Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sausage and Cornbread Dressing

 I love dressing. It is one of my favorite components of Thanksgiving dinner. I like it better than turkey. I'll even take it over mashed potatoes. For me, dressing is on the same level as homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and apple pie.
I've always made an all bread stuffing, but I have memories of eating a super delicious cornbread stuffing years ago at a church dinner. This Cook's Country recipe is wonderful, perfect in almost every way, and reminded me of that long ago dressing. You need to make the corn bread a couple of days ahead, to cut down on food preparations on the big day. I made only half the recipe, because a 9x13 pan is way too much for just my hubby and me. He stills prefers a bread stuffing, but I have been in heaven with this stuff. Even though this recipe contains sausage, the dressing would be equally delicious without the meat. I did double the sage and  I added alittle bit of sugar (gasp!) to the cornbread recipe. I'm one of those people that like some sweetness to the cornbread. Here's the full recipe, for the cornbread, and then the dressing, with my changes added.

Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing
Slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country.
Cornbread can be made up to 2 days ahead to have time to stale.

Cornbread Recipe:
2 2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
4 large eggs
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar- my addition

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and oil. In another bowl combine, flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, whisking until smooth.
2. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan.
3. If the cornbread is made 2 days in advance, you may not need to oven-dry the cornbread. If using freshly baked cornbread, cut cooled bread into 1 inch cubes and place on 2 baking sheets. Place pans in a250 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes. Cool.

1 1/2 pounds bulk pork sausage- I used Jimmy Dean
2 onions, finely chopped
4 ribs celery, finely chopped-- the recipe calls for 3 ribs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves minced garlic- recipe calls for 4 cloves
2 teaspoons dried sage- Recipe calls for 1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme- recipe calls for 1 teaspoon thyme
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth- I needed a little more
1 cup half and half
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper- recipe calls for 1/8 teaspoon

1. Cook sausage in a skillet over medium high heat, but turn heat down if it begins to burn. Transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate, reserving 2 tablespoons of grease in the skillet and adding 2 tablespoons of butter also. I did not have hardly any grease, so I added 4 of the tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sage, thyme and garlic to the pan and saute about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, and remove the pan from the heat. Cool about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, salt and cayenne. Slowly stir in the warm broth mixture. Fold  in the cubed cornbread and the cooked sausage. Let the mixture sit, tossing occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Pour the dressing mixture into the pan and drizzle with the leftover melted butter. I forgot to do that and didn't really miss it, but more butter is great in stuffing. The dressing still came out golden and delicious. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve and enjoy.

Are you a fan of cornbread dressing, or do you prefer a bread dressing?


  1. Same here...I love stuffing, but I am also picky about my stuffing. I make cornbread, and sausage stuffing with lots of sage too. I like how you adjusted the recipe. Might have to try it you way! :)

  2. Stuffing tastes better than the turkey ;-) This looks so good.

  3. I am a stuffing lover and barely need the turkey these days! Love all your ingredients - I still have fresh sage after ten frosts - and am now picking the little leaves to use with the stuffing!

  4. I love that everyone is posting their dressing recipes as it's my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I get a big helping of it and mashed potatoes, put gravy on both and add just a little of the other stuff to my plate, making sure to save room for pumpkin pie.

  5. I'm with you, Lynda. I love stuffing and easily pass up the potatoes. Not the sweet potatoes, of course, but the regular mashed. (Which I still have to make due to family demands or it would just be stuffing and gravy, not mashed potatoes and gravy!)
    I usually use bread in my stuffing, but the cornbread sounds great.
    I was watching a show the other day and they used cubed and toasted chive biscuits instead of bread or cornbread. I might try that next year.

  6. I've had cornbread dressing twice in the past two days and could still go for more. A little family owned place near my office serves it year round.

    Theirs doesn't have sausage though and that is really sounding great to me, so I'll have to give this a try.

  7. i'm pretty keen on dressing [and stuffing...:)], and adding sausage only makes it a much, much better product. nice recipe!

  8. This looks fabulous. I have been looking through your recipes and one is better than the next. Expect to see more of me.

  9. Deciding between this recipe and the one you just posted. Any idea how many cups of cornbread? I have leftovers and not sure how much to use or how much the cornbread recipe here yields. Thanks! Great recipes.

    1. DeeDee, I don't measure the cornbread when I make this recipe, but my best guess is that the cornbread would make about 12-14 cups of cubes. It will fill a 9x13 in. pan. If you have less cornbread than this, just add the liquids a little at a time until you have the dressing as moist as you want. Then bake. Dressing can be a bit experimental the first few times you make it, until you figure out how much liquid to add for your tastes. I hope this helps! :)


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