It’s almost Thanksgiving time. This year, try your regular stuffing or dressing recipe with the flavorful Italian Sausage. Cornbread & Italian Sausage Dressing with Winter Veggies
Cornbread & Italian Sausage Dressing with Winter Veggies
Let’s make some dressing! Or maybe you call it stuffing. Tomato, tomatoe, right? But whatever you call it, let’s not call it intimidating or impossible to perfect. Nothing could be further from the truth. And the truth is, making a flavorful, savory Thanksgiving day pan of dressing is pretty darn easy to pull off. Trust me on this one. Every year I start with a rock-solid base. I use two boxes of Jiffy mix to make a pan of buttermilk cornbread, and I use half of the cornbread roughly crumbled up. And I use half a bag (6 oz) of Brownberry Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix. Then I build up the rest of the flavors. This year I used parsnips, butternut squash, sweet onion, green onion, garlic, red sweet bell peppers, and Tuscan kale. Use lots of rubbed sage, and a few other seasonings and you’re almost there. One of the major keys to producing a great dressing is the amount of chicken stock. Because you don’t want it too wet or, heavens forbid, too dry either. You want it just right! Right? I use 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock in my recipe, and it works just fine.
But you know what else I did this year, and it took my dressing into the taste stratosphere! I added Johnsonville Italian Sausage. Browned it up and made sure it was evening dispersed throughout the dressing. This is some next level cooking right here. Not to mention Johnsonville uses quality ingredients to produce their delicious meats. We’ve always made our dressing with turkey or chicken, but I gotta tell ya, the flavors in Johnsonville’s Italian Sausage, helped give our dressing a little kick. This is a spin on our traditional dressing recipe, but I love it! Give it a try this year; who says you always have to stick with the traditional ideas?
Here are some other tips. Sautéing and seasoning your veggies before adding them to the dressing adds more flavor. It’s all about increasing the flavonoids and sautéing the veggies plays a big role. Seasoning is also important, lots of rubbed sage, rosemary, thyme, a bit of sea salt and freshly crack black peppercorns don’t hurt either.
And finally, the chicken stock. I add my chicken stock after adding my dressing to the baking pan. But, I also add a couple of ingredients to my chicken stock to make it a mega-stock. To my 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock, I toss in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 stick of salted butter, and one tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning. I pour it around the edge and add pats of salted butter all over. I have been known to shove slivers of garlic into the corners too. Talk about YUM-O!
What are some of your top-secret but highly effective ways to get the most flavor into your dressing? Leave us your Thanksgiving secrets down below in the comments sections.
How to make cornbread dressing
- 1 package Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage
- 6 ounces prepared onion and sage stuffing mix
- 1/2 pan buttermilk cornbread
- 1/2 cup diced parsnips
- 1/2 cup cubed butternut squash
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onions
- 1/2 diced sweet red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup green onion
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup chopped Tuscan kale
- 1 stick salted butter, divided
- 1 cup asparagus tips, sautéd
- Preheat oven to 375 °.
- In a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over med-high heat add one (1) tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one (1) tablespoon of salted butter.
- When the EVOO/butter mixture is melted, and hot add the diced sweet onions and sauté, after the onions are translucent add the parsnips, butternut squash, and Tuscan kale. Sauté for four (4) minutes and add red bell pepper, green onion, and that’ll do it. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- Wipe skillet clean and brown and break apart the Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage.
- In a large bowl add prepared sage and onion bread cubes, roughly crumbled buttermilk cornbread, sautéed veggies, and browned Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage. Thoroughly combine ingredients.
- Brush the bottom and side of a large baking dish with EVOO, then spoon in the dressing mixture two to three inches high. Pour the chicken stock, melted butter, Old Bay seasoning, and extra virgin olive mixture into the baking dish. Then, cut in butter over the top of the dressing, tucking pieces of butter into the corners.
- Place into preheated 375° for 45-minutes.
- Remove from the oven. In a hot skillet, add a tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted, sauté asparagus tops until bright green and crispy tender.
- Arrange asparagus on top of dressing.