Cooked cornbread in a white casserole dish on an orange and white striped place mat.

Cornbread Dressing

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You can make this simple cornbread dressing in 3 easy steps. It’s as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3! It’s as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3! Start with baking the cornbread, sauteeing the vegetables, and and then combine the ingredients before baking or freezing for make-ahead prep.

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I was almost 20 years old when I first tasted a traditional southern cornbread dressing. At my husband’s grandparents’ home in Mississippi,, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving together.

I remember thinking as we filled our plates with the many dishes offered, “Where’s the rice dressing? I missed the rice dressing!” Then about midway into the meal, I realized there wasn’t any rice dressing around. In fact, there probably wasn’t anyone besides me there that knew what a rice dressing was.

It didn’t take long for me to begin enjoying this new way of giving thanks. I think the flavorful gravy on top of the dressing did it. Someone had to tell me to put it on there.

As my children got older, traveling to Mississippi for Thanksgiving became less frequent because of our packed schedules. They then began to miss their cornbread dressing. (The usual rice or mashed potatoes with turkey gravy was not cutting it for them.) Truth is, I missed it too. So out of necessity, this recipe evolved, and everyone was happy about it. I was relieved at how well they devoured it, and all of my fears of hearing, “that’s not how Mamaw made it!” went away.

Whether it’s Thanksgiving day or any day you want to make a southern Cornbread Dressing, you can do so with these 3 easy steps.

Step 1 –  Make Cornbread

A black skillet of baked cornbread made for Cornbread Dressing.

You can start with a boxed mix, but you don’t have to. My recipe for homemade Iron Skillet Cornbread is easy and delicious. The olive oil makes the difference. Trust me!

After the cornbread is cooled to the touch, crumble it into a large bowl and toast about 5 slices of whole wheat or white bread. Then break up the toast and add them to the cornbread crumbs.

Two hands breaking up whole wheat toast to make bread crumbs for cornbread dressing.

Step 2 –  Saute Vegetables

Chop the onion, celery, bell pepper and saute in olive oil until they become soft. You can use bacon drippings instead of oil; that would be fine and yummy! 

Sauteed vegetables in a [an with a spoon for Cornbread Dressing.

Step 3 –  Combine And Bake

Now we add the sauteed veggies, eggs, and seasonings to the breadcrumbs. Some people like to add herbs like sage to their dressings. This is the time you can add those for your preference. Now, mix all of this up. You may use your hands.

Cornbread, bread crumbs, eggs and vegetables in a green bowl with seasonings to make Cornbread Dressing.

At this time, pour in a generous amount of chicken broth.

Chicken broth being poured into cornbread dressing mixture in a green bowl.

Then spoon the dressing mix into a baking dish and bake for 45 – 55 minutes according to how moist you like your dressing. To save time,, make the Cornbread Dressing ahead and freeze it before baking. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil for safe storage when freezing. When ready to cook, defrost the dressing thoroughly, then bake. Or freeze it after it’s baked, then defrost and reheat it before your meal.

You may add ingredients such as cooked sausage, nuts, and herbs to the dressing before adding the broth. The simplicity of this recipe goes well with the flavors of many family-favorite dishes.

Here are some of our families favorites:
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Cooked cornbread in a white casserole dish on an orange and white striped place mat.

Cornbread Dressing

Make cornbread dressing in 3 easy steps: a pan of cornbread, some sauteed vegetables, and a few other ingredients, then freeze or bake it in the oven. It’s that simple!

  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 cups cornbread, broken into crumbs
  • 4 cups toasted whole wheat bread, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 4  large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • herbs to taste, optional
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. 
  2. Place bread crumbs into a large bowl.
  3. Sautee vegetables in olive oil for 10 minutes or until they become soft over medium heat, stirring often. 
  4. Stir vegetables into bread crumbs along with eggs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Pour broth over ingredients and stir to mix well.
  6. Spoon into prepared baking dish and bake for 45-55 minutes depending on how moist you want the dressing.
  7. Serve and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • This dressing may be too moist to cook thoroughly stuffed inside a turkey. 
  • The dressing may be frozen before or after baking, bake or heat through after it is thoroughly defrosted.
  • Other ingredients to suit your taste may be added such as cooked sausage, nuts, and herbs before the broth is poured in. 
  • Add more chicken broth for a soupy dressing.
  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cornbread dressing

Need more? Click here for 11 Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Traditions You’ll Only Find in the South. You’ll find recipes for mac ‘n cheese, collard greens, crab cakes, and the ever-so-popular turducken.

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Have a nice day!

“Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything.” 

Dwight L. Moody

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