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Classic Southern Cornbread dressing, loaded with herbs and buttery flavor. These cozy, herbed bread cubes are baked to a crispy, dense texture that only stuffing is meant to have. Perfectly moist with a golden crust on the top. The perfect side dish for your family meals!
All about this cornbread dressing…
This Cornbread Dressing is a classic southern side dish perfect for Thanksgiving or any family meal. It’s a great way to use up any stale or leftover cornbread. Use your favorite cornbread recipe or use mine if needed. Or you can always use a box mix or store-bought cornbread to save time.
Pre-baking the breads helps to ensure that they hold their shape and hold up to the luscious buttery herb sauce that is poured over the top before baking into a casserole dish. Making this the perfect comforting side to pair with any holiday meal.
- Cornbread: My all time favorite cornbread recipe is perfect for this recipe. I recommend making it a day beforehand, this helps it dry out slightly overnight making it easier to cube and quicker to dry out in the oven.
- White Bread: get a nice thick sliced bread from the market. Texas toast style is perfect for using to make homemade dressing!
- Butter: adds moisture and flavor.
- Onion & Celery: adds flavor and texture.
- Seasonings & Herbs: this recipe is written using dried herbs for ease. You can use fresh herbs if you have them on hand, simply increase the amount to 1 tbsp instead of 1 tsp.
- Chicken broth: adds extra flavor to the dressing.
How to Make (step-by-step):
- Step 1: Prepare the Cornbread. Recommended to make this the day before to assist with drying out. Cube and bake the breads until dry. Should have the texture of croutons.
- Step 2: Prepare the liquid broth by melting butter, sautéing the veggies, then adding the herbs, seasonings, and chicken broth. Let this simmer. Then pour the broth over the dried breads, stir to combine.
- Step 3: Cover and bake. Then remove the foil and continue baking to get that beautiful golden crust on the top!
The difference in the name can be due to cooking method. Dressing is typically prepared outside of the bird and cooked in the oven or a slow cooker. Stuffing is prepared by stuffing it into the turkey and baking it in the bird. However, in the South, the name dressing can be used for both!
You can make this inside the turkey, please be mindful this can increase the bake time to ensure that it is cooked fully.
The best choice is a white bread since it has a tight crumb, it’s perfect for absorbing the flavors of the butter and the broth. Texas toast style bread is a great option since it’s a nice wide slice which is perfect for making chunky stuffing.
- Make this your own so that your entire family will enjoy it. Some ideas include adding sausage, cook some sausage in a skillet and add to the dressing before baking.
- Add some fresh fruits: apples would be a great addition, chop up and add to the dressing. (If you’re interested I have a Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Stuffing Recipe that has amazing reviews!)
- Instead of using dried herbs, use fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley are all great options!
- Use day old cornbread so that it holds it’s shape when cubed. Fresh cornbread tends to crumble when used in this recipe.
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes:
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Green Bean Casserole (Made from Scratch!)
- 1 batch cornbread (8×8 pan) approx 800g
- 4 slices thick sliced white bread
- ½ cup butter unsalted
- ½ cup onion finely diced
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth low or no sodium
- 2 large eggs beaten
- Preheat oven to 300℉.
- Cut the cornbread and white bread into 3/4 inch cubes. (I find that the cornbread bakes up thick, so I slice the entire loaf into cubes, then lay each row over and slice in half lengthwise again to get just the right size)
- Spread onto a large baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 300 for 30-60 minutes (usually takes about 45 mins) until dried out, gently shuffle the bread cubes about 20 minutes through baking. (Bread should be fairly dried out and crisp to the touch, like a crouton. If not dried out the dressing will be mushy. The cornbread will not be as crisp as the white bread, but should still be fairly dried)
- Preheat oven to 375℉.
- In a medium size saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened.
- Stir in the herbs, salt and pepper and pour in the chicken broth. Heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings/herbs as needed.
- Add the bread crumbs to a 2 1/2 qt baking dish, ladle broth mixture over the bread crumbs until entire mixture is moistened, not soggy.
- Beat the eggs, pour over the dressing, gently stir the dressing to coat the bread crumbs (be gentle since the cornbread will easily crumble)
- Cover with foil and Bake for 20-25 at 375, remove foil and bake an additional 15 mins.
- Cornbread: Make it a day beforehand, this helps it dry out slightly overnight making it easier to cube and quicker to dry out in the oven.
- White Bread: get a nice thick sliced white bread from the market. Texas toast style is perfect for using to make homemade dressing.
- Seasonings & Herbs: this recipe is written using dried herbs for ease. To use fresh herbs increase the amount to 1 tbsp instead of 1 tsp.
- Prep Ahead: To prepare this dish ahead of time, prepare the dressing recipe and instead of baking, cover and store in the refrigerator. Can be stored overnight. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking to allow the dish to come to room temperature before baking. Baking time might need to be increased an additional 10 minutes.
- Storage: store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freezing: freeze unbaked dressing by preparing in a greased baking dish, covering with plastic wrap, then wrap in foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, remove to the refrigerator overnight. Bake at 375 degrees F per the recipe. May need longer if going into the oven cold. Use an instant read thermometer to ensure an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to test doneness.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe first published November 13, 2020. Updated November 10, 2021 with new information and video. Recipe is unchanged.
Photography done by the talented KJandCompany.co