Cornbread, Sausage, Apple, & Pecan Stuffing

"Breads, fruit, nuts, and sausage combine to make a tasty stuffing for a 20-lb turkey or a casserole of dressing on the side. If you're using a smaller turkey, you can put excess stuffing in a smaller casserole dish and bake it while the turkey's resting before carving. Southern influenced, this has become our favorite dressing for Thanksgiving or any special occasion. You could add other fruits (cranberry AND apple, for example) or different nuts or seasonings to suit your tastes. Adapted from "The Silver Palate Cookbook"."
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
photo by photo by
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
Ready In:
2hrs 10mins


  • 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cups finely-chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tart apples, cored and chunked, but not peeled (Jonathan, Winesap or Granny Smith)
  • 1 lb bulk breakfast sausage, with sage (or your favorite bulk sausage)
  • 3 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
  • 3 cups coarsely crumbled whole wheat bread or 3 cups multi-grain bread
  • 3 cups coarsely crumbled French bread or 3 cups Italian bread
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 12 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 12 cups shelled pecan halves (do not chop)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth (optional, for a more moist dressing)


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Melt half the butter in a large skillet.
  • Add onions and cook over medium-low to medium heat until tender and lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove onion and butter from pan and put in a very large bowl to be mixed later.
  • In same skillet, melt rest of the butter, add apple, and cook quickly over high heat until lightly browned, but not mushy.
  • Remove apples and butter from pan and put in the bowl with the onions.
  • With the pan back on the burner, add sausage, crumbling as you cook it over medium heat, and cook until lightly browned.
  • When done, remove with a slotted spoon and add it to the mixing bowl.
  • Reserve drippings for basting later.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine gently.
  • If you're going to stuff a turkey, cool completely in the refrigerator first.
  • To cook it as a separate dressing, spoon the mixture into a large casserole (13 x 9 or slightly larger), cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30- 45 minutes at 325, basting occasionally with cooking juices from the turkey or with reserved sausage fat, if needed.
  • Uncover the pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking to brown.
  • Serve hot or warm.
  • Note: You may need to use additional broth (approximately one 14 ounce can) as necessary to adjust the moistness of the stuffing to your taste, or if there are insufficient drippings from your poultry.
  • Note: To make these as individual stuffing muffins, add one egg to the mix before baking to help the muffins keep their shape.

Questions & Replies

  1. Can I make this ahead? The day before? I have so many things that need to go into my ovens on the same day!
  2. Is there a good substitute for the sausage?


  1. I made this for today's Thanksgiving dinner and the family was in awe! This recipe is definitely a keeper. I made a few minor modifications based on some of the reviews and experience making stuffing: 1)peeling the apples is a must; 2)used 3 different types of Stove Top Stuffing (turkey, chicken, and cornbread) to save time; 3)omitted all spices since they were contained in Stove Top Mixes; 4)Added 1.5 cups dried cranberry for added taste and color; 5)Used 20 oz Chicken Broth vs. 14 oz; 6)Used the remaining ingredients as listed. 6)Made this last night and baked at 325 for 40 minutes fully covered; Cooled and then refrigerated overnight; 7)In preparation for today's dinner, I took it out of the refrigerator and let it set covered at room temp for about an hour before I wanted to reheat; Added 10-12 oz Chicken Broth into the mix and stirred; Reheated fully covered for 30-35 minutes at 350;
  2. I have been making this for years so I figured I better review. It is very rich and almost like a meal in itself. Even given that, I can never go back to a basic stuffing. We love it.
  3. A wonderful dressing. Moist, flavorful; I served it as a side dish with turkey breast and raspberry sauce. I halved the recipe and still had an 8X8 baking dish full of dressing. I didn't have any broth or drippings, so I dotted the top of the dressing with a tablespoon of butter before covering, and it came out very moist, but not greasy.
  4. Loved this recipe! I'm definitely making it again this year.
  5. I had seen this recipe in my Silver Palate cookbook, and finally got around to trying it when I saw your recipe. I left out the sausage (personal preference) and it was wonderful! The apples and nuts are delicious, keeping the stuffing moist and adding crunch as well. I also found that using three different types of breads is a must. This is my new favorite stuffing recipe and I thank you for posting it. ***As an afterthought, I should note that I also added chicken stock (at least a cup) to moisten the stuffing to our liking.


  1. When I make my stuffing, I use the sausage grease to saute onion and celery and finely shred an apple into the cornbread. NO BUTTER, it's totally unnecessary since the apple and broth keep the stuffing moist. I beat an egg to add to the mix. I only use cornbread and English walnuts vs pecans only because I grew up in an area where they were the nut of choice. I think they stand up to other ingredients a little better, even coarsely chopped. I do my Scarborough fair seasoning (parsely, sage rosemary and thyme) and both loosely stuff the turkey and put the rest in a casserole dish. Cornbread stuffing it the best! When I add cranberry (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't) I just coarsely chop a handful of fresh ones and throw them in. By doing that, you can use a sweeter apple. Honey crisp apples would be ideal. Happy Thanksgiving, all! Don't forget those who can't be with us, especially our men and women in the service.
  2. Absolute love this recipe!! It's my first attempt with making homemade stuffing. I grew up on Stove Top. I'm glad I switched. My husband can't stop talking about this yummy stuffing. I followed everything in the recipe except instead of using wheat bread I used Sourdough. I'm not sure I wouldn't have been able to taste a difference though. It's very yummy. Oh and I did add a can of chicken broth half way through as suggested. YUM!!! Thanks for posting this.
  3. I added an egg to the recipe to make stuffing muffins.
  4. This is a Holiday favorite. I use two white breads instead of the wheat. Chiabatta and french or sour dough are good. I toast in the oven first and then just break up. I cook the onions in all the butter and add PEELED chopped apples at the end for just a few minutes or they get mushy. If you like pine nuts, you must use those instead of the is the best!!!
  5. I had to substitute cornbread for all 3 types of bread used, due to allergies. It turned out dry and the flavors just weren't what I was looking for. But, had I been able to follow the true recipe, it might have been good. So, I did not enter any stars at all.



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