This Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing is bursting with robust flavors! Rich from the chestnuts, slightly bitter from the sage, salty from the sausage, sweet and buttery from the cornbread, and earthy from the thyme. This stuffing is a million times better than the pre-prepared mix and so easy to make!
Cooking, and sharing, the NSN series for Thanksgiving has been A LOT of fun. Of course, it has also made me into a small ball of stress at times, because it was important for me to really perfect each recipe. More so than normal, because Thanksgiving is such a special occasion. It requires attention to the small details, right?
Boy, not so excited. “Why”, you ask. Because, much like I feel about the 4th of July, he feels for Turkey Day. Slight detest. We are both holiday-esque babies, so we grew up celebrating our birthdays on the holi-day, instead of on our actual birth-day. This stinks because your special day is overlooked.
It is never as much about you as it is the holiday. I know that sounds selfish and petty, but every little kid cherishes their birthday. It’s kind of the one day you are allowed to be a brat and cry if you want to. Lol.
You can’t really blame Boy for not sharing you and I’s delight over Turkey Day. What child wants pecan pie instead of birthday cake? Or turkey instead of pizza? So while Boy may not love this holiday season, or the food that comes with it, Boy, first hand, gave his personal seal of approval on ALL of these recipes for the NSN Thanksgiving series. AND, better yet, he actually loved every dish. This could not make me more proud and then suspect he did something terribly wrong, because “wait, why are you being SO nice??”
Boy especially loathes stuffing. Don’t ask me, I adore the ‘stuff’. What is there not to like about toasty, cubed bread mixed with love and baked… all crispy on the top, lovely and soft on the inside. It screams comfort. It says, ‘I want to get in your belly!’ ‘Devour me to no avail!’ ‘Lick up every crumb like your life depends on it!’
This Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing Boy LOVED. I know, my jaw totally hit the floor too!!
About here, in cooking this NSN series, I started to check his forehead to see if he had a fever. Nope, normal temperature.
So, I went to check on both our girls, to make sure they were still in our house and he hadn’t sold them off on the black market for cash. Nope, they were asleep in their dog beds.
Then I said, “Alright. What in the heck have you done with my husband?? Who are you, Mr. Imposter man?!”He laughed at me, thought all the thanksgiving cooking had made me a lil’ insane in the membrane, and said “Sweetpea, this is really REALLY good!”
I ran over and hugged him.
I didn’t care if he was an imposter.
Those 6 words were some of the nicest words he could have said to me.Now, my friends, if HE liked this stuffing, you had better bet your arse it is freakin’ delicious.
I’m going to toot my own horn here (toot toot!) and say, (Mom, skip forward to the next paragraph) this Chestnut and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing is the best stuffing I have ever had.
It hits the sweet and savory combination metaphorical nail right on its head.
This stuffing is bursting with robust flavors. Rich from the chestnuts, slightly bitter from the sage, salty from the sausage, sweet and buttery from the cornbread, and earthy from the thyme. I could go on and on about how incredibly wonderful this stuffing is, but I will spare your eyes… and your attention span.
On top of tasting amazingly delicious, it could not be any simpler to prepare. The hardest part, which isn’t really hard at all if you do it correctly (don’t worry, I included instructions in the notes portion of the recipe), is removing the roasted chestnuts from their shell. I plopped myself down on a stool at the island, turned on the kitchen TV, and had them removed in 5 minutes flat… of course I ate a few when Boy wasn’t looking.
So, make this Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing. Gobble-gobble it down. And, feel free to include NSN in your giving of thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂 I will be sure to include you all in my list of things I am thankful for this year. Cheers!
Cheyanne A.K.A The Stuffing Whisperer
- 2 TBS Butter , plus more for brushing baking dish - divided
- ½ pound fresh Chestnuts (about 16 large chestnuts) - roasted* and quartered (can substitute 6 oz. of dry packed bottled chestnuts)
- 5 ½ Heaping Cups Cornbread - diced (use day-old cornbread!)
- 12 oz Pork Sausage (preferably Sage Flavored. I used Jimmy Dean Sage Flavored Pork Sausage)**
- 1 Yellow Onion – medium dice (about 1 heaping cup)
- 2 large Rib Celery – medium dice (about ¾ cup)
- 1 packed TBS fresh Thyme leaves – finely chopped
- 2 packed TBS fresh flat leaf Parsley – finely chopped
- 1 packed TBS fresh Sage leaves – finely chopped
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock (low sodium)
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 1 Egg – lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place roasted and chopped chestnuts into a large mixing bowl.
- Spread cubed cornbread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake until golden and toasty, about 12 - 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to the bowl containing the chestnuts.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-medium high heat. Add the sausage, cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove sausage and transfer to the mixing bowl.
- Add the onion and celery to the skillet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer to the mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl. Stir gently to combine.
- Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x9’’ baking dish or shallow gratin dish. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover, brush with remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and continue to bake until top is golden brown, about an additional 25-35 minutes.
*Yield: 6 Cups
*To Roast Chestnuts: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut an ‘X’ into the round end of each chestnut. Place scored chestnuts on a rimmed sheet pan. Place sheet pan in the oven and add ¼ cup of water to the pan. Roast for 10 minutes or until shells easily peel back where you scored an ‘X’ into chestnuts. (Keep an eye on chestnuts to avoid burning them!) Remove chestnuts from the oven and let cool slightly 1-2 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Peel chestnuts
**If using sausage links, remove casing and use a fork when cooking to crumble and break up any large pieces.
-To prepare stuffing in advance:
1. Chop the vegetables, place them in Ziploc bag and refrigerate. Roast the chestnuts, peel, quarter and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Toast and dice the cornbread; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
2. Prepare the stuffing and cook for the first 35 minutes, covered. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter for about 30 minutes. Transfer the cooled, covered stuffing to the refrigerator, up to overnight. Allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes, on the counter, before brushing with melted butter and proceeding with remaining directions.