Cornbread Sausage Dressing

Stuffing with cornbread and sausage? Yes, please! This make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish is a keeper.

Cornbread Sausage Dressing
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins

Some people call it stuffing, some call it dressing. (It's technically stuffing only if it's cooked in the bird.) Either way, whether you're hosting, heading to a Thanksgiving potluck, or it's a year of Friendsgivings, this is the make-ahead side dish you need. You can cook all its components and assemble it in a baking dish the day before, so all you have to do is pop the dressing in the oven when it's go time. For the cornbread, use your favorite recipe, buy some at your supermarket's bakery, or whip up two boxes of Jiffy. And if you remember, cut the cornbread and arrange it on a baking sheet the night before you prep. Drying it out overnight allows it to soak up more flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish

  • 1 pound Italian pork sausage (sweet, hot, or a combination), casings removed if necessary

  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (from about 2 onions)

  • 2 cups chopped celery (from about 5 stalks)

  • .50 cup chopped green bell pepper (from 1 pepper)

  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored and chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

  • 2.50 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • 1.50 pounds cornbread (preferably day-old), cut into 1½-in. cubes (about 9 cups)

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage, plus leaves for serving

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ¾ cup chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-in.-thick slices


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium. Add sausage; cook, stirring often to crumble into medium-size pieces, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl.

  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, celery, and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add apple, celery seed, and 2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until apple is tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits on bottom of skillet, until wine has almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Return sausage to pan.

  3. Combine cornbread pieces, sausage mixture, sage, black pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently stir to combine, taking care not to completely crumble cornbread pieces. Gently fold in broth. Transfer to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish lightly greased with oil.

  4. To serve immediately: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil; bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and top with butter slices. Continue baking until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with sage leaves.

To Store and Prep at Feast Time

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 1 day. To serve, preheat oven to 350°F. Let dressing sit at room temperature while oven preheats. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and top with butter slices. Continue baking until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with sage leaves.

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