Cajun Cornbread Dressing with Sausage is the BEST soul food twist on a Southern, Thanksgiving favorite. This easy recipe has a cornbread base while sausage, veggies, and blackened seasoning round out this Creole side dish. You can even meal prep this “stuffing” beforehand to save precious time on the day of!

Southern cornbread dressing is the perfect holiday side.

Favorite Cajun Cornbread Dressing Recipe

I grew up on the border of Texas and Louisiana in a small town called Orange, TX. My parents, from Texas and New Orleans, instilled a love of soul food spices as well as the unique Texas flavors…. and they make quite the epic combo!

Looking back, I remember the year my mom and dad were creating this Cajun cornbread dressing recipe.

Not knowing much difference, I thought everyone enjoyed a similar recipe on Thanksgiving Day.

But after years of bringing this to multiple Friendsgivings and potlucks, I realized this was a Cajun dressing recipe unlike any other.

I know this because EVERYONE always asks for the recipe!

My hope is that this family favorite brings just as much joy to your Thanksgiving dinner table as it does to ours!

And while you’re at it, this Sweet Potato Casserole and Green Bean Casserole from Scratch always make an appearance, too!

Cornbread, broth, bell pepper, celery, onion, sausage, and seasoning are the ingredients for this recipe.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make Cajun cornbread dressing include:

  • Cornbread mix. You need a 16–20-ounce package. Opt for a gluten-free variety if your diet calls for it. Jiffy cornbread muffin boxes are 8.5 ounces, so grab two of those if that’s easiest! If the instructions call for a 9×9 or 8×8 pan, reduce the baking time by 5 minutes since you’re using a 9×13 dish.
  • Sausage. Be sure to opt for LINKS, not ground. You want a brand with a good casing, as well. Andouille is the best for flavor. If needed, you can use homemade venison sausage. My favorites: Aidell’s Cajun Style Andouille, Applegate Andouille Chicken Sausage, or Hillshire Farms or Johnsonville link sausage (use these if you prefer your dressing on the milder side!)
  • Bell pepper. Green looks the best, but you can use any color.
  • Celery, Onion, and Garlic.
  • Broth. Regular sodium chicken broth is used in the recipe, but you can sub in vegetable broth or reduced sodium if needed.
  • Blackened seasoning mix. It is so easy to make your own blend, and the flavor is unbeatable. You can also buy a pre-made mix, as well. You might see it called Cajun seasoning at the store.
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How to Make Cajun Cornbread Dressing

These are the steps to follow to make this Cajun cornbread dressing recipe:

Cook the Cornbread

Follow the instructions on the box to make the cornbread. Remember to adjust the cooking time because you are using a 9×13 pan. Pay attention! You don’t want to overcook the cornbread at this step.

Set the pan aside and let it cool. Then crumble the cornbread back into the 9×13 dish. Be sure there are no large clumps. If it’s easier, you can break apart the cornbread into a large mixing bowl first.

Cook the Sausage and Veggies

Slice the sausage link into ½-inch pieces.

Add oil to a large skillet and cook the sausage over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.

Toss the bell peppers, onions, and celery into the pan. This trio is called the holy trinity. Cook the veggies with some oil, salt, and pepper for another 8 minutes or so.

Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté another 2 minutes.

Combine Ingredients

Add the cooked veggies and sausage along with the blackened seasoning into the pan with the crumbled cornbread. Stir to combine.

Pour the broth over the dressing. Even if it seems like there is too much, add at least 3 cups. Much of the broth will evaporate as it cooks.

Bake the Dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for at least 10 minutes and bake the dressing 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.

A large baking dish is full of cornbread dressing with sausage.

Make-Ahead Instructions

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.
  • Cook the link sausage until cooked through.
  • Sauté your vegetables and mix everything together in the baking dish with half of the broth.

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.

Storage Directions

  • To Store: Once cooked, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Warm in the oven at 300°, or microwave until heated through.
You can serve cornbread dressing with turkey at Thanksgiving.

FAQs

What is the difference between dressing and stuffing?

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.  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.

Is cornbread dressing a Southern thing?

Historically, cornbread dressing is a Southern favorite because of the cornbread base.

What is cornbread dressing made of?

Cornbread dressing is usually made from a sweet, crumbled cornbread then mixed with sautéed onions, celery, and sometimes bell peppers and seasoned with a blend, like a blackened mix. Broth is added before baking.

Do you have to put eggs in dressing?

Some recipes call for an egg, but they are not required for cornbread dressing.

A closeup of cornbread dressing.

Cornbread Dressing Tips

  • DIY spice. Make your own blackened seasoning mix for the most flavor.
  • Link up. Steer clear of ground beef or sausage for this recipe.
  • Add flavor. It is easy to add extra herbs, like thyme, sage, or even cayenne for a kick.
  • Open up. Do not cover this casserole dish when baking so it gets crispy on top.
  • Lots of liquid. Be sure to add plenty of broth, a bunch will evaporate when cooking.

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

In addition to this traditional recipe, here are a few of my family’s favorite sides to serve for Thanksgiving:

Prefer stuffing instead of dressing? Check out this Wild Rice Stuffing and Sausage Stuffing next!

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5 from 14 votes

Cajun Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Cajun Cornbread Dressing with Sausage is a delicious soul food twist on a Southern, Thanksgiving favorite. This easy recipe has a cornbread base while sausage, veggies, and blackened seasoning round out this Creole side dish.
Southern cornbread dressing is the perfect holiday side.
Yield 12 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 1 hour

Ingredients 

  • 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
  • 2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt divided, to taste
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth regular sodium
  • 1 Tbsp. blackened seasoning mix or Cajun seasoning
  • Parsley optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare the cornbread according to the package directions. Once cool enough to touch, crumble using your hands until there are no large clumps remaining.
    20 oz. package cornbread mix
  • Cook sausage over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until sausage is browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
    13 oz. package of link sausage
  • Saute Vegetables: 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 if making your own at home.
    2 Tbsp. oil, 1 green bell pepper, 4 stalks celery, 1 small sweet onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Mix Everything in Dish: Combine sausage, vegetables, seasoning mix, remaining ½ to 1 teaspoon 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.)
    1 Tbsp. blackened seasoning mix, 3 to 4 cups chicken broth
  • Bake in preheated oven, 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!
    Parsley

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 14 votes

Video

Notes

Storage Directions

  • To Store: Once cooked, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Warm in the oven at 300°, or microwave until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 1095mg, Potassium: 144mg, Vitamin A: 285IU, Vitamin C: 9.2mg, Calcium: 128mg, Iron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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Comments

  1. I have never made a cornbread flavoured stuffing before.. what a delicious recipe, this is definitely something I need to try!

  2. This was so freakin’ good! My parents are doing the Paleo diet (mostly) and would really appreciate this recipe for Thanksgiving. I’ll be sure to share it! Thanks for another great post; the photos look excellent too by the way!