Maple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

The table is set, the turkey is roasting and now it’s time for stuffing or technically dressing!  Whatever you call it, just make sure your version this year is Maple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing – where it’s a little sweet, a little spicy and perfect with a drizzle of pan gravy on top. 

Spicy Maple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing from The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen

Thanksgiving is only a week away!

Are you ready? Is your menu set? The turkey ordered? Pie crusts made?

For some people the biggest eating holiday of the year is all about the main event, the big bird.  I get it, a nice fresh roasted turkey might not happen often in some families, so it’s a special treat to dive right into that perfectly cooked bird (we hope but more on how to make a great turkey later this week).

In my family though, we eat turkey a lot.  I can name at least 2 maybe 3 other times during the year that turkey makes an appearance at the table.  It’s not so special come Thanksgiving and being a food blogger that means turkey is happening way before the fourth Thursday of the month.

No, for me, it’s about the sides. Specifically stuffing and I want that stuffing out of the bird – so technically it’d be dressing but I’m from the north, so it will always be called stuffing.

Spicy Maple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing- The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

To give you an idea of how much I love stuffing, in college I would have it for dinner. Yes, just the boxed stuff without anything else. It sure did beat anything that came from the cafeteria!

My palette is a tad more refined these days and there are no more red boxed stuffings sitting at home.  Last year I was playing around with a cornbread version which I’ve finally perfected enough to share with you.  We have the perfect mix of spicy Italian sausage, pure maple syrup, apples and pecans plus day-old toasted corn bread to give you a sweet and spicy mix to kick up things at the table.

This stuff is so good, I suggest even making a second vegetarian version sans the sausage (and a swap of chicken broth for vegetable) – no one should not be deprived of the awesomeness.

What’s the thing that you most look forward to for Thanksgiving?

Maple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
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  • 1lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium leek, white parts only, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 cups crumbled day-old cornbread, toasted
  • 1 large apple, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed


  1. In a saute pan over medium heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the sausage until it is no longer pink the center. Breaking it up into small pieces.
  2. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, transferring to a large bowl and drain away excess grease, leaving 1 teaspoon behind.
  3. Saute in the leeks in the pan, until they start to sweat and soften about 3-5 minutes. Stir frequently making sure they don't brown. Transfer the leeks to the bowl containing the sausage.
  4. Add the toasted corned bread, diced apples, pecans, sage and maple syrup to the bowl and stir to combined. Pour in the chicken stock until the cornbread is moist throughout but not too wet. Season with salt.
  5. Transfer to a 9X13 baking dish and top with the butter.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the stuffing is golden brown on top and heated all the way through.
  7. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Recipe Type: Side

 Spicy Maple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing | The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

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19 thoughts on “Maple Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

  1. Heather | girlichef

    Ohhhhh, pass me that tasty plate, please! I’m also a dressing (but call it stuffing) kinda girl – I need some crusty bits. I’m loving the maple in here. And yeah, I thought I was prepared for Thanksgiving, but I’m really not. How do the holidays manage to sneak up on me every time?

    1. Susan Palmer

      Have you been reading my mind? Let’s just say this recipe is making a reappearance again on Sunday but in breakfast form. 🙂

  2. Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos

    Dressing/Stuffing – I’m totally team “stuffing” – even if it is baked outside of the bird. I’m so behind Susan – I haven’t thought about any of my menu let alone a pie crust. This is one of the front runners – love the maple addition!

  3. Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    I found out I am in charge of dressing this year. I am on the hunt.
    It has to be vegetarian. I love this one with the maple and cornbread. It would still be flavorful without the sausage. Although personally I crave sausage. I know I could make it two ways, but that is complicating things. I will just have to suck it up without the sausage.

    1. Susan Palmer

      I think this would be great as a vegetarian dressing. I mean, I love the sausage in it obviously but maybe put some red pepper flakes in to get the heat you are missing from the spicy sausage? I think that should still balance it out nicely and not make everything too sweet.

  4. Pingback: Stuffing Hash #SundaySupper - The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

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