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Homemade apple, sausage, and cornbread dressing in a white, oval baking dish, ready to serve.

Apple, Sausage and Cornbread Dressing

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  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Savory, Holiday, Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • 12 oz cornbread stuffing mix ¹
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (plus more for the pan)
  • 1 lb sweet Italian-style sausage
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced ²
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely-minced
  • 11/2 cups chicken broth or water ³
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, drizzle the cornbread cubes with the melted butter, and stir to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate.
  4. Add the onion to the skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the celery and apple, and continue to cook, until tender and just golden, another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked sausage, onion, celery, and apple to the cornbread mixture, followed by the spices, and stir to combine.
  7. Slowly pour the broth or water over top, and stir until evenly moistened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Pour the dressing into the prepared baking dish, and spread into an even layer.
  9. May be prepared in advance: at this point, simply cover tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for up to two days before baking.
  10. When ready to bake: cover with aluminum foil, and bake until cooked through, about 35 minutes. ⁴
  11. Remove the foil, and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden. Serve warm. Enjoy!!


  • ¹ If you prefer to make your own cornbread stuffing, you’ll need about 8 cups, and I recommend making the cornbread in advance, crumbling it into large pieces, and letting it dry out for a day or two.
  • ² Choose a firm, sweet-tart variety of apple, such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady or Granny Smith.
  • ³ For a moister, more stuffing-like texture, add up to another 1/2 cup of broth or water.
  • ⁴ Add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time if the baking dish has been made in advance and refrigerated.
  • I prefer my dressing hot with a crispy top, but if you’re accustomed to a more stuffing-like texture (cooked in the bird), you can add a little more stock or water, or bake for a few less minutes.