Southern Cornbread Dressing is a popular Thanksgiving side dish. Filled with celery, onion, and sage, this moist and fluffy cornbread dressing is a must for your next holiday meal.
In my house, southern cornbread dressing is an absolute must have for Thanksgiving. You’ll love this cornbread dressing because it’s surprisingly easy to make, and can be made ahead the day before.
So what exactly is cornbread dressing?
Cornbread dressing is made with crumbled cornbread, mixed with sauteed celery, onions, and sage. Then, it’s all held together with a few eggs, chicken broth, and breadcrumbs.
You may have had dressing or stuffing before that was made with cubed bread. Instead of bread, we’re using cornbread.
Dressing vs. Stuffing
Okay, so we’ve all heard of dressing and stuffing before, but what exactly 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.
But, I’ve also seen dressing stuffed into a Turkey, and stuffing baked in a casserole dish. Confused yet?
It seems as though it just 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
How to Make Southern Cornbread Dressing
Making cornbread dressing takes two distinct steps. First, we’ll make the cornbread that goes in our dressing. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and butter a 9×13 pan.
Next, gather your cornbread ingredients. You’ll need eggs, melted butter, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, buttermilk, cornmeal, and flour.
In a bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Then, add your buttermilk and eggs. Whisk to combine. Last, add your melted butter, whisk, and pour into your prepared pan.
Spread your batter to the edges of the pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and sides.
Allow your cornbread to cool completely, then gently crumble with your hands into a large mixing bowl.
Next, we will assemble our cornbread. For this step, you’ll need your crumbled cornbread, bread crumbs, celery, onion, eggs, butter, sage, pepper, and chicken broth.
In a skillet over medium heat, add your butter. Then, saute your onion and celery until browned and fragrant. Add your sage and cook for 1 additional minute.
Then, add your vegetables to the crumbled cornbread, along with the rest of your ingredients. Stir to combine, then press into a lightly greased 9×13 pan.
I like to lightly press my dressing into the pan, so some texture remains on the top of the dish. This way, the dressing comes out fluffy and moist. Some prefer a denser dressing that can be sliced into wedges.
If this is you, feel free to press your dressing to make it more compact in the dish. This part is a personal preference!
Resting Your Cornbread Dressing
Cover your baking dish and refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight. Your cornbread can be made the day before and refrigerated until ready to bake and serve.
Last, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake your dressing, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.
Serving Southern Cornbread Dressing
I highly recommend serving your cornbread dressing with gravy. While cornbread dressing is moist and flavorful, it’s the perfect vessel for soaking up a delicious gravy.
Did you know you can make gravy ahead of time too? Check out my post on How To Make Gravy Without Drippings.
Cornbread dressing is traditionally a Thanksgiving and Christmas side dish, but can be made year round as well.
Leftover Cornbread Dressing
Do you have leftover dressing? No worries – dressing can easily be frozen, thawed, and reheated.
I like to portion mine into servings, tighly 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
- 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery about 3 ribs of celery
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 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 can be frozen. 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)