A traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe perfectly seasoned with onions, celery, and sage. Makes a delicious addition to every holiday table.
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern cornbread dressing is easy to make, but so delicious and makes the perfect addition to the holiday table.
In my Midwestern family, we almost always make my grandma's stuffing for the holidays. But lately I've been embracing my husband's southern roots, so I wanted to give this Southern classic a try. (You can read more about the difference between stuffing and dressing here, if you're curious.)
I have to say, this may be my new favorite holiday dish. (Don't tell my family!) I'm definitely bringing it to my hubby's family Thanksgiving.
Southern cornbread dressing is moist, more like a casserole than the stuff you get it in a box. It's also savory and perfectly seasoned with onions, celery, and sage.
What Kind of Cornbread Do You Use for Southern Cornbread Dressing?
The right cornbread makes all the difference in southern cornbread dressing.
Good cornbread = good dressing.
So it's really important that you use the right cornbread for your dressing.
Good southern cornbread means a salty savory cornbread. Not sweet. Closer to sandwich bread in it's flavor than to the boxed mix cornbread. Plus, slightly crispy edges are a must to give it a little extra color and flavor.
This Southern Skillet Cornbread recipe is what I always use, and it's just perfect for this dressing. Make it, and cut it into 8 slices about two days before you plan to make the dressing.
Can Southern Cornbread Dressing be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can! Southern Cornbread Dressing is a great make ahead dish!
To make ahead, prepare dressing according to recipe instructions. Don't bake. Instead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.
Then just bake on the big day. You may need to add 5-10 minutes to the usual baking time, due to starting with a cold dish.
Alternately, you can prepare the recipe without baking up to 3 months in advance, and cover and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before, then bake.
More Holiday Recipes You'll Love
- Southern Corn Pudding - one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving and something we make every year!
- Southern Pecan Pie - family favorite! Super easy recipe for a sweet classic.
- Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce - simple recipe for classic cranberry sauce with a sweet maple twist.
- Sweet Potato Casserole - a side dish so delicious, you'll think it's dessert!
- Creamy Fried Confetti Corn - creamy corn fried with bacon, onions, and pepper makes a rich side that everyone loves.
- See All Thanksgiving Recipes and Ideas
Southern Cornbread Dressing
- 1 batch Southern cornbread crumbled
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 celery ribs chopped
- 1½ teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 bread slices toasted and crumbled
- ½ cup milk
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9"x13" baking dish, and set aside.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons butter.
- Add onions and celery to skillet and sautee until tender.
- Stir in poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add cornbread crumbles and toast crumbles. Stir in chicken broth.
- Add onion mixture to cornbread mixture, and stir to combine. Test seasoning now and adjust as necessary.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Pour into dressing mixture and stir to combine.
- Transfer dressing mixture to prepared baking dish, and spread gently and evenly.
- Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small slivers and scatter on top of the dressing.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until browned on the top.
- Make the cornbread at least one day before (or up to 3 days). Let the cornbread sit out, uncovered to get a little stale. Then crumble before adding it to the recipe.
- Use this recipe to make your cornbread. And DO NOT add sugar or honey. Regardless of your feelings on sweetened cornbread, it should not be sweetened for dressing.
- Add all of the seasoning before you add the eggs. This way you can test the seasoning and more of anything you need to.
- Dressing mixture should be very moist, but not soupy. If your dressing mixture is not wet all the way through after adding all ingredients, add an additional ½ cup of broth.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare dressing as instructed in the recipe, without baking. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.
- Freezer Instructions: prepare without baking. Then cover, label, and freeze for up 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
- Storage: Store baked dressing covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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