Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

4.98 from 142 votes
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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!

Southern cornbread dressing with a wooden spoon in a white baking 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 help 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

Moist Southern cornbread dressing with a wooden spoon in a white baking dish.

For our cornbread 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

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

Ingredients to make homemade Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe.

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 it 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 omit them 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, but 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bake. Pour the mixture into two 9×13 baking dishes and bake until the cornbread dressing is browned and is set, about 30 – 45 minutes.

Recipe Variations

Southern Chicken and Dressing Recipe – Mix about 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken into the dressing mixture and bake as directed for a delicious cornbread dressing with chicken recipe.

Southern Turkey and Dressing Recipe – Stir about 2 cups of cooked, shredded turkey into the dressing mixture and bake as directed.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers: Wrap 9×13 pan(s) with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Make ahead cornbread dressing: Prepare the dressing without baking and store it in the refrigerator two days ahead or the freezer up to 3 months in advance. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator two days before you are ready to serve to ensure that it is fully thawed. Bake as directed.

To freeze unbaked cornbread dressing: Wrap 9×13 pan(s) with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator. Then, bake the dressing as directed. 

To freeze baked cornbread dressing: Allow it to cool completely, then cover the 9×13 pan(s) with plastic wrap and foil (or store in an airtight, freezer-safe container) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat.

Expert Tip!

Oven space is at a premium on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas! Here are a few tips that may help with your cornbread dressing:

  1. Bake your dressing early in the morning. When done, wrap it well and store it in the refrigerator as your turkey roasts.
  2. While the turkey rests from roasting, place your dressing back into the oven to reheat thoroughly.

More Favorite Holiday Side Dishes

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cornbread dressing the same as cornbread stuffing?

Cornbread dressing is cooked in a baking dish, while stuffing is traditionally “stuffed” or cooked inside the cavity of the turkey.

How do you know when cornbread dressing is done?

Making sure your cornbread dressing is done is essential. To test doneness, shake the casserole dish lightly. If the center of the dressing moves, then the dressing is not cooked through in the center. Continue baking in 5-minute intervals until the cornbread is cooked through.

Can you add cooked chicken or turkey to the dressing?

Yes! Adding cooked chicken or turkey to your dressing is another family-favorite recipe! See how to make Chicken and Dressing or Turkey and Dressing in my Recipe Variations above.

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 or turkey gravy!

Southern Cornbread Dressing

4.98 from 142 votes
Cornbread Dressing is a classic southern dish served especially during the holiday season. Moist and delicious, cornbread dressing makes the perfect side dish!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Prep. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Mix. 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.
  • Bake. 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.

Notes

Each 9×13 pan serves 12. If you only need enough to serve 12, you can either half the recipe for one 9×13 pan or make the full recipe, pour it into two 9×13 pans, and freeze one to bake later. 

Recipe Variations

Southern Chicken and Dressing Recipe – Mix about 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken into the dressing mixture and bake as directed for a delicious chicken dressing recipe.
Southern Turkey and Dressing Recipe – Stir about 2 cups cooked, shredded turkey into the dressing mixture and bake as directed.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers. Wrap 9×13 pan(s) with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

To make ahead cornbread dressing: Prepare the dressing without baking and store it in the refrigerator two days ahead or the freezer up to 3 months in advance. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator two days before you are ready to serve to ensure that it is fully thawed. Bake as directed.

To freeze unbaked cornbread dressing: Wrap 9×13 pan(s) with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator. Then, bake the dressing as directed. 

To freeze baked cornbread dressing: Allow it to cool completely, then cover the 9×13 pan(s) with plastic wrap and foil (or store in an airtight, freezer-safe container) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat.

Nutrition

Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1077mg | Potassium: 222mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

4.98 from 142 votes (57 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Review




745 Comments

  1. Teresa Davis says:

    5 stars
    This is the absolute best dressing I have ever had! My family doesn’t want me to make anything else for the holiday. This is an absolute favorite and I’ll be passing this down to my family!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks so much, Teresa. This was my grandmother’s recipe and my family has loved it for years.

  2. Jessie Lynn Lovell says:

    I am using Campbell Cream of Chicken Soup. I used a Measuring Cup for 4 cups. It took 4 cans of Soup. It seems to be real thin. What do I do? Lynn

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Jessie Lynn, you use 1 can of soup, undiluted, for each 2 cups of homemade cream of chicken soup. So you would only use 2 cans of the cream of chicken soup for the full recipe of the cornbread dressing.

  3. btihansky says:

    5 stars
    This is an awesome and easy recipe. Every year I make one tray for Thanksgiving, and the other tray goes home with my brother in law. He says it’s the best dressing he has ever had.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      What a great idea! I love to make 2 and freeze one for later, sometimes.

  4. Alice C says:

    this is by far the best recipe I’ve ever made. I make the cornbread with recipe included. I use cream of chicken with herbs (Campbell’s). So very good! Everyone loves it!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Alice. I’m glad you like this cornbread dressing. It has been a favorite at my house for years.