Cornbread and Sausage Dressing Like Grandma Made

There’s nothing like stuffing to go alongside a roasted turkey or chicken. And you know what? It’s easy to make from scratch! There’s no box required for this old fashioned cornbread dressing recipe (aka cornbread stuffing).

Originally published September 2019; this post has been updated.

cooked cornbread stuffing in a white casserole dish.


My mom talks about her mom making the holiday stuffing from a whole loaf of bread torn into pieces. This was, of course, long before Stove Top and packaged bread cubes.

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ingredients for stuffing: white bread cubes, cornbread cubes, celery, sausage, broth, spices


This cornbread dressing recipe starts much like my grandma’s — with actual loaves of bread.

Bread — Use a combination of cornbread and French bread. Stale cornbread and French bread. This is one recipe where fresh isn’t the best choice! If you don’t have stale bread, simply measure and cut cubes of fresh bread then toast them lightly in the oven to dry out the cubes a bit. Try my sweet cornbread recipe or opt for this one that’s less sweet.

Chicken broth I keep homemade chicken broth on hand, either in the freezer or in the pantry. You can use homemade broth or store bought.

Sausage — Pork is the traditional option. Feel free to use whatever you like – just make sure it’s not a sweet breakfast variety as that won’t pair well with the rest of the dish!

Onion and celery — These are classic seasonings to any savory start. If you’ve frozen extra along the way it works well here.

Seasonings The recipe calls for garlic powder, sage, and thyme. If you keep poultry seasoning on hand, you can use it to replace those seasonings.

How to Make Cornbread Dressing

Preheat the oven and grease a large casserole dish.

Brown the sausage and then sauté the veggies while the meat drains.

Use a very large bowl to combine the crumbled cornbread, French bread, sausage, veggies, and seasonings.

adding cooked sausage to cornbread cubes in a glass bowl

Next, add 2 cups chicken broth to hold the stuffing together. Now, this can be a little bit variable. I recommend adding the broth in increments. Once all of the ingredients are combined, assess. Is the mixture still a bit dry? Go ahead and add a bit more broth. If it’s quite moist already, don’t.

uncooked sausage dressing in a casserole dish

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared dish and bake until golden brown.

Be sure to make up a batch of this easy homemade cranberry sauce to go with it!

bowl of cornbread dressing.


If you have leftovers, allow the corn bread dressing to cool and transfer to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. 


How much broth do I need to use?

Just how dry your bread is determines how much moisture to add. And then there’s the part where some people prefer a dry stuffing (hello gravy!) and others like it very moist. I recommend adding the broth a half cup at a time since the bread will always be different.

What type of meat do I use in dressing?

Pork is the classic option. Many think it is used since it adds a fair amount of fat, and if you are stuffing a turkey then sometimes having excess moisture and fat is helpful. You can always try using poultry, but you’ll want to make sure and season it well to mimic the flavor of pork sausage.

What’s the difference between dressing and stuffing?

This depends entirely upon how you cook it. Or more precisely, where. If you cook it in a casserole dish it’s a homemade cornbread and sausage dressing recipe. If a person were to put the mixture inside the cavity of a turkey, you might call it cornbread stuffing recipe.

Food safety experts suggest stuffing the cavity of the bird loosely or cooking it in a separate dish. If you do opt to stuff the bird, it’s essential that you use a food thermometer to assure it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165ºF.

cooked cornbread stuffing in a white casserole dish

This cornbread sausage stuffing is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s also a great way to use up stale bread all year long! Make it with this southern cornbread recipe and you won’t be disappointed!

Go here for more holiday side dishes to round out your meal!

★ Did you make this cornbread dressing? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

cooked cornbread stuffing in a white casserole dish.

Cornbread and Sausage Dressing

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This cornbread dressing (aka stuffing) is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. It's also a great way to use up stale bread all year long!



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with a thin coat of olive oil or butter.
  2. Brown sausage in a medium skillet. Remove sausage to drain.
  3. Add the onion and celery to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring as needed to avoid burning, until softened.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together sausage, vegetables, cornbread, French bread, and seasonings. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Add up to 2 cups of chicken stock half cup at a time to moisten the bread and bring the ingredients together.
  6. Transfer to casserole dish and distribute evenly.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until browned.


I recommend adding the broth in increments. Once all of the ingredients are combined, assess. Is the mixture still a bit dry? Go ahead and add the rest of the broth. If it's quite moist already, don't.

Just how dry your bread is determines how much moisture to add. It's a little bit variable and depends on if you prefer a more dry or moist stuffing.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 488mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g

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Wooden spoon full of cornbread dressing


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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

7 comments… add one
  • Beck & Bulow Nov 20, 2021 @ 7:01

    Lovely recipe – quick, easy and fresh. We didn’t have the salad and dressing on the side, just squeezed some lemon over the top.

    • AttainableSustainable Dec 2, 2021 @ 10:22

      Glad you loved it, sounds delicious topped with lemon!

  • RC Nov 15, 2020 @ 4:48

    Thank you for the inspiration! Made this last night with leftover jalapeño cheddar cornbread and sourdough bread. Doubled the spices since it was a bit more than 4 cups of each bread (added fresh sage and rosemary). Used sweet Italian sausage. Also made a little white gravy to drizzle on top. It was the most delicious dressing I’ve ever tasted and my first homemade!

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 23, 2020 @ 17:21

      I’m so glad!

  • Luquita Kroll Oct 27, 2020 @ 8:53

    Plan trying this recipe for our Thanksgiving. Hoping the sausage will give it extra moisture I need—I don’t like giblet gravy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Boone Nov 5, 2020 @ 16:07

      Of you like smoked oysters, you can substitute them and their oil for the sausage, # of cans depending on size of bird and your taste for them

    • Michelle Nov 14, 2020 @ 9:51

      Make 2 gravies! It’s your spread, make what you like 🙂

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