Preheat oven to 325°. Divide 3 lb. cornbread, cut into small pieces (about ¾”; 14–16 cups) evenly between 2 large rimmed baking sheets and bake, tossing occasionally, until dried out and lightly browned around the edges, 40–50 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350°.
Meanwhile, cook 1½ lb. breakfast sausage, casings removed if needed, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until lightly browned and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce burner to medium heat and melt 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) in same skillet. Add 2 medium onions, chopped, and 4 celery stalks, chopped; season with kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 8–10 minutes. Add 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, and 2 Thai chiles or 1 jalapeño (with seeds), chopped. Cook, stirring once, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ¾ cup corn nuts, finely ground in a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle (about ½ cup) and cook, stirring often, until very fragrant and vegetables are starting to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add ¾ cup dry white wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp. finely chopped sage and 2 tsp. finely chopped thyme and toss to combine. Remove from heat.
Combine cornbread, sausage, and sautéed vegetable mixture in a large bowl. Whisk 3 large eggs and 3½ cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth in a medium bowl until very well combined. Pour over cornbread mixture and let sit, gently stirring every minute or so, until cornbread has absorbed all or virtually all of the liquid. Season with kosher salt (about 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1½ tsp. Morton kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper.
Lightly butter a 3-qt. or 13x9x2″ casserole dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and tap dish lightly against counter to distribute and compact stuffing. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until stuffing is very hot throughout and bubbles appear around sides, 40–45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425° and remove foil. Continue to bake stuffing until top is lightly browned, 15–20 minutes longer.
Do ahead: Stuffing can be baked at 350° 3 days ahead. Let cool, then chill. Reheat in a 350° oven before increasing temperature to 425° and removing foil.
Editor’s note: This cornbread dressing recipe was first printed in October 2019 as “Cornbread Stuffing With Sausage and Corn Nuts” as part of our Absolutely, Positively Perfect Thanksgiving Menu. Head this way for even more of our favorite dishes for your Thanksgiving table →