This Cornbread Stuffing (aka Dressing) Recipe with Turkey Sausage and Sage is crispy along the outside, and is flavorful with fresh herbs, spices, and aromatics. No soggy, boring stuffing here!
Cornbread stuffing is hands-down my absolute favorite kind of stuffing. Of course it’s the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but stuffing pairs well with just about any kind of meat you could possibly want to serve it with!
Or top it with a fried egg and serve it with a big salad and call it a meal, no meat required. (This is one of my favorite things to make with stuffing leftovers!)
For me, any add-ins to cornbread stuffing (like sausage, veggies, apples, chestnuts, and other stuffing classics) are just gravy, so to speak.
What is the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?
The difference between stuffing and dressing is the cooking method.
Stuffing is traditionally stuffed into the body cavity of a turkey or chicken and cooked. Alternatively, dressing is typically cooked in a separate dish in the oven.
Technically, because this Cornbread Stuffing isn’t stuffed into a turkey or chicken, it’s dressing, not stuffing! However, up north where I’m from we call it stuffing.
The Best Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage Recipe
This dressing recipe uses homemade Cornbread Muffins as the base, but you could also use store-bought muffins. Using cornbread muffins lends great flavor and helps keep the stuffing moist.
I wanted to add sausage to this dressing, but I have a hard time finding a good non-pork sausage in my area. Instead, I used ground turkey plus a few classic sausage seasonings, such as maple, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and fennel, to mimic the flavor of sausage.
Pro Tip: Feel free to omit the ground turkey, maple, nutmeg, and fennel and use one pound of your favorite bulk sausage instead. I would still add the fresh sage and thyme though!
Fresh herbs really brighten up the flavor here, and that isn’t something you get out of a box of stuffing mix! If you’re not used to making homemade stuffing, after you realize how its flavor blows boxed stuffing out of the water, I think you’ll be hooked.
- Butter – to add richness and saute the onion and celery
- Onion – makes a delicious savory base flavor
- Celery – a classic component of stuffing and dressing; its flavor blends and doesn’t stand out
- Ground turkey – you can use your favorite bulk sausage instead (see the Note in the recipe card below)
- Garlic – savory and aromatic
- Maple syrup – for a touch of smoky sweetness
- Worcestershire sauce – adds depth and complexity
- Fresh sage and thyme – fresh herbs set this recipe apart from boxed stuffing
- Nutmeg – this helps create a sausage flavor profile
- Salt and black pepper – to season our dish
- Fennel seeds – similar to nutmeg, lends a classic sausage flavor to this dish
- Cornbread muffins – instead of bread cubes, cornbread muffins take this stuffing to the next level in terms of flavor and texture
- Eggs – these act as a binder in this recipe
- Chicken stock – to moisten our stuffing and add flavor
What Do You Eat with Cornbread Stuffing?
I know the “holiday only” reputation that stuffing has, but don’t wait for next Thanksgiving or Christmas to make this delicious side dish!
Eat this Cornbread Dressing with any of the following:
- Roast chicken or turkey
- Baked chicken breasts
- Top it with a fried egg and eat it as a “hash”
- Stuff it into bell peppers, top it with cheese, and bake
More Delicious Holiday Side Dish Recipes to Try
- No Knead Bread
- Butternut Squash Puree with Fontina Cheese, Fresh Thyme, and Brown Butter
- Garlic Butter Mashed Cauliflower
- Creamed Onions
- Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
- Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole
- Winter Salad Recipe with Kale and Pomegranate
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Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage Recipe
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 large ribs celery diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 6 Cornbread Muffins store-bought or homemade
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 425F; grease an 8- by 8-inch casserole dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter.
- Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until veggies are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the turkey and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.
- Add the garlic, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, sage, thyme, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and fennel seed, and cook 3 minutes more, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and cool slightly.
- Crumble the muffins into a large bowl. Stir in the turkey mixture and then the eggs. Stir in the chicken stock a little at a time, and then spread the stuffing into the prepared dish. Dot the top with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter.
- Bake until the top and sides are light golden, about 30 minutes.
- Bulk Sausage Instead of Ground Turkey: Feel free to omit the ground turkey, maple, nutmeg, and fennel and use one pound of your favorite bulk sausage instead. I would still add the fresh sage and thyme though!
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheating: This stuffing reheats well! To do so, put it in an oven-safe dish, cover the top with foil, and bake in a 375F oven until warm, about 20 minutes.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 17, 2011. I updated it with more information on November 22, 2022.
Adrienne @ Whole New Mom says
This looks wonderful. I tried another cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving, but it wasn’t great. Hopefully I can give this one a run soon! Maybe for Xmas. Thanks!
i can’t hide it–i’m a big pig fan. that said, however, i would enjoy this turkey-fied stuffing very much–it looks like it’s exploding with flavor!
5 Star Foodie says
A wonderful stuffing, great flavor with sage!
Heba @ midEATS says
Thanks for linking the interview to your blog! I’m glad so many readers enjoyed it :) It was a pleasure having you on midEATS. And btw, this recipe is awesome. I’ve made a similar stuffing with beef sausage, but the spices you use are intriguing – I’ll have to try that combination next time! And to echo a comment above, your pictures & props are outstanding – I esp. LOVE the wooden S&P shakers!
[email protected] says
i am roasting a turkey this Xmas! This recipe comes handy :)
This looks good—I’m not a huge fan of stuffing unless it has a lot of things going on—in my family, it seemed to be a lot of just…well, mushy bread! This look completely awesome. Mmmmm.
Carolyn Jung says
Leftover stuffing with a fried egg on top? Why have I never thought of that before? Gawd, sounds like my ideal midnight indulgence. ;)
Angie's Recipes says
Love sage in the stuffing. Yummy!
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
I love the idea of serving stuffing with green and a poached egg! This sounds delicious…
I njoyed reading ur interview.
Lovely clicks..awesome writeups..I am head over heals over edible garden and ofcourse you:-)
Infact i come back to ur space again n again n again to see ur spectacular clicks!! love them!!! cant get enough of it!!
U r my macaroon Guru as well:-)hats off to u:-)
I am also a big admirer of middle eatern cuisine and am dying to visit middle east sometime soon!!
Ramya, Thank you so much for your kind words — they brought a huge smile to my face! I just checked out your blog, which is stunning…I will definitely be visiting again soon! :)
Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot says
Hi Faith, your photos are beautiful! I love the pretty red wood bowl and the matching salt and pepper grinders. And the turkey sage cornbread stuffing looks delicious! Its appearance remind me a bit like Chinese fried rice which I absolutely adore too! =)
Veronica Miller says
I really enjoyed reading that interview! Stuffing is one of my favorite foods of all time (it’s the only thing I HAVE to have at Thanksgiving) so this is really making me drool. I love how you made your own turkey sausage for it! or at least, adding the flavorings to make it taste like sausage. :)
That was a great interview Faith! I enjoyed it very much! This recipe looks like something I’d enjoy very much too!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
Faith what a wonderful interview! Your wedding and time abroad sounds so exciting! I seriously CANNOT wait for your cookbook. Those are some of my favorite flavors! This stuffing looks great – I love cornbread stuffing. Ok, I think I love ALL stuffing ;)
[email protected] says
Awwww that’s such a lovely interview!!! :) And when is the book going to be released? I don’t know much about middle eastern food so i’m so excited about reading it ~
We eat the turkey on Christmas Day and usually our stuffing consists of rice, pine nuts or chestnuts, raisins and herbs. This stuffing looks very tasty Faith I would love to try it! Congratulations on your interview!
Sanjeeta kk says
Wonderful interview, Faith and what a lovely idea to stuff cornbread. Beautiful clicks..love those props.
Amy (Savory Moments) says
What a wonderful interview! Very interesting and informative. Also, I adore the salt shaker and pepper grinder in your photos. They are so cute.
Mmmmmm my mouth is watering. I have 3 huge bushes of sage so it will be a good idea to use some up. Diane
I enjoyed reading the interview and learn more about you. s that pic you Faith?
I like your answer about what’s the good and bad part of blogging. it’s true that it’s easy to let blogging leaking into other aspects of life, we should always be conscious about it! :)
Coco, Yup, that’s me! :)
A lovely stuffing! I always add sage to mine…