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 141 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.

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Recipe Review




743 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My mom made this every Thanksgiving and I have been making it for many Thanksgivings. We’ve never added cream of chicken soup. We always use turkey drippings and the chicken broth. Thanks for sharing

    1. Belinda, there are so many variations of the way people made dressing. This is the way my grandmother always made hers so it is a family tradition. I hope you and your family enjoy yours this Thanksgiving.

  2. I made this and absolutely addictive. But I thought to moist. cooked mine 30 extra minutes and still wet and I thought a little salty. I let my friend try it and she absolutly loved it. I just don’t know how its going to go over with other people. Please give me a hint to be not so wet and not cook so long…please advice

    1. Sherrie, this will be a moist dressing but should not be really soupy. It will be soft and won’t get really firm. Also, make sure you use 2 9×13 pans. It will take a long time to bake in one pan. Hope everyone enjoys it!

  3. Your recipe is almost identical to mine. I hard boil my eggs but my mother n law used raw. ( it made for a fluffier dressing.) And I saute the chopped celery and onions in butter before adding to the dressing.

  4. The best recipe I have for a cornbread dressing that is moist, not soupy or dry. The flavor is not overpowered with seasonings. This is just a good, down-home cornbread dressing.

    1. Thanks so much, Elaine! This is the cornbread dressing that has been a favorite in my family for generations. I’m so glad you like it, too.

  5. This is the best dressing you will ever eat!!! I mix it up and taste for seasonings. I prefer a little more seasonings than called for. This is MY dressing go to!!

  6. My mother always made the old fashioned dressing for holidays. Years later when she had dementia I had no idea how I would be able to pull over dressing from another recipe. By that time she had no clue she’d ever made dressing before. I found your recipe and get compliments every time I cook it! Thank you for such a great recipe that tastes like I remember mama’s dressing tasted❤️

    1. Sandra, I’m so happy my grandmother’s dressing recipe tastes like what your mother used to make. I feel so fortunate that we have my grandmother’s recipes. Such happy memories!

  7. 5 stars
    Soooooo good!!!!! Needed recipe for dressing because no one could make it exactly like my MIL did and this recipe completely fills that void. Everyone raved over it. Love it and can’t wait to eat it again!!!

    1. Oh, that is great, Lorri. I love that it is like your mother-in-law made and everyone loved it.

  8. This is very much like my recipe except I saute the celery & onions in the butter before I mix it in with the cornbread.

    1. Priss, the cornbread dressing will be moist but not mushy when made by this recipe. Remember, this recipe is for 2 9×13 pans of dressing. I hope you enjoy!

  9. I make mine with, somewhat, more ingredients. Chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, eggs, sage, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, geen onions, green peppers, onions, celery, chicken, cornbread. Everyone loves it bc it is so flavorful & moist. I’m from south MS.

    1. Thanks, Lisa, I’ve never had the dressing with green peppers. It’s amazing how many variations there are to cornbread dressing, isn’t it?