A Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe that is made from cornbread, andouille link sausage, and blackened or Cajun seasoning. This easy holiday side dish has been served as our “stuffing” for decades. Learn how to make it ahead of time so you can relax on the morning of Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Cornbread Dressing Recipe with Sausage
Looking back, I remember the year my mom and dad were creating this southern cornbread dressing recipe.
They tweaked and improved a traditional homemade cornbread dressing recipe.
I grew up on the border of Texas and Louisiana in a small town called Orange, TX.
My dad was born and raised in Texas and my mom lived just outside of New Orleans her entire life.
I learned to love soul food spices as well as the unique Texas flavors…. and they make quite the epic combo!
Not knowing much difference, I thought everyone enjoyed a similar recipe on Thanksgiving Day.
But after years of bringing this multiple Friendsgivings and potlucks, I realized this was a dressing recipe unlike any other.
My mom and dad knew what they were doing.
I got into this whole “food blogging” thing so I could share absolutely EVERYTHING with you lovely readers.
And this prized and cherished family recipe is no different.
There are absolutely NO secrets here!
My hope is that it brings just as much joy to your Thanksgiving dinner table as it has to the Ham and Brazil family’s, too.
Stuffing and Dressing
Before we move into how to cook this family recipe, let’s get a few things straight.
There is often a lot of debate about dressing versus stuffing.
Do you use white bread cubes, or cornbread? Is the turkey cavity filled with it or not?
Often the two words can be used interchangeably. However, there are a few differences to note:
Stuffing is a bread mixture that has been stuffed into a turkey cavity and cooked in the oven. It’s often made with day-old bread cubes and fresh herbs. Sometimes people decide NOT to stuff it into a turkey and just bake it in its own dish. (Like in this Sausage Stuffing Recipe.)
Dressing is cooked outside of a turkey cavity in its own separate pan. It is more often called this in the Southern United States and is made with cornbread instead of bread cubes.
No matter what you call it, they’re both DE-LICIOUS and are often the main SIDE dish at the Thanksgiving spread!
How to Make
Making homemade cornbread stuffing is actually a simple and easy process. In this particular recipe you will follow these steps:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare and cook your boxed gluten-free cornbread mix or you can make your own gluten-free cornbread.
- Break apart the cornbread until no large lumps remain.*
- Cook link sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until it is cooked through.
- Sauté the holy trinity of bell peppers, onions, and celery.
- Whisk together your blackened seasoning ingredients or use Tony Chacere’s
- If you are gluten-free, make sure you check the labels of store bought Cajun and Creole seasonings. Tony Chacere’s could potentially contain wheat products.
- Also, you can substitute with poultry seasoning if you do not want it to be too spicy.
- Add all of your ingredients to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and toss to combine.
- Pour chicken broth over it and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven until the top is crispy.
*Cook’s Tip: This would be a really fun step to let young kids help with!
How Long to Cook
You have made your cornbread dressing recipe and it is ready to go into the oven.
How long should you bake it?
For this dressing, it will bake for 30-35 minutes, uncovered.
Uncovered is VERY important. A large majority of the broth will evaporate and allow the dish to get crispy on the top.
If you like your side a little more crisp, bake it a few minutes longer.
Like it more on the soggy side? Bake it around 30 minutes.
Since I was strictly gluten-free for 5 years I have tried out numerous gluten-free products.
Fortunately, when it comes to selecting a gluten-free cornbread mix, you really cannot go wrong as far as taste.
However, do note that this recipe calls for a 16-20 ounce package. If you are unable to find a 20-ounce package, simply make a double batch and adjust accordingly.
Our local grocery store, HEB, has a brand that comes in a 20-ounce package. Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free cornbread mix comes in a 20-ounce package, as well.
If you’re not gluten-free, the Jiffy cornbread muffin boxes are 8.5 ounces each. Simply use two boxes and you’re good to go!
Best Sausage to Use
A big thing to note in the recipe instructions is that it calls for link, not ground sausage. And preferably andouille flavored link sausage.
A few of the brands I really enjoy using for this recipe include:
- Aidell’s Cajun Style Andouille (my preference!)
- Applegate Andouille Chicken Sausage
- Hillshire Farms or Johnsonville link sausage (use these if you prefer your dressing on the milder side!)
You can also use homemade venison sausage. We do this on a pretty regular basis now that the Brazil family makes their own.
Try not to substitute for ground or sausage without a good casing. The bites of sausage really make this recipe unique!
One of the best things about this dish is that you can prep it completely up to 24 hours in advance.
Here are a few ways you can prep your ingredients for Thanksgiving Day:
- Prepare the cornbread mix according to the package directions.
- You can do this up to 24 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
- Cook the link sausage until cooked through.
- Sauté your vegetables and mix everything together in the baking dish.
- Pour half of the chicken broth over the cornbread dressing and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
- On The Day of Serving:
- Set the casserole out at least an hour before cooking so it comes to room temperature.
- Add the additional chicken broth and cook according to the recipe below.
Other Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
In addition to this traditional recipe, here are a few of my family’s favorite sides to serve for Thanksgiving:
Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe with Sausage
A Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe that is made from crumbled cornbread, bell peppers, onions, celery, link sausage, and full of Cajun spices.
- 20 oz. package cornbread mix gluten-free if needed, cooked in a 9 x 13 inch pan according to package directions
- 13 oz. package of link sausage cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
- 4 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 small sweet onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 3 to 4 cups chicken broth regular sodium
- 1 Tbsp. blackened seasoning mix or Cajun seasoning
- ½ - 1 tsp. salt to taste
- Parsley optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook sausage over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until sausage is browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
With remaining sausage grease, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, bell pepper, onion, celery, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Saute vegetables for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, or until onions begin to brown.
Add crushed garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
While vegetables are cooking, whisk together blackened seasoning mix.
Crumble cornbread until there are no large clumps remaining. Combine sausage, vegetables, seasoning mix, salt, and cornbread in the baking dish. Toss to mix thoroughly.
Pour 3 - 3 ½ cups of chicken broth into cornbread mixture. (This may seem like a lot at first, but remember, you will be baking this and a lot of the moisture will evaporate.)
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, or until the top begins to get crispy. Add more chicken broth as needed.
Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Top with finely chopped parsley and enjoy!
- You can also use 2 ½ - 3 teaspoons of Tony Chacere’s seasoning. (This is not certified gluten-free.)