Artisan Cornbread Stuffing with Apples and Italian Sausage

Last year I attended a class where Laura Muir, blog author of Fresh Cooking Happy People, taught us how to incorporate more fresh veggies and fruits into our holiday cooking. Everyone in the class loved this recipe for Artisan Stuffing. If you are looking for a side dish this Thanksgiving that is geared more to the grown up crowd, this is your dish. It's loaded with fresh mushrooms, onions, Italian sausage, apple chunks, fresh herbs and my favorite, golden raisins. This dish is a bit spicy, savory, sweet, filled with three different types of bread and lots of fresh herbs.
Less than a  week to go, people.

Here's a little step by step for you, 'cause I know you love the visual guide...

Make the cornbread, cut into cubes a day or two before, let sit on counter or in oven till dried. 
Dry the other types of bread as well. Was that heavy sighing? This is the simple part. 
Your family is worth it. Your family is worth it. Your family is worth it. 


The mushrooms, wash, dry and cut them up. Not too small, you want to taste the big chunks. Remember, this is grown up stuffing :) 

After roasting. Don't leave this step out. You may want to roast a few extra. 
For, uh, testing purposes. 

The Italian Sausage. See the colorful bits in the sausage? This is what gives the stuffing a little kick.

Fresh apples and onions roasted together. Who needs turkey?

Ready to toss and place in the pan...

Your cousins on the Mayflower loved this dish. 

Artisan and Cornbread Stuffing with Apples and Italian Sausage
adapted from Fresh Cooking Happy People
print recipe

16 oz Cremini or any type of fresh mushroom, washed and cut in half or quartered if large
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups day old cornbread or one regular size Jiffy Cornbread mix, cooked according to package directions, cooled and cut into 1 " cubes
2 cups french bread or rolls cubed into 2 inch pieces
2 cups Artisan bread cubed in to 2 inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2 pound Italian Sausage
1 cup or one medium large diced onion
2 large golden delicious apples, skin on, cored, chopped into 1" cubes
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar or 1/2 cup white (cooking or regular) wine
4 or 5  springs fresh thyme
4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped coarse
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (dried ground)
1 cup golden raisins
16 oz chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare one or two days ahead:
Cube all three breads and let sit in single layer on cookie sheets several hours or overnight. Baking in a 250 oven for 1 hour works well. Let sit on counter overnight.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place rack on top third of oven.
Place mushrooms on a lined or lightly greased cookie sheet and drizzle with oil and salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Set aside.
Cook sausage, remove from pan. Cook onions and apples in pan without wiping out grease. Apple and onion should cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly softened.  Add brown sugar and let cook for about 3-5 minutes on medium high until deep golden color.
Decrease heat to medium and add cider vinegar or wine. You may add remaining herbs at this time, or leave them out until final tossing of ingredients before baking. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Toss lightly add golden raisins and add chicken broth until liquid is absorbed.  Add salt and pepper to taste. You may not use all of the broth, just toss until dressing has absorbed enough of the liquid to make a moist, but not sticky, wet stuffing. Some of the liquid will cook out during baking.
Place ingredients in lightly greased casserole or 9x13 pan. Cover with foil.
Bake covered at 375 for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs.
Serves about 12-15 as a side dish.

-This is a great make ahead dish. You can prepare this dish ahead and refrigerate up to two days in advance. Let sit on counter for about one hour before baking. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. or until heated through and golden brown on top.
-You may use a cornbread mix or your own home made variety. Stay away from sweet brands and recipes, or the flavor of the dish will change.
-This dish is easily doubled to make 2-9x13 pans.


  1. I'm so happy I found this. We are planning an early Xmas get together next weekend with family members who will be away over Xmas. They have donated a goose for the occasion and I was wondering what I was going to do for stuffing - now I know.

  2. Looks delish! So which liquid did you use? I think cider vinegar would add an entirely different flavor than wine. Also did you use a particular recipe for cornbread? Please share ��

    1. Hi AD,
      I used white cooking wine. I don't usually have wine on hand, but I always have cooking wine in my pantry. It's easy for me to throw in the grocery cart while I'm out shopping. It is found near the vinegars at the store. I always use a bit less than a recipe suggests, as cooking wine has a high salt content. Then I add some other liquid to compensate for the reduced amount of wine. I have already adjusted this recipe. The original recipe calls for "one cup of white wine" .
      You will love this recipe. It's a bit different from the usual sausage stuffing. While I would not give that up on my Thanksgiving table, this one is a nice additional side dish!

  3. Sorry -- I commented as my daughter. As I was saying .... Erin & I are SO making this!! Can't wait. We'll be thinking of you. :)

  4. Hi Si! Your blog is beautiful! I love the style. Thanks for the reference to my blog! I was thinking about how much fun it was to do that thanksgiving side dishes class! We have been gearing up for thanksgiving around our house too and have already enjoyed my Artisan Stuffing a few times! It is just the best. P.S. Your photographs are lovely, are you doing them yourself? Love it.

    Warmest regards,
    Laura Muir

    1. Hi Laura!
      We still talk about that class, the fresh produce and the yummy dishes you prepared! This has become a neighborhood/family favorite. I'm making it again this morning :) Yes, I take all of my photographs. thank you very much!
      happy holidays to you and your family,


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