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Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Southern Homemade Cornbread Dressing begins with a good cornbread recipe. Adding fresh seasonings and vegetables makes a big pan of dressing into a meal in itself.

Ingredients pictured and labeled for southern cornbread dressing

The turkey is not the star of the show on southern tables at Thanksgiving. That honor belongs to the Cornbread Dressing.

Here in the deep south, we just call it Dressing, it is understood to be made with cornbread.

Thanksgiving dinner should include family recipes, especially a good old-fashioned recipe like this one. This one is my Mom’s recipe. It isn’t easy to be the one to carry on the family tradition. My girls have informed me that it took me a couple of years to get the dressing just right but now it is like their Grannies.

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large pans of cornbread cooked and broken up
Homemade cornbread

Here in the south we do not call it stuffing, mostly because we don’t stuff the Thanksgiving turkey with it. Cornbread dressing is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving Day and  is a holiday classic among side dishes.

At my house, all the guests are encouraged to bring their own to-go plates on Thanksgiving so they can take dressing and other scrumptious Thanksgiving food home with them. We plan for leftovers on Thanksgiving, do you?

Ingredients of Southern Cornbread Dressing

This homemade recipe is made using simple ingredients. Most of the ingredients are common pantry staples.

  • 6 Cups Crumbled Cornbread, (my cornbread recipe)
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 Cup Chopped celery
  • 3 Boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded chicken (can use a Rotisserie Chicken)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sage or Poultry seasoning
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 3-5 Cups Chicken broth

How To Make Cornbread Dressing

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare a large rectangle baking pan or casserole dish with non-stick spray.

I like to use disposable aluminum pans, like these, for baking the dressing on Thanksgiving because it means easier clean up.

Grab my homemade cornbread recipe, made in a cast iron skillet.

Cornbread cooked and served in an iron skillet
Homemade cornbread

Step 2

Crumble all of your baked cornbread into a very large bowl or roasting pan.

I use my large turkey roasting pan to mix up the cornbread dressing.

You can crumb the cornbread by hand or use a food processor like this one (affiliate) which makes the job so much easier and quicker.

Step 3

In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Cook the chopped celery and minced onion in the butter until tender.

Step 4

Add the cooked vegetables to the cornbread. Now add all of the remaining ingredients, except the chicken broth. Stir to blend well.

A long handle wooden spoon works well for stirring or gloved hands.

homemade chicken broth
A large pot of homemade chicken broth

Step 5

Add the chicken stock 1 cup at a time stirring after each addition, until you get your desired consistency. The mixture should be slightly soupy. Those little bits of chicken pieces should be all throughout the dressing mixture.

Go here for my Homemade Chicken Broth recipe. where I also share how to freeze or can chicken broth in a boiling water bath.

KITCHEN HINT

When making homemade chicken broth for dressing, use part of the boiled chicken to go in the dressing and use the rest to make some homemade chicken salad.

Step 6

Pour the cornbread mixture into a prepared baking pan.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown. Outer edges should be firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. The exact cooking time will vary depending on how large or how deep your baking dish is and of course oven temperatures vary.

Serve and enjoy!

Read some of the comments on this Facebook video. I threw up the camera at a last-minute whim while mixing the dressing on Thanksgiving morning a few years ago.

↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓

My dressing goes in the oven soupy but it’s tender and moist when done. Personally, I do not like dressing which is the consistency of gingerbread, or that you can slice like bread. 

My southern cornbread dressing recipe has stood the test of time and lots of professional opinions (wink) offered for free.

Do you serve Giblet gravy with your cornbread dressing or cranberry sauce? I serve both so that each person at the dinner table can get whichever one they want.

Is this southern recipe truly southern? I should say so. I was born in Atlanta and have lived in the great state of Georgia almost my entire life with the exception of a couple years in Charlotte N.C., which is of course still very southern. I do not have a fake southern accent. I can assure you, it is quite real.

Printable recipe below.

Ingredients pictured and labeled for southern cornbread dressing

How To Make Cornbread Dressing

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Thanksgiving in the south means Cornbread Dressing which is a favorite for all.

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Crumbled Cornbread
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 Cups Chopped celery
  • 3 Boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cups shredded chicken (can use a Rotisserie Chicken)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sage
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 3-5 Cups Chicken broth

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°

Crumble the cornbread into a very large bowl or roasting pan.

In a skillet, melt the butter.

Cook the chopped celery and minced onion in the melted butter until tender.

Add the celery and onion to the cornbread.

Add all remaining ingredients except the broth and stir well to blend.

Add broth 1 cup at a time stirring after each until you get your desired consistency. Mixture should be slightly soupy. 

Pour into baking pan and Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown. Outer edges should be firm and a toothpick inserted in center comes out dry.

Serve and enjoy!

Notes

See our Video on How To Make Dressing to see the desired consistency we reach.

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1/2 Cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 485Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 131mgSodium 2466mgCarbohydrates 57gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 16g

This nutrition information is not accurate based on uncontrollable circumstances in home kitchens.

Did you make this recipe?

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Updated 3/9/22

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14 Comments

  1. Mine turned out kind of runny for some reason. I followed every step in recipe. I’ve stirred it up and going to let it sit in oven for a little while longer. Help!

  2. It’s great to have dishes to make ahead of time – anything to save time is on my agenda 🙂 I’ll be doing cornbread stuffing, but using my mother-in-law’s technique – with oysters! Sounds gross, but it really makes the stuffing moist and tasty 😀 ~Renee

    1. I have been in my kitchen most of this day making the Cornbread, Chicken broth and the Chicken & Biscuit Dumplings and I am tired! I am so glad to have some of the work completed before the big cooking day! I will be updating the Chicken & Biscuit Dumpling post with pictures soon.

  3. I have never had cornbread dressing, but have been wanting to try it. I would have never thought about Freezing leftover cornbread. There are only three of us, so we often have leftovers. I could Freeze them a couple times and then I will try making it. Thank You!

    1. Let me know what you think when you make it! Normally baking is an exact science but not so much with Cornbread dressing, you can tweak the ingredients to suit your families taste.

    1. Thank you, Kristen. I’m actually making one of the recipes today that you featured in your Tastiest Thanksgiving Ever series. My husband and I want to try the Cranberry Relish, not for Make Ahead but just for us 🙂

We enjoying hearing from you!