Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Southern Cornbread Dressing makes a comforting, classic dish for the holidays! Moist and delicious, cornbread dressing makes the perfect side dish!

Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe from addapinch.com

Cornbread dressing could easily take center stage at my family’s table during the holidays, especially at Thanksgiving.  On that special day, the cornbread dressing really rivals the turkey for attention. There’s just one rule. No stuffing in this house, and no funny stuff in our dressing. I think I’d no longer be allowed to make it for my family if I “messed” with this traditional family recipe. But you know, every family makes their recipes a little bit differently, and that’s what makes family recipes so special, I think! The special touches to suit your family’s taste preferences lets you know that those recipes were made with tons of love and care for each person who would gather at the table to enjoy them.

Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe from addapinch.com

For our dressing, we use my Grandmother Verdie’s recipe that she got from her own mother. It starts with a skillet of my  southern buttermilk cornbread. You can prepare it the day ahead and cover tightly, if you’d like. Likewise, we use leftover biscuits from the day before, but you can also use sliced white bread like my Grandmother showed me one day when Granddaddy had grabbed the last couple of biscuits she’d stashed away for her dressing as a “snack.” The bread works perfectly, too!


Crumble up your cornbread in a large bowl. Go ahead and use the largest bowl you have. You’ll want to really mix this up well. If you don’t have a really large bowl, grab a stockpot. It works perfectly for when you need to mix large amounts but don’t have a bowl big enough! Now, you’ll crumble your leftover biscuits or bread into the cornbread crumbles. This is a good thing to get the kids to help you do. Making crumbles was always one of my favorite things to do to help for Thanksgiving. That and taste testing! Ha.

For the cream of chicken soup, I prefer to use my homemade recipe. If you’d rather use canned cream of chicken soup, by all means it works great as well.

Another tip is to make sure you use plenty of Chicken stock when you make your dressing. It makes for the most moist and tender dressing. If you don’t use enough, you’ll have dry dressing and nobody likes dry dressing. Well, at least no one that I know, anyway!

This recipe yields two 9×13 dishes of cornbread dressing and you may think that sounds like way too much dressing. But, since my sister doesn’t care for onions, I always make one pan with and one without the onions.

Here’s the recipe for my family’s Southern Cornbread Dressing. I sure hope you love it as much as we do. We always like to finish it off with a drizzle of giblet gravy.

2.5 from 2 reviews
Southern Cornbread Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cornbread Dressing is a classic southern dish served especially during the holiday season. Moist and delicious, cornbread dressing makes the perfect side dish!
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Crumble cornbread and biscuits (or white bread slices) into a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, eggs, onion, celery, butter, cream of chicken soup, and chicken stock. Stir until well-combined.
  3. Pour dressing into two 9x13 baking dishes and bake until lightly browned, about 30 - 45 minutes. To test doneness, shake casserole dish lightly. If the center of the dressing moves, then the dressing is not cooked through in the center. Continue to bake until the dressing is set throughout.
Notes
You can pour dressing into two smaller casserole dishes to reduce cooking time to about 35 minutes. I like to do this for one pan with onions and the other without for those who do not like onions.

 

Make-ahead tips:
– Make cornbread for your dressing the day before. Wrap it up tightly until ready to mix your dressing.
– Mix up all of your dressing up to two days ahead of the big day. Wrap it up tightly and place in your refrigerator.

Day of tips:
– Bake your dressing early in the morning and then place in the refrigerator. While your turkey is resting, place your dressing back in the oven to thoroughly reheat.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

This post has been updated with new photographs. It was originally published on November 21, 2010.

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Comments

  1. 8

    says

    happy happy sigh . . . cornbread dressing . . . and it’s southern no less . . . i’m gonna get fatter this week just reading blogs . . . but call me fat and HAPPY!

  2. 10

    says

    Oh, we Southerners do crave our cornbread, and I’m craving this right now. Although I don’t dare change the traditional T-Day turkey stuffing I make every year — my family would riot — I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe for other uses. It’s stand-alone nature would make it a perfect side dish for any Sunday roast dinner any time of year. Just great!

  3. 12

    says

    My hubby is from down south and his mom always makes this at Thanksgiving. Yum. She also makes homemade noodles simmered in turkey broth which are served on top of the mashed potatoes. Carb overload, but divine. :)

  4. 20

    Sharon Collins says

    I’ve looked and looked and looked some more, but never have I found the exact way my Mama made her Cornbread dressing until now. Now, she didn’t use the regular onions, she used green onions, but, they are still good no matter which kind of onions you use! Everything else was exactly like she made hers!! I LOVE CORNBREAD DRESSING!!!! I wished I had some right now!!
    I’m so glad I found your web site….I’ve copied so many recipes that my seat is getting sore!! ha!
    Where are you from, in the South? My Mama was from Louisiana, but, we moved to East Texas, where I was raised. Your stories remind me of how I was raised in the South!!
    Ohhhh…I’m so glad I found you…I can’t wait til I get back to reading all of your stories and recipes.
    Thank you!!!
    Sharon from TX

  5. 21

    says

    This is the way I make my dressing! I do add a bit of poultry seasoning, and I saute my onion and celery in the butter before adding them to the cornbread mixture. But other than that, this is my dressing! Oh. My. Goodness. It is our favorite thing! Well, besides the sweet potato casserole. :)

    • 22

      Kim Honeycutt says

      Hi Heathahlee…..It seems like my Mother put poultry seasoning in hers. I wish I had written down how to make everything she made! And, I totally agree about the sweet potato casserole!!!

  6. 24

    Becky says

    My recipe is pretty close.. Except I put my eggs in boiled and no cream of chicken soup.. Plus poultry seasoning.. My mother in law always said it was the best dressing she ever had..

  7. 25

    says

    I found your site through Pinterest. I have been looking through your recipe archives – wonderful! I am a GA girl, and I can’t imagine Thanksgiving without cornbread dressing. I don’t know how the northerners can stomach the stuffing:)
    My mother gave me her dressing recipe a few years ago and it is similar to yours. Instead of white bread slices, I use biscuits (you can make beforehand, just like the cornbread). The end product looks about the same even with a few other small variations. I’m sure dressing is somewhat fool-proof, and it sure is tasty :)

    • 26

      Robyn says

      Welcome! Cornbread dressing and Thanksgiving just go together like peas and carrots don’t they? Nothing like them. Yes, my Grandmother Earlene makes her dressing just like the recipe your family uses. It’s delicious, isn’t it?

  8. 27

    Monet says

    Very similar to my recipe the only different is I saute the onions, celery and green peppers in the butter. I alos add rubbed sage. Delish. I can’t wait until Thanksgiving, ☺

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. 29

    says

    VERY similar to ours, except instead of sliced bread, we use buttermilk biscuits. We also add milk instead of cream of chicken, and rubbed sage. But LORD yes, this stuff is so good. It is the holidays for us — Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter too (if the folks are so inclined). I’ll never make it as good as my Daddy does, but I do pretty good.

  10. 30

    Patricia says

    It seems like every Southerner makes dressing, and not stuffing, and they all start out similar with some slight handed down for generations differences. One thing seems too be a constant, and that is the “Cornbread”, we love our cornbread “dressing”. My family makes their dressing very similar to your recipe. We use sauteed onions, celery a little bell pepper and poultry seasoning, make a homemade stock and pour a little of the turkey drippings in for a little additional flavor. It’s pretty simple, and no we do not like any changes to the dressing, no nuts, berries, fruit, or seafood please. Lol

  11. 33

    TERRY says

    Robyn I was looking back at your Buttermilk Cornbread recipe and wondered what size your cast iron skillet is? 10 inch?? My cornbread recipe is similar but I don’t use any flour in mine, mama and aunts called it Egg Bread…
    Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

    • 34

      says

      Hi Terry,
      I use my 12-inch skillet for my cornbread. But, be careful and don’t do what I did last year! The grocery store was a mad house when I went shopping for my Thanksgiving groceries and I just grabbed my cornmeal from the shelf where it always sits. I came home, made my cornbread and when I took it out of the oven was a bit puzzled why it rose so high. When I checked, I realized that I’d mistakenly bought corn meal MIX! It still tasted fabulous and I just went right on along with my recipe. If I’d made it in my 10-inch skillet, I’d have had a mess on my hands!

  12. 35

    Betty says

    Just wanted to say your dressing is the first one that is made exactly the way my mother made hers and the way I make mine. She also used biscuits in hers but I usually use day or two old hotdog or hamburger buns with the cornbread. I do not use the sage because my mother did not. .This is the REAL Southern Dressing!!!!

    • 36

      says

      Hi Betty,
      Isn’t it the best thing ever? We generally don’t include sage in ours either as my Mama never did. I think we are from the same Southern Dressing heritage!!! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  13. 39

    Amber says

    I put boiled eggs in mine…for your 3 eggs are they beaten in the mixture or boiled? I see so many different versions. Plus I’ve put mine in the crock pot the past two years! It turns out so moist. I just never I’m supposed to use eggs as a binder or not?

    • 40

      says

      Hi Amber,
      The eggs that I use are not boiled, but mixed into the dressing batter raw. I hope that helps! Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. 44

    Alfred says

    Hi Robin,
    Gosh I wish you had posted how much cornbread to use! I was lazy and bought cornbread instead of using your cornbread recipe. So…I didn’t know how much to buy. Now I’m looking at a dressing mixture that is mush. I’m so bummed. :-(

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