Homemade Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
The classic Thanksgiving side dish, Homemade Cornbread Sausage Stuffing like my grandmother used to make, is the best for Thanksgiving dinner this year. You can add sausage to any traditional cornbread stuffing recipe and make a classic Thanksgiving side dish your new go-to recipe.
What dish can't you live without on Thanksgiving?
For me, it’s stuffing. Specifically, my grandmother’s cornbread stuffing. I literally dream about this suffing. (No joking!)
Make your own cornbread ahead of time so you can control the consistancy of your stuffing. This Cornbread Recipe is moist, not-to-sweet, and easy to toast. This cornbread is specifically for the stuffing; so if you snaffle a bite, it might not be as sweet as you would normally like cornbread to be since it is made with less suagr. Please do not use the boxed cornbreads stuffing mix from the store - make your own cornbread. It is simple and literally will take you less than an hour and your house will smell delicious!
Now, my grandmother passed away long before I thought to ask for her fabulous cornbread stuffing. I have tried over the years to replicate her cornbread stuffing. I have, yet, to date, been able to make it exactly how she did. I can envision her cornbread stuffing in my mind perfectly, but I can’t seem to get her recipe perfected. So, I turned to Martha Stewart for the perfect Skillet Cornbread Recipe, which I tweeked a bit.
3/4 cup yellow fine cornmeal + 1/2 cup yellow coarse cornmeal (you can use this mix OR 1½ cups of yellow cornmeal without the mix of course and fine)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon real salt
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 425°. Add the sifted flour (Don’t skip this step), both cornmeals, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and gently mix.
Crack the egg into a small bowl and pour both milks into the bowl and mix gently with a fork. Pour into the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a fork. DO NOT overmix.
Add the butter to your 10” cast iron skillet pan and melt on low heat. Do not brown the butter. Remove from heat and smooth over all the sides of the skillet to fully coat. The bottom of the skillet will still have melted butter, this is okay. Pour in batter. Do not mix the butter and the batter together.
Drizzle the honey over the top of the batter. Bake in the preheated over for 25 minutes. You may have to bake a bit longer due to your oven settings. Just ensure the edges are browned and the center is cooked through.
cornbread recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
I use Martha Stewart’s Cornbread Stuffing as a guideline only. Sometimes I add a bit more sausage, sometimes I add a bit more sage or less celery. I eliminate the onions altogether on most days and sometimes I even add chicken livers chopped up because that is what my grandmother did. It depends on what my mood is and what is in my fridge at the time I decide I want some of my grandmother’s stuffing.
This recipe can be doubled AND if you like a mix of bread and cornbread, you can even use some good sourdough bread and chop up for a combo of breads. I have also used breadcrumbs to add fluff to the stuffing as well. Just remember if you add more bread cubes or breadcrubms, you will need another egg and a bit more chicken stock. You can coursely tear the cornbread, you can perfectly cut into lovely squares or you can crumble the cornbread. This recipe is so forgiving, really, just go with your mood and your tastes.
Additionally, this recipe CAN be used to stuff the bird if you like. I do not like my stuffing wet at all, so I never stuff my turkey with stuffing. I always use a baking dish and bake my stuffing in the oven separately becuase I love the crunchy pieces on the top. My kids have no clue stuffing can be made inside a bird and would likely recoil if anyone ever served a wet stuffing to them! LOL! But, feel free to use this Cornbread Sausage Stuffing recipe inside the bird, it will totally work.
Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
1 skillet cornbread (recipe above)
1 lb pork Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sage sausage roll
2-3 stalks celery, chopped finely
2 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, beaten
2-4 cups chicken stock (or turkey stock)
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
salt & pepper to taste + 4 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 300°. Tear cornbread into loose chunks and bake on baking sheet until dried and crumbly, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. IF you prefer a more WET stuffing, skip this step entirely.
Increase oven temperature to 375°.
Brown sausage in a skillet until crumbly. Toss into the bowl of cornbread cubes.
Sauté the celery, shallots, garlic and sage in sausage drippings over medium heat until tender. Toss into dressing.
Crack the egg into a cup and whisk with a fork. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken stock and the egg. Pour over cornbread mixture and mix gently to combine. Now, at this point, you can either leave the cornbread in the cubes, you can mash them a bit to make your stuffing more formable, you can completely crumble the cubes. I do a bit of both.
Additionally, at this point, you can use more or less chicken stock. It is really a matter of HOW you prefer your stuffing, that is why I stated 2-4 cups of stock. Just ensure all of the cornbread is moist OR saturated, go with your tastes. If you use this inside the turkey, you will not need the 4 cups. If you bake in the oven in a dish, without any poil, you will need the full 4 cups. Use this as a guidleline. I used 4 cups in this recipe.
Pour into an buttered casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes until the top is toasted nicely. If the stuffing looks to be browning too much, cover with foil. If you prefer a more moist stuffing, keep it covered in the oven whilst baking for the entire time. But if you like a bit of crunch, be sure to keep it uncovered at the end for sure.
adapted from Martha Stewart