This cornbread dressing is super easy to make, and it’s a delicious side dish with chicken, turkey, seafood, or any other meat. You’ll love it for the holidays, but you can enjoy it any time of year. I make it gluten-free, and no one seems to know the difference. People who have to avoid gluten always appreciate having this option.
A good, old fashioned southern cornbread dressing is comfort food for me. In fact, it brings me back to my childhood when my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother put together a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not sure how much help I was back then, but I tried.
All of the Thanksgiving recipes were so delicious, including the turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and whatever else we had.
My great-grandmother used to make a variety of rolls, biscuits, and pans of cornbread–all loaded with tons of butter.
Cornbread Stuffing vs. Dressing
Although some people call this stuffing, regardless of how it’s served, I call it dressing if it’s in a separate pan.
However, I call it stuffing when it’s inside a chicken or turkey. That’s because it’s stuffed into the bird.
It probably depends on where you grew up and what your family called it. And it doesn’t matter whether you say dressing or stuffing, as long as it tastes good.
Some people make dressing from a bag or box of dried breadcrumbs, while others make it from scratch, starting with homemade cornbread or bread.
And that’s fine. I grew up making it both ways. They’re both good.
I don’t believe there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to make it. As long as the outcome tastes yummy, you did it correctly.
Southern Cornbread Dressing (or Stuffing)
I grew up thinking that the dressing I enjoyed was the standard. However, after I experienced big dinners with other families, I learned that what I liked was more typically southern.
Other styles of dressing include oyster dressing, walnut dressing, and regular bread-based stuffing. I actually think all types are good, but I always go back to the southern style because that’s what I grew up with.
I also grew up with people saying “dressing” or “stuffing” interchangeably. But as I thought about it, I decided that if it’s not stuffed into something, it’s dressing.
Cornbread Dressing Ingredients
I’ve made cornbread dressing a number of different ways and with a variety of ingredients.
But this way is my favorite. I love how these ingredients come together and complement everything on the plate.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this method:
- Day-old cornbread
- Bread (regular or gluten-free)
- Salt and black pepper
For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.
Just remember that if you like more or less salt, you can add it or cut back. Or if you enjoy a dressing that’s more moist or dry, adjust the amount of broth.
If you want it lighter and fluffier, you can add half cup of flour (regular or gluten-free all purpose flour) and a teaspoon of baking powder.
Since I made this for just 2 people—my husband and me—I made a small pan of it. You can double the recipe by doubling the ingredients if you’re cooking for a larger crowd.
If you do that, use a larger baking pan. The cook time will be the same.
How to Make Cornbread Dressing
You need to start out with some day-old cornbread or cornbread that you’ve frozen.
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F before you begin. That way, it’ll be ready to cook the dressing when you finish preparing it.
Secondly, melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan. I usually start out on medium-high temperature and then turn it down and cook it over medium heat right before I add the next ingredients.
Add the onion and celery.
Sauté it for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Now add the salt and pepper. You can add the amount listed in the recipe card below or as much as you like.
Remove the pan from the heat. Next, add the sage and stir to evenly distribute all of the ingredients.
Pour the crumbled cornbread and bread into a large mixing bowl. This is the foundation for your dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk until it is well mixed. This only takes about a minute or less.
Pour the mixture into the large bowl with the cornbread and mix.
Don’t over-stir the mixture.
They should be moist but still have some texture.
Slowly add the broth and gently stir.
Now add the sautéed onion and celery. Fold it into the mixture.
Pour the entire mixture into the baking dish.
Level the top.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
The top should be a medium golden brown.
Extra Tips for Making the Best Dressing
Follow the directions above, and it will come out great. Here are some additional tips to make it as good as it can be:
- Over-stirring the mixture before you put it in the pan will cause the cornbread to disintegrate, so you’ll lose some of the texture.
- When you’re leveling the top before baking, don’t press it down if you want it light and fluffy.
- Another thing you can do is dot the top with more butter. I don’t normally do that, but it’s an option.
- If you choose to stuff a turkey or chicken with this dressing (stuffing?), increase the cooking time. That’s because it’s dense, and the heat takes longer to get to the center.
- Also decrease the amount of liquid in the stuffing, or you might wind up with something I call “stuffing soup.” Just be sure not to overcook it, or it will be too dry.
- My cornbread stuffing recipe is basically the same as the way I make dressing, only I use a little bit less liquid since the turkey or chicken fat will make it too soggy if I use the same amount.
- If you like lots of crust, use a bigger baking pan. But if you prefer more of the moist insides, either increase the amount of ingredients or use a smaller pan. I like it crusty.
How to Serve Cornbread Dressing
Although I don’t always add gravy, when I do, I make this delicious gluten-free gravy. It’s super easy to make with whatever kind of broth you have.
I also like it with my favorite homemade cranberry sauce. It’s also easy to make and only takes a few minutes.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
Serve these yummy roasted pecans while you’re waiting for dinner. Make them in advance and have them out for guests to munch on.
If you’re making this dressing for the holidays, you’ll enjoy this deluxe green bean casserole. I add a special ingredient to make it more festive.
Another traditional food to serve is this sweet potato casserole. My husband loves marshmallows on it, but I leave a corner without them for me.
One of my favorite and most popular recipes for holiday potluck meals is this scrumptious squash casserole. Even people who don’t care for vegetables enjoy this one.
These crispy zucchini parmesan chips are perfect to serve either as an appetizer or a side dish. I like to offer at least one dip on the side, but it’s really not necessary.
Almost everyone loves this mac and cheese casserole. This is comfort food at its finest. Just be sure to make enough for everyone to enjoy seconds and maybe even thirds. It’s that good!
Butternut squash is so delicious when cooked in an air fryer. You get a crispy outside and fluffy inside that makes the texture perfect for a special dinner.
Lemon Roasted Asparagus – Asparagus lovers will appreciate this delicious side dish. It’s easy to make, and it’s loaded with flavor!
For dessert, try this delicious chocolate chip pecan pie from Big Bear’s Wife. Angie sure does know how to cook!
Another dessert you might enjoy is one (or two) of these pumpkin bars. They’re delicious and give you the perfect ending to any special meal.
For a deliciously sweet and tart combination, serve some yummy lemon bars. They only have 3 ingredients, and they’re super easy to make.
These scrumptious pumpkin cookies are always a big hit during the holidays. Kids love them because they’re so fun to eat. You can even decorate them to look like pumpkins if you want.
If you like pineapple as much as I do, you’ll love this amazing pineapple dump cake. Serve it topped with ice cream or whipped cream to make it the perfect dessert.
Sugar Cookies – Chewy centers and crunchy edges make these cookies special! They’re made without baking powder or baking soda, and they’re super easy!
Dressing or Stuffing for a Holiday Meal
Something wouldn’t seem right if we didn’t have either dressing or stuffing on the table for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any meal where we serve turkey. So I like to make at least one pan, sometimes two. Or someone else will bring a different type to share, which is always fun!
- 2-1/2 cups of day-old cornbread, crumbled
- 1 slice of day-old bread, crumbled (regular or gluten-free)
- 1-1/2 cup of chicken or turkey broth
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 cup of chopped celery
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 teaspoon of sage
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Dash of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 7” x 11” or 8” x 8” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chopped onion and celery. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
- Add the salt and pepper. Give it a quick stir.
- Remove from the heat, add the sage, and stir again. Set it aside.
- Pour the crumbled cornbread and bread into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk until it is well mixed. Pour the mixture into the large bowl with the cornbread and mix.
- Slowly add the broth and stir.
- Now add the sautéed onion and celery.
- Pour the entire mixture into the baking dish and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the top has turned a medium golden brown.
If you use the 8”x 8” inch baking dish, the dressing will be thicker than if you use the 7”x11” dish.
After I make cornbread, I freeze whatever we can’t eat right away. Then I always have it to make dressing.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 269Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 83mgSodium 693mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 14g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.