Sage Cornbread is a delicious twist on a classic. Baked in a cast iron skillet for even baking, has an added earthy flavor of sage and a pretty presentation.

A slice of Sage Cornbread showing flecks of fresh sage on the inside

I love the combination of the sweet cornbread, the onion flavor, the fresh celery and the earthiness of the sage. It’s everyone’s favorite dish on my Thanksgiving table and it takes all my strength to not eat it all before it gets to the table.

All week I am featuring the Thanksgiving recipes that make an appearance on my table. The Perfect Roast Turkey, Cornbread, Sage and Onion Stuffing, Quick Cranberry Orange Sauce plus more below and even an easy recipe for Leftover Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry Sausage Rolls.

An overhead view of Sage Cornbread garnished with whole sage leaves

The second most important dish after the perfect Thanksgiving turkey is the sage, onion and cornbread stuffing (or dressing) and for which I use this cornbread. 

Because there is sage in the cornbread, I go lighter on the addition of the sage to the stuffing because it can be overpowering. If I use plain cornbread, I keep the recipe the same.

This skillet cornbread does not have to be just for stuffing. You could add just about anything to the batter, cheese, jalapeño, chopped bacon, honey, vegetables. Or simply with a drizzle of honey (see the pic below).

Drizzling honey onto a slice of Sage Cornbread

The possibilities are endless anytime you want a great cornbread side dish. I also like to serve it with my slow cooker beef and sweet potato chili. How’s that for a comforting fall meal?

I love making the cornbread in a cast iron skillet. It never sticks and always bakes evenly. After preheating the skillet in the oven, I add  a tablespoon of butter and then arranged fresh sage leaves on the bottom of the pan. When the cornbread was turned out, the top has a pretty decoration and makes for a great presentation. This is an optional step and is a great wow factor, but can be omitted.

I haven’t always used all cornbread for my stuffing.  I started making regular bread, onion and sage stuffing, then that turned into mixing in cornbread, then I just went for 100% cornbread with no regular bread and that’s what I’ve stuck to the past few years.

Yield: 6

Sage Cornbread

A slice of Sage Cornbread showing flecks of fresh sage on the inside

An easy cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet with the added earthy flavor of sage. This recipe is the foundation to my cornbread, sage and onion stuffing.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (140 grams) fine ground, plain cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted and cooled
  • 6 large whole fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

Instructions

  1. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the oven and preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, mix.
  3. Stir in the buttermilk, eggs and 4 tablespoons melted butter. Mix until well combined. Stir in the chopped sage.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven and brush the pan with the 1 tablespoon butter to coat the pan evenly. Arrange the sage leaves (with the underside of the leaf facing you) on the bottom of the skillet. They should stick to the butter to stay in place.
  5. Pour the batter into the skillet and spread evenly. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, depending on your oven. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Turn the cornbread out so the sage leaves are on the top. Slice and serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1 slice

Amount Per Serving Calories 334Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 85mgSodium 833mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 2gSugar 25gProtein 7g