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Flavorful Cornbread Dressing With Sausage And Fennel

Flavorful Cornbread Dressing With Sausage And Fennel

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No Thanksgiving meal is complete without cornbread dressing. So, try out this sumptuous cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel recipe to lay out the best Thanksgiving table!

Before I tell you all about this recipe, let’s first address the elephant in the room. A very common query that arises when we talk about thanksgiving stuffings and dressings is the confusion between the two.

So, here’s what you need to know. A dressing is cooked in a pan, whereas stuffing is used to fill the turkey cavity.

Therefore, the recipe for the stuffing and dressing tends to be the same, and it’s the technique of cooking that differs. Coming back to the cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel recipe, this recipe is super flavorful.

To make cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel recipe, you will need dried and cubed cornbread, Italian sausages, a bulb of fennel, butter, spices and seasonings, and chicken broth.

This recipe takes 30 minutes to prepare and one hour in the oven and serves 8-10 people. This dish turns out to be savory, moist, and delicious. You can adjust the quantities of ingredients according to the gathering size.

What’s In The Post

Other Thanksgiving Recipes That You Can Try

  • Maple Bourbon Smash
  • Cranberry Spice Cocktail
  • Buttermilk Spoon Bread
  • Scalloped Oysters
  • Baked Brie With Pecans
  • Roasted Parsnips And Carrots
  • Sweet Potato Rolls
  • Pear Pie
  • Pecan Cheesecake Pie
  • Smoked Turkey Breast

What Equipment Will You Need To Make Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel? 

  • Knife – A knife will be required to cut the cornbread.
  • Cutting Board – A cutting board will be required for cutting the cornbread into small cubes.
  • Rimmed Baking Sheet – A rimmed baking sheet will be needed to spread over the baking tray for toasting the finely cubed cornbread.
  • Baking Tray – A baking tray will be required to toast the cornbread cubes.
  • Oven – An oven will be required to bake cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel.
  • Large Nonstick Skillet – You will need a skillet to cook the sausage.
  • Bowl – You will require two large bowls to transfer the cooked sausage and make whisk chicken broth and eggs together.
  • Baking Dish – A 13- x 9-inch baking dish will be needed to bake the cornbread dressing.
  • Aluminum Foil – A sheet of aluminum foil will be required to cover the baking dish.

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel? 

Preparation Time Baking Time Total Time
30 Minutes 45 Minutes 1 Hour 30 Minutes 

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel? 

  • Cornbread – To make this dish, you will need six cups of cubed and a day-old dry cornbread. Six cups of cornbread would be about 15 oz. 
  • Italian Sausage – You will need one pound of fresh mild flavored Italian sausage with its casings removed.
  • Fennel – Fennel has a very mild anise or licorice flavor. To infuse these flavors into the dish, you will need one bulb of chopped fennel.
  • Butter – To cook the vegetables and other ingredients, you will require one tablespoon of unsalted butter.
  • Salt – To balance the savory flavor of the dish, you will need three teaspoons of kosher salt.
  • Black Pepper – Black pepper adds mild spice and peppery notes to food items. To make use of these flavors, you will need one and a half teaspoons of black pepper.
  • Onion – To add a nice umami touch to the dish, you will require one and a half cups of chopped yellow onion.
  • Celery – Celery has a leafy and earthy flavor. To add some freshness to the dish with the help of these flavors, you will need one cup of chopped celery. This would be about three stalks of celery.
  • Garlic – Garlic has a pungent and unique flavor that elevates the flavor of a dish. We will need four minced garlic cloves.  
  • Honeycrisp Apple – Honeycrisp apple is known for its honey-sweet flavor. We will use one chopped Honey crisp apple. 
  • Fresh Thyme – Thyme is known for having minty and earthy flavors. In this recipe, we will use one tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme.
  • Chicken Broth – The chicken broth is highly nutritious and flavorful. To soak the cornbread and make it flavorful, we will need two and a half cups of chicken broth.
  • Eggs – To bind the ingredients together, we will need three large eggs.
  • Maple Syrup – Maple syrup adds a sweet and floral taste to food. To infuse these flavors into our dish we will need two teaspoons of pure maple syrup. 
Cornbread Sausage with Sausage and Fennel

Steps To Make Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel

1. Prepare The Cornbread

One day before making the cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel recipe, cube one cornbread and place it for drying overnight on the kitchen countertop. 

On the day of preparing the dish, spread the cubed cornbread on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the cubed cornbread in the oven and bake until it turns golden brown in color. This process should take you about 15 minutes after the oven is preheated.

2. Cook Sausage And Fennel

Take a large nonstick skillet and heat on high flame. Add the Italian sausage to the skillet and cook it, occasionally stirring, until browned. This should take you about 6 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl and reserve the sausage drippings in the skillet. 

Now add fennel, one tablespoon of butter, half a teaspoon of salt, and one-fourth teaspoon of pepper to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally. You will cook this mixture until the fennel is tender and slightly browned. Once cooked, transfer the fennel to a bowl with sausage.

3. Prepare The Aromatics

In the same skillet, add onion, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are cooked and become tender, add them to the bowl containing fennel and sausage. 

4. Cook The Apples

Now it’s time to cook your sweet honey crisp apple. In the skillet, add apple, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and cook, stirring often. Cook the apples for 8 to 10 minutes until they are slightly browned. Add the apple and toasted cornbread to the sausage and fennel mix.

5. Chicken Broth Mix

In a saucepan, whisk together chicken broth, eggs, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pour this mixture over the cornbread mixture in a bowl, and toss gently to combine. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.

6. Bake Cornbread Dressing With Sausage And Fennel

Take a baking dish of 13- x 9-inch size and grease it with one tablespoon of butter. Transfer the cornbread and sausage-fennel mixture and spread it in the prepared dish. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake the dish in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Take the baking dish out of the oven and remove the foil. Dot the cornbread dressing with the remaining two tablespoons of butter and place it back in the oven. Bake the cornbread dressing for 25 minutes until golden brown. Your dish is ready. Before serving, drizzle the dressing with maple syrup.

What Can Be Served Along With Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel? 

A cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel can be served as a side dish or main course dish. You can serve it with mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted or bbq turkey, chicken, beef, fresh corn, and much more. This dish will add great value to your Thanksgiving table.

How To Store Cornbread Dressing?

After reading the recipe above, I’m sure you will be interested to know about the ways to store cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel. So, here’s what you can do. Cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel can be stored uncooked or cooked. 

How to Freeze Cooked Dressing?

When you have leftover cornbread dressing, you can follow the steps below to freeze it properly to enjoy it later.

  1. Take an airtight container or a freezer bag depending on the portion of your leftover corn dressing.
  2. Place your dressing in the container or freezer bag. If you opt to freeze it in a zippered bag, make sure to press out all the air possible. To ensure its freshness, you can also cling-wrap it.
  3. Label your container or freezer bag with the date and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months!

How to Freeze Uncooked Cornbread Dressing with Sausage And Fennel?

If you plan to prepare your cornbread dressing ahead of time, you can store it in the freezer and bake it later. To freeze uncooked cornbread dressing, follow the instructions below.

  1. Prepare the dressing according to the recipe instructions.
  2. Transfer the cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel mixture to the casserole dish or baking pan in which you will cook it at a later date. 
  3. Wrap the dish with a layer of cling wrap and then wrap it over using aluminum foil.
  4. Your uncooked cornbread dressing can be frozen for up to 3 months.

How To Reheat The Cornbread Dressing?

Firstly, let me give you the good news that, unlike other frozen items, you don’t have to thaw frozen cooked or uncooked cornbread dressing. To bake uncooked frozen cornbread dressing, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the cling wrap and cover the top with aluminum foil. Place it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

Nutritional Information

Calories 869 kcal
Fat 38 grams
Saturated Fat 15 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat 6 grams
Monounsaturated Fat 15 grams
Trans Fat 0.5 grams
Carbohydrates 108 grams
Protein 24 grams
Cholesterol 219 milligrams
Fiber  6 grams
Sodium 2676 milligrams
Potassium 661 milligrams
Sugar  35 grams
Calcium 302 milligrams
Iron 5 milligrams
Vitamin A 594IU
Vitamin C 10 milligrams

How Will Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel Look And Taste Like? 

Cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel is a super flavorful dish that packs delicious flavors of Italian sausage, fennel, onion, celery, and garlic. The sausage has its own flavors, but you can leave it out to make a vegetarian-friendly dish. The toasted cornbread cubes provide a stunning texture to the dish. It also packs delicious flavors soaked from the chicken broth and other ingredients. 

Recipe Card

Cornbread Sausage With Sausage And Fennel Recipe

This cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel recipe is packed with delicious flavors of sautéed Italian sausage, onions, fennel, and herbs. It’s the perfect holiday dish you don’t want to miss out on!

Knife
Cutting Board
Rimmed Baking Sheet
Baking Tray
Oven
Large Nonstick Skillet
Bowl
Baking Dish
Aluminum Foil
  • One day before making the cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel recipe, cube one cornbread and place it for drying overnight on the kitchen countertop.
  • On the day of preparing the dish, spread the cubed cornbread on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Place the cubed cornbread in the oven and bake until it turns golden brown in color.
  • Take a large nonstick skillet and heat on high flame. Add the Italian sausage to the skillet and cook it, occasionally stirring, until browned.
  • Transfer the sausage to a large bowl and reserve the sausage drippings in the skillet.
  • Add fennel, one tablespoon of butter, half a teaspoon of salt, and one-fourth teaspoon of pepper to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally. You will cook this mixture until the fennel is tender and slightly browned. Once cooked, transfer the fennel to a bowl with sausage.
  • In the same skillet, add onion, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are cooked and become tender, add them to the bowl containing fennel and sausage.
  • In the same skillet, add apple, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and cook, stirring often.
  • Cook the apples for 8 to 10 minutes until they are slightly browned. Add the apple and toasted cornbread to the sausage and fennel mix.
  • In a saucepan or large bowl, whisk together chicken broth, eggs, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Pour this mixture over the cornbread mixture in a bowl, and toss gently to combine. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • Take a baking dish of 13- x 9-inch size and grease it with one tablespoon of butter. Transfer the cornbread and sausage-fennel mixture and spread it in the prepared dish.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake the dish in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • Take the baking dish out of the oven and remove the foil. Dot the cornbread dressing with the remaining two tablespoons of butter and place it back in the oven.
  •  Bake the cornbread dressing for 25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Your dish is ready. Before serving, drizzle the dressing with maple syrup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is cornbread dressing and stuffing the same thing?

The ingredients for cornbread dressing and stuffing are almost the same. The main difference lies in the way they are used. A dressing is served as a side dish, whereas stuffing is used to fill the turkey cavity.

What is cornbread dressing made of?

This old-fashioned cornbread dressing recipe is made with celery, onions, homemade cornbread, eggs, butter, and herbs.

Why do you put eggs in cornbread dressing?

We add eggs to the cornbread dressing to bind the ingredients together.

How much time does it take to make cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel?

A cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel can be prepared in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

How moist should the dressing be before baking?

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. Make sure not to create a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl.

Can I make my cornbread dressing the night before?

Cornbread Dressing can be made one to two days ahead of time. You can refrigerate it unbaked.

Conclusion

Try out this lip-smacking cornbread dressing with sausage and fennel for the ultimate Thanksgiving feast. Like always, tell me how your feast turned out to be using this recipe. Happy Thanksgiving guys!

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