This cornbread stuffing recipe featuring dates, cranberries, and sausage is a tasty alternative to traditional sage stuffing. The cranberries and dates add a little sweetness, and the sausage makes it hearty.
Not too sweet, not too tart, and just delightful on the palate, this simple cornbread stuffing is a robust addition to a meal. I was delighted with the first bite.
This stuffing would also work well with a rolled and stuffed flank steak. I can't wait to try it again. If you're feeling adventurous, try other fruits or nuts for your own version of a unique stuffing recipe idea.
Most families use the traditional sage stuffing cooked inside the turkey, but I encourage you to give this cornbread dressing that's just the right mixture of savory and sweet.
- chopped dates and dried cranberries - add a chewy texture and a bit of unexpected sweetness
- white grape juice
- unsalted butter - makes everything better
- diced onions - I don't know about you, but adding onions makes everything taste better
- chopped celery - adds a little crunch and a lot of
- turkey sausage - makes the stuffing heartier
- fresh rosemary leaves - tie the flavors together
- pine nuts - add some crunchiness
- cornbread stuffing mix - If we had some day-old homemade corn bread I would have preferred to use it. Breaking it into small pieces and toasting it in the oven for a few minutes until it crisps up. But The Pepperidge Farm packaged mix is a good substitute.
- chicken stock
- egg - helps hold the stuffing together
See the recipe card for quantities.
Simmer the dates and cranberries in the grape juice for a couple of minutes and set aside.
Sauté the onions and celery in melted butter until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the sausage chopped up into small chunks and cook until the sausage is browned, approximately 10 minutes.
Add the cranberry and dates mixture and stir, then mix in the rosemary and pine nuts and cook for a couple more minutes.
Mix the egg, chicken stock, and cornbread stuffing in a large bowl, then add it to the sausage mixture from the skillet and blend it all together.
Hint: Be sure to scrape all the brown bits that might have stuck to the skillet into the bowl: you don't want to miss that crunchy goodness.
If you're missing an ingredient, don't be afraid to improvise. Here are some ideas:
- Dates & cranberries - you can swap these out with dried figs, cherries, or raisins
- Grape juice - use apple cider vinegar or pear juice
- Sausage- the turkey sausage can be replaced with Italian chicken sausage
- Vegetarian - believe it or not, with a few tweaks you can make this stuffing vegetarian: just replace the chicken stock with veggie broth and the turkey sausage with a plant-based sausage, such as these Beyond Meat Sausage Links.
You need a knife, cutting board, mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, and a roasting pan.
Stuffing is not just for holiday dinners. Add this delicious stuffing to your monthly dinner rotation, and make it easy on yourself: mix up the stuffing, and put it into a Le Creuset roaster. Then place a chicken breast rubbed with olive oil, salt, and pepper on top of the stuffing and you got yourself a mouthwatering, yet easy dinner.
Cornbread Stuffing Recipe FAQ
Absolutely! You can either make parts of it (like sautee the onions and celery) the day before and just assemble it the day of your feast, or, cook it completely and store it in the fridge. Then stick it in the oven or the air fryer for 30 minutes or so to crisp it up again.
Most people refer to stuffing when you stuff the mixture into your bird and then cook it together. Dressing is referred to when you cook it as a side dish, rather than inside your fowl.
Cornbread Stuffing Recipe With Pepperidge Farm Mix
- ¾ cup pitted and chopped dates
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup white grape juice
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1-½ cup diced onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 12 ounces turkey sausage
- 1-½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 14-ounce package corn bread stuffing mix Pepperidge Farm
- 1-½ cups chicken stock
- 1 beaten egg
- If you are using this as stuffing in a turkey or other fowl, follow the cooking instructions for your bird.
- When you are baking the stuffing as a side dish, butter or oil a 9 by 13 (or equivalent sized) casserole dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
- Place the dates, cranberries, and grape juice in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet (you need enough room for everything but the corn bread, egg, and chicken stock).
- Sauté the onions and celery until soft - about 5 minutes.
- Add the sausage in small bits. Cook, stirring all the while. until the sausage is browned - about 10 minutes or so.
- Add the cranberry/date mixture and stir.
- Toss in the rosemary and pine nuts and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Place the cornbread stuffing in a large bowl and add the beaten egg and chicken stock. Mix well. Add the sausage mixture from the skillet and again blend it all together. Be sure to scrape all the brown bits that might have stuck to the skillet into the bowl.
- Either let it cool to the touch and stuff a fowl. Bake according to your poultry instructions. Or place the stuffing in the casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes if making it as a side dish.