Southern Cornbread Dressing

Southern Cornbread Dressing is deliciously moist and wonderfully seasoned with sage, onions, and celery. It’s a classic that makes it to the Thanksgiving table year after year.

Southern Cornbread Dressing

 

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it’s time to start planning that Thanksgiving menu. This year I want the food to be extra good and special since this is the first year my son has been away at college. I miss him dearly and I know he misses my home cooking.

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You cook for your boys mamas, and they’ll always want to come home to see you.  🙂

Southern Cornbread Dressing- a must for Thanksgiving

 

Probably the most looked forward to part of Thanksgiving dinner, besides dessert, is the dressing and it’s not uncommon for us to have more than one kind. I personally really love this Andouille Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing.

This Southern Cornbread Dressing is a more traditional southern dressing made with crumbled cornbread along with lots of onion, celery, and sage. It’s savory, moist, and delicious.

Southern Cornbread Dressing

 

Since we typically fry our Thanksgiving turkey, I solely use canned broth to make dressing, but if you have turkey drippings, you could add them to the dressing and it will taste even better.

Along with cornbread dressing we love to have Cheesy Green Bean Casserole, mashed potatoes, and Broccoli Casserole for Thanksgiving dinner. And this year I think I’ll add Savory Sweet Potato Casserole to the list. You can never have too many casseroles!

Southern Cornbread Dressing

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4.54 from 13 votes
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

A traditional southern cornbread dressing flavored with onion, celery, and sage. Super moist and flavorful.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 314 kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Ingredients
Cornbread
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal, I use Martha White
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour, I use White Lily
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
Dressing
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 3 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pieces toast, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients for cornbread. Pour into a lightly greased 9-inch cast iron pan or a 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Before using, crumble into small pieces.
  3. Heat butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add celery and onion and cook until soft.
  4. Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper to onion mixture.
  5. In a large bowl combine crumbled cornbread and toast.
  6. Whisk together milk and eggs and add to bowl. Stir in 2 cups of chicken broth.
  7. Stir in onion mixture. Mixture should be very moist. Add more broth if necessary.
  8. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Cut butter into small slivers and scatter on top of dressing.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it turns light brown on top.
Recipe Notes

Note: The cornbread should be made a day or two in advance.

Nutrition Facts
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 314
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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75 thoughts on “Southern Cornbread Dressing

  1. Can hot water cornbread be used as well as the regular cornbread.? Also, I’m a little confused on the egg thing. Use boiled eggs or uncooked or both? This seems alot like my dad’s , He made the best dressing when he was alive. I remember sitting and talking to him when making. Seems like alot of same ingredients.. Do you put all this in food processor to cut up and make smaller- the bread part? Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas!

    1. I just got done making a pan. I used 2 packs of Martha White cornbread mix. I made it, let it cool then crumbled it into a bowl. (My Mom makes her cornbread homemade Nd cooks it the day before, but I don’t have time for that!) I added 2 boiled eggs, chopped. 2 raw eggs, an onion I had diced and sautéed in butter until tender, salt, pepper, sage to taste. Mix it all up with canned chicken broth (I used 1 regular size can) and put in baking dish. (The darker baking pans seem to do better). Let cook at 350 for about 45-50 minutes (or until set). It is wonderful!

  2. I came across this recipe trying to figure out what kind of dressing to make. I have never made dressing before but it sounded pretty good. This is probably the best dressing I have ever eaten! It was easy to make and the directions are dead on. I will definitely be making this again! We use the Paul Harvey cornbread recipe and it is great also. The only thing different I did was instead of three medium onions (my wife doesn’t like onions) I used one large onion. I also cooked the onion and celery in butter but I added about one tablespoon of bacon fat to it for some extra savory flavor.

    1. Yes. you can get it all prepped and refrigerate it. Then you might want to add a few minutes on to the cooking time or let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before you pop it in the oven. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I know this is a stupid question but this is my first time making dressing and I’m making it for at least 15-20 people, so I’m a little terrified. The stick of butter is to sauté the onions and celery and the rest of the butter in the recipe is to put on top of the dressing. Correct?

    1. Yes, you are correct…remember before you do the final bake taste it to make sure it tastes like you want. You can adjust your seasonings at this time. As a side note make don’t over/under cook it. Check it after 30 minutes…and make sure it’s not dry. If it is add more broth and stir it in. Good luck.

  4. Hi! I’m going to try this recipe because the pic looks perfect. I have a dumb question. My husband says one package of celery is a stalk, but I always thought a stalk was the one “stick” in the group. If this calls for 4 stalks, is that really 4 large packages of celery? I’m doubling it so that would be 8. That seems like a lot. Help! 🙂

    1. Oh no no…it’s not a package equals 1 stalk. Each stick of celery is a stalk. There is usually 10 or 12 stalks in a package if the celery doesn’t have all the leafy tops. Hope this helps.

  5. My grandmother’s recipe calls for white bread, not toast. She said that it was better if the bread was slightly stale and that buns worked as well or better than sliced bread. She said to use an equal amount of bread as cornbread. I make her dish fairly well, but hers was sublime. RIP Nana.

    And for all you novices, it is DRESSING, not stuffing. There’s no such thing as cornbread stuffing.

    1. Yes, yes, yes, someone said it correctly…this is dressing! Stuffing is that God-awful mess they sell in cubes that people buy thinking it makes dressing. And for our dressing, we started saving our bread ends and stale bread for a couple of months before the big day. My daddy would get so aggravated by all the bits & pieces of bread loaves thrown into the deep freezer, but he bit his tongue since he knew what it was for. One year, we made some early to freeze and actually ended up using some leftover homemade biscuits. But I’ve never liked the recipes that don’t use anything but cornbread…it’s too dry and crumbly without the white bread!

  6. 3 medium yellow onions? red onions? a mixture? I’m no chef. I have no idea! Thank you for your recipe- I can’t wait to try it! I have made the cornbread portion in advance as recommended. It’s taking all of my disciple not to eat it!

  7. I make my mother’s recipe. Close to this one. I add a pound of browned sage sausage, a cooked and chopped chicken breast, boiled eggs, and green onions. It’s always a hit.

  8. We always make the cornbread dressing using celery onion and sage. Lots of black pepper and while mixing pour in al least a pint of raw oysters along with the liquid. This is just our tradition and my children would rather have dressing than the turkey”

  9. On reference to the cornbread ingredient are is it Martha white’s yellow or white cornbread or is it her buttermilk cornbread ??

  10. I use saltines in place of white bread. Boiled eggs are a must. Take it easy with the sage. You can add but can subtract. It is one of the stronger herbs. I do not beat the raw eggs before adding. A hand mixer does the trick to incorporate everything if you’re like me and leave the bread in chunks. Don’t overdo it and lose all texture. Buy more broth than you think you’ll need. It should almost slosh around in the bowl before pouring to baking dish. 30 minutes is not enough time. Happy Dressing!

  11. This sounds pretty close to mine, but instead of toast, I add a box of cornbread or chicken Stove Top stuffing and also chopped boiled eggs…

    1. boiled eggs in mine too! They would be missed if I didn’t use them. Recipe my mom used to make. I also use toast. I can’t make mine as good as she did but it is pretty good.

  12. PS- my mom used to take the turkey’s liver and gizzards and use them in the dressing, and it was yummy. When would you introduce these items into the cooking process. Also, you mention using turkey drippings in recipe. Would you use drippings instead of water or broth in recipe? Many thanks!

      1. You add gizzards, kidneys, hearts, &/or livers before baking. Like when you add boiled eggs and raw eggs. Never used toast, crackers, or breadcrumbs but couldnt hurt i guess. Not sure what its for. Also add tony chachere lousiana seasoning in place of salt or slap ya mama. Not as salty that way and gives it a cajun kick. But then we like anything with that stuff on it down here.

  13. I see recipe for your Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe, and I was pleased to see it seems relatively easy…….because I am not an experienced cook. My mother recently passed away without leaving me her recipe for her dressing which I loved. I saw you refer to a “Spicy Southern Cornbread Dressing”, but did not see the recipe. Is there a separate recipe for spicy version, or how would I spice recipe up to give it some heat…..without turning everyone at dinner party off? Many thanks! Andy

  14. It’s important to make the cornbread and biscuit a day ahead and either dry them in the oven at a low heat, like 180 degrees for about an hour, or let them sit in the open in the kitchen for a day or two to lose their moisture before making the dressing.

  15. This is perfect dressing! Cornbread dressing is a big deal in the south and being able to make a perfect dressing is a sign of accomplishment. I did leave out the eggs, and used home made biscuits instead of toast, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. We even tripled it for a party and it was almost all gone and people were raving about it. If you are dressing-challenged, this recipe will not let you down!

  16. Why do so many online cornbread dressing recipes call for toast? I am sure my mother did not add toast to hers, in the mid-south. You have the cornbread so what does toast add to it? I do know my mother used sage which makes it so good. thanks, and hope someone sees this question as it has been over a year since the last posting.

    1. The “toast” is for moisture; if you only put cornbread, your dressing will be dry. Some sort of stale French bread or loaf imparts a texture that cornbread cannot, and it helps the dressing to stay moist even when it becomes leftovers.

    2. It’s to help the texture of the dresssing. I don’t know exactly what it does other than to improve the mouth feel of the dish.

        1. 1 can cream of chicken and 1 can cream of celery in ours no toast or bread add an apple and a little bit of chopped pickles.

      1. Cream of Celery is also perfect, with cream of mushroom. I use chicken gizzards, heart, liver : cook and chop up. Plus Poultry seasoning. This is how my Mother made it. And Yes, make your corn bread ahead, tear-up and toast. Egg bread or sourdough bread are also perfect to dry-out and cut up..

  17. This dressing sounds very close to mine. I am terrible with measuring, though! I add a dash of this and a shake of that. Lol. I like to add boiled chicken and boiled eggs to mine, too!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Sounds very close to my family’s recipe but instead of toast we use Pepperidge Farms dressing mix mixed in with day old cornbread and a mixture of broth and drippings. My family also adds the meat from the turkey wings.

  18. Aaaw, you must be so happy to see your son soon. I hope my son comes home often if he goes away for school. I know I still LOVE going home for my mom’s food 🙂 This dressing looks incredible!!

    1. In reference to the question regarding the use of toast in the dressing recipes: I agree that our grandmothers did not use toast in their dressing, they most likely used leftover biscuit as there was always homemade biscuits for breakfast in southern kitchens with a few left over and these were oh so good even cold. Back in the days of the traditional southern cooks there was not anything wasted and they were so creative to use what they had, making fabulous meals for their families.

      1. My mother always added some kind of bread to cornbread – dry bread, toast, biscuits, hot dog or hamburger buns or whatever she had. Does improve texture.

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