My favorite stuffing recipe that I used to make nearly every holiday season is my own take on Whole Foods’ Southern-Style Chicken Sausage and Buttermilk Cornbread Stuffing recipe. I hadn’t brought this to a potluck in a few years as I’d been more focused on dessert, so I decided to make it this year and finally share the recipe.
Cornbread stuffing in general is never too mushy, and it lends some extra texture and flavor that white bread doesn’t have. I really like this recipe because of the sweet and salty nature of it. You can change up the balance of flavors by using a different type of sausage too – sweet, spicy, salty, etc. Here’s the recipe as adapted from Whole Foods:
- 1 recipe cornbread (I used Marie Callenders’ cornbread mix)
- 1 pound Trader Joe’s Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, sliced into bits (1 pound is about 1.5 packages)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth, more if needed
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- Cut cornbread into cubes and spread out on a baking sheet to dry overnight or toast in a 300°F oven for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add sausage and break up using a spatula. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, until browned. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Remove drippings and add 4 tablespoons butter to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add apples, sage and thyme. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until apples are softened. Stir in sausage.
- Place dried cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Stir in sausage mixture and pine nuts. Add just enough broth to moisten the cornbread, about 1 1/2 cups. Add plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spread into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cut remaining 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and place on top of stuffing. Bake 35 minutes.
Old faithful never lets me down!