I don’t generally use boxed bread, but with all the baking and cooking that needs to be done during the holidays, why not? You may have that tendency to skip toasting the corn muffin cubes but I highly urge you NOT to do so!
Without that added crispness and structure, you will have a soggy stuffing. If that’s your thing, skip the toasting. But if you want a recipe that is far and above the best cornbread stuffing you can imagine, follow the directions below.
- 2 boxes (8.5 ounce each) corn muffin or corn bread mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, sliced (see NOTE below)
- 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
- 1 small onion, peeled and minced
- 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
- 1/e cup roasted bell pepper, prepared and chopped
- 1 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1-2 cups chicken or turkey broth or stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray the two 8-inch baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- 2 Stir muffin mix, eggs and milk until combined.
- 3 Pour into prepared pan and bake 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and it springs back to the center when touched.
- 4 Remove from oven to cool completely.
- 5 Cut into 1-inch cubes and place on baking pan, evenly spacing in a single layer. Place back into a 400 F oven to cook an additional 10 minutes, or until toasted well but not browned, stirring halfway through the baking.
- 6 Remove from oven to cool. Toss cornbread cubes with eggs; set aside.
- 7 Spray a 13 x 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add sausage to a large skillet over medium heat with the butter.
- 8 Cook 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl and discard all but a tablespoon of the drippings.
- 9 Return skillet back to the burner and add onion, celery, and garlic, cooking until the celery is soft for about another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- 10 Add the bell pepper and sage leaves. Mix well and cook an additional 12 minutes, or until sage is wilted and everything is combined well.
- 11 Remove from heat to cool 15 minutes. Pour vegetable mixture into bread cubes along with cooked sausage.
- 12 Toss to combine and add broth, 1 cup to begin with. Toss well and add more broth if needed to moisten.
- 13 Season to taste with salt and pepper, bake uncovered at 375F for 40-45 minutes, or until top is crisp and the middle, when touched, is firm.
- 14 NOTE: I stick the sausages in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing. Making them much easier to slice.