Thanksgiving side: Cornbread and sausage stuffing

Cornbread stuffing with sausage and dried cranberries is perfect with Thanksgiving turkey. It also works well as a side for chicken or pork chops.

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    Cornbread with sausage and dried cranberries combine for a sweet and savory stuffing.
    A Palatable Pastime
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I can’t get over how the month has flown! This recipe is from my Secret Recipe Club, a group of bloggers who prepare and enjoy each other's recipes.

This month I was assigned Nicole at I am a Honeybee. Nicole has been blogging for six years now on a variety of interesting topics such as cooking, scrapbooking, gardening, and fitness among other things. So there is lots to chew on besides the food, although there are lots of great recipes there. I had a hard time narrowing my choice down to one.

I finally decided on Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing, which I served with grilled pork chops. I was really quite tasty! I made only slight changes, using all my cornbread, a little extra butter, and some rubbed sage. Pretty much the same thing really. Stuffing is forgiving that way.

Recommended: Thanksgiving recipes: 20 ideas

This would also be a wonderful side to offer on Thanksgiving with traditional turkey.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Serves 6 to 8

7-1/2 cups cornbread or corn muffins, crumbled (about 12)
1/2 lb. mild pork breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped  onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1-1/2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and black pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
1 cup chicken stock, or slightly more (probably about 1/4 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Crumble cornbread, spread in a single layer on two baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes, giving it a stir and baking a few minutes longer, if needed, until dry and crumbly.

3. Brown sausage in a large skillet with the onion and celery. Add butter if your sausage is very lean, cooking until onion is translucent.

4. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dried cornbread crumbles, dried cranberries, sauteed vegetables, and browned sausage, and seasonings.

5. Add stock to the stuffing, tossing to mix. It should come together slightly without being soggy. You can add a little water if it appears to dry.

6. Place stuffing mix into a greased 2-quart casserole dish, spooning in lightly.

7. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until browned and hot. If mix is too wet when done, you can bake a little longer, tenting with foil if it gets too brown.

8. Serve with roasted poultry or pork chops and gravy as desired.

Related post on A Palatable Pastime: Cornbread stuffing mix

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