Southern Cornbread Dressing makes a comforting, classic dish for the holidays! This cornbread dressing recipe is moist, delicious and so easy! An heirloom family favorite recipe that makes the perfect side dish!
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 cornbread dressing 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.
This recipe makes enough for two 9×13 dishes. You can easily half the recipe to make just one, or use the freezer-friendly instructions to prepare one to bake now and one to freeze and bake later.
Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe
For our dressing, we use my Grandmother Verdie’s recipe that she got from her own mother. It is a definite heirloom family recipe that my family treasures! It is so incredibly moist and tender and so delicious! Once you taste it, you’ll understand why it is a must-have family favorite recipe.
Southern Cornbread Dressing Ingredients
To make it, you’ll need the following ingredients.
Cornbread – It starts with a skillet of southern buttermilk cornbread. While it only takes 30 minutes to make, you can also easily make it ahead if you’d like. You can prepare it up to two days ahead and keep covered tightly on the kitchen counter until ready to make your dressing.
Biscuits or Bread – Likewise, we use leftover biscuits from the day before, but you can also use sliced white bread as 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!
Seasonings – Salt and pepper add so much flavor to this dressing. If you like the flavor of sage in your dressing, include it as well.
Eggs – You’ll need three large eggs for the full recipe. If you are making a half recipe, use two eggs.
Onion – You’ll need one medium diced onion. The onion adds so much flavor to the recipe. If you do not care for onions, you can simply omit or do as I do and have one pan with onions and one without. 🙂
Celery – Two diced stalks of celery are perfect in this recipe.
Butter – The butter not only adds flavor, it adds moisture to this cornbread dressing as well. You will slice the butter so that it mixes more easily into the dressing.
Cream of Chicken Soup – I prefer to use my homemade Cream of Chicken Soup recipe, but you can absolutely use store-bought if you like.
Chicken Stock or Broth – You will need a good bit of chicken stock or broth. It adds so much moisture to the dressing! If you do not have enough in your dressing, it will make for a dry dressing. Here, again, you can use homemade or store-bought chicken stock or broth, whichever you prefer.
How to Make Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe
Crumble. Crumble your cornbread and biscuits or bread into small pieces in a large bowl. You’ll want to use the largest bowl you have so that you can really mix this up well. A large stockpot also works well if you do not have a large enough mixing bowl. As a child, this was the part Grandmother let me help her with in making the dressing. It is one of my fondest memories in the kitchen.
Mix. Now add in the salt, pepper, sage (optional), onion, butter, cream of chicken soup and chicken stock or broth. Mix well until all of the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth.
Bake. Pour the mixture into two 9×13 baking dishes and bake until the cornbread dressing browned and is set throughout about 30 – 45 minutes.
Other Favorite Holiday Recipes
Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Crumble all of the cornbread and biscuits (or white bread slices) into a very large bowl. Add salt, pepper, eggs, onion, celery, butter, cream of chicken soup, and chicken stock. Stir until well-combined.
- Pour dressing into two 9×13 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.
Make-ahead Cornbread Dressing 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.
– Freezer-Friendly – prepare without baking up to two weeks in advance, wrap tightly and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator two days in advance and bake on Thanksgiving Day.
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.