahead stuffing.
Cornbread Sausage Dressing Tips
- Have the Cornbread Ready – Don’t wait too late to bake the cornbread.
In fact, you can get started on this make ahead stuffing recipe well in advance by baking the sweet cornbread 2 to 3 days ahead of time! Then, just chop it up, and leave it out to dry.
- Avoid the Crumble – Cornbread tends to be much more crumbly than bread, so be gentle!
Add all of your cornbread, meat, and veggies to your pan before pouring over the broth. Use a spoon, spatula, or flipper to simply fold everything together.
- Keep the Grease! Don’t drain the grease after sauteeing the meat! That fatty stuff adds so much flavor and can make the veggies really stand out.
Can You Make Stuffing Ahead of Time?
When you have a huge Thanksgiving dinner coming up in your future, don’t you wish you could prepare at least some of the dishes ahead of time?
Well, this easy cornbread stuffing is a make ahead recipe!!!
So, how far ahead can you make cornbread dressing? You can prepare this recipe up to 3 days ahead of time, as long as you refrigerate it.
Frozen, it will keep for up to a month!
How to Make Cornbread Dressing Ahead of Time
You have two choices: go ahead and bake it completely, or assemble it and refrigerate. Then, bake on the day you want to serve it.
If you’d like to have the whole thing baked ahead of time, just follow the recipe outlined below!
Store in an appropriate airtight or freezer safe container, and give it plenty of time to thaw if you go the freezer route – at least 2 days.
To simply make the stuffing mixture and wait to bake until the day of, add everything to your baking dish and cover.
A baking dish with a lid or tight wrap with aluminum foil or plastic wrap will get the job done.
Unbaked stuffing doesn’t last quite as long: it will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge, but still up to a month in the freezer.
Storing and Reheating Cornbread Sausage Dressing
An airtight container is absolutely crucial to making sure your make-ahead dressing lasts! Any unwanted moisture will compromise the texture of the whole dish.
And, if you’re freezing, make sure your storage container is freezer safe.
To reheat the cornbread stuffing, transfer to a baking sheet or dish lined with parchment paper.
I recommend tenting with aluminum foil or keeping on the center or bottom rack of the oven.
Have your oven a bit warmer, around 350°F, and simply heat until warmed through. This shouldn’t take more than 7-10 minutes – keep an eye on it!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Other Delicious Thanksgiving Sides
Easy Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
- 8 cups Buttermilk Cornbread, cubed (1 batch)
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup diced yellow onion, (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 cup diced celery, (about 3 stalks)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth, or stock
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- Fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes and spread in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until dried and light brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool
- In a medium skillet, cook ground sausage until no pink remains. Transfer to an extra large mixing bowl.
- To the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the leftover sausage grease. Add the onions and celery and saute over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for another minute. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the mixing bowl with the sausage.
- Add the cooled cornbread cubes to the sausage and vegetable mixture. Toss gently to combine the ingredients.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage.
- Pour the broth/egg mixture into the bowl of cornbread mixture. Stir gently to combine.
- Transfer the stuffing mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into pieces and scatter them evenly over the top of the stuffing.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the stuffing is warmed through and the top is golden brown.
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or other fresh herbs. Serve warm.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2011, updated and republished October 2022
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Yum, what a great selection of recipes, love your cornbread stuffing – sounds so tasty! Congrats on your first turkey – sounds wonderful! Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family!
I love cornbread stuffing. Wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I've never had dressing made with sausage links…sounds really good! Have a great Thanksgiving 🙂
I have been using this recipe since I started making cornbread stuffing. It is truly easy to make and absolutely delicious! Who needs a holiday for something like this, we make it all the time!
I agree! No holiday needed to enjoy this stuffing! Thank you! Have a great day!
TSRI Team Member,
This recipe is a winner. I have made this before and always turns out great. You can also add mushrooms to this, everyone loves it. Can’t wait now till Thanksgiving, may have to make this before. YUM!
I can’t wait to try it. Is a single batch of cornbread baked in a 8″ square pan or 9″ cast iron skillet really going to yield 8 cups of cubed cornbread? Thanks.