This moist, delicious Southern Cornbread Dressing is a traditional stuffing recipe that makes the perfect Thanksgiving side dish!
Southern Cornbread Dressing
I’m so excited to share my family’s Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe with you guys! This traditional cornbread dressing is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish. I’ve shared the Apple Pecan Stuffing that my guy grew up eating on turkey day, and it’s delicious, but cornbread dressing will always be my first choice. It is a blend of Southern cornbread (no sugar!) and biscuits, baked together with broth, celery, onion, and poultry seasoning to make this moist, delicious dressing that’s a must-have on Thanksgiving day!
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What is the Difference Between Stuffing and Cornbread?
Let’s get this one of out of the way right now. The short answer is that dressing is baked in a dish and stuffing is stuffed in a turkey to bake. If you want are interested in more details and some amazing stuffing & dressing recipes make sure you check out my Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving Stuffing & Dressing.
How Do You Make Cornbread Dressing?
Cornbread dressing is actually really easy to make and it only takes a few simple ingredients. You start with cornbread and biscuits. The cornbread should be southern cornbread, this means no sugar added, and I suggest using self-rising yellow cornmeal. I have included a recipe below but you can always just follow the recipe for cornbread on the package. The cornbread to biscuit ratio is 2/3 cornbread to 1/3 biscuits, so if your cornbread recipe makes 12 corn muffins you’ll want to use 4 biscuits. For the biscuits you can use this simple Baking Powder Biscuits recipe or you can make good old Bisquick biscuits like my mom does ;).
Once you have your bread baked and cooled you’ll chop up celery and onion. Pour your broth into a large saucepan and add the celery and onions to it bringing it to a simmer and letting them cook until softened. This adds flavor to the broth and softens the vegetables so you don’t crunch on things as you’re eating your dressing.
Crumble your cornbread and biscuits together, making sure to break break down all of the big chunks, then pour the broth over the bread 1 cup at a time, stirring it together, until you reach a consistency like oatmeal.
Now you’ll want to add your seasoning. Start with a little salt and 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning. This is all about taste so take your time, stir everything together well, and keep tasting until you think you have it right. The sage flavor in the poultry seasoning does get stronger as it bakes so err on the side of too little rather than too much!
When you have the flavor where you like it add the eggs, stir everything together and then pour it into a casserole dish and let it bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, or until the outer edges are firm and the middle doesn’t jiggle.
Tips for making Cornbread Dressing:
- If you don’t want to bake your own cornbread and biscuits you can always buy them! You can even use canned biscuits for the biscuit portion of the dish.
- You don’t need to bake beautiful biscuits and cornbread for this recipe since it is all going to be broken up. I made drop biscuits and baked my cornbread in a 9-inch cake pan.
- Make sure you flavor your dressing before adding the raw eggs so you can safely taste it as you adjust the seasoning.
- Wet is better than dry. When adding your broth you may need more or less than the 5 cups listed. Go slow (make sure to put all of the celery and onions in the cornbread mixture) adding 1 cup at a time. If you need more than 5 cups to get to an oatmeal consistency keep going. The end product should be just wet enough to pour into the baking dish.
- If the dressing is browning on the top but needs more time in the oven you can cover with foil and continue to bake.
Can You Make Cornbread Dressing Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can do it a few different ways:
- Bake your cornbread and biscuits a day or two in advance. Prep your celery and onions ahead of time. On the day you plan to serve it cook your celery and onions in the broth and then combine everything and bake.
- You can make make the dressing and instead of putting it in a baking dish you can pour it into a freezer bag, or a freezer-safe dish and freeze it for up to two months. When you are ready to bake it let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then pour it into a baking dish and bake according to instructions below.
- You can make and bake the cornbread dressing and then let it cool completely, place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to two months. When you’re ready to use it let it thaw in the fridge, then cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
- Cut baked dressing into individual servings, Store in the freezer for up to two months. When ready to use take it out of the freezer and microwave until warmed through.
Want more Thanksgiving side dish recipes?
SOUTHERN CORNBREAD DRESSING
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- 16 Cornbread muffins see recipe below
- 8 Biscuits
- 1 cup Celery chopped
- 1 medium Onion finely diced
- 5 cups Chicken Stock more if needed
- 1 tablespoon Poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cup Self-rising yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup Self-rising flour
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 4 Eggs
- 4 tablespoons Vegetable oil
Pour broth into a large saucepan and add celery and onions. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and let it cook until the celery and onion are soft.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl or pot finely crumble the cornbread and biscuits, stirring to combine them.
When your broth is ready pour it over the bread mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring it together, until you reach a consistency like oatmeal. If you need to add more broth you don’t have to heat anymore up you can just add it straight to the mixture. Note: Make sure all of your celery and onions go into the mixture even if you don’t use all of the broth.
Next add salt and poultry seasoning a little at a time. Take your time, stir everything together well, and keep tasting until you think you have it right. Note: The sage flavor in the poultry seasoning does get stronger as it bakes so err on the side of too little rather than too much!
When you have the flavor where you like it add the eggs, stirring everything together until it is fully combined.
Pour the cornbread mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish and let it bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, or until the outer edges are firm and the middle doesn't jiggle.
Remove from the oven and serve with turkey and gravy!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a bowl combine self-rising yellow cornmeal and self-rising flour.
Add milk, eggs, and vegetable to the flour and stir to combine.
Pour cornbread batter into a greased muffin tin.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into muffin comes out clean.
Let cool completely.