Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Recipe - Savory Simple (2024)

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This Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Recipe is flavorful, easy to prepare and perfect for Thanksgiving!

Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Recipe - Savory Simple (1)

Can you believe it’s almost time for Thanksgiving? This year is flying by at warp speed. Every year goes by a little bit faster, and the big 4-0 is now just around the corner.

It’s been a tumultuous year in countless ways, but I have a lot to be thankful for right now. A happy, healthy husband and family (and cat… too many close calls!), a niece or nephew on the way, a cozy little home, and amazing friends. Enough schmaltz, let’s get to business. Stuffing business. Or is it… dressing business?

Stuffing vs. Dressing

Recently, I learned that I had possibly been using the term “stuffing” wrong my entire life, as I started seeing recipes for Thanksgiving dressing with corresponding photos of stuffing. It was a bit mortifying. When I hear dressing, I think of salads. I was very confused.

It was explained to me that stuffing is the mixture baked into the turkey, while dressing is basically the same recipe but baked in a casserole dish. Eh? So my entire immediate and extended family had it wrong?

Thankfully, no. While I’m sure there are some who would love to debate me on this, it seems that the terminology is a regional difference. Southern Living even has a map of which states search the most for dressing vs. stuffing! Phew.

Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Notes

  • You can take a shortcut with the cornbread, since it’s being dried out and mixed with other ingredients. You can certainly bake some from scratch, but feel free to use a mix, or buy some pre-baked. Regardless of whether it’s homemade or store-bought, I recommend using a cornbread that you’re familiar with and like, since it will still be a dominant flavor. A friend recently served me Trader Joe’s cornbread (from a mix) alongside chili, and I had no idea it wasn’t homemade until she told me.
  • If you want to lighten up the recipe a bit, swap out regular Italian sausage for pre-cooked chicken or turkey Italian Sausage.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

  • Pumpkin Slab Pie (perfect for feeding a large crowd!)
  • Baked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (the BEST Thanksgiving side dish)
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake (need I say more?)
  • Pecan Pie French Toast Casserole (brunch for the out-of-town guests!)
  • Beer and Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes (from The Beeroness)

Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Recipe - Savory Simple (2)

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Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

5 from 5 votes

This Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Recipe is flavorful, easy to prepare and perfect for Thanksgiving!

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American

Keyword Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

Prep Time 1 hour hour

Cook Time 1 hour hour 40 minutes minutes

Total Time 2 hours hours 40 minutes minutes

Servings 6 -8 servings

Calories 377

Author Jennifer Farley


US Customary - Metric

  • 6 cups cornbread (your favorite recipe, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces pre-cooked mild Italian sausage, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (approximately 2 cups)
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or 1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 cup cream)
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Distribute the diced cornbread evenly on a baking sheet and dry out in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook for several minutes, allowing the pieces to caramelize. Once they are nicely browned, move them to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Drain some but not all of the fat from the pan and then add the diced onion and celery with a pinch of salt. The liquid from the vegetables should help loosen up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan; stir those in with the vegetables. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are slightly caramelized. Add the garlic, thyme and sage and cook for another minute before removing from the heat. Stir in the salt and pepper.

  • Whisk together the chicken stock, half and half and egg. Pour the mixture over the cornbread. Add the sausage as well as the vegetable mixture and fold the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the ingredients to chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish and distribute the stuffing ingredients evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 769mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 1.7mg

Recipe Troubleshooting

For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)

Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Recipe - Savory Simple (2024)


What does adding egg to stuffing do? ›

Eggs: Two lightly beaten eggs help hold the dressing together and add moisture.

Is cornbread stuffing the same as stuffing? ›

So stuffing is cooked inside the bird. Dressing is cooked outside the bird, usually in a casserole dish. Additionally, dressing, especially in the American South, is often made with cornbread instead of pieces of a baguette or plain ol' white bread.

How soggy should stuffing be before baking? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture. If the mix is still dry and crumbly, add more liquid and toss gently until it starts to clump together.

What can you use as a binder instead of eggs in stuffing? ›

16 egg substitutes
  1. Mashed banana. Mashed banana can act as a binding agent when baking or making pancake batter. ...
  2. Applesauce. Applesauce can also act as a binding agent. ...
  3. Fruit puree. Fruit puree will help bind a recipe in a similar way to applesauce. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Gelatin. ...
  6. Xanthan gum. ...
  7. Vegetable oil and baking powder. ...
  8. Margarine.
Mar 30, 2021

What makes stuffing unhealthy? ›

Stuffing is not strictly a healthy food, because it is typically high in calories, fat, sodium, and refined carbohydrates. 1 But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it, All foods can fit into a healthy diet in moderation.

What is stuffing called in the South? ›

But for the Thanksgiving side dish in the South, the term dressing was adopted in place of stuffing, which was viewed as a crude term, during the Victorian era. Although dressing and stuffing are interchangeable terms, the signature ingredient of this Thanksgiving side dish in the South is cornbread.

What do Northerners call stuffing? ›

Both dressing and stuffing are side dishes served at most Thanksgiving tables. It depends on the part of the country you are from as to what you call it. Those in the south use the term dressing interchangeably; whereas those in the northern states generally refer to the dish as stuffing.

Do Southerners eat stuffing or dressing? ›

This is down to a science: A 2015 survey conducted on behalf of the poultry company Butterball revealed that, regardless of how the dish was cooked, most of the country—including 100 percent of New Englanders—refers to the side as stuffing, while Southerners are devoted dressing fans.

Is it better to make stuffing the day before? ›

The short answer to whether you can making stuffing ahead of time is yes. "Making stuffing ahead saves time, allows stove and oven space for other things, and making it ahead gives time for the flavor to fully develop," Chef David Tiner, Director at Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, tells Southern Living.

Is it OK to make stuffing a day ahead of time? ›

Absolutely. Most Thanksgiving stuffing recipes can be made at least partially in advance since: A) They're easily assembled a day or two ahead of Thanksgiving Day; and B) They're often baked using a two-step process (once covered with foil to cook through, then uncovered to achieve a crispy top).

Why is my cornbread dressing gummy? ›

Why is my Cornbread Dressing gummy? Adding too much liquid can result in a gummy-like texture. Baking it longer, using less liquid, and more stirring can help avoid a gummy texture.

Can you leave cornbread out overnight for dressing? ›

Be sure to leave enough time — the cornbread needs to sit out overnight to harden slightly before you make the dressing.

Is it OK to make cornbread dressing ahead of time? ›

We have found that cornbread dressing tastes best re-heated the next day, so technically, you can make this dish one day early, refrigerate it and then re-heat over very low heat before serving. In our family, I make it the morning of Thanksgiving and let it rest before re-warming and serving.

Why use an egg as a thickener? ›

Creamy desserts such as crème brûlée also benefit from eggs' ability to emulsify and produce smooth, satiny, hom*ogeneous mixtures. Their ability to hold up to four times their weight in moisture makes eggs a good thickener for sauces, custards and curds. The proteins in eggs coagulate or set at different temperatures.

How do you keep stuffing moist? ›

Typically, baking the stuffing inside the bird helps keep the mixture moist. “I prefer stuffing (in the bird) to dressing (outside of the bird) because all those delicious drippings that come off the turkey gets absorbed right into the stuffing,” Bamford says.

Why do we need to apply egg yolk in some dressing? ›

Egg yolks are especially recommended for their emulsifying and thickening properties in mayonnaise, salad dressings, ice cream, and baked goods, combined with their coloring properties.

Why do people add eggs to everything? ›

Not only do eggs add an element of creamy indulgence, there's even some science behind their joy. “Eggs are a perfect emulsifier and binder so work really well to make many dishes cohesive,” she continues.

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