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Playing How To Make Spicy Italian Sausage, Chestnut & Cornbread Dressing By Geoffrey Zakarian

Host of Food Network's "The Kitchen," Chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his family's recipe for spicy Italian sausage, chestnut and cornbread dressing. "[Dressing] is stuffing outside of the bird, which I prefer because you could get it crispier," Geoffrey explains.

Check out another one of his family's Thanksgiving favorites Pan-Seared Cauliflower with Anchovies and Capers.


  • 1 pound ground spicy pork sausage
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel seed
  • 1 cup diced spanish onion
  • 1 cup diced fennel
  • 1 cup chopped canned or packaged chestnuts
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups crumbled Cornbread
  • 3 cups chicken stock


Serves: 8 to 10


Preheat the oven to 375˚F. 

In a large pan over low heat, add the sausage, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and fennel seed, and cook slowly to render out the fat.

Once the fat is rendered and the meat starts to brown and crisp, add the onions, fennel, chestnuts, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook while meat continues to brown, the carrots become soft and tender, and the onions become translucent. Add the crumbled cornbread and chicken stock and stir until thoroughly combined and the bread is moist. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Transfer to a large casserole and bake until center reaches 155˚F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.