Cornbread, Sausage, and Pecan Stuffing
Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, this rich and savory holiday staple takes its cues from Southern cooks. If desired, you can replace half the cornbread (which you can make on your Traeger, of course), with bread.
- 9 to 10 cups cubed cornbread
- 1-1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound bulk seasoned breakfast sausage, such as Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans brands
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
- 2 cups diced sweet onion
- 1-1/2 cups diced celery
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, or more as needed
Spread the cornbread cubes in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets and allow to air-dry overnight, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the pecans.
Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking pan or large casserole. Set aside.
On the stovetop, sauté the sausage in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through. Add to the cornbread and pecans, but don’t stir. Without wiping out the skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika. Pour over the cornbread; again, don’t stir.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the milk. Add the chicken broth. Pour the egg mixture over the cornbread mixture and stir gently to combine the ingredients. Add more chicken broth if needed; you want the mixture to be moist, but not soggy. Tip into the prepared baking dish.
Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 325 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Arrange the baking dish on the grill grate and bake the stuffing until it is lightly browned and slightly crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.