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Cornbread Stuffing

This Cornbread Stuffing (Dressing) is loaded with nutty cornbread, juicy sausage, dried cranberries, apples and pecans for the BEST Cornbread Sausage Stuffing of our life!  This wonderfully savory, buttery, herb infused stuffing is moist, flavorful, easy and absolutely addicting!  It is destined to become your new go-to recipe!!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 -16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. pkg. cornbread mix prepared according to directions*
  • 4 cups cubed (1/2-inch) day old white bread (I like Italian)
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (26 crackers)
  • 1 pound fresh sage pork sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)**
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried basil, salt
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried thyme , pepper
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (crasins)
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  • Prepare cornbread according to directions. Allow baked cornbread to sit out overnight in order to dry out.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice cornbread and white bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to 2 baking sheets and bake for 35-45 minutes or until completely dried out (they should resemble croutons).
  • Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet until nicely browned, breaking up any clumps. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a very large bowl.
  • Melt butter in remaining fat in skillet. Add onions and cook 5 minutes. Add celery, apples, garlic, chicken bouillon and all seasoning/spices and cook for 2 minutes, while stirring. Transfer to bowl with sausage and stir in toasted bread, crushed Ritz, pecans, and cranberries.
  • Stir in 2 1/2 cups chicken broth until evenly coated. Whisk eggs in small bowl until frothy then whisk in 1 cup chicken broth. Pour over stuffing and gently mix until evenly combined. Optional - If you like a super moist stuffing add an additional 1/2-1 cup broth to stuffing.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. For a less moist stuffing, simply bake longer.

Notes

*If you don't have time to make your cornbread and let it sit out overnight, then bake it an additional 10-15 minutes in step 1 or until its completely dried out. 
**If you can’t find sage sausage, then use plain and add 1/2-1 teaspoons dried sage, according to taste.

HOW TO PREP AHEAD

Traditional stuffing can be assembled two days in advance, placed into a covered pan, and refrigerated until ready.  This method works because sourdough, ciabatta, etc. can drink up quite a bit of liquid without becoming mushy.  Cornbread, however, is not as dense or crusty as bakery bread, and will lose its special texture and can even turn mushy if allowed to sit in liquid overnight.  Therefore, I do NOT recommend completely assembling Cornbread Stuffing with the liquid ahead of time, but you an certainly prep all of the ingredients and keep them separate.  To prep ahead:
Dry the bread, cook the sausage and combine it with the cooked onions, celery, apples, garlic, pecans, cranberries, chicken bouillon and all seasoning/spices.  Keep the toasted bread, crushed Ritz, chicken broth and eggs separate.
When ready to bake, you literally have less than 5 minutest of prep!  Simply stir in your toasted bread/cornbread, Ritz, chicken broth and whisked egg,, combine and bake!