What’s Thanksgiving without the stuffing?! This cornbread and sausage stuffing is extra hearty and captures the traditional stuffing vibe with the flavors of sausage, homemade cornbread, aromatic vegetables, sage, and thyme.
My version not only uses homemade cornbread but buttermilk biscuits as well. Together, the buttermilk biscuits and cornbread soak up all the goodness so the stuffing stays light, crumbly and moist inside!
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Thanksgiving stuffing is the ultimate comfort food. It should never be dry, bland, or mushy.
When prepared just right, cornbread and sausage stuffing is soft and moist in the middle, but with a golden crunch on the outside. It’s savory, herby, and not too sweet!
Ingredients needed to make cornbread and sausage stuffing
- Cornmeal: Cornmeal is needed to make the easy, homemade cornbread. Yellow, fine cornmeal is recommended but a medium-grind works too. (See recipe notes on using a cornbread mix instead!)
- You will also need a few other pantry staple ingredients to make the cornbread (see photo below)
- Buttermilk Biscuits: Instead of using bread, we are using buttermilk biscuits in this stuffing. (You can use country-style white bread if preferred).
- A note about the cornbread and biscuits: once the cornbread and biscuits are made, you will need to toast them in the oven for 15 minutes at 300°F. It’s an extra step that’s worth it! Toasting provides structure and gives the stuffing texture.
Pro tip: Dried-out or toasted bread makes the best stuffing. If using fresh bread your stuffing may have a soggy texture.
- Sausage: Italian sausage adds a savory depth to this stuffing and rounds out the flavors beautifully.
- Onions and celery: Essential aromatics to add into this quintessential Thanksgiving side side.
- Sage, rosemary, thyme: fresh herbs are key to making this dish shine.
- Chicken broth: Broth adds flavor and is needed for the overall texture of the stuffing. If you have any homemade stock from your turkey, you can use that too!
- Cream of chicken soup: I love adding in a can of chicken of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom) for an added depth of flavor and it helps to create a moist and flavorful cornbread and sausage stuffing.
How to make Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing:
First, make the cornbread. Making homemade cornbread is an extra step that requires a little more effort but is REALLY is and worth it.
- Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.
- In another bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs and milk together.
- Mix the wet into the dry.
- Bake in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish for 20 minutes at 400°F
- Cut the cooled cornbread into 1-inch cubes.
- Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 300°F for 15 min.
- Place toasted cornbread in a large bowl.
For the stuffing:
- Cook the biscuits in the oven according to package directions.
- Cube up the biscuits and toast in the oven for 10-15 min. at 300°F
- Add the biscuits to the cornbread.
- Cook the sausage. Add sausage to cornbread and biscuits, do not mix yet.
- Sauté the onions and celery. Add herbs and seasonings. Add on top of the sausage and cornbread.
- Then add in the eggs, chicken broth and cream of chicken soup.
- Stir everything together until combined.
- Transfer stuffing to a baking dish and bake, uncovered @375°F for 30 minutes.
Tips for making cornbread and sausage stuffing
- If you know you’re going to make this for your Thanksgiving meal, make the cornbread and biscuits in advance. Having them already made and toasted is a huge time-saver!
- The sausage can also be cooked and made in advance.
- Make the entire recipe in advance. Assemble and prepare the stuffing until the point of baking, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1-2 days. When ready to serve, bake as directed.
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Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
For the cornbread
- 1 1/2 cup cornmeal, yellow, fine
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 3 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp. butter, unsalted, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
For the stuffing
- 6 buttermilk biscuits
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. Italian sausage
- 8 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
- 1 lg. yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 stalks celery, cut in a small dice (~2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp. sage, fresh, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. rosemary, fresh, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. thyme, fresh
- 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (~ 1 large tablespoon)
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
Bake the cornbread
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs and milk together.
- Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir to combine. Bake in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish for 20 minutes at 400°F
- Pour into a greased 9×13 inch oven safe baking dish, smooth out the top and bake for 20 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Once cooled, cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes. Place in a single layer on an un-greased baking sheet and toast in the oven at 15 min. Place toasted cornbread in a large bowl.
Make the stuffing:
- Cook the biscuits in the oven according to package directions. Cube the biscuits and toast on a baking sheet in the oven for 10-15 min. at 300° F.
- Add the biscuits to the cornbread.
- In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Cook the sausage until cooked through. Add the sausage to cornbread and biscuits, do not mix yet.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter. Sauté the onions and celery for 4-5 minutes. Add herbs and seasonings. Pour this on the top of sausage and cornbread.
- Then add in the eggs, chicken broth and cream of chicken soup. Gently fold and stir everything together until combined.
- Transfer stuffing to a baking dish and bake, uncovered @375°F for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
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