Cornbread Dressing Recipe

An easy gluten free stuffing, this Cornbread Dressing Recipe will surely impress! Full of italian sausage, homemade cornbread, cranberries, and more!

cornbread dressing in baking dish

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    <li class="nav-heading">General</li><li><a class="" href="#stuffing_vs_dressing">Stuffing vs dressing</a></li><li><a class="" href="#ingredients">Ingredients</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_make">How to make</a></li><li><a class="" href="#recipe">Get the recipe</a></li><li class="nav-heading">Frequently Asked Questions</li><li><a class="" href="#can_you_stuff_the_turkey">Can you stuff the turkey?</a></li><li><a class="" href="#variations">Variations</a></li><li><a class="" href="#pairing_suggestions">Pairing suggestions</a></li><li><a class="" href="#making_ahead_of_time">Making ahead of time</a></li><li><a class="" href="#how_to_store">How to store</a></li><li><a class="" href="#nutrition_info">Nutrition information</a></li></ul></div>

This is one of our family’s favorite holiday side dishes! We make it for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas…and sometimes again in between the two since it’s just that good. 😉

It’s a little sweet, has a little kick from the sausage, is SO full of texture thanks to the celery and pecans, and, I’m gonna be honest, just totally addicting. 😉

What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?

There really is no significant different between the two. Traditionally, though, stuffing is stuffed inside the turkey and cooked whereas dressing is baked outside the turkey in a separate dish.

However, for food safety reasons, it is now recommended to avoid cooking stuffing/dressing inside the turkey entirely!


I especially love today’s cornbread recipe for two reasons: it’s gluten free AND it uses homemade cornbread.

If homemade cornbread isn’t your thing, you can use store-bought instead!

  • Cornbread – I use one batch of my homemade cornbread recipe.
  • Yellow Onion and Celery – the classic stuffing veggie combo. Adds texture and a slight crunch.
  • Rosemary, Thyme, Nutmeg, Sage, Salt, and Pepper – a simple but highly effective sweet and savory seasoning blend.
  • Dried Cranberries – adds a sweet flavor and chewy texture.
  • Pecans – gives a toasty, nutty crunch to each bite.
  • Egg – helps bind all the ingredients together.
  • Unsalted Butter and Chicken Broth – adds richness, moisture, and flavor.
Pro tip
Don’t want to make your own cornbread? Use your favorite boxed variety! Be sure you’re making enough to fill a 9×13 inch pan.

How to make

Because the cornbread needs a chance to dry out, this is a great make ahead recipe.

  1. Make one batch of cornbread then set aside to cool.
  2. In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion, celery, and spices until the sausage has cooked through and the veggies are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in cranberries and pecans.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, melted butter, and chicken broth. Set aside.
  4. Place the sausage mixture and cornbread into a large bowl and pour in the egg mixture. Gently fold everything together.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Once heated, serve and enjoy!
Pro tip
I like making the cornbread and letting it sit out 24 hours in advance for best results. Feel free to also make the filling a day in advance!

wooden spoon in baking dish with cornbread dressing

Can you stuff the turkey?

Experts now advise against baking your stuffing/dressing inside the turkey for food safety reasons.

Cooking the stuffing to a safe temperature means your turkey will probably become overcooked. If you cook your turkey perfectly you’ll probably have undercooked stuffing prone to bacteria.

Basically, you’re better off just avoiding it altogether!

cornbread chunks on baking sheet

bowl of cornbread dressing ingredients


  • Make it semi-homemade. If you don’t want to make your own cornbread (although I highly recommend it), feel free to use a store-bought variety instead.
  • Swap the dried fruit. Not a cranberry fan? Try raisins!
  • Make it vegetarian. Swap the sausage for a vegetarian variety.
  • Make it without cornbread. If you’d rather go the traditional route, try my sausage stuffing or my crockpot vegetarian stuffing.

What to serve with cornbread dressing

This cornbread dressing is a classic for the holidays. Here are some of my other favorite holiday dishes!

baking dish of cornbread dressing above

Can you make cornbread dressing ahead of time?

You sure can! If you’d like to make the cornbread dressing ahead of time, bake the cornbread and make the sausage filling 24 hours in advance, then assemble the recipe the day of! I don’t recommend assembling ahead of time or you may end up with soggy stuffing.

To make the cornbread ahead of time, bake according to directions, cool completely, cube, then leave uncovered at room temperature for 24 hours.

To make the filling ahead of time, cook the sausage, onion, celery, and spices together, stir in cranberries and pecans, cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours.

You can also freeze it ahead ahead of time by following the recipe as directing but waiting to bake it. Instead, cover it with saran wrap and foil and freeze for up to a month.

When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the fridge and bake as directed!

How to store

Store leftover cornbread dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To reheat: bake or microwave to warm!

– Jennifer

An easy gluten free stuffing, this Cornbread Dressing Recipe will surely impress! Full of italian sausage, vegetables, homemade cornbread, cranberries, spices, and more! #cornbreaddressing #cornbreadstuffing


Cornbread Dressing Recipe

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An easy gluten free stuffing, this Cornbread Dressing Recipe will surely impress! Full of italian sausage, homemade cornbread, cranberries, and more!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cornbread, gluten free, thanksgiving side
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 329kcal
Author Jennifer Debth


  • 1 recipe cornbread cubed into 1 in cubes
  • 1 (1 pound) package hot italian sausage links removed if applicable
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans or pecan pieces
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth


  • Cornbread recipe is linked to above. Make sure you bake the cornbread in a 9×13 inch pan at least 24 hours in advance. Cube, then store uncovered.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread cornbread cubes onto an unlined 9×13 in rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring gently halfway through.
  • Set aside to cool as you prepare the stuffing.
  • Turn oven up to 375 degrees F and grease a 9×13 in baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Heat a large non stick pan over medium heat.
  • Cook sausage, onion, celery, and spices together until sausage has cooked through and vegetables are tender, breaking up the sausage as you go.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cranberries and pecans. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg, melted butter, and chicken broth. Set aside.
  • Place the sausage mixture and toasted cornbread into a large bowl and pour the egg mixture over.
  • Gently fold everything together.
  • Be sure to not over mix. Some of the cornbread cubes will break apart, that’s ok, but try to leave some of them whole as well.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.4mg

This post was originally published November 18, 2016 and has been updated to provide more detailed content.

The post Cornbread Dressing Recipe appeared first on Show Me the Yummy.

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