Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe
Southern cornbread dressing scrumptiously seasoned with onions, celery, sage, and chicken stock! It’s moist, savory, tender inside, has a crispy crust and is hard to resist.
Southern Cornbread Dressing Video
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Why You’ll Love This
We look forward to this side dish every year. My southern grandmother made the most incredible dressing ever! This is my version; unfortunately, I never received her recipe.
A classic side dish that is always on the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table.
Serve it alongside dry brined roasted turkey, fresh green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce slices.
- Bread – Our recipe uses savory cornbread and dry breadcrumbs or stale bread crumbled. Do not use sweet cornbread like Jiffy.
- Seasonings – Onions, celery, sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Moisture – Homemade turkey stock or chicken stock is best, and eggs help bind and adds moisture.
How To Make Southern Cornbread Dressing
Prepare the cornbread recipe according to the package instructions. Or try our Homemade Cornbread.
I always use buttermilk in the mix, even if it calls for milk. No self-respecting southerner would ever use just plain milk.
Once the cornbread is cool enough to touch, break it into crumbles in a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
Melt the stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and celery, and saute until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the dry breadcrumbs, spices, celery, and onions to the crumbled cornbread.
Pour the broth and beaten eggs into the bread mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. It should be fairly soupy, you don’t want it to dry out.
Spread into the prepared baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
I have made this the day before and refrigerated it until ready to bake. When I do this, I usually have to add additional turkey or chicken broth before baking, but it works great.
Just one less thing I have to do Thanksgiving morning. Serve and enjoy! Moist, tender inside and crispy, crunchy outside Southern Cornbread Dressing.
- If you are using white bread, you will need to dry it out in the oven (for a bit) or plan ahead and leave it out overnight.
- You can prepare the cornbread up to 2 days ahead. Let it cool, crumble it, then store it at room temperature, covered with a kitchen towel to allow it to dry out some.
- Homemade stock or broth will yield the most flavor, but you can use store-bought stock.
- The dressing should be quite soupy. Don’t be afraid the bread will soak all the stock up and make a fabulous moist dressing.
Because my daughter is vegetarian, we have started making the dressing by adding all the spices. I then divide it in half. Her vegetarian-style cornbread dressing receives about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of vegetable stock. Our traditional cornbread dressing receives about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of turkey stock.
She loves it, but I find it lacking in flavor using vegetable stock.
Traditionally stuffing is bread cubes mixed with spices stuffed into the cavity of a turkey. The dressing is mostly cornbread crumbs mixed with spices and lots of stock cooked in a pan, not in the turkey.
I have made it unbaked, covered it, refrigerated it and then baked it the next day. You will need to add more chicken stock and bring it to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
I have also baked it ahead and reheated it when ready to serve. I still needed to add a little extra stock. Cornbread tends to be really absorbent.
I recommend preparing the cornbread and sauteed onions and celery up to 2 days ahead. It will only take a few minutes to combine all the ingredients and bake for Thanksgiving dinner.
Let it cool to room temperature, store it in an air-tight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat single portions in the microwave, or cover the pan with aluminum foil, and reheat in a 325-degree F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Let the cornbread dressing cool to room temperature, place it in a freezer safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
More Thanksgiving And Christmas Recipe Ideas
Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe
- 1 recipe of cornbread (at least 6 cups)
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups dry bread crumbs
- 2-3 cups turkey or chicken stock* or more
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 teaspoons sage
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Prepare cornbread according to package instructions.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Crumble cornbread in a large mixing bowl and dry breadcrumbs.1 recipe of cornbread
- Melt the stick of butter in a large skillet, add celery and onions, and saute until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.2 cups chopped celery, 1/2 cup butter, 2 large onions
- Combine celery and onion mixture, beaten eggs with cornbread, bread crumbs, chicken/turkey stock, poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper. The dressing should be pretty soupy so it doesn’t dry out during baking. You may need to add more stock*.2 cups dry bread crumbs, 2-3 cups turkey or chicken stock*, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 2 teaspoons sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Cover, bake, for 35 minutes and uncovered for 10 minutes until browned or until well set and cooked through.
I recommend preparing the cornbread and sauteed onions and celery up to 2 days ahead. It will only take a few minutes to combine all the ingredients and bake. Storing – Let it cool to room temperature, store it in an air-tight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat single portions in the microwave, or cover it with aluminum foil, and reheat in a 325 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through. Freezing – Let the cornbread dressing cool to room temperature, place it in a freezer safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
I don’t like to saute the onions, Momma didn’t, and I don’t use cornbread mix, it has sugar. Otherwise this beats stuffin hands down.
I also use a can of cream of chicken soup, makes it really moist, also I don’t break eggs into mine, I boil them them cut them up, but over all, your dressing is a hit!
You added cream of chicken to the ingredients listed above?
I use cream of celery…and also some chopped walnuts and marjoram
Do you use a cornbread mix like Jiffy mix or make your own cornbread using cornmeal, milk, and eggs?
If so do you have a cornbread recipe so I can have the correct amount of cornbread for the recipe?
I use White Lily Buttermilk Cornbread Mix.
I was wondering the same thing like how many cups of cornbread should I use to be more specific lol
What size of cornbread mix? 8 oz?
We use something like this: Martha White Buttermilk Corn Meal Mix
How many cups of crumbled cornbread does this recipe need? I am using store bought.
Awesome recipe I also add a can of cream soup, cream of mushroom or celery or chicken will do
The * next to dry bread crumbs was missing in the Note section. What was your suggestion for dry bread crumbs? Is canned okay, or do you make your own with white bread? Thank you – looking forward to making your recipe for Thanksgiving this year.
The ‘*’ on the breadcrumbs was a mistake. Thanks for pointing that out! It’s fixed now. In response to your question, either is a perfect solution.
I have never added beaten eggs to my cornbread. What is the purpose of the eggs? I might try it this year. Also, I use Jiffy Cornbread mix. The rest of your recipe is the same I’ve always made. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
The eggs are a binder and help keep the dressing moist.
Jiffy cornbread mix has sugar in it that will not make a good dressing you don’t want to sweet cornbread.