Sausage 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 stuffing made and ready to go for Thanksgiving Day.
Save yourself some time and oven space this holiday season by preparing my best cornbread stuffing recipe ahead of time!
It’s moist, tender, and better than any plain ol’ boxed mix you can find.
Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
Holiday cooking is really all about the seasonings — balancing the salty and savory with the sweet and herbal.
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 sausage cornbread stuffing! 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, Thymex, 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.
Tips for Making Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage
- Have the cornbread ready
Don’t wait too late to bake the cornbread. In fact, you can get started on this cornbread sausage stuffing recipe well in advance!
Bake 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 regular bread cubes, so be gentle!
Add all of your cornbread, meat, and veggies to your pan before pouring broth over the top. 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 to cornbread stuffing with sausage and can make the veggies really stand out.
Best Cornbread Stuffing Recipe FAQ
Eggs help bind everything together and make cornbread stuffing with sausage extra moist and fluffy.
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?
You’re in luck! Not only is this the best cornbread stuffing, but it’s a make-ahead recipe too!!!
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!
Make Ahead Instructions
You have two choices: bake and reheat later, or assemble and chill before baking the day of.
To bake and reheat, 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.
Pop sausage cornbread stuffing right back in the oven and bake until warmed through. Keep extra broth on hand in case it looks a little dry.
If you prefer to store it uncooked, simply add everything to your baking dish and cover — either with a lid, or tightly wrapped with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
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.
Bake as directed, adding extra time as needed, and be sure to thaw first if frozen.
Storing and Reheating Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
An airtight container is absolutely crucial for the best cornbread stuffing leftovers! 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 sausage cornbread stuffing, transfer leftovers to a baking sheet or dish lined with parchment paper.
I recommend tenting with aluminum foil or keeping the pan 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.
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
- Raise oven temperature to 325 °F
- 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 2023
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