To get just the right texture we love for Thanksgiving dressing — neither too heavy nor too soggy — we start with a batch of day-old, crumbled-up cornbread made with our famous stone-ground cornmeal, mix in chunks of softer white bread, and moisten it with beaten eggs and plenty of broth. To this we add some of our favorite flavors of fall: the essential celery and onion, sausage, apple, and savory herbs. The nice thing is that it can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Then, when the turkey is out of the oven, and resting before being carved, you can pop the dressing in the oven. Vegetarians coming? Omit the sausage and use vegetable broth. This mixture is enough to stuff into an 18- to 20-pound bird. Follow the directions that come with the turkey for stuffing and roasting.Print
Holiday Cornbread Dressing
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 mins
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Sides, Holiday and Seasonal
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
- 2 cups chopped onion (2 medium onions)
- 2 cups chopped unpeeled apple (2 medium apples)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 pound Italian or breakfast sausage
- 3 cups crumbled Old-Fashioned Cornbread
- 3 cups crumbled French bread
- 3 cups crumbled sandwich bread or hamburger buns
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- About 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the onion to a large mixing bowl, and place the skillet back over the heat.
- Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the skillet and when it melts, add the apple and cook, stirring, until lightly colored but not mushy, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the apple to the mixing bowl with the onion.
- Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add the celery and cook, stirring, until it softens, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the celery to the mixing bowl.
- Place the skillet back over the heat and crumble the sausage into it. Cook, stirring to break up the sausage, until it is lightly browned and has cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to paper towels to drain, then add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and stir to combine.
- Add the cornbread, French bread, sandwich bread, thyme, parsley, and eggs to the bowl and stir just to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour in enough broth to really moisten the dressing. Spoon the dressing into a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. (If desired, spoon some of the pan juices from the cooked turkey on top.)
- Bake the dressing, uncovered, until it browns lightly on top and is firm to the touch, about 45 minutes. Let the dressing cool 5 minutes, then cover with foil to keep warm