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It wouldn’t be a holiday feast without a warm, fragrant dish of Southern Cornbread Stuffing! Loaded with cranberries, apples, pecans and sausage, this easy side dish is the perfect companion for your golden roasted turkey!

Overhead image of Southern Cornbread Stuffing in white baking dish

Every home cook probably has her favorite stuffing recipe that she swears is the best! From sausage dressing to oyster stuffing or the classic Southern cornbread stuffing, there’s a special version for every unique holiday celebration.

Personally, my preference will always be a dish that combines sweet and savory. Something about the salty-and-sweet blend in this cornbread dressing with sausage just hits all of the tastebuds and makes my mouth happy! It’s loaded with all of the best flavors and textures…

Front view of southern cornbread dressing in white dish with gold spoon

How to Make Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage:

Sweet and juicy apples, tart and chewy cranberries, and crunchy toasted pecans are mixed with buttery cornbread, Italian sausage and fresh herbs for the most flavorful and satisfying cornbread stuffing! Best of all, it’s so darn easy and can be made in advance!

Ingredients for Cornbread Stuffing:

The main flavors and ingredients in this classic Southern cornbread stuffing with sausage include —

  • Cornbread
  • Sweet Italian sausage (if you like, or omit if you don’t)
  • Pecans
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Fresh herbs

Once all of the ingredients are cooked, it’s just a matter of stirring everything together and baking it in the oven.

Side of white baking dish full of Cornbread Stuffing with sausage

Can Cornbread Stuffing be made Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! That’s the only way that I prepare a Thanksgiving dinner — by prepping everything in advance! Otherwise it gets too stressful…

To make this cornbread stuffing ahead of time, assemble all of the ingredients in advance, store in separate containers, and stir together just before baking. I think it’s best when stirred together at the last minute; however, if you want to assemble the entire dish ahead of time, you can keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.

Can I freeze Cornbread Stuffing?

Yes! If you’d like to prepare your cornbread stuffing far in advance, you can assemble the stuffing as directed, cover tightly with foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. The day before Thanksgiving, allow the stuffing to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, bake the cornbread stuffing according to the instructions below.

COOK’S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:

  • This cornbread stuffing with sausage is hearty and delicious! However, if you would prefer a Southern Cornbread Stuffing without sausage, simply omit the sausage and cook the apple, celery and onion in about 4 tablespoons of butter (instead of in the sausage fat). The rest of the instructions remain the same.
  • I used a box of Krusteaz Honey Cornbread to prepare this recipe; however, you can use any cornbread that you prefer. You can make a Jiffy Cornbread Stuffing using a Jiffy Mix — you’ll just need 2 of the small Jiffy boxes instead of one large Krusteaz box.
  • For a shortcut, purchase a pan of cornbread or corn muffins from the bakery section at your grocery store.
  • A dry, day-old cornbread works best in this recipe. You can leave the cornbread out and exposed to the air to get slightly stale before using, or you can toast the cornbread in the oven. To toast cornbread cut the cornbread into cubes. Spread the cubes on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment. Toast in a 350-degree F oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until browned and crispy along the edges.
Front view of a classic Southern Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage Apples Pecans and Cranberries

If you’re preparing my Easy Maple-Glazed Roasted Turkey Breast or my Garlic & Herb Roast Turkey Breast, I can assure you that this cornbread stuffing will pair perfectly with your entree.

Do you need even more ideas for your holiday feast? I have so many favorites that I almost don’t know where to start! You can’t go wrong with my 4-Ingredient, 4-Minute Corn Pudding, my Easy Apple & Sweet Potato Casserole, or my Dreamy 6-Cup Ambrosia Salad. Want something green? You’ve GOT to try Fannie’s Easy, Cheesy Broccoli Casserole!

Whether you serve my favorite Southern Cornbread Stuffing on Thanksgiving, with a roast chicken for your next Sunday supper, or with your holiday ham on Christmas, I hope that you enjoy the warm, fresh, sweet, and savory blend that I adore!

Southern Cornbread Stuffing

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 454 kcal
It wouldn’t be a holiday feast without a warm, fragrant dish of Southern Cornbread Stuffing — an easy and flavorful side dish!

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups day-old cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes*
  • ¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (use spicy, mild, or sweet sausage — whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup diced apple
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth (plus more if needed)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine cornbread, pecans, and cranberries. Set aside.
  • Crumble the sausage into a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage crumbles from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in the large bowl with the cornbread. Add apple, onion and celery to the skillet with the sausage drippings, cooking until tender (about 7-10 minutes). Add herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme), and cook until fragrant (about 1 more minute).
  • Transfer onion and herb mixture to the large bowl with the sausage and cornbread. Add eggs, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Stir in the chicken broth until the stuffing is moist but not mushy (you may need more than 2 cups).
  • Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake (uncovered) until the top is crusty and golden, about 30 minutes.

Notes

*You can purchase cornbread at the bakery, use a mix, or prepare your own favorite homemade version. I used a 15-ounce box of Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Mix, baked in an 8-inch square dish. Approximately ¾ of the baked cornbread is equivalent to 6 cups diced. If you are making your own cornbread, you will need to allow for additional prep time.
Can Cornbread Stuffing be made Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! That’s the only way that I prepare a Thanksgiving dinner — by prepping everything in advance! Otherwise it gets too stressful…
To make this cornbread stuffing ahead of time, assemble all of the ingredients in advance, store in separate containers, and stir together just before baking. I think it’s best when stirred together at the last minute; however, if you want to assemble the entire dish ahead of time, you can keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
Can I freeze Cornbread Stuffing?
Yes! If you’d like to prepare your cornbread stuffing far in advance, you can assemble the stuffing as directed, cover tightly with foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. The day before Thanksgiving, allow the stuffing to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, bake the cornbread stuffing according to the instructions below.
COOK’S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:
  • This cornbread stuffing with sausage is hearty and delicious! However, if you would prefer a Southern Cornbread Stuffing without sausage, simply omit the sausage and cook the celery and onion in about 4 tablespoons of butter (instead of in the sausage fat). The rest of the instructions remain the same.
  • A dry, day-old cornbread works best in this recipe. You can leave the cornbread out and exposed to the air to get slightly stale before using, or you can toast the cornbread in the oven. To toast cornbread cut the cornbread into cubes. Spread the cubes on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment. Toast in a 350-degree F oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until browned and crispy along the edges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the recipeCalories: 454kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 13gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1069mgPotassium: 371mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 270IUVitamin C: 8.7mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 2.1mg
Keyword: cornbread dressing, cornbread stuffing
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Oh I’m a sucker for cornbread stuffing…this looks wonderful, Blair! I’ve never had a stuffing with apples and cranberries before, sounds unique and delicious. Such a wonderful combo! I bet this would be the best stuffing for the holidays!

    1. You’d love the addition of the fruit, Gayle! It’s perfect for the holidays. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. This looks delicious with the apples and cranberries. My mom always made cornbread stuffing, and it was my favorite dish at Thanksgiving.

  3. Oh my gosh thank you for this! I’m having a pre-Thanksgiving family get together with my fiance and his mother and my parents and they’re from Louisiana and I wanted to do a southern cornbread stuffing as a homage to them but couldn’t find a good recipe that was simple but flavorful. Thanks so much Blair!!! 🙂

    1. That’s so great, Ashley! I hope that you enjoy the recipe and that your guests feel a little taste of home! 🙂