Call it dressing or call it stuffing, but you’ll definitely call it DELICIOUS after one bite of this sweet & savory, homemade Cornbread Stuffing recipe. This easy cornbread sausage stuffing with dried fruits and mushrooms adds a major flavor boost to any meal, especially Thanksgiving dinner.
Do you already have a go-to Thanksgiving stuffing recipe?
I get it; we all have our tried-and-true staples. But if you’re not married to your current version, I HIGHLY recommend this homemade Cornbread Stuffing recipe. Made with sausage, mushrooms & dried fruits, this sweet & savory cornbread dressing might just surpass dessert as your newest favorite Thanksgiving dish.
It certainly does around here.
Why you'll love this recipe
➤ It's familiar but still different. This recipe has your classic stuffing flavors like dried sage and earthy mushrooms but the flavor gets kicked up a notch with spicy red pepper flakes and sweet cornbread.
➤ Prep it ahead of time. You can make most of the recipe in advance so all that's left to do is stir everything together and bake. Perfect for a busy holiday meal!
You can grab all of these items at the grocery store. A few specific ingredient notes:
- Cornbread - You can make your own if you have a from scratch cornbread recipe or you can buy from the grocery store like I do.
- Pork sausage - Use your favorite ground breakfast sausage. I like Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage that is seasoned with sage.
You can make this stuffing all at once or you can prep the recipe through step three. Finish combining the ingredients and bake just before serving.
Step one: Brown sausage in large skillet.
Step two: Add onions, mushrooms and spices/seasonings to the pan and cook until onion is translucent.
Step three: Stir in part of broth and dried fruits. Let fruits absorb broth for 30 minutes.
Step four: Combine cornbread and sausage mixture. Stir in egg and rest of broth. Pour into greased baking dish and bake.
Most stuffing recipes are cooked inside a turkey (or chicken), but dressing recipes are always cooked in a separate baking dish. In our house, we’re not purists. Dressing is called stuffing regardless of where it’s cooked.
Dried bread makes the best stuffing. Fresh bread does not absorb liquid like dry bread so your stuffing may end up a bit soupy.
It's easy to dry cornbread. Cut a fresh loaf into cubes and spread on a baking sheet to dry for several hours or overnight. Turn cubes occasionally if possible.
You can also place the bread cubes in a 275°F oven for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Stale bread cubes can be made a few days in advance. Store in a sealed container until ready to use.
The beauty of this recipe is most of it can be prepped ahead of time which is a real sanity saver during holiday meals. The cornbread is easily cubed in advance but you can make the sausage mixture a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate. Let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature and then combine with the cornbread and egg-broth mixture just before baking.
We think so! Like most Thanksgiving leftovers, we tend to nibble at this cornbread stuffing cold from the fridge, but it reheats very well and makes a tasty addition to any turkey sandwich.
- The most obvious choice for what to serve with this cornbread stuffing is turkey! Never cooked a turkey breast before? Check out our easy, step by step guide for How to Cook a Turkey Breast. Tip: Top your turkey with this Cranberry & Apple Chutney for an extra flavor boost.
- This Pear Salad is a delicious way to get your greens thanks courtesy of a simple, tasty maple vinaigrette, pears and candied pecans.
- Is it even legal to serve turkey without potatoes? It shouldn’t be, especially when you can make them in advance like these Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes.
- The balsamic reduction takes these Roasted Brussels Sprouts from good to outstanding with a simple drizzle.
Expert tips for making cornbread stuffing
✘ Fresh cornbread that you cube and set aside to get slightly stale gives the best flavor for this recipe. It's worth the extra few minutes of effort.
✘ Egg binds the ingredients together and helps the stuffing hold its shape once cooked. You can omit it if you like but the result won't be quite the same.
✘ The amount of chicken broth is a recommendation. If you prefer a drier stuffing, use less broth but you may need to reduce your cooking time.
✘ You can prep most of this recipe ahead of time. Follow the directions through soaking the dried fruits with broth and store the mixture in the refrigerator. An hour before serving, finish combining the rest of the recipe and cook as directed.
✘ Lightly tent your stuffing with foil if browning too quickly.
More side dishes
You can find all of our easy side dishes in our archives!
Did you make this recipe? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Your feedback helps us and your fellow readers!
Homemade Cornbread stuffing with sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces ground pork sausage
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 8 cups baked cornbread, cubed and slightly stale (see notes below)
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 egg, beaten
- Grease a 3 quart baking dish. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage; cook until no longer pink. Add onions, mushrooms, crushed red pepper and sage to the pan. Stir together and cook until onion is translucent.1 tablespoon olive oil, 8 ounces ground pork sausage, 1 yellow onion,, 2 cups sliced mushrooms, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- Remove from heat. Stir in dried fruits and ½ cup broth. Cool to room temperature so fruits can soften and absorb some of the broth, at least 30 minutes.½ cup chopped dried apricots, ½ cup dried cranberries, 1 ½ cups chicken broth,
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place sausage mixture and cornbread in a large bowl. Whisk together egg and remaining 1 cup broth and pour over contents of bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour stuffing into prepared baking dish.8 cups baked cornbread,, 1 egg,, 1 ½ cups chicken broth,
- Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm.
- You can prepare this dish through step 3 several hours ahead of time. Combine all ingredients just before baking.
- Prefer a drier stuffing? Use less broth. If you like a moist stuffing, use the suggested amount or more.
- Check your stuffing at 30 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, lightly tent with foil for remaining bake time.
- Recipe adapted from Kowalski's Markets.
How to dry cornbread for stuffing:You don't need rock hard bread cubes to make stuffing but slightly stale helps the cubes hold their shape better when combined with the remaining stuffing ingredients. Here are two options for making stale bread cubes:
- Place cubed cornbread on a baking sheet and allow to dry out on the countertop for several hours. Turn cubes as needed so all sides dry out.
- You can also place the bread cubes in a 275°F oven for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.