This cornbread dressing with pecans and apples is a flavorful classic for Thanksgiving

Southern Kitchen
Cornbread Dressing with Pecans and Apples

About the recipe

This classic Thanksgiving recipe is redolent with flavors of fresh sage and marjoram. Apples pair perfectly with cooked breakfast sausage.

Make sure the sourdough you use is indeed crusty. You can even leave it on the counter a bit to get slightly stale or toast it lightly once it's cubed for extra crunch. 

Serves: 4

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 to 3 cups crumbled cornbread

2 to 3 cups cubed crusty sourdough bread

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup diced celery

1/2 cup coarsley chopped pecans

1/2 small red apple, diced

1/2 pound pork breakfast sausage

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 cups chicken stock

3 to 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

3 to 4 leaves fresh marjoram, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. In a large bowl, combine the cornbread and sourdough bread.

Heat the olive oil and remaining tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the celery and continue cooking until the onion is getting soft and the celery is just losing its crunch, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pecans and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir into the bread mixture, along with the apple. Wipe out the skillet.

Brown the sausage in the now-clean skillet over medium-high heat, crumbling it as it cooks. Spread on a paper towel to drain, then stir into the bread mixture.

Stir the eggs into the bread mixture, followed by enough chicken stock to make the mixture very moist. (It may seem a little too wet, but that’s OK. Dressing needs to be very moist when it goes in the oven.)

Add the sage and marjoram, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn the mixture into the prepared dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and add a little broth (or drippings from a roasting bird) if it looks dry. Continue baking until the top is starting to get crunchy, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.