When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I am there for the side dishes. Sure, a piece of turkey smothered in gravy is delicious, but for me, it pales in comparison to things like stuffing.. mashed potatoes… creamy, cheesy casseroles… and rolls (I eat so many rolls!). Even if I just take a little bit of everything, I walk away from the table completely and totally stuffed. For the last few years, I’ve been making this sausage, fig and cranberry stuffing, but I’ve been wanting to try a cornbread version since I tried something similar at my Chief Culinary Consultant’s aunt’s house quite a long time ago. After playing around with some different combinations of flavors, I have crowned this one the winner.
This is a rather simple stuffing recipe, and you can use your favorite homemade cornbread and yields a 9×13-inch pan, or use a box mix – whatever you prefer. The cornbread should sit out overnight to dry a bit, then you crumble it and combine it with sausage, sautéed onions, celery and a Granny Smith apple, then season the mixture and throw in some chicken broth to ensure it’s nice and moist.
The result? Only the most fabulous stuffing ever. Seriously. I could have eaten the entire pan in one sitting. If you are looking for something a little bit different than the traditional bread stuffing, look no further. People will do backflips over this.
I’ll trade you my piece of turkey for your stuffing, deal?
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside.
Crumble the cornbread into a large bow; set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks, until completely browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
In the same skillet, add the onion, celery and apple, and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and the celery and apple are softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the sausage and cooked onion mixture to the bowl with the cornbread and stir to combine. Add the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and stir to thoroughly combine. Add 2 cups of the chicken broth and stir until the mixture is evenly moistened. If it still seems a bit dry, add more broth a little at a time until the mixture appears damp.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish, pressing it into an even layer. Drizzle with the melted butter and bake until the top is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Leftover stuffing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.