A couple shakes of dried parsley, thyme, sage, and pepper add unbelievable flavor to this cornbread stuffing recipe. Savory sausage, sweet pear or apple, and crunchy nuts add unbelievable texture. Follow my make ahead or freezing instructions so there’s one less dish to worry about on Thanksgiving.
This post is sponsored by McCormick.
Thanksgiving turkey is great and all, but Thanksgiving side dishes are the crown jewels on the table. And whether it’s stuffed into the turkey or served on the side, you absolutely have to make this cornbread stuffing part of your feast. Salty, sweet, savory, crunchy, this stuffing has it all. Plus, it smells incredible as it cooks.
Tell Me About this Cornbread Stuffing
- Texture: Light and moist with bite-size pieces of tender sausage, celery, pear or apple, and crunch pecans. I love the playful textures.
- Flavor: Light and buttery with savory, sweet, and nutty notes. The recipe is a more flavorful version of my classic sausage and apple stuffing, because I use cornbread instead of regular bread as the base. Seriously, it is packed with so many soul-warming herb flavors.
- Ease: This dish is like 2 short recipes in 1. The cornbread comes first with all the ingredients prepared in a large bowl before being transferred to a baking pan. The stuffing is next and can be made in 3 easy steps. Make it in advance for ease and convenience!
- Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes to make both the fresh cornbread and the stuffing (plus overnight cooling time for the cornbread). You can shave off 40-45 minutes by using store-bought cornbread.
Spotlight on Some Cornbread Stuffing Ingredients
- Cornbread: When it comes to cornbread, you can choose either homemade or store-bought. Use your favorite cornbread recipe or pick up a cornbread mix from the store. I love the super simple cornbread recipe below and urge you to try it, too. It’s just like my regular cornbread recipe.
- Herbs: Use your favorite dried herbs and spices like parsley, thyme, and sage to brighten up the stuffing and add heaps of flavor.
- Sausage: This adds savory richness to the dish. For a vegetarian option, replace the sausage with mushrooms or diced butternut squash. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Pear: The fruit’s sweetness adds a nice contrast to the rich sausage and an additional textural layer. You can also use an apple instead of a pear.
- Pecans: Pecans add just the right amount of soft crunch. I like to use pecan halves, but they can be replaced with chopped walnuts if you wish. Or leave it nut-free.
Overview: How to Make Cornbread Stuffing (Dressing)
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it so you understand each step before you get started.
- Make the cornbread. Preheat the oven. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, then transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake until golden brown. Cool completely.
- Cut cornbread into cubes + lightly toast. Slice cornbread into 1-inch cubes. Spread them out on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes to toast them. Lightly toasting the cornbread helps it absorb some of the liquid ingredients, which prevents your stuffing from tasting soggy. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare stuffing. Whisk broth and eggs together in a large bowl.
- Cook down the flavors and herbs. Place onion, celery, and herbs into a large skillet. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Add sausage, pear or apples, and pecans.
- Add broth + egg + cornbread. Mix everything together.
- Bake. Bake the stuffing in a casserole dish or stuff it into the turkey. If you’re stuffing the turkey, allow the cornbread stuffing to cool completely before using.
Make it Ahead: The cornbread stuffing is best prepared ahead of time, which is great news considering most of us like to prep before the big meal. In fact, it tastes even BETTER when made ahead because the flavors have the chance to settle. Make and store in the refrigerator a few days ahead of time or freeze for up to 3 months. This is just one less thing to worry about before Thanksgiving dinner!
More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Green Bean Casserole
- Cranberry Sauce
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
Toasting the cornbread adds a delicious texture. To save time, toast 1 day ahead of time. Flavored with herbs, savory sausage, sweet pear or apple, and crunchy nuts, this cornbread stuffing is always the star of the Thanksgiving meal. See notes for freezing instructions.
- 1 cup (120g) cornmeal
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons; 115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup (60g) honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 cups (600ml) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 celery stalks, sliced (about 1 and 1/4 cups)
- 1 Tablespoon McCormick parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon McCormick thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon McCormick rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 lb uncooked sausage
- 1 cup peeled and chopped pear or apple
- 1 cup (125g) pecan halves or chopped walnuts
- Cornbread: (Prepare 1 day in advance!) Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Whisk all of the cornbread ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9×9 square baking pan. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Set aside to cool overnight. Do not cover.
- Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Slice the cornbread into small 1-inch cubes. You will have about 7-8 cups cubes. Spread onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool as you prepare the stuffing. Turn the oven up to 375°F (1791°C).
- Stuffing: Whisk the broth and eggs together in a very large bowl. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, parsley, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings into the skillet. Break up with a spoon, then add the pears. Cook until sausage is just about cooked through. Pour into the broth + egg mixture, including any liquid that may be in the skillet as well. Add the toasted cornbread cubes and pecans. Very gently fold everything together.
- Spoon stuffing into a greased 9×13 baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until toasted on top. Sprinkle with additional parsley, if desired, and serve warm.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the cornbread (step 1) 1 day in advance. You can also chop and toast it 1 day in advance (step 2). To save time, you can also chop the onion, celery, and pear 1 day in advance as well. Cover and refrigerate them overnight. You can also prepare the entire recipe through step 4, cover and refrigerate overnight, then bake the next day. For long storage, freeze the baked stuffing up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature, then reheat it in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 20-25 minutes, or until warmed through, before serving.
- If using to stuff a turkey, skip step 5 and allow to cool completely after step 4. Then stuff into the turkey.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required in the cornbread recipe. If you don’t have any, you can make a DIY sour milk by adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to make 1 cup total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using. Whole milk is strongly recommended for moistest, richest texture, but you can use lower fat or nondairy milk in a pinch.
Keywords: cornbread, Thanksgiving, stuffing, dressing
This recipe is sponsored by McCormick. Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction and the brands I choose to work with!