Southern-Style Cornbread Stuffing with Italian Sausage & Peppers

If you're going to make cornbread stuffing, it's worth making the cornbread from scratch. Store-bought is often sweet and cakey, which can make your stuffing taste more like dessert.
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Southern-Style Cornbread Stuffing with Italian Sausage & Peppers

Recipe by Renae E. Wilson

Start to Finish: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 lb. fresh Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. each chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, thyme, oregano, and sage, plus more for garnish
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread with Bacon, crumbled into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large eggs

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the sausage; cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add 2 tbsp. butter to the skillet. When the butter melts, add the vegetables. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. 

2. Return the sausage to the pan. Add the herbs, garlic, crushed red pepper, poultry seasoning, and fennel seeds; cook, stirring often, until aromatic, about 3 minutes; Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine. Bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is absorbed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the cornbread. 

3. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. butter to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place the dish in the oven to melt the butter. 

4. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Swirl the dish until coated with the butter. Add the cornbread and sausage. In a medium bowl, whisk the stock and eggs; pour over the stuffing. Cover with foil. Bake until the center is set, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake until the stuffing is browned in spots, about 10 minutes. Garnish with more herbs.