Sausage Cornbread Dressing With Smoked Turkey

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Are you ready to elevate your holiday feast to a whole new level? Yep, I said it. This sausage cornbread dressing with smoked turkey is like no other. It could really be a meal all its own. My dressing a.k.a. stuffing recipe combines the richness of sage sausage with the smoky goodness of turkey, making it an unforgettable Thanksgiving side dish that deserves a special spot on your holiday table.

smoked turkey sausage dressing recipe

Why Love This Recipe

There are countless reasons to fall head over heels for this Cornbread Dressing. Firstly, the golden combination of sweet, crumbly cornbread and savory sausage is pure comfort food magic. The addition of smoked turkey brings a delightful smokiness that truly elevates the dish. Here are more reasons you’ll adore this recipe:

  1. Old-Fashioned Comfort: This recipe brings back cherished memories of traditional Southern holiday gatherings, making it the ideal soul food side dish.
  2. Versatility: Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any occasion where you want a warm, hearty dish that screams “home.”
  3. Simple Elegance: While it looks and tastes impressive, this recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare, ensuring stress-free holiday cooking.

sausage cornbread dressing ingredients

Overview of Ingredients

For the Cornbread

If you’re short on time or prefer a more convenient option, you can use a boxed cornbread mix, following the package instructions.

Tip: Double the cornbread recipe and make two. One for your stuffing and one to enjoy as a side item with dinner!

  • Cornmeal: Provides that distinctive flavor and texture, which is slightly sweet and crumbly.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Flour is used to balance the texture of the cornbread, making it less crumbly and more cohesive.
  • Sugar: A touch of sugar enhances the natural sweetness of cornmeal, making your cornbread slightly sweet and utterly delicious. You use more or less sugar depending on your preferences.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is the leavening agent that helps the cornbread rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Salt: Salt is essential to balance the sweetness and enhance the overall flavor of the cornbread.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk brings a pleasant tang and adds moisture to the cornbread.
  • Canola Oil: Canola oil adds moisture and richness keeping the cornbread tender.
  • Butter: Melted butter contributes a rich, buttery flavor to the cornbread. It also adds a touch of moisture.
  • Eggs: Eggs provide structure and help bind the ingredients together, ensuring your cornbread holds its shape.

For the Dressing

  • Cornbread: This is the heart of your dressing. The cornbread provides a sweet, crumbly foundation for the dish. If you dried it in the oven, it will absorb all the wonderful flavors of the sausage and turkey. See instructions below for drying out your bread the same day.
  • Italian or French Bread: This bread adds another layer of texture to your dressing. Because the cornbread can be very crumbly, I like to use cubes of white bread to help maintain a bit of structure. Plus, this recipe does not call for eggs so this bread helps bind it all together.
  • Sage Sausage: Sage sausage is key to infusing the dressing with a robust, herby flavor. I used Jimmy Dean.
  • Smoked Turkey Necks: You can use any smoked turkey cut in this recipe. My store just happened to have turkey necks on sale.
  • Celery: Celery contributes a satisfying crunch and a mild, fresh flavor.
  • Onion: Onion adds a sweet, aromatic element that enhances the overall flavor.
  • Garlic: Gotta have garlic!
  • Fresh Sage Leaves: Fresh sage leaves bring a beautiful, earthy aroma and an herby flavor. If you don’t have fresh sage, dried sage can be used as a substitute.
  • Chicken Bouillon Base: The bouillon base enhances the savory notes in this dressing.
  • Turkey or Chicken Broth: Broth is crucial for moisture and flavor. It ensures your dressing is not too dry.
  • Butter: Butter provides a rich, buttery flavor and silky texture. It’s a quintessential ingredient in Southern dressing recipes. I used a whole stick and a half in this recipe!
  • Dried Thyme: Dried thyme lends an herby, slightly earthy note that complements the sage.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste. Be careful, there is salt in the bread, bouillon base, butter sausage, turkey and broth. I added about 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper after tasting.
  • Fresh Parsley (for garnish): Parsley adds a fresh, vibrant touch to the finished dish.

How to Make Sausage Cornbread Dressing With Smoked Turkey

Make the Cornbread

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish with butter or oil.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, canola oil, melted butter and eggs.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool.

Dry Out the Bread:

Preheat your oven to 300°F.

Crumble the cornbread into somewhat large pieces (it’ll break up more once you start making the dressing mixture). Cut the French bread into 1/2-inch cubes.

Spread the crumbled cornbread and French bread cubes on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are dry but not browned. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

Prep the Turkey Necks

Give the turkey necks a quick rinse until cool water. Place them in a large pot with enough water to cover them.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours or until tender.

Remove from pot and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred at least one cup of the turkey neck meat and set aside.

Make the Dressing:

In a large skillet, melt 1 sitck of butter (4oz) over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until they start to turn translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add the sausage to the pan with the veggies and cook until sausage is browned, breaking it up with a spoon or fork as it cooks.

Add the bouillon base, sage, dried thyme, salt and pepper to the skillet and sauté for another 2 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crumbled cornbread, French bread cubes, sausage and veggie mixture and smoked turkey meat.

Pour 3-4 cups of turkey or chicken broth over the mixture and gently toss until everything is evenly combined. I like to add one cup at a time to ensure the liquid is evenly distributed. The dressing should be very moist but not overly soggy.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Time to Bake!

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Transfer the dressing mixture to a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. I actually used two small casserole dishes because this is what I had on hand at the time. Place small pats of the remaining butter evenly on top of the dressing.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden brown.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve. Enjoy!

sausage cornbread dressing in casserole dish

Expert Tips

Drying Out the Bread: The step of drying out the cornbread and French bread in the oven is crucial. It helps the bread absorb the flavors of the other ingredients and results in a more cohesive texture. If you prefer, you can use “stale” bread instead, but drying it in the oven ensures even distribution of flavors.

Sausage Varieties: While sage sausage is a traditional choice for this dressing, you can experiment with different types of sausage to create unique flavor profiles. Mild or spicy sausage or even chorizo, can add exciting variations.

Fresh vs. Dried Herbs: If you don’t have fresh sage leaves, you can use dried sage as a substitute. Keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent, so use about one-third of the amount called for fresh sage (in this case, approximately 1 tablespoon of dried sage).

Bouillon Base: This ingredient is optional but it really does add additional yummy flavor.

Moisture Matters: Ensure your cornbread is well-baked but still moist. Dry cornbread will result in a drier dressing.

Make-Ahead: This dressing can be made in advance. Prepare it up to a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, reheat it in the oven for a warm, delicious side dish.

Serving Suggestions

This Cornbread Dressing is a versatile companion to your holiday feast. Serve it alongside roasted turkey, ham, or even prime rib. It also pairs beautifully with baked turkey wings, cranberry sauce, gravy, skillet green beans and macaroni and cheese.

sausage and smoked turkey cornbread stuffing in casserole dish

Storing Leftovers

When the feast is over, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat portions in the microwave or oven.

As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to embrace the soul-warming essence of this Southern Cornbread Dressing. The perfect blend of sweet cornbread, savory sausage, and smoky turkey will satisfy your soul food cravings. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any special occasion, this homemade cornbread stuffing is sure to become a cherished tradition in your family. Let me know if you give this dish a try. Happy cooking!

turkey and sausage cornbread dressing in casserole dish

Sausage Cornbread Dressing With Smoked Turkey

Posted by Dee
This sausage cornbread dressing with smoked turkey is like no other. It could really be a meal all its own. This dressing recipe combines the richness of sage sausage with the smoky goodness of turkey, making it an unforgettable Thanksgiving side dish that deserves a special spot on your holiday table.
5 from 38 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Servings 10 servings
Difficulty Medium

Ingredients
  

For the Cornbread:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs

For the Dressing

  • 8 cups cornbread
  • 4 cups Italian or french bread, about 1/2 a large loaf
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 cup smoked turkey necks
  • 1 cup celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon base
  • 3-4 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1.5 sticks butter, divided
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions
 

Make the Cornbread

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish with butter or oil.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, canola oil, melted butter and eggs.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  • Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool.

Dry Out the Bread

  • Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  • Crumble the cornbread into somewhat large pieces (it’ll break up more once you start making the dressing mixture)
  • Cut the French bread into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Spread the crumbled cornbread and French bread cubes on a large baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are dry but not browned. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

Prep the Turkey Necks

  • Give the turkey necks a quick rinse until cool water. Place them in a large pot with enough water to cover them.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours or until tender.
  • Remove from pot and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred at least one cup of the turkey neck meat and set aside.

Make the Dressing

  • In a large skillet, melt 1 sitck of butter (4oz) over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until they start to turn translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the sausage to the pan with the veggies and cook until sausage is browned, breaking it up with a spoon or fork as it cooks.
  • Add the bouillon base, sage, dried thyme, salt and pepper to the skillet and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the crumbled cornbread, French bread cubes, sausage and veggie mixture and smoked turkey meat.
  • Pour 3-4 cups of turkey or chicken broth over the mixture and gently toss until everything is evenly combined. I like to add one cup at a time to ensure the liquid is evenly distributed. The dressing should be very moist but not overly soggy.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Time to Bake!

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Transfer the dressing mixture to a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. I actually used two small casserole dishes because this is what I had on hand at the time. Place small pats of the remaining butter evenly on top of the dressing.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden brown.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Drying Out the Bread: The step of drying out the cornbread and French bread in the oven is crucial. It helps the bread absorb the flavors of the other ingredients and results in a more cohesive texture. If you prefer, you can use “stale” bread instead, but drying it in the oven ensures even distribution of flavors.
Sausage Varieties: While sage sausage is a traditional choice for this dressing, you can experiment with different types of sausage to create unique flavor profiles. Mild or spicy sausage or even chorizo, can add exciting variations.
Fresh vs. Dried Herbs: If you don’t have fresh sage leaves, you can use dried sage as a substitute. Keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent, so use about one-third of the amount called for fresh sage (in this case, approximately 1 tablespoon of dried sage).
Bouillon Base: This ingredient is optional but it really does add additional yummy flavor.
Make-Ahead: This dressing can be made in advance. Prepare it up to a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, reheat it in the oven for a warm, delicious side dish.
Storage: Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in the oven or microwave, and it will be just as tasty.
Keyword sausage cornbread dressing
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Meet Dee

Meet Dee

I love to share recipes with real ingredients that are both sweet and savory (especially sweet:) My mission with Gimme From Scratch is to inspire you with recipes that will bring your families together in the kitchen. I'm introverted at heart but know how important socializing can be for maintaining good relationships, when writing not only am looking forward to sharing information - It's also building connections between readers who love good food as much as I do!

10 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    I am a huge stuffing lover. Absolutely live all the flavors in this stuffing, especially the addition ofvthst tender turkey neck meat, and the Italian sausage. Well worth a try! Thanks for sharing! Total soulful comfort food at its best! ❤️ 😍

  2. 5 stars
    This side dish recipe looks incredibly delicious! It has our favorite sausage and turkey in one dish! It’s just a perfect combination! Totally an awesome dish this Thanksgiving festivity! I totally love it!

  3. 5 stars
    This is perfectly made! I love the ingredients added in here, it is also convenient to eat simce it’s in small sizes! Love this smoked turkey!

  4. 5 stars
    This is definitely a delicious and different twist on traditional dressing! I love that you used cornbread in this. 🙂 I bet the smoked turkey gives this side so much flavor.

  5. 5 stars
    I think the combo of corn bread and sausage is divine, I also liked that I’m making my own corn bread and not getting something from the store; it’s more flavorful this way.

  6. 5 stars
    This is my very favorite type of cornbread. It’s so full of flavor with the sage, sausage and cornbread. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving!

  7. 5 stars
    We love stuffing and i like the twist you’ve added to this recipe. Sage is one of my favourite herb during winter months. Can’t wait to give it a go this Thanksgiving dinner.

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