Spicy Southern Cornbread Dressing

Looking for a spicy touch to your Thanksgiving meal? Try this traditional cornbread dressing with a bit of spiciness added to it. Made with Jimmy Dean's Sage sausage, this has all of the flavors of Thanksgiving. Adjust the seasonings to tame or spice up this dressing.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Servings 8 people


Papa Tom's Cornbread Recipe

  • 1 cup Papa Tom's Stone Ground Corn Meal
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup oil or shortening

Cornbread Dressing Recipe

  • 1 recipe Papa Tom's Cornbread
  • 1 package Jimmy Dean's Sage Sausage
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 whole yellow or red bell pepper
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper
  • 2 small honey crisp apples
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ stick butter
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


Papa Tom's Cornbread

  • Butter and lightly flour an iron skillet. Place the iron skillet in a 425° oven, while preparing cornbread mixture.
  • Add dry ingredients to a bowl and stir to mix.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, and oil to dry mix. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and add mixture to it.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 375° and return the skillet to the oven.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick.
  • Remove the cornbread from the skillet and place on a cookie sheet to prep for the dressing.

Dressing Recipe

  • Prepare the vegetables for chopping by washing and peeling. Peel the onion, celery, and apple.
  • Chop the onion, bell pepper, apples, and celery finely. Keep the apple separate from the remaining vegetables.
  • Finely mince the jalapeno. You may only want to chop the flesh of the jalapeno and leave the seeds. If you like it spicier, you may add some or all of the seeds to the dressing.
  • Cut the cornbread into small squares and spread around the cookie sheet. Top the cubes with the dried basil, oregano, and parsley.
  • Place the cookie sheet into a 200° oven while you finish preparing the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Brown the sausage in a pan, breaking it into small pieces. When browned, drain and set aside.
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in the pan, then add the onion, celery, jalapeno, and bell pepper. Sauté over medium heat, stirring often, until softened.
  • Remove the cornbread from the oven and add to a large bowl.
  • Add the sautéed vegetables, the raw apple, and sausage to the cornbread. Stir gently to mix. You don't want to stir vigorously so as to not crumble the cornbread.
  • Add the cayenne, poultry seasoning and garlic powder, as well as salt and pepper. Stir gently to mix.
  • Add the beaten eggs, and 1 cup of broth to the mix. Again, stir gently to mix. Add more broth if desired, stirring again to mix.
  • Add the dressing to a buttered baking pan and top with 1/2 stick melted butter. Cover the pan with a cover or with foil.
  • Bake in a 325° oven for 45 minutes, removing the cover after 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with turkey and sides, or prepare ahead and refrigerate, then re-heat prior to use.



Note when re-heating, add some moisture to the dressing.
This can also be used as a stuffing for turkey or chicken. Follow the directions as listed, but rather than baking the dressing, simply stuff inside the turkey cavity. This will likely be more than can fit inside of a turkey, so put what you can in the turkey without overstuffing, and bake the rest as a dressing. You can add the stuffing from the turkey after it is baked to the dressing, and mix. This will enable the entire dish to be flavored by the delicious drippings from the turkey.
Keyword Southern Cornbread Dressing, Spicy Cornbread, Thanksgiving Dressing

Papa Tom’s Stone Ground Corn Meal can be purchased here!