Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is an easy cornbread dressing recipe for Thanksgiving

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing

This Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is one of our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes! This easy stuffing recipe is sure to become a family favorite!

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is an easy cornbread dressing recipe for Thanksgiving

We’re on day two of Stuffing Week! Today we’re bringing you this Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing and I know you’re going to love it!

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is our day 2 stuffing recipe for Stuffing Week! We used our base stuffing dressing, The Best Sausage Stuffing, made a few changes and came up with this mouth watering stuffing recipe!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

How did we get here already???

I do love the holidays, don’t get me wrong but I feel like two seconds ago it was summer. That’s how the seasons go in New Jersey, one second it’s warmer than you want it to be and the next second – it’s winter.

The holidays are awesome though, I still have a little guy (the oldest is 15) so we have to play along with all the Christmas things. And guess what my job is?

Elf on the Shelf.

Seriously, the pressure of this thing. Christie goes to bed early so I’m the one that has to remember to move this damn thing every night and pretend it has magical powers.

Not a bad gig, I’m not going to complain at all because I think by next year it’ll be over. I’ll probably still do it though, even though he knows it’s me moving his elf buddy and not the elf coming to life.

Anyway, let’s back up a bit and start with Thanksgiving. And ALL the FOOD!!!!

‘Cause that’s why you’re really, here right? Not to imagine me running around at night trying to hang a stuffed animal from the ceiling somewhere.

What’s the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

Here’s the short answer. Nothing really.

Stuffing is just like it says, a recipe used to “stuff” something, typically at Thanksgiving time a turkey. You can stuff a chicken though or a butterflied steak…it’s all called stuffing.

Dressing is the same thing as stuffing jut that it’s cooked in a baking dish or a casserole dish on it’s own. Not stuffed inside anything.

So you can have the exact same recipe and cook it two different ways then call it two different things.

Most people use the two words interchangeably though, like we do. Our favorite sausage stuffing recipe is not technically stuffed into anything so it’s really a dressing…but you get the point.

How Do You Make Cornbread Dressing?

Glad you asked that, too because today I’m going to show you how to do it! Like I said, this Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is a dressing recipe, so it’s just going in a baking dish and into the oven.

Making homemade cornbread stuffing this way also makes it an easy make ahead stuffing recipe. Come time for Thanksgiving dinner all you need to do is pop this into the oven.

We’re going to start this recipe off by swapping out the white bread in our original sausage stuffing recipe and using cornbread instead. Store bought cornbread already made is the way I go…or make your own.

You do you, but I promise you won’t notice that much of a difference.

Break up the cornbread into smaller pieces but still big enough so that it doesn’t all crumble together. You want some smaller and some larger pieces just like this –

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing has toasted cornbread for the base with spicy sausage and vegetables

Now bake the cornbread in the oven just for a few minutes to get it nice and toasty. There’s two reasons for doing this, one is that toasting the cornbread gives it a richer, nuttier flavor. The second reason is that it gives the cornbread some firmness and texture so it doesn’t all break apart into mush in your dressing.

Next in a large skillet, add the spicy sausage to cook down with some butter. Using spicy sausage really works well for a cornbread dressing recipe because the cornbread is sweet so the spicy sausage breaks up the sweetness a little.

Once the sausage is browned add an apple, onion, poultry seasoning and fresh thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened, then pour in some chicken stock.

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is a make ahead side dish that starts by simmering sausage and apples in chicken broth

Now you’re going to let this simmer for about 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper and give it a taste. It’s really important to taste what you’re cooking guys – something I never used to do before.

Add the toasted cornbread to a very large bowl, the biggest one you have, and pour in the cooled chicken broth mixture.

Next stir in a couple of beaten eggs and parsley, stir again carefully so you don’t break up all the cornbread and pour into a 9″ x 13″ buttered baking dish.

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is an easy make ahead side dish for Thanksgiving

This is also a perfect make ahead stuffing recipe, which makes life a whole lot easier around the holidays. Getting as much food prepped ahead of time is the best way to do it.

After about 35 minutes in the oven this cornbread dressing is going to come out looking about like this…

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is going to be a favorite Thanksgiving side dish

Look at all that crispy cornbread and sausage going on in there. I’m telling you, this Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. But not too spicy, it’s very kid friendly, no worries there.

Here’s a few swap out ideas for this recipe:

• Switch the spicy sausage for regular sausage or turkey sausage

• Add toasted chopped walnuts or pecans

• Add mushrooms for another vegetable addition

• Switch the apples for pears or leave the fruit out completely

This Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is a Thanksgiving side dish recipe with chicken sausage

And if you’re looking for more stuffing recipes, try one of these!

Upside Down Pineapple Stuffing

Italian Stuffing Muffins


This Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing is a Thanksgiving side dish recipe with chicken sausage

Spicy Sausage Cornbread Dressing

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American


This easy cornbread dressing recipe is packed with spicy sausage and sweet cornbread! A great make ahead stuffing recipe especially for Thanksgiving!


2 pounds cornbread (either from muffins or a loaf)

1 pound spicy pork sausage

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced apple, peeled

1 cup diced celery

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher sat

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups chicken stock

3 eggs, beaten

extra butter for buttering the dish and on top of the dressing


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the sausage to brown, breaking up with a spoon.

Once the sausage is browned, add the onion, celery and apple.

Cook for 5 minutes until the onion has softened.

Add the poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper then the chicken broth.

Bring the broth to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

While the broth is simmering you can toast the cornbread. (You can also do this ahead of time)

Toast the cornbread in the oven for about 10 minutes.  You just want the cornbread dried out and slightly toasted, not burnt.

Place the cornbread in a large bowl then pour the chicken broth and sausage mixture on top. Stir gently to combine then add the beaten eggs and stir.

Pour into a buttered 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and dab some extra butter on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes to crisp up the top of the dressing.


Add an additional 5-10 minutes to the covered cooking time if the dressing is cold from the refrigerator.

Keywords: sausage stuffing, cornbread stuffing, cornbread dressing, thanksgiving side dish, thanksgiving stuffing, thanksgiving dressing

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