You can make this simple cornbread dressing in 3 easy steps. Start with baking the cornbread, next saute the vegetables, then combine the rest of the ingredients before baking. It’s as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3!
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I was almost 20 years old the first time I ate real southern cornbread dressing. It was at my husband’s grandparents home in Mississippi where we celebrated our first Thanksgiving together.
I remember thinking, ” Where is the rice dressing? I missed the rice dressing.!” Then about midway into the meal, I began to enjoy this new way of giving thanks. I think it was the flavorful gravy on top of the dressing that 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 full schedules and all. 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. I was relieved at how well they devoured it and all of my fears of “that’s not how Mamaw made it!” went away.
With Thanksgiving gatherings approaching, let’s look at these 3 easy steps to make a southern cornbread dressing. I apologize if it’s not like your Mamaw’s, but I have found with this classic version you can add to or take away to suit your taste.
Step #1 Make Cornbread
You can start this with a boxed mix, but you don’t have to. This recipe for homemade Iron Skillet Cornbread is easy and delicious. The olive oil makes the difference. Trust me!
After the cornbread is cooled to touch, crumble it into a large bowl and toast about 5 slices of whole wheat or white bread. Then break up the toasts and add them to the cornbread crumbs.
Step # 2 Saute The Vegetables
Chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper and saute in olive oil until they are soft. You can use bacon drippings in place of the oil, that would be just fine and yummy!
Step #3 Combine And Bake
Now we add the sauteed veggies, eggs, and seasonings to the breadcrumbs. Mix this up. You may use your hands.
At this time, pour in a generous amount of chicken broth.
Now 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 you can make ahead and freeze before baking. Be sure and cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil. When you’re ready to cook, defrost thoroughly and bake. Or, freeze after it’s baked then defrost and reheat right before your meal.