Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing has quite a bit of controversy surrounding it, doesn’t it? In the bird or out of the bird. With meat or without meat. Dry and crumbly or moist and casserole-like. Simple and classic or full of interesting mix-ins.
With all these dressing variables, I’m not about to pretend that I’ve come up with a dressing recipe that’ll satisfy everyone. I think that’d be as far-fetched as everyone deciding on liking the same pizza toppings. But what I can say is that Babyface and I both raved over this cornbread dressing. And we come from families with mothers who are excellent cooks, stuffing/dressing included. So if we thought this dressing was on par with those family favorites, you know it is something special. It was definitely the star of our Thanksgiving meal.
The recipe calls for already prepared cornbread. I could have provided you with a recipe for cornbread, but honestly, my tippy-top favorite cornbread recipe is Emily’s White Cheddar Yogurt Cornbread recipe. We don’t change a thing. I make it for us about once a week and it worked perfectly in this recipe. Usually, I slightly underbake it so it is nice and moist and gooey, but for this dressing, I overbaked it slightly so it was dry. You want a dry cornbread to absorb all the deliciousness. If you’d like, you can also just bake a pan of cornbread the day before and sit it out on the counter to stale.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to convince the fams to replace our traditional dressing recipes with this one, but I can guarantee you that this recipe will become a holiday regular in our house. Heck, it might even become a weekly regular. We’ll just rename it to “Cornbread and Sausage Casserole” and eat it with broccoli.
Cornbread and Sausage Dressing
This Southern twist on a Thanksgiving classic is traditional enough to satisfy the purists and different enough to entertain those eaters seeking a bit more adventure. Make sure to use good cornbread. The quality of the bread makes (or breaks) the dish.
- 1 pound mild pork breakfast sausage
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup celery, diced
- 3/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 cups cornbread cubes (about 1″)
- 1 cup chicken or veggie broth
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the breakfast sausage until cooked through and crumbly. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate covered in paper towels to drain. Leave remaining grease in skillet.
- Melt butter in skillet.
- Add celery, onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add in sausage, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine sausage mixture and cornbread cubes until well-mixed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the broth and eggs.
- Pour the broth/egg mixture over the sausage/cornbread mixture and stir until cornbread has absorbed most of the liquid.
- Pour into a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top is browned and crunchy.
How do you like your stuffing/dressing?