Savor the Flavor of Homemade Cornbread Stuffing

Greetings from the south. If you’ve ever visited the southern states of the US during Thanksgiving or Christmas, you would know that nothing screams “soul food” more than a good old-fashioned cornbread dressing. Its rich and delicious flavors teasing your taste buds even before it’s served.

If you’re not from these parts and haven’t had the chance to try it, then this recipe is a must-try. It’s the perfect blend of savory and sweet flavors that make it an all-time favorite dish among southerners year after year.

Made with homemade chicken broth, onions, celery, green onion, and traditional southern cornbread, this classic Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe packs a flavorful punch that will leave your guests begging for more.

So if you’re looking to impress this holiday season with a dish that will have everyone talking well into next year, then look no further than this delicious recipe. Get ready to discover what makes the South so special with each delightful bite of this soulful cornbread dressing recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Classic Southern Cornbread Dressing
Classic Southern Cornbread Dressing

Are you ready to experience the ultimate comfort food that satisfies your taste buds? Look no further! This classic Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe is simply divine. Here’s why you’ll love it.

Firstly, this recipe is a combination of old-fashioned southern charm and modern flair, making it a crowd-pleaser at any gathering. It perfectly encapsulates the rich cultural heritage of Southern soul food that has been passed down through generations.

Secondly, the ingredient list includes some staple ingredients such as sage, seasoning salt, pepper, kosher salt, and homemade chicken broth. These give the dish an explosion of flavor with each and every bite.

Thirdly, eggs are added to bind the ingredients together, making it more satisfying and filling. You won’t feel stuffed but will be left comfortably full for hours after eating.

Fourthly, the recipe allows for versatility in terms of substitutions and variations to meet dietary concerns or preferences. Want more sweetness? Try adding Italian parsley and green bell peppers. Want more savory flavors? Try adding green onions and celery.

Finally, this recipe is easy to make – even if you’re new to cooking! The instructions are clear and user-friendly so anyone can whip up a delicious dressing in no time.

In conclusion, This Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just about any special occasion where you want to impress your friends or family with some soulful Southern cuisine. It’s a true culinary delight that will have everyone asking for seconds!

Ingredient List

 A warm and hearty serving of Southern comfort in every bite!
A warm and hearty serving of Southern comfort in every bite!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this soulful dish:

  • Unsalted butter (1 cup), plus extra for greasing pans
  • Old-fashioned southern cornbread (6 cups), crumbled
  • White bread (1 pound), cut into small pieces
  • Onions (2 cups), chopped
  • Celery (2 cups), finely chopped
  • Green bell pepper (½ cup), chopped
  • Green onion (1 cup), finely chopped
  • Italian parsley (½ cup), chopped
  • Homemade chicken broth (8 cups)
  • Eggs (3), boiled and finely chopped

For the seasoning:

  • Kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Seasoning salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Pepper (1 teaspoon)
  • Poultry seasoning (1 tablespoon)
  • Sage (1 tablespoon)

Substitutions and variations:

For a sausage stuffing variation, add cooked and crumbled sausage to the recipe. Use cornbread mix if old fashioned southern cornbread is not available. Substitute mushroom soup for some or all of the chicken broth.

The Recipe How-To

 Celebrating tradition with every forkful!
Celebrating tradition with every forkful!

Now that you’ve gathered all of the ingredients, it’s time to get cookin’! This recipe is fairly simple, but it’s the details that make it truly delicious.

Prepping the Ingredients
Step 1: Making the Southern Cornbread

To start, you’ll need some savory and crumbly southern cornbread. You can use a premade mix or whip up your own – just make sure it’s made with 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups of cornmeal mix, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 eggs. Cook the cornbread for around 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Next, crumble up the old-fashioned Southern cornbread and let it dry out overnight, or in a low oven (around 200°F) for a few hours.

Step 2: Chopping Vegetables

In a separate pan, melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium-high heat. Add in 3 cups of chopped celery, 1 medium onion, and a green bell pepper. Cook until everything has softened.

Step 3: Combining Everything Together

Combine your dried-out cornbread and cooked vegetable mixture into a large mixing bowl with 8 cups of chicken broth (preferably homemade), finely chopped Italian parsley, seasoning salt, sage, kosher salt, black pepper, sea salt and poultry seasoning to taste.

Finally, add in diced boiled eggs or cooked crumbled sausage if desired. Mix everything thoroughly then taste to see if any adjustments are needed.

Step 4: Baking Instructions

Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350°F for around an hour until crisp on top but still moist underneath. Once done, remove from heat and let it cool for around five minutes before serving.

This classic Southern cornbread dressing recipe is the perfect addition to any holiday or potluck dinner. It’s warm, comforting, and bound to warm up any crowd!

Substitutions and Variations

 A delicious side dish that's been loved for generations.
A delicious side dish that’s been loved for generations.

Southern cornbread dressing is a versatile dish that lends itself well to substitutions and variations. Whether you want to switch up ingredients for personal preference or allergy concerns or make creative use of leftovers, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations:

– Instead of using celery, try fennel or carrots for a refreshing crunch.

– Swap out the green bell pepper for red, yellow, or orange peppers for a more vibrant color and flavor.

– For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and omit any meat-based additions such as sausage or bacon.

– Use gluten-free cornbread mix or bread crumbs for those with gluten intolerance.

– Add crumbled bacon, sausage, or diced ham to the recipe for a meat-lover’s twist.

– Incorporate sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach, or chopped kale for added nutritional value.

– For a sweeter take on the classic southern cornbread dressing, add raisins or cranberries along with chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts.

– If you’re feeling adventurous, jazz up the seasoning with cumin, paprika, chili powder, or coriander. Just be sure to balance the flavors with your base ingredients so as not to overpower them.

No matter how you choose to experiment with this traditional soul food dish, remember that there’s no wrong way to enjoy it. Have fun making it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Gather around the table and enjoy this family-favorite recipe!
Gather around the table and enjoy this family-favorite recipe!

Southern cornbread dressing is a mouthwatering dish, perfect for casual gatherings or fancy holiday dinners. It is usually served as a side dish alongside other classic southern dishes such as fried chicken, collard greens, and sweet potato pie.

The savory taste and texture of the dressing make it an ideal complement to any meal. It pairs well with roasted or smoked turkey, chicken, beef, and pork. The combination of the dressing with juicy meats adds a layer of complexity and richness to the entire meal that will leave your guests amazed.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, you can pair this delicious dressing with roasted vegetables such as Brussels sprouts or carrots. You can also serve it as a main course by topping it with sautéed mushrooms, tofu, or seitan.

For additional flavorings, try adding some fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage. Garnish your dish with chopped Italian parsley to add color and freshness. And don’t forget to season with kosher salt and black pepper to enhance the taste of the overall flavor profile.

The beauty of this classic southern cornbread dressing recipe is its versatility in pairing with other dishes. But it’s also filling enough that it can be served alone as a standalone meal if you’re in need of something hearty but straightforward.

So what are you waiting for? Whip up this southern delicacy for your next dinner party or potluck and watch everyone’s faces light up with pure joy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A mouth-watering way to savor the flavors of the South.
A mouth-watering way to savor the flavors of the South.

Are you planning to make your Classic Southern Cornbread Dressing in advance, or do you have leftovers that you’d like to keep fresh for the next day? Fear not, my fellow cooks, for I have you covered!

You can (and even should) make this delicious dressing ahead of time. Simply assemble the dish as described in the recipe how-to section but leave the baking step for later. Instead of placing it in the oven, tightly cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

When you’re ready to cook it, let the dish sit on the countertop and come to room temperature before placing it in a preheated oven. If you’re using a ceramic or glass dish, allow it to warm up gradually by placing it in a cold oven and then turn on the heat. This will prevent sudden changes in temperature that could cause your dish to crack.

If you have any leftover dressing that has been cooked already, place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze it up to three months. When reheating, use an oven or toaster oven instead of a microwave as cornbread dressing tends to dry out quickly when microwaved.

My personal recommendation is to reheat slices of dressing on a hot skillet with just a touch of butter or oil until slightly crispy on both sides. This method preserves moisture and enhances the flavors, elevating your dressing into another level of amazingness.

Now you are equipped with all that you need to enjoy your cornbread dressing leftovers, without sacrificing taste and texture!

Tips for Perfect Results

 It's not Thanksgiving without a generous helping of this dish.
It’s not Thanksgiving without a generous helping of this dish.

Creating traditional southern cornbread dressing is an art form. It takes a keen eye and a steady hand to make the perfect consistency, flavor, and texture. But fear not! As a southern cuisine chef, I have spent years perfecting this recipe and now I am excited to share my insider tips for perfect results.

It all starts with the right ingredients. Use homemade chicken broth instead of store-bought to add depth of flavor. And don’t skimp on the celery, onions, and green bell pepper – they give the dressing its classic southern flavor.

When making your cornbread for the dressing, be sure to use old-fashioned Southern-style cornmeal mix for the best texture. If time is of the essence, you can use Jiffy Cornbread mix mixed with regular cornbread mix to get similar results.

To achieve a moist and flavorful dressing, mix your wet ingredients thoroughly before adding them to your dry ingredients. Be sure to let the mixture rest before baking so that all of the flavors can settle together.

Once you are ready to bake your dressing, use a deep baking dish so that it cooks evenly and holds in moisture. Cover with foil for the first half of the baking process then remove during the last 30 minutes allowing it to brown nicely.

If you are making leftovers or freezing extras after serving, wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

And finally, no matter how tempting it may be, resist slicing into your cornbread dressing right away! Allow it to cool for at least five minutes before serving to allow all of those delicious flavors time to settle.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll have perfect Southern Cornbread Dressing every time. Just remember that every artist has their own techniques when it comes to creating masterpieces like this one!

Bottom Line

Now that you have all the information you need to make traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe, I hope you’re inspired to try it out. Whether it’s for a special occasion like Thanksgiving or just a cozy night at home, this soul-warming dish is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings.

Remember, the key to achieving perfect results is in the details. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions to make the recipe your own. Listen to your tastebuds and adjust seasonings as needed.

In conclusion, this classic Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe is a timeless dish that has been passed down from generation to generation. It truly encompasses the essence of soul food, with its rich flavors and comforting textures. So why not gather your loved ones around the table and enjoy a delicious homemade meal together? Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Classic Southern Cornbread Dressing

Classic Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

This is one of our family's most treasured heirloom recipes, passed down from mother to daughter for at least five generations. Unfortunately, my poor mama was stuck with such a kitchen-challenged kid that our most beloved Thanksgiving food tradition was in serious of danger of going the way of the duck-billed platypus. So, goaded on by the hideous specter of Stove-Top Stuffing in our future, she and I spent several holiday seasons laboriously measuring and making notes, converting the 'pinches' and 'dashes' and 'handfuls' that she just instinctively got right into teaspoons and tablespoons and cupfuls, so that I couldn't go terribly wrong. I am posting the recipe that we finally wrote down for posterity here for safekeeping so that the next generation in our family will never lose track of their grandmother's loving legacy. The directions and side-notes are being written with these young adults in mind, so they're extremely detailed. Tediously, boringly detailed. However, making excellent dressing is such a challenge that I hope they might even be helpful to more experienced cooks should any be crazy enough to attempt this. The cornbread is one of the real keys, of course. You may prefer to eat a type that's slightly sweet or one that includes sour cream for a lighter texture, but they do NOT make good dressing! It must be dense, and even a trace of sugar will add a very unpleasant taste. (Note: Virtually every 'mix' in the world contains sugar!) For perfect results, I highly recommend Bev's "Skillet Cornbread" (Recipe #45451). The ratio of cornbread to regular bread is also very important, and c/b recipes can yield varying amounts. Two batches of her recipe will give you exactly the right proportions for the ingredients listed here. I've never done it, but Bev gives instructions on making in advance and freezing for convenience. The other critically important ingredient is homemade chicken broth. (Note to my children: Don't even think about using canned or I'll come back to haunt you guys! 🙂 ) This might sound like it's beyond your skill level, but it's actually the easiest thing in the world. If you're clueless, click on the "Community" tab at the top of the home page. Scroll down to the category "Regional Cuisines", then click on "French/Creole/Cajun". There will be several 'stickies' at the top. Choose "Soupe Glorious Soupe", then click on the first one, "Now We're Cooking: Chicken Stock". (And, yes, someday I'll learn how to do a link....) This will take you to an extraordinary tutorial by chia and Chef Kate that turns stock-making into child's play. You'll need two batches of it. This can also be made up to a couple of months in advance and frozen. Finally, there's the timing. I've divided the instructions into 4 parts, indicating what steps should be done each day beginning with the Monday before Thanksgiving. Not only will it be less overwhelming to spread out the workload, but the dressing will also taste much better if you assemble and season it gradually, reheating after each step. Both times and yields are wild guesses. I just want to say one last thing to my guys: Take notes! Hey, this isn't a 'never fail' sort of recipe, you know. It's more like an ongoing challenge. But every year it will get easier (and taste better) if you write down what worked, what could stand a little improvement, etc. Before you know it, *your* dressing will taste exactly like your grandmother's...maybe better! Not many dishes are worth this sort of effort, but this is more than just food. I know you agree with me that it's all about our heritage and wonderful shared memories and blessings too numerous to count. So I'm depending on y'all to continue the family tradition, you hear? Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Mama
No ratings yet
Prep Time 6 hrs
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 203.8 kcal


  • 8 -12 cups homemade chicken broth (see 'zaar tutorial)
  • 18 pieces homemade skillet cornbread ($notetemplate1$ ( 2 batches)
  • 12 slices sandwich bread (white or wheat)
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 5 -6 cups chopped onions
  • 1 bunch green onion, thinly-sliced (including some of the green stems)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional, but I include it)
  • 8 tablespoons butter or 8 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 8 large eggs, divided
  • kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
  • freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • seasoning salt, to taste (optional)
  • sage, to taste (optional)


  • THREE DAYS BEFORE SERVING (Monday before Thanksgiving), prepare 2 recipes of *scratch* cornbread; allow to sit on the counter, loosely covered, overnight. (To emphasize again, do NOT use a cornbread mix since they all contain sugar, which will ruin this dish!) If you've made it in advance and frozen it, remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight.
  • Prepare two batches of homemade chicken broth; strain and refrigerate overnight. (If made in advance and frozen, move from freezer compartment to fridge to thaw.).
  • Wrap 12 slices of sandwich bread loosely in paper towels and allow to sit on counter overnight. (You want the bread to be a little 'crusty' instead of squishy-soft. Exposing it to air overnight will give it that 'day-old' texture. If you forgot to buy the bread, don't panic. You can pick up a fresh loaf tomorrow and toast it lightly, achieving a similar end result. If using white bread, be sure it's regular rather than 'thin-sliced', as volume is important. If using wheat -- which I actually prefer, btw, even though it's a little heretical -- buy a very plain type rather than one with lots of seed thingies.).
  • TWO DAYS BEFORE SERVING (Tues.), clean and chop vegetables. (The best advice I can offer you is to spend $19.95 on an 'alligator'. A very labor-intensive task can be finished in a matter of minutes.).
  • Melt 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) of butter or margarine in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat; add celery, onion, green onion and bell pepper. Cook until very soft, stirring occasionally. (You don't want to let the veggies start to brown. On the other hand, this should not be just a quick saute. Let them cook about 15 minutes. It will smell great!).
  • Crumble cornbread. (You definitely want 'crumbs' rather than 'chunks' -- but they should be very coarse crumbs rather than fine. I do it in 4 batches, tearing 1/2 of a cornbread round into pieces, putting it into the food processor and then pulsing off and on several times. If you don't have a processor, you can do it by hand.).
  • Crumble sandwich bread. (Call me a glutton for punishment, but I don't put it in the f/p. The crumbs get way too fine. I tear it by hand into pieces approximately the size of a raisin. May be my imagination, but it seems to make a difference in a dish that's all about texture. And, no, you don't remove the crusts.).
  • In a huge pan, combine bread and cornbread crumbs, stirring well to mix. (I use the top of a large old turkey roaster, turned upside down. If you don't have anything humongous, you may need to divide ingredients to fit into two containers.).
  • Add sauteed vegetables and chopped Italian parsley to bread, stirring well.
  • Heat about half the broth. (Doesn't need to be boiling hot -- just fairly warm so it will combine well. If there is a solid white layer on top, there's nothing wrong with it. That's simply fat that has risen to the surface and congealed. Scoop off as much as you can and discard. The rest will liquify and disappear when you heat it.).
  • Add 4 to 6 cups broth to vegetable/bread mixture to thoroughly moisten. (At some point, it will sort of come together and suddenly be very 'stirrable'. Not to fret if it only takes 3 cups of broth or takes as many as 7. It's all about consistency, not exact quantities.).
  • Once the mixture is cohesive, continue adding small amounts of broth (about 1/2 cup at a time), stirring well after each addition, until it reaches the proper consistency. (At first, the bread will soak up all the liquid immediately. Once it's no longer absorbing it all -- after you stir it well, a little 'puddle' of liquid immediately reappears on top -- then you'll know you've added enough.).
  • Season to taste with salt, seasoned salt and pepper. (So many variables! Much depends on whether you used Chef Kate's salt-free method for making broth or another version, whether you used salted or unsalted butter to saute the veggies, whether or not you plan to ignore my specific instructions to use kosher instead of 'table' salt, etc. I used far less salt last year than ever before. Finally figured out that I'd let the stock simmer an extra hour or so, and it was so rich and flavorful that more seasonings just weren't required. But assuming you've minded me so far, I'd suggest you start with 1 teaspoon each of the salts and go from there in *very* small increments. I add a ton of pepper, but that's a matter of personal taste. Just add slowly, stir a lot, and taste frequently! Remember that you have a couple of days to let the flavors develop.).
  • Place the roasting pan on the stovetop turned front-to-back instead of sideways, so that it covers two eyes; turn both burners on medium and heat mixture thoroughly, stirring frequently. (As it heats, the part on the bottom will start to brown, which is a good thing. Adds lots of flavor. But if it gets too brown and begins to scorch, that is a terrible thing! So you don't want to just scoot your spoon around in the middle. You have to really dig down to that bottom layer, scraping it off as it hardens and mixing it back in, allowing more of the dressing to sink down and begin to brown.) At this stage, I cook it approximately an hour, scraping the bottom of the pan every 5 minutes or so. Achieving the right texture is critically important, and the best comparison I can think of is to oatmeal. You want it to look like oatmeal does shortly before it's done -- very little excess liquid left, but still easily stirrable and not quite to the final 'thickening' stage. If it becomes too dry as it cooks, stir in another cup of broth. If you accidentally got it too soupy initially, that can be easily corrected simply by letting it cook a little longer to absorb the excess.
  • Allow mixture to cool; cover and refrigerate.
  • ONE DAY BEFORE SERVING (Wed.), reheat dressing, stirring frequently; add additional broth if necessary. (It definitely tends to thicken up when chilled. If it's really stiff, stir in some broth before reheating so it won't burn. If the mixture is very 'loose' and easily stirred, you've got a little too much in there already, so don't add more. And even if it seems just right at this point, don't fail to stir well and often.).
  • Once the dressing is hot, taste and adjust seasonings. (After it's sat overnight, you should be able to get a much better idea of how much more salt and pepper is needed. Again, just go slowly!). Continue to cook and stir for about 30 minutes.
  • Cool mixture, cover and refrigerate.
  • THANKSGIVING DAY, hard boil 4 of the eggs; peel, chop and stir into dressing. (Okay, I realize that might sound weird if you've never had it before. But, trust me, it's wonderful! Leave 'em out and you miss one of the best parts. You don't want to add them until the last day, though, because repeated heating tends to make them sort of rubbery.).
  • Reheat dressing, adding more warm broth if necessary. (Unless you've really gone overboard to begin with, it's almost always necessary to add a little more broth each day after it's been chilled. Also keep in mind that you are about to add raw eggs, which will thicken it considerably. So the mixture should definitely be thinner than you want it to end up. There should be no liquid separating or 'pooling', but it should all be very easily stirred.).
  • Make a final check for seasonings, adding sage if you must. (We despise it, but my mother always added a tiny pinch. And I do mean 'tiny'! I once asked her what possible effect it could have on such a large quantity of food. "None, I hope -- but you're 'supposed to'." I'm not sure if that meant she was the ultra-traditionalist or just a tiny bit superstitious. lol But, at any rate, this totally un-PC, sage-hating cook always adds a pinch in her memory. Even if you like it, it's best to add it pretty sparingly.).
  • Shortly before baking, beat the remaining 4 eggs well and stir into dressing. (Don't do it earlier because there's a safety issue.).
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. (Okay, it's only supposed to take an hour, BUT -- you know how often an oven door may get opened while the preparation of the feast is in progress. Way more than normal! Plus, it's wonderful when the top is brown and a tiny bit crispy. You might even want to crank the heat up at the last minute if it hasn't browned sufficiently. And given the fact that it's a huge quantity, allowing a little extra time for it to get really hot in the middle is a good idea. So it's better to count on longer instead of shorter. If you're really worried about it, take it out at the one-hour mark and taste it. If it's dry, add some more heated broth and stir in well. If it's 'soupy', extend the cook time.).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 154gCalories: 203.8kcalCarbohydrates: 17.1gProtein: 11gFat: 10.3gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 122.3mgSodium: 1003.3mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 4.2g
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