Cornbread Sausage Dressing with Leeks & Pears

Are you looking for that one recipe to set your Thanksgiving dinner over the top?

Then you have to try this recipe from Carrie Paul, a professional chef and one of our Defy Gravity members!! Shannon makes it every year and it is always a hit!!

Cornbread Sausage Dressing with Leeks & Pears

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Option

Recipe by:  Carrie Paul – The Longest Fork

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Servings:  6-8


8 cups ½-inch cubes gluten-free cornbread ( or Glutino brand)

1 lb. organic breakfast sausage, casings removed (or organic ground pork)

¾ Tbsp. ground fennel seeds

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning (basil, parsley, oregano, paprika)

Salt and pepper


6 Tbsp. unsalted butter or ghee, divided (sub coconut oil for dairy-free)

1 leek, white only; chopped

4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

8 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Bosc pear, peeled and chopped

½ cup dry white wine

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

½ Tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves

1 ½ – 2 cups chicken stock (or low-sodium broth)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 large eggs, beaten



  1. Preheat oven 300⁰F.
  2. Bake cubed cornbread pieces on two parchment-lined baking sheets for approximately 30 minutes, until slightly browned; tossing occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, mix sausage meat with fennel seeds, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon, until dark brown, 8-10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl.
  4. Using same skillet, heat 4 Tbsp. butter to medium. Add leeks, celery, scallions, and garlic until tender; about 15 minutes.  Add pears and wine, increase to medium-high and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400⁰F. Prepare a 9x13x2 baking dish.
  6. Combine sausage, leek and pear mixture, parsley, oregano, thyme, sage and 1 ½ cups chicken stock in a large bowl. Add cornbread, salt and pepper.  Toss and let sit 10 minutes.  Then add additional stock if needed.  Bread should be very moist, but not soggy.
  7. Add eggs and mix gently just to combine and transfer to baking dish and dot with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter.
  8. Cover dressing with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 20-30 minutes, until golden and crisp on top.


DO AHEAD:  Bake and toast cornbread 1 day ahead; store tightly wrapped at room temperature.  Sausage, leek and pear mixtures can be cooked 1 day ahead.  Cover and chill separately.  Note:  I always double the recipe!

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