Sausage and Pecan Dressing Recipe

Stuffing or Dressing?

Yup, it's that time of year again, a time when many ponder what to call it or where the name comes from. Romans are credited with the first mentioning of stuffing foods, mainly meats with vegetables, herbs, nuts and a type of cereal known as spelt. The term dressing came about in Victorian England.

Now, in our family, this time of year we make dressing. It is a side dish. We do not stuff the bird. Period. If we do, maybe Cornish hens, then we call it stuffing, but never do we put out a casserole and call it stuffing. Why, it just ain't done. And to be honnest here, I suspect where you live or rather, where your mother was born, determines if you call it stuffing or dressing. You see, I think
north of the Mason-Dixon line folks are liking to call it stuffing even though as a casserole, it's not stuffed at all. Here in the south, if you (or your mother) are from these parts, dressing is the favored name. And another sure way I know the difference is in it's appearance. If the texture is tight, moist and compact - that's dressing. If the mixture is loose, falling from the spoon and more importantly, now here's the real test, if it is cooked on the stove, then that sho' ain't dressing - that's stuffing.

I have made many dressing recipes over the years and my favorite of course is my Grandmothers version found in our family cookbook. I have only posted one recipe here, a squash and andouille one last year which you can find under breads I believe. This one today uses a type of andouille sausage too along with toasted pecans and elements of Grandmother's recipe. Enjoy!

Sausage and Pecan Dressing
Dressing at it's best with flavors of the south
serves 6 to 8

6 cups crumbled cornbread (I like buttermilk cornbread)
1 1/2 cups torn day-old French bread, small pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic toes, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
4 cups chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons salt-free Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup diced andouille smoked sausage, small diced (I used Johnsonville's brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the cornbread, French bread, onion, celery, garlic, green onion and pecans. Fold in about 2 cups of the chicken broth. Add seasonings and taste. Add more salt if needed. Whisk the eggs with about 1 cup of chicken stock and fold into the dressing mixture. Fold in the melted butter along with the sausage. (Because I used Johnsonville's sausage and cut in a small dice, I did not precook the sausage as I believe it would have dried out too much when cooked in the dressing.) Add enough of the remaining chicken stock to make a very moist dressing but not too liquified, nor stiff.

Spoon into a 3-quart casserole and bake for 45 minutes or until center is set and top is brown.


  1. Oh this looks so good. We have a traditional cornbread recipe that we always use, but this year we just might have to change our menu. Thanks for sharing this great looking recipe.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Drick, this looks so good it makes me wish Thanksgiving was right now.

    We call it dressing--and it's almost always my mother-in-law's cornbread dressing. (But I kinda like the idea of this sausage pecan dish--shhh don't tell!)

  3. Good looking recipe! I've never stuffed a bird, and where I come from it's called dressing, cooked in a casserole pan in the oven and gobbled up like crazy. It's funny my very good friend from Lancaster, PA can't believe we call it either. She insists it should be called "Filling". (whether it's filling anything or not)

  4. The only thing stuffed was us after the meal! For many years we had rice dressing, now affectionately known as dirty rice. Thanks for sharing your recipe and may your holiday be blessed and peaceful.

  5. With andouille and pecans, this dressing has got to be good. Funny how these definitions change around the country. For me, if it's stuffed in the bird it's stuffing and if it's not in the bird, it's dressing, whether it's cooked in a pan on the stove, in the oven, or in a crockpot. Mom always stuffed the bird with the regular stuff and made another dish of oyster dressing, but since I didn't eat oysters back then (before my enlightenment), I don't remember how she cooked it. Have a good holiday Drick.

  6. The difference between stuffing and dressing - that's a hard concept for a Southern cook to get across to folks who weren't raised here. They just don't usually get it until they actually see it and taste it.

    Got my cornmeal ready to make my cornbread for our traditional dressing. It's different from yours, but that's what makes Thanksgiving so wonderful - bringing out all the family recipes that everyone enjoys and looks forward to from year to year.

    Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving to you and yours! Enjoy every minute of it!

  7. Here in California, people seem to use the word "stuffing" whether it's been cooked in the bird or in a casserole dish.

    Your recipe looks delicious. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  8. Thanks for linking and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  9. I've never really paid much attention—or even knew about—the stuffing vs. dressing debate, but now that you mention it, I'm going to see what my relatives call it this week.... a little culinary detective work!

    Meanwhile, this dressing/stuffing looks wonderful! I might just try it very soon, if not for Thanksgiving, well for some upcoming Sunday dinner.

    Have a great holiday!



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