Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille Sausage
WAIT. Yes, you’re in the right place. A savory recipe on this dessert blog. *gasp*
Can you forgive me if I tell you this Cornbread Stuffing (with andouille sausage) is the MOST requested recipe by my family every Thanksgiving? And that I’ve been making it for years? And that the cornbread kind of makes it dessert-like?
Nope, I’m not going to start posting savory recipes here on this blog. But, once in awhile, I just have an itch to share one of my family recipes. You know, the ones that have been around for years and that we keep making again and again.
This stuffing is one of those.
I started making this stuffing in college. I’d never had cornbread stuffing before, and I’d never had andouille sausage. I’d been reading an old cookbook of my mom’s and came across a stuffing made with cornbread and sausage. I decided to make my own version on a whim and every since then I’ve been making it several times a year.
In fact, this is the ONLY recipe Jordan begs for at Thanksgiving. She really doesn’t like anything else at that meal, except occasionally the knoepfle my dad makes. (That’s my Swiss family’s version of spaetzle.)
I think the fact that this is made with an entire batch of cornbread is why Jordan likes it so much. EVERYONE in my family expects this stuffing. I make it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and often during the year. Once Jordan requested it for her birthday.
That’s why I’m sharing it today. There are hundreds of cornbread stuffing recipes out there. But because this one is such an extension of me and my family, I wanted to share it with you.
Dessert will be back tomorrow, I promise. 🙂
Okay, so let’s break down the stuffing components:
First, Cornbread. When I first started making this stuffing, I never made anything from scratch. Cakes came from boxes, Cheesecake came from boxes, Brownies came from boxes. My cornbread comes from a box too, well, it’s actually a pouch. I’ve always used Marie Callender’s Cornbread Mix. It’s a 16 ounce package that, when you add water, makes an 8×8 pan of cornbread. Because it’s what I’ve always used, I can’t use anything else. Every cornbread has it’s own taste, texture, sugar content, etc., and this stuffing made with anything else tastes off for me.
However, if you have your own favorite cornbread recipe or box mix, use that. Just get yourself an 8×8 pan size of cornbread, which is about 8-9 cups crumbled. (Pssst, my friend Averie has an amazing scratch cornbread recipe I love!)
The second major component? Andouille sausage. Have you ever had andouille? It’s a spicy sausage, kind of like linguisa but more savory and less greasy. I only eat it in this stuffing and it’s the only one I’ll use. Again, I started out using Aidell’s and it’s what I always use now. (Same reasoning as the cornbread.) I quarter each sausage and dice it up, fry it, and drain it well before adding it to the cornbread. The salty and spicy sausage is a great pairing for the sweet cornbread. They balance each other out, making this very savory even with all that sweet.
Can’t find the Aidell’s? Use your favorite andoille!
And then, third, there are the pecans. You can’t forget the pecans! (Well, unless you’re my dad. He can’t eat nuts. So I always make him a plain portion.) They add texture and crunch to the soft stuffing. I toast them before adding them to the mixture. The best bite of this stuffing has a little of my trinity: cornbread, sausage, and pecan.
Then you add some green stuff, seasonings, and chicken stock. Once you bake it, this is the best stuffing you’ll ever eat, I promise.
Here are a few tips about making this on Turkey Day:
- Because the big day is often busy with cooking, I chop everything and bake my cornbread the day before. Then I make the stuffing in the morning of Thanksgiving, before it gets too hectic.
- Everything in this stuffing is pretty much cooked. I’ll often leave it, covered, on the counter, until it’s time to bake it. You can even make the stuffing the day ahead, or if you’re eating several hours after you make it, just pop it in the refrigerator.
- Make sure to let it come to room temperature before you bake it. If you’re like me, you have one oven that’s pretty much consumed by the turkey. There’s never room for the stuffing while the turkey is cooking, so I’ll pop it into the oven as soon as the bird comes out. As long as it’s room temperature it’ll warm up while you let the turkey sit.
- Bake it covered so it doesn’t brown on the top too much. Then uncover it for about 5 minutes to let the top brown. I bake usually bake this in a corningware dish that has a lid, but you can also just use foil.
Prepare to have no leftovers. I’m not joking. This is one of those recipes people eye the placement of on the table, to see how fast they can get to it before it goes around. Then, if they’re at the tail end of the line, they’ll be eying each person as they dish making sure no one takes more than their share. It’s that good.
And that’s why you don’t hate me for posting savory, right?
I hope you enjoy this as my family has!!
Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille and Pecans
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
This is the perfect side dish to any Thanksgiving meal! Sweet cornbread, spicy andouille sausage, and crunchy pecans make this my family’s favorite stuffing…all year long.
- 8-9 cups of crumbled cornbread, from a 16 ounce pouch that makes an 8×8 pan size (I use Marie Callender’s Mix), see note
- 12 ounces andouille sausage, quartered and diced bite size (I use Aidells Cajun Style Andouille)
- 1/2 cup small dice green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup small dice green onion
- 3/4 cup toasted coarsely chopped pecans, see note
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock/broth
- Crumble cornbread and place in a very large bowl.
- Cook sausage over medium heat in a large skillet until it’s browned, about 5-7 minutes. Place on a paper towel lined plate and press with more paper towels to render the grease. Cool slightly, then add to the cornbread.
- Add the bell pepper, green onion, pecans, and sage to the cornbread sausage mixture. Stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup of chicken stock and stir, adding more chicken stock as needed. The mixture should be wet but not sopping.
- Pour stuffing into a dish that’s about 2.2 Qt or 1.8L (I use a corningware dish or a 10×7 rectangular pan.)
- At this point you can cover the stuffing and let it sit at room temperature up to 3 hours or chill for up to 24, until ready to bake. Let it come to room temperature before baking.
- Bake in a 350°F oven, covered with a lid or foil, for about 15 minutes. Remove lid/foil and let brown for another 5-10 minutes, or until heated through. If you’re making a turkey in the same oven, you can cook the stuffing at the same temperature. This recipe is easily adaptable in that way. Just adjust the time accordingly. Serve hot.
- Cornbread: I have always used the Marie Callender Cornbread pouches in the baking aisle of the grocery store, near where the cornmeal is sold. You can use your favorite cornbread recipe or store-bought cornbread as well.
- Sausage: I love the Aidells brand andouille sausage, but find whatever brand you can. The Aidells is sold in 12 ounce packages and I use the entire thing.
- Pecans: To toast pecans, chop them coarsely and add them to a large skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, for just a few minutes. Once you just start to smell them remove them from the heat and from the pan immediately. Do not leave them in the hot pan; they’ll burn.
Desserts you must make with this stuffing:
Sides from friends:
Knoepfle by ME (a family tradition and recipe)
Toasted Coconut Green Beans by Wine & Glue
Simple Cranberry Sauce by Kitchen Meets Girl
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta and Blue Cheese by Lemons for Lulu
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts by Very Culinary
Roasted Marsala Carrots by Mom on Timeout
The Most Perfect Biscuits of All Time by Something Swanky
Honey Cornbread Muffins by Averie Cooks