Southern Cornbread Dressing

Sharing is caring!

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.

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

Never miss a recipe. Follow Spicy Southern Kitchen on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make Southern Cornbread Dressing.

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
A traditional southern cornbread dressing flavored with onion, celery, and sage. Super moist and flavorful.
Print Recipe



  • 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


  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • 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.
  • Heat butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add celery and onion and cook until soft.
  • Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper to onion mixture.
  • In a large bowl combine crumbled cornbread and toast.
  • Whisk together milk and eggs and add to bowl. Stir in 2 cups of chicken broth.
  • Stir in onion mixture. Mixture should be very moist. Add more broth if necessary.
  • Transfer to a greased baking dish. Cut butter into small slivers and scatter on top of dressing.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it turns light brown on top.


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


Calories: 314kcal

More Thanksgiving Favorites

Southern-Style Green Beans

Southern-Style Green Beans

Pineapple Casserole

Pineapple Casserole

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

174 thoughts on “Southern Cornbread Dressing

  1. I tried this excellent cornbread dressing and it came out great – and sides aren’t even my specialty! My daughter really loved it too and I’m sure she will be asking for it again very soon.

    1. I also grew up having boiled eggs in dressing. There doesn’t seem to be any recipes including eggs. I’m about as southern as you can get!
      Merry Christmas & God Bless!

      1. Me too!!! From Louisiana!!! we put boiled eggs in ours🥰 I boil my chicken, with chicken bouillon cubes. For my broth!!! We use giblet gravy over our cornbread dressing💞

  2. HI Friends…in the process of making, stage of a really big bowl filled with crumby crumbs. : ) Any advice on making the night before and baking the following day? Is this best served warm, fresh from oven or baked before and just reheated? Heck, I think leftovers always taste better. So…baking now does make sense. If you read this TGIVING eve and have advice, I would be grateful, and thankful. : )

    1. It’s a very moist dressing, so you could possibly make ahead and reheat. It’d probably dry it out a little though. To maximize time and have fresh dressing, I’d mix in the cooked butter onion mixture to the cornbread crumbs. Refrigerate that overnight and the next day just add the wet ingredients to cook.

  3. Your recipe looks a lot like mine, I love cornbread dressing the best.
    Just wanted to remark on how you said in your ABOUT page, you don’t repeat your recipes.
    I’ve perused your recipes, and it looks to me that you have worked on perfecting your dishs.
    Just sayin…..

  4. all sounds good to me. don’t usualy make dressing leave it to others. one dressing or stuffing a long lost friend used to make was great she used 1 dozen eggs beaten, 1 sleeve celery chopped,1 onion chopped,1 sleeve mild sausage, 1 sleeve saltines,1 box ritz crumbled. add your poultry sessoning(apprx. 1tsp.) and sage to taste also at least i stick buttermelted and chicken broth mix all put in baking dish 350 for 30 mins or so she was a great cook and even my grandfather liked this please feel free to tweak to taste. belive it or not the crackers did the trick agreed not cornbread dressing but good

  5. I tripled the recipe and it filled 2 aluminum half steam table pans (each 11.5″ x 9.25″ x 2.5″ deep). I had to adjust the cooking times since I made so much. I cooked the cornbread and the dressing until they were browned on top. Pretty doggone tasty. Next time I plan to double the salt, sage and poultry seasoning for a little more “dressing” flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Use CornKits. It comes in and envelope and has no sugar. Just add egg and milk. I think it’s much better than Jiffy.

        1. May not taste sweet to you but it has added sugar which imo is not necessary. I’ve had the mix and can taste it. Also some people (like my husband) cannot have processed sugar.

  6. That’s a lot of eggs for that little pan of dressing. Pretty good bit of onions and celery for the size as well. Just my opinion. But this looks more like my dressing than most recipes I’ve seen and pretty close in what ingredients I use. I don’t have a recipe, but I’m creating one this year. I can tweak it next year if I need to. No more stressing over exactly how much of what I need. I use all cornbread with eggs in the cornbread (about 6 cups I think for 2 pans) but not in the dressing.

  7. Was looking for a recipe that had the same ingredients as my mom used (she’s passed away) found this recipe. Tweeked recipe a little,. Used cream of chicken soup, in addition to chicken broth. My used cream if chicken soup. Dressing was great! Tasted just like hers.

      1. In a large roasting pan, My mom used about 4 slices of toasted white bread and broke it into small pieces. She baked a pan of cornbread and crumbled it up into roaster . She would fry a chopped onion and a few stalks chopped celery in a stick of butter in a skillet until tender and slightly browned and then add to mixture in roaster. She added 3 large raw eggs and [ I think she also added 3 large boiled eggs (peeled & chopped up)] into the mixture. Add sage to taste. (I always taste the raw mixture and keep adding until I get my desired taste). She would boil the giblets to make broth (or use chicken broth) (you can also boil a few chicken thighs if you want to crumble up the chicken and have broth) and add enough broth to mixture to make it moistened, not too juicy, but juicy enough so that it won’t be too dry after it is baked. She would sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Then she would mix together all this in the roaster, then bake on center rack on 350º until browned on top and done in middle.

        1. My Mother made fantastic cornbread dressing. She made New Orleans style, half cornbread & half french bread. But I make mine with all cornbread. When I bake the cornbread of course it does have some GF flour. because my family is sensitive to gluten. Way it goes. But it still tastes great.

      2. I’m from Alabama and I can say that – although I don’t have a clue why – all recipes for Southern cornbread dressing have always called for crumbled bread or biscuits. It’s been passed down for generations that way. I’m guessing it does something to the consistency.

        1. Adding the bread also serves to help hold it together. It acts almost like a binding ingredient. My Mom always added bread but the cornbread was the main ingredient. Without the “white bread” the dressing did not hold together.

  8. Is it okay to use boxed cornbread instwad of making your own? Im on a budget and cant afford to huy ngredients i may not use again.

    1. Of course it’s ok. It may have a little different flavor because cornbread mix typically has sugar in it. Traditional, southern cornbread is not sweet. However, if that is what you are used to eating anyway, it will not matter.

    2. Boxed cornbread is fine and does not need to be toasted. I only toast freshly made cornbread. The amount of sugar in the seasoning is minimal and does not affect the taste.

      1. Sorry I have to disagree with using the boxed cornbread mixture . It does not taste like true southern style cornbread and it makes the dressing taste like you used the box mix. Too sweet too grainy.

        1. Very true, the boxed cornbread makes a very sweet dressing and also grainy as mentioned above. Unless you like it sweet don’t use the box mix.

  9. I followed this recipe and put milk in the dressing no I’m reading comments that I wasn’t supposed to, is it going to come out horrible?

    1. I always put milk in my dressing, in addition to several eggs,salt and pepper a chicken bouillon cube or two (cooked celery and onion in the broth you get from adding the turkey giblets packet). More dried bread ratio than cornbread. Like 1/3 cornbread to 2/3 White bread. You make it like a custard. It’s moist like wet mashed potatoes consistency before baking. And your dish is moist not dry when baked. Yum!

      1. Joan, do you have a recipe for that?

        I am looking for a southern style wet dressing recipe that had Durkee sauce in it but yours sounds pretty close.

    1. No, do not cover when cooking. The dressing need to cook through and dry some as it does so. You don’t want it DRY, but you also don’t want to swim in it.

  10. Nearly the same family recipe besides some of my family uses oil instead of butter. It’s so good. However I couldn’t remember the amount they used. I seem to think a few taste. Don’t measure. Also some use toast and some use day old cornbread. My father is law is 82 and he made some fantastic dressing last week. It had walnuts, something normally would be icky in dressing but it was fantastic. My SO also makes good dressing. He uses the gizzards, etc. It’s a little too firm for my liking (not because of the gizzard but he uses little liquids. He likes it that way. Thin too. He also just uses bagged seasoned bread crumbs. Blah. But it actually tastes good… Wayyyy better then stove top just a tad less appetizing then mom’s 100% homade. Teresa prefers hers soft and no sage. Lol. My mom said it’s good too but missing sage 100% kills it. Mom loooved sage. Everyone had mom make the dressing every year and potato salad. She made the best fried chicken too. Omg. I now make it and mike thinks it’s insane how good it is. I never knew others used the gizzards and things too in there dressing. Learn something new. Haha. Happy Thanksgiving. The first year without mama.

  11. I have to work until 430 Thanksgiving Day, and was planning on making this before work (around 7am). Would it be ok that way? Should I make it all without baking, then bake when I get home? Or do it all before work, then reheat?

      1. My family recipe is really similar to this. We have so much cooking to do the day of. That we cook what we can the day before. This includes the cornbread for the dressing.

    1. Hello Amanda. I make the cornbread 2 days in advance and mix everything the day before Thanksgiving and put it the fridge. This is the 3rd year I’m using this recipe. All the flavors blend overnight, it is awesome! Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. I’m wondering if I make a pkg cornbread instead of the homemade recipe, how many cups of cornbread is necessary for this dressing?

    1. Ever heard of pkg cornbread only JIFFY and that will NOT work. If making a large pan use 2 cornbread like cake pans 1 if making a small pan but homemade day old is the best.

  13. So when using the self rising cornmeal,do I still use the buttermilk or the amount of milk it asks for on the self rising corn meal package or do I use both, because when I used just buttermilk flour and eggs it was just like a thick blob of dough

  14. Hey! This recipe looks awesome but I cannot get past the egg part–my mom never added eggs. I’m used to a moist yet crumbly dressing, not dense and compact. Is there a reason I have to add the eggs or can that be eliminated? I hate to jack with a recipe if it truly needs to be in there… The pic looks moist, crumbly and yummy!

    1. I don’t usually use egg in mine though I have had it both ways. Just make sure you have a proper wetness ratio. Long as it’s not too wet of dry, it will set just fine without the egg.

  15. Hey! This recipe looks awesome but I cannot get past the egg part. I’m used to a moist yet crumbly dressing, not dense and compact. Is there a reason I have to add the eggs or can that be eliminated? I hate to jack with a recipe if it truly needs to be in there… The pic looks moist, crumbly and yummy!

  16. 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.
    Heat butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add celery and onion and cook until soft.
    Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper to onion mixture.
    In a large bowl combine crumbled cornbread and toast? TOAST? What’s that about?

    1. YES!!! I always add toast ritz crackers to my dressing. And if I need to make it stretch, cook up some frozen biscuits and crumble them up and put in there.

      1. I’ve always used Pepperidge Farm Herb seasoned instead of toast or biscuits. Enhances the flavor, texture and stretching.

    2. Some people use crumbled up white toast in with crumbled up cornbread. Are family recipe calls for biscuits instead of toast. But I suppose either works.

  17. My mother in law always makes the dressing for our holiday dinners and this is just how she makes it. So dang good! I don’t know why we don’t make it all year long.

  18. I was looking for a southern dressing recipe and found yours Christin. I also found your recipe for Pineapple Casserole. I decided to try it and it was fabulous!!! I have made it twice already. It is a keeper!!! It tastes like a dessert. I will try the dressing recipe next.

  19. Hmmmm. Was very easy to make and smells yumm. Now to the taste. Far to salty for my taste. Even my husband said the same thing. I think in the future I will only use half chicken stock half water and add no salt at all.

  20. 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. The uncooked eggs make it all come back together. I also you boiled eggs that have my mom made it and that the way I like it. It’s up to you the way you look it.

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

      1. So the whole stick of butter is to sauté the onions and celery and the 2 tablespoons is to put on top of dressing? That part is confusing me!

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

      1. Had this discussion (argument) two years ago. Dressing and stuffing can be the same thing, depending on where you live. My mom and grandma are from the south and made this same recipe but called it stuffing because they stuffed it into the turkey.!

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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”

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

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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. I use the canned bisquits instead of white bread toast.Bake them the day before and let them sit out to get stale

    3. you don’t need toast I don’t add toast and I cook that recipe but i add cream of chicken and/or cream of mushroom

        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..

  36. 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.

  37. Does it matter what size baking dish for the dressing? This is my 1st time trying to make it so I have no idea! Please help!

  38. This stuffing looks so perfect, Christin! I rarely get the stuffing job because it’s my mother-in-law’s every year, but when I make some, I’m trying this!

  39. 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!!

  40. I will never forget how happy I was to come home for food that first Thanksgiving! Your son has got to be so excited! And this dressing looks delicious!

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating