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Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Cornbread dressing, a classic side dish in Southern cuisine, offers a rich, savory complement to any main course. Combining honey cornbread, stale white bread, and a medley of fresh herbs, this recipe will deliver a deliciously moist and flavorful dressing that will be a hit at your next gathering.

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Most of the ingredients in this recipe are commonly found in home pantries, such as butter, onion, and celery. However, fresh sage leaves might need a special trip to the supermarket. Their distinct, aromatic flavor is essential to the dressing. Similarly, honey cornbread, which is sweeter than regular cornbread, might not be readily available at home. You can either purchase it or prepare it at home for an authentic Southern touch.

Ingredients for Southern Cornbread Dressing

Honey cornbread: Cornbread made with honey adds a touch of sweetness that balances out the savory elements in this Southern dressing.

Stale white bread: This ingredient adds volume to the dressing and helps absorb the flavorful broth.

Butter: It enhances the rich, savory flavors of the dressing.

Onion: Onion lends a sharp and sweet flavor that underpins the dressing.

Celery: It provides a refreshing crunch and subtle flavor.

Chicken or turkey broth: This forms the moist base of the dressing, soaking into the bread for a full-flavored result.

Eggs: They bind together the ingredients and gives the dressing its structure.

Fresh sage leaves: Sage is an aromatic herb that provides a warm, slightly peppery taste.

Parsley: It offers a fresh, lightly bitter touch that complements the rich ingredients.

Cooking spray: It prevents the dressing from sticking to the pan.

Salt and pepper: These seasonings enhance the flavors of all the other ingredients.

One reader, Hastie Michel says:

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This southern cornbread dressing recipe is a game-changer! The combination of honey cornbread and savory herbs creates a mouthwatering dish that's perfect for any occasion. The texture is spot on, and the flavors are simply divine. It's a must-try for anyone who loves traditional Southern cuisine.

Hastie Michel

Key Techniques for Southern Cornbread Dressing

How to prepare honey cornbread: Follow the instructions on the package to make the honey cornbread, then allow it to cool before crumbling it.

How to crumble cornbread and bread: Once the honey cornbread is cooled, crumble it into a large bowl and combine it with the stale white bread cubes.

How to cook onion and celery: In a large pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter, then add the onion and celery. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened.

How to prepare butter mixture: Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and pour it into a large bowl. Add the chicken broth, eggs, salt, pepper, and sage, then whisk to combine.

How to bake the dressing: Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the dressing is browned and cooked through.

How to garnish with parsley and sage leaves: Sprinkle the baked dressing with parsley and garnish with sage leaves if desired before serving.

How To Make Southern Cornbread Dressing

An old-fashioned cornbread dressing is a Thanksgiving staple. Learn how to make this Southern cornbread dressing at home for a tasty and nostalgic meal.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes



  • 1honey cornbread
  • 5stale white bread,slices cut into cubes
  • 10tbspbutter,divided use
  • 1largeonion,finely chopped
  • 1cupcelery,finely chopped
  • 4cupschicken or turkey broth
  • 5eggs
  • 1tbspfresh sage leaves,finely chopped
  • 2tbspparsley,chopped
  • Salt and pepper,to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • sage leaves,for garnish, optional


  1. Prepare the honey cornbread according to post instructions.

  2. Cool the cornbread and crumble. Place the cornbread in a large bowl with the bread cubes and toss to combine.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.

  4. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened.

  5. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables in the bowl with the cornbread mixture.

  6. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and pour into a large bowl. Add the chicken broth, eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and sage and whisk to combine.

  7. Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the cornbread mixture and stir to combine.

  8. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until dressing is browned and cooked through.

  9. Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with sage leaves if desired. Serve.


  • Calories: 751.85kcal
  • Fat: 25.53g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.27g
  • Trans Fat: 0.52g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.09g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.27g
  • Carbohydrates: 104.38g
  • Fiber: 9.12g
  • Sugar: 13.77g
  • Protein: 26.83g
  • Cholesterol: 115.99mg
  • Sodium: 1199.89mg
  • Calcium: 332.90mg
  • Potassium: 569.17mg
  • Iron: 8.15mg
  • Vitamin A: 143.51µg
  • Vitamin C: 3.61mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Southern Cornbread Dressing

When preparing your honey cornbread, allow it to cool completely before crumbling. This will ensure that the cornbread maintains its structure and doesn't become too mushy when mixed with the other ingredients. Additionally, using stale bread can help absorb the broth and egg mixture better, resulting in a more flavorful and moist dressing.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Southern Cornbread Dressing

Prep ahead: Prepare the honey cornbread and cube the white bread the day before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly chop the onion and celery, saving time on prep work.

Double batch: Consider making a double batch and freezing half for future use, saving time on preparation for your next meal.

Delegate tasks: Enlist the help of family or friends to assist with the preparation, making the process more efficient and enjoyable.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a large skillet or pot to cook the vegetables and mix the dressing, minimizing clean-up time.

Substitute Ingredients For Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

  • honey cornbread - Substitute with regular cornbread: Regular cornbread can be used as a substitute for honey cornbread, although it may lack the slight sweetness that honey cornbread provides.

  • stale white bread - Substitute with stale wheat bread: Stale wheat bread can be used as a substitute for stale white bread, providing a slightly different flavor and texture to the dressing.

  • butter - Substitute with margarine: Margarine can be used as a substitute for butter in this recipe, providing a similar fat content and flavor.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a substitute for onions, providing a milder and slightly sweeter flavor to the dressing.

  • celery - Substitute with fennel: Fennel can be used as a substitute for celery, providing a similar crunch and a hint of anise flavor to the dressing.

  • chicken or turkey broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can be used as a substitute for chicken or turkey broth, providing a flavorful base for the dressing.

  • eggs - Substitute with flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water per egg): Flax eggs can be used as a substitute for eggs, providing a binding agent for the dressing.

  • fresh sage leaves - Substitute with dried sage: Dried sage can be used as a substitute for fresh sage leaves, providing a concentrated flavor to the dressing.

  • parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can be used as a substitute for parsley, providing a fresh and slightly citrusy flavor to the dressing.

  • salt and pepper - Substitute with seasoned salt: Seasoned salt can be used as a substitute for salt and pepper, providing a blend of flavors to enhance the dressing.

  • cooking spray - Substitute with vegetable oil: Vegetable oil can be used as a substitute for cooking spray, providing a similar non-stick coating for the baking dish.

  • sage leaves - Substitute with thyme: Thyme can be used as a substitute for sage leaves, providing a slightly different herbaceous flavor to the dressing.

Presenting Southern Cornbread Dressing

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the southern cornbread dressing, focus on creating an elegant and refined plating. Use edible flowers or microgreens to add a pop of color and visual appeal to the dish.

  2. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Drizzle a small amount of reduced balsamic glaze on the plate to add a touch of sophistication and elevate the overall presentation of the dish.

  3. Utilize precision: Pay attention to the placement of the dressing on the plate. Use a ring mold to create a neat, circular shape, and carefully remove the mold to reveal a perfectly formed portion of the cornbread dressing.

  4. Garnish with finesse: Sprinkle a pinch of smoked paprika or crispy bacon bits on top of the dressing to provide a contrast in texture and enhance the visual appeal of the dish.

  5. Emphasize symmetry: Arrange the components of the dish with precision, focusing on creating a balanced and symmetrical presentation that showcases the attention to detail and culinary expertise.

Essential Tools for Making Cornbread Dressing

  • Honey cornbread: A type of cornbread made with honey, adding a touch of sweetness to the dish.
  • White bread: Stale white bread is used to add texture and absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Butter: Used for sautéing the vegetables and adding richness to the dressing.
  • Onion: Adds savory flavor and aroma to the dressing.
  • Celery: Provides a subtle crunch and a hint of herbal flavor to the dish.
  • Chicken or turkey broth: Adds moisture and savory depth to the dressing.
  • Eggs: Helps bind the dressing together and adds richness.
  • Fresh sage leaves: Imparts a warm, earthy flavor to the dressing.
  • Parsley: Adds a fresh, herbaceous note to the dish.
  • Salt and pepper: Enhances the overall flavor of the dressing.
  • Cooking spray: Used to grease the baking pan and prevent sticking.
  • Sage leaves: Can be used as a garnish to add a pop of color and a hint of sage flavor to the finished dish.

Storing and Freezing Southern Cornbread Dressing

  • Let the cornbread dressing cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the dressing soggy.

  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled dressing in an airtight container or cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  • To freeze, transfer the cooled dressing to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date and contents. The dressing can be frozen for up to 2 months.

  • When ready to serve, thaw the frozen dressing overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat the thawed or refrigerated dressing in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through. If the dressing seems dry, add a little chicken broth or turkey broth before reheating to help moisten it.

  • If you have leftover cornbread or white bread, you can freeze them separately for future use in another batch of dressing. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.

How To Reheat Leftover Southern Cornbread Dressing

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover cornbread dressing in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the dressing is heated through. Remove the foil during the last 5-10 minutes of baking to allow the top to crisp up slightly.

  • For a quicker method, use the microwave. Place a single serving of the dressing on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the dressing is heated through. Stir the dressing halfway through the reheating process to ensure even heating.

  • If you have a bit more time, reheat the cornbread dressing in a skillet on the stovetop. Melt a small amount of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the dressing and stir occasionally, breaking up any large chunks. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the dressing is heated through and slightly crispy on the edges.

  • For a moist and flavorful reheated dressing, add a small amount of chicken broth or turkey broth to the dish before reheating in the oven or microwave. This will help prevent the dressing from drying out during the reheating process.

  • If you have a lot of leftover dressing, consider freezing it for later use. Portion the cooled dressing into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the dressing in the refrigerator overnight and then use one of the methods mentioned above.

Interesting Fact About Southern Cornbread Dressing

The Southern cornbread dressing recipe is a traditional dish often served during Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings. It is a staple in Southern cuisine and is known for its rich, savory flavors and hearty texture. This dish is often made with a combination of cornbread and white bread, mixed with aromatic vegetables and herbs, and baked to perfection. It's a comforting and delicious side dish that pairs well with roasted meats and other classic Southern dishes.

Is Making Cornbread Dressing at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this southern cornbread dressing recipe is quite high. The ingredients, such as cornbread, white bread, butter, onion, and celery, are all affordable and readily available. The dish can be a great addition to a family meal, providing a hearty and flavorful option. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $10-$15, making it a budget-friendly choice. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is Southern Cornbread Dressing Healthy or Unhealthy?

This southern cornbread dressing recipe, while undeniably delicious, leans more towards the unhealthy side due to several factors:

  • The use of cornbread and white bread as the base provides a significant amount of refined carbohydrates and calories.
  • The generous use of butter (10 tablespoons) adds a considerable amount of saturated fat to the dish.
  • The recipe calls for 5 eggs, which further increases the fat and cholesterol content.
  • The use of chicken or turkey broth, depending on its sodium content, may contribute to a higher salt intake.

However, the inclusion of onion, celery, sage, and parsley does offer some nutritional benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

To make this recipe healthier without compromising on taste, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace some of the white bread with whole grain bread to increase the fiber content and reduce refined carbohydrates.
  • Reduce the amount of butter used, or substitute a portion of it with healthier alternatives like olive oil or vegetable broth.
  • Opt for low-sodium chicken or turkey broth to control salt intake.
  • Incorporate more vegetables into the dressing, such as diced carrots, bell peppers, or mushrooms, to boost the nutrient profile and add more flavor and texture.
  • Consider using fewer egg yolks and more egg whites to lower the cholesterol content while maintaining the binding properties of the eggs.
  • Experiment with herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, or garlic to enhance the flavor without relying heavily on salt or fat.

Editor's Opinion on This Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe

The southern cornbread dressing recipe is a classic and comforting dish, perfect for any occasion. The combination of honey cornbread, white bread, and aromatic herbs creates a rich and flavorful dressing. The use of sage and parsley adds a delightful earthy and fresh note to the dish. The method of combining the ingredients and baking results in a moist and delicious dressing with a golden brown crust. This recipe captures the essence of traditional southern cooking and is sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys hearty and soul-warming dishes.

Enhance Your Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of parmesan cheese
Green Bean Casserole: Fresh green beans sautéed with crispy bacon and topped with crunchy fried onions
Cranberry Sauce: Homemade cranberry sauce with a touch of orange zest and cinnamon

Alternative Recipes to Southern Cornbread Dressing

Savory Beef Stew: This hearty beef stew is perfect for a cozy night in. Packed with tender beef, carrots, and potatoes, it's a comforting meal that will warm you up from the inside out.
Apple Cinnamon Crisp: This delicious dessert is a perfect way to enjoy the flavors of fall. With sweet and tart apples, warm cinnamon, and a crispy oat topping, it's a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is a comforting classic that's easy to make at home. With ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and a touch of cream, it's a satisfying meal on its own or paired with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Mango Salsa: This vibrant and fresh salsa is a perfect accompaniment to any Mexican-inspired meal. With ripe mango, red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, it's a burst of flavor in every bite.
Garlic Parmesan Roasted Vegetables: These roasted vegetables are a delicious and healthy side dish for any meal. With a mix of colorful veggies, garlic, and parmesan cheese, they're a flavorful addition to your dinner table.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Cornbread Dressing

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are the perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal. Filled with a delicious mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, they are sure to impress your guests.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Creamy and flavorful, this spinach and artichoke dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that pairs perfectly with crispy tortilla chips or warm bread. It's the ultimate comfort food to start off any gathering.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Apple Pie: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a classic apple pie, with a flaky golden crust and a sweet, cinnamon-spiced filling. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess.

Why trust this Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe:

This recipe for Southern Cornbread Dressing is a classic, time-tested dish that embodies the heart and soul of traditional Southern cuisine. The combination of honey cornbread and stale white bread creates a perfect texture, while the addition of fresh sage leaves and parsley adds a burst of aromatic flavor. The use of chicken or turkey broth ensures a rich and savory taste, while the careful incorporation of onion and celery brings depth and balance to the dish. With a meticulous cooking process and a touch of culinary expertise, this recipe promises to deliver an authentic taste of the South, earning the trust of any discerning cook.

Share your thoughts on this Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let's discuss any tweaks or variations you've tried!
How can I make this recipe vegetarian-friendly?
You can make this recipe vegetarian-friendly by using vegetable broth instead of chicken or turkey broth. You can also add in some sautéed mushrooms or diced bell peppers for added flavor and texture.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. Prepare the dressing as instructed, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 2 days. When you're ready to serve, simply reheat it in the oven until warmed through.
Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?
Yes, you can use dried herbs instead of fresh ones. Just remember that dried herbs are more potent than fresh ones, so you'll need to use less. Typically, you can use 1/3 of the amount of dried herbs in place of fresh herbs.
How can I make this recipe gluten-free?
To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free bread in place of the white bread, and ensure that your chicken or turkey broth is also gluten-free. Additionally, you can make your cornbread using a gluten-free cornmeal mix.
Can I add other ingredients to the dressing?
Absolutely! You can customize this recipe by adding ingredients like cooked and crumbled sausage, diced apples, dried cranberries, or chopped nuts for extra flavor and texture. Just be mindful of the overall moisture content and adjust as needed.

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