You can make this simple cornbread dressing in three easy steps. It's as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3! Start by baking the cornbread, sauteeing the vegetables, and then combining 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
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 has cooled to the touch, crumble it into a large bowl. Toast about 5 slices of whole wheat or white bread. Then, break up the toast and add it to the cornbread crumbs.
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!
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.
At this time, pour in a generous amount of chicken broth.
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. This recipe's simplicity complements the flavors of many family-favorite dishes.
You can get a similar taste in this Easy Farmhouse Chicken Cornbread Casserole. The creamy chicken filling sandwiched between flavorful cornbread layers tastes like cornbread dressing.
- 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
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- herbs to taste, optional
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place bread crumbs into a large bowl.
- Sautee vegetables in olive oil for 10 minutes or until they become soft over medium heat, stirring often.
- Stir vegetables into bread crumbs along with eggs, salt, and pepper.
- Pour broth over ingredients and stir to mix well.
- Spoon into prepared baking dish and bake for 45-55 minutes depending on how moist you want the dressing.
- Serve and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- 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.
- 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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"Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything."Dwight L. Moody