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