Southern cornbread dressing is a popular Thanksgiving side dish. Filled with comforting flavors like celery, onion, and sage, this moist, fluffy cornbread dressing is a must for your next holiday meal.
You'll love this cornbread dressing because it's surprisingly easy to make from scratch. Plus, it's made the day beforehand! Simply pop it in the oven on Thanksgiving day.
Cornbread dressing is made with crumbled cornbread that's mixed with sautéed celery, onions, and sage. A simple side dish that's filled with savory, comforting flavors, cornbread dressing pairs perfectly with turkey and gravy.
This delicious savory side dish is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table. Plus, it serves a crowd! This recipe makes enough to serve 10 large portions.
Dressing vs. stuffing
Okay, so we've all heard of dressing and stuffing before, but what is the difference?
It seems as though both words are use interchangeably. In the north, the word stuffing is more common. In the south, it is usually called dressing.
One main difference I've found is that "stuffing" can be stuffed and cooked inside your Thanksgiving turkey. Dressing is more commonly baked in a casserole dish.
It seems as though it mainly depends on where you live geographically. Dressing or stuffing - I think we can all agree that it's a delicious Thanksgiving side dish!
Here's an article you may like: The Great Debate: Stuffing vs Dressing
Cornbread ingredients and substitutions
First, you'll be making the cornbread to use in your dressing.
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, add 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then, fill to the 1 ½ cups mark with milk. Allow to set for 5 minutes and your buttermilk substitute is ready.
White or yellow cornmmeal will work in this recipe. White cornmeal has a milder flavor, but otherwise will work the same way as yellow cornmeal.
Once your cornbread has been prepared, you can assemble your cornbread dressing!
Dressing ingredients and substitutions
Chicken broth can be substituted with beef broth or vegetable broth.
Traditional bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, or crushed butter crackers (like Ritz brand) can be used.
Sage is a classic seasoning for cornbread dressing. If you don't care for sage, I'd suggest substituting with thyme, or a combination of thyme and rosemary.
The great part about cornbread dressing is that it must be made the day beforehand. This helps free up the day of Thanksgiving for preparing other dishes.
Once assembled, cover your baking dish and refrigerate your cornbread dressing for 8 hours, or overnight.
Your cornbread can be made up to 24 hours in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Leftovers and freezing
Leftover cornbread dressing will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
To freeze - portion leftover cornbread dressing into single servings, tightly wrap in foil, then store in a gallon sized freezer bag. Simply pull out your dressing the night before to thaw in the refrigerator.
Dressing can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed through (depending on the size of your leftovers, up to 30 minutes)
Southern Cornbread Dressing
- 1 ½ cups cornmeal
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 ½ cups chopped celery about 3 ribs of celery
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried sage
- 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly butter a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients: Cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to remove any lumps.
- Add buttermilk and eggs, whisk to combine. Add melted butter and whisk to combine.
- Pour batter into prepared dish and spread to the edges of the pan.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes or until top and sides are lightly browned.
- Allow cornbread to cool completely in the pan, then gently crumble into a large bowl.
- Lightly butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- In a saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Once hot, add celery and onion and cook until browned and fragrant. Add sage, stir, and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Pour vegetables into a large bowl with crumbled cornbread. Add remaining ingredients: breadcrumbs, chicken broth, eggs, and pepper. Mix until combined.
- Gently press mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dish from refrigerator and uncover.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm.
- Leftover dressing will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 3-4 days.
- Leftover dressing can be frozen for up to 3 months. Cover tightly or wrap in foil. Transfer from freezer to refrigerator to thaw the night before.
- Dressing can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed through (depending on the size of your leftovers, up to 30 minutes).