Savory Cornbread & Sausage Dressing (stuffing)

November 11, 2018

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

I kid you not when I say that this is the best dressing recipe out there. Anyone who tastes it agrees, and you’ll look like a total rockstar when you serve it to your guests this Thanksgiving. Its unique without being weird, and all the flavors are classically Thanksgiving but not at all expected. Serious, just try it and you’ll get what I mean. I make this exact recipe, this exact way, every year.

Chris Cooks: Cornbread & Sausage Dressing

Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

Savory Cornbread & Sausage Dressing (stuffing)

Not a joke - this is the best dressing recipe out there. Anyone who has it agrees, and you'll look like a total rockstar when you serve it to your guests this Thanksgiving. Its unique without being weird, and all the flavors are classically Thanksgiving but not at all expected. Serious, just try it and you'll get what I mean. 
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: cornbread, dressing, sausage, stuffing, Thanksgiving
Servings: 10


For the cornbread

  • 2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk

Everything else

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • turkey gizzards from 1 turkey (optional but encouraged)
  • 5 links Italian sausage
  • 2 stalks celery small diced
  • 1 yellow onion small diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper small diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 5 leaves fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves removed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs Italian seasoned
  • 1-1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil


1 day in advance

  • Make the cornbread in a large baking dish according to the instructions. Cover with a towel and let sit overnight. 

The day of

  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • In a small pot add the apple cider, gizzards, and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and allow the cider to reduce until the gizzards are cooked through (about 15 minutes). Set aside. 
  • Sear the sausage on both sides in a large pan until mostly cooked through (but not all the way). Remove from a pan and place in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  • In the same pan, cook the diced celery, onion and peppers (add a little olive oil if needed). Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Once the vegetables have softened, remove from the heat, add the herbs and toss together. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and toss together again. 
  • Break the cornbread up into cubes. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the cornbread - don't worry about breaking the cornbread up too much, just get it all mixed in evenly. 
  • Cut out the sinew part of the gizzards and discard. Dice the rest of the gizzards finely and add to the cornbread. Slice the Italian sausage into 1/4-1/2 pieces and add that (and any juices from the sausage) to the cornbread as well. Toss together.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and reduced apple cider and toss together. Add as much unsalted chicken stock as is needed to moisten the cornbread crumbs, but don't add so much that liquid begins to pool in the bottom of the bowl. Season again with a few pinches of salt and black pepper, and toss together.
  • Pour the mixture into the same pan used for the cornbread. Bake, uncovered, in the 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Drop the temperature down to 350 and bake for another 40-50 minutes until the top is evenly browned with a few darker edges. 
  • Remove from the oven and cover with tin foil until ready to serve. Can wait at room temperature up to 1 hour.

Equipment used or similar:

Cast Iron PanMixing BowlsBaking Dish

More Thanksgiving Recipes:
• Scratch-Made Asparagus Casserole (my version of green bean casserole)
• Country-Style Herbed Mashed Potatoes
• Dijon Country Gravy Made with Turkey Drippings
• Homemade Cranberry Sauce Worth Serving
• Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Bacon Vinaigrette
• How to Roast the Perfect Turkey
• Pumpkin Cheesecake
• How to Make an Entire Thanksgiving Meal In One Oven

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Kirin says:

    5 stars
    This was such a huge hit when I first made it two years ago, and now it gets requested for multiple holidays. And even for regular weeknight meals :). Thanks Chris!!!

  2. Whitney says:

    5 stars
    Chris, I made this today (Thanksgiving) and I wanted to tell you that I’m thankful for you sharing it! :)
    It was a last minute addition for us since this year my little family of 4 isn’t traveling to be with family and I wasn’t sure how much I was up for as far as # of sides. But last minute I decided that I couldn’t skip the dressing. :)
    I didn’t have many of the ingredients, but I made it work… No link sausage, but I had some thawed ground pork so I cooked it with sage and fennel. No Jiffy so I just made the cornbread from scratch. I used the gizzard and heart plus I cooked down the back (cut out when spatchcocking) with some stock, veggies and herbs. I used that liquid as my chicken broth for the recipe, plus I “picked the back” of all it’s little meat pieces just like my mom taught me and added all of those. :) I also added pecan pieces to the dressing before baking because that’s what we always had growing up. DELICIOUS!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    PS We are DIY remodeling baths in our home one by one and you and Julia reporting on the Master Bath really helped us to plan…thanks for that, too!

    • Chris says:

      Sounds like you one-upped my recipe, for sure! Love all the changes and subs – sounds amazing. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for following along! Best of luck with the bathroom projects. :)

      • Whitney says:

        For sure not trying to “one up” you in any way…just trying to pay forward some ideas, especially the addition of pecans :)

  3. Lesley says:

    Do you think this recipe would work baked in the turkey?

    • Chris says:

      I definitely wouldn’t suggest stuffing your turkey with anything other than loose aromatics and cook this separately. Stuffing the cavity makes the breast take longer to cook and by the time your stuffing is safe to eat the meat is usually overcooked.

  4. Liz says:

    I almost have all of the ingredients assembled, but since I am cooking a breast and not a whole turkey, I won’t have that wonderful little package of giblet stuff. I checked one store and they had packs of gizzards & hearts or chicken livers.

    So, would the livers work as well as gizzards? It’s been years since I cooked chicken liver, but I remember loving them when Mom cooked them. Perhaps, just a different flavor?

    Also, since this makes enough for 10, how well does it freeze?

    One of my local stores had a “floral” arrangement of rosemary, thyme and sage plants. I found a small pot of oregano and then bought parsley. I hope I can keep the plants alive until spring!


    • Chris says:

      You can definitely use the liver and heart! The texture is different, but it would still be good. Livers are probably the most adventurous – not a solid crowd pleasure – but if you know your group is open to it I say add it. And this stuffing freezes great. :)

      Be sure to come back and let me know how it turns out! Happy Thanksgiving.

      • Liz says:

        5 stars

        The dressing is wonderful. Here are my slight modifications.
        – used chicken sausage, though next time I’ll try other sausage options.
        – didn’t reduce the cider as much as it would have been with cooking the gizzard. But I used less turkey stock to moisten the dressing.
        – I bought a container of chicken livers, trimmed them so I was only using the thickest part of the meat and got rid of any connective tissues. After I cooked the onions & peppers, I transferred most of the veggies in to a bowl and then used the pan to cook the liver. It didn’t take long and I then chopped up the livers and added to the mixture. I’m not sure how much I added to the dressing since I was tasting the livers. Yes, it is an acquired taste, but Mom fixed livers and we always thought them as something special when we got them.
        – almost added fresh Oklahoma pecans, but decided to limit the mods. However, they are going in the leftovers when they are heated. I don’t think any of the dressing is going to be frozen – too tasty to not use it all up with the other leftovers.

        I liked the dressing and yes it was a bit sweet to my taste but I have been on a low sugar program so I expected it. But, it also made it great – the mix of sweet and savory. I like liver, so it just boosted the savory factor. And, the use of apple cider and the peppers may have added to my perceived sweetness of the dressing.

        Thanks for the recipe.

      • Chris says:

        Glad you liked it! Great adjustments. :)

  5. Mara says:

    4 stars
    I made this for a potluck yesterday (in a crockpot) and everyone loved it. The bad news? I thought it was too sweet. The jiffy cornbread is so sugary and overpowers the savory elements. I will be making this again for thanksgiving and using the jiffy cornbread because I bought in bulk but I will be adding more salt. I recommend substituting another brand of cornbread without so much added sugar.

  6. Heather says:

    Sounds great! Will this be as flavorful with turkey sausage?

  7. Patricia says:

    Have you tried making this with brown rice? One Thanksgiving I made stuffing three ways for all the different restrictions; one regular with chopped apples and toasted walnuts, one with vegan broth instead of chicken, and one with brown rice instead of bread for my gluten intolerant niece.

    They all tasted good and everybody (but me … exhausted!) was happy. If I had it to do over with those restrictions, I’d just make it with a quality vegan stock and brown rice…

  8. Jenn says:

    Have you ever tried this in a crock pot?!

  9. D says:

    This sounds really good. i have to make a GF stuffing (for me only!) this thanksgiving so going to give this a try. hopefully it’s as delicious converted to GF . i don’t know if i can do the gizzards though, going to maybe boil them w/ the vinegar and then toss – not sure i can cut them up and add so hopefully that gives some additional flavor.

  10. Liz says:

    Would you please share the source of the beautiful baking dish? Thank you!

  11. alana says:

    5 stars
    Hello! I made this recipe last year and it was absolutely as amazing as claimed! Everyone, if you’re considering giving this a shot, I promise you’ll love it.

    Chris, how are you adapting your recipes (including this one) this year for Julia’s dietary restrictions? I have some DF/GF/whatever else in my family, so I’m always on the lookout for accommodating dishes that taste great for everyone regardless of restrictions. Thanks!

  12. Miranda says:

    What the WHAT!?! How do you know I was searching for the perfect cornbread stuffing recipe? I mean…I came here looking for something different and THEN THIS GOES AND HAPPENS! Thanks Chris!

  13. Jill says:

    Hi Chris! Wow this sounds just awesome. I’m going to figure this out to make it work for my schedule. Can I freeze this, road trip for 12 hours, then reheat for thnksgvg………or simply freeze before baking and bake it when we arrive? I want to get this right. Thank you.

  14. Michelle says:

    This sounds delicious!! If we decide not to use gizzards, do we skip step 2? how should we incorporate the apple cider?


  15. Karen Tarazi says:

    Question – does this reheat well the next day for the traditional day-after-thanksging-morning/midnight sandwich? Helps me plan for quantity : )

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

I recently got an email from someone that asked, “Where do you go for new design inspiration?” She went on to say, “I use Houzz and lots of popular sites, but I feel like I’m stuck in an algorithm and keep seeing the same things.” I know the feeling — it’s so easy to get […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations