This moist, flavorful, cornbread dressing is easy to make and only uses basic ingredients. Adding this recipe to your Thanksgiving menu is sure to keep guests coming back for more!
What is Cornbread Dressing?
Cornbread dressing is a lot like the bread-based options you're probably used to. Except, it swaps out bread for scrumptious homemade cornbread and fresh ingredients. It's one of my favorite soul food dishes. I actually hated cornbread dressing as a kid but now I can't get enough of it! If you've never made cornbread dressing before then you should give this cornbread recipe a try.
Soul food cornbread dressing makes the perfect side for your meticulously prepared turkey, and it's a guaranteed hit with most people.
You won't be pulling this out of a box or stuffing a turkey with it; this is pure southern cooking at its finest.
My family-favorite easy cornbread made ahead of time. This cornbread recipe is easy and you can even make make it up to 2-3 days in advance.
Just keep it covered tightly in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
Corn muffins - These are great option if you don't want to make homemade cornbread. Quick and easy. Just make sure you crumble them up.
Butter - is definitely needed for flavor so don't skimp on it. It also helps make the cornbread dressing moist. I used ¼ cup of unsalted butter.
Onions -You'll need about a cup of onions. I love to use yellow or red onions. Onions provide so much flavor. Don't forget to add it. Use 1 cup.
Garlic - Minced garlic is a great addition to cornbread dressing. Just make sure you cook it until it's fragrant. I used about a tbsp of garlic.
Sliced celery - another level of flavor. Make sure the celery isn't sliced too thick. I used 1 cup
Sage and Thyme - Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without sage. It provides so much flavor. Sage is perfect in cornbread dressing. If you're making this for Thanksgiving, I suggest you use fresh if you can. I love to add some dried thyme to the dressing as well. Both are great in this recipe.
Poultry seasoning, salt and pepper - Add these for flavor.
Eggs: I used two large eggs. Eggs acts as a binder.
Heavy whipping cream - Add some for a bit of richness plus moisture. I used ¼ cup.
Chicken broth - You need to use either homemade chicken broth or store bought. I like to use Better Than Bouillon Chicken base. Chicken broth not only add flavor to your dressing but it also provides moisture. Too little broth and the cornbread dressing will turn out dry. Too much and it will be soggy. Some people prefer their dressing a bit on the dryer side and others like theirs more moist. So do as you please. *See note in the recipe card below.
How to Make Cornbread Dressing
Before you start this cornbread dressing recipe, prepare a batch of cornbread. You can check out my mouth-watering cornbread recipe for an easy, yet flavorful, way to kick this meal up a notch.
Whether you make my cornbread or use your own, make sure it's about a day old.
- Start by sautéing the vegetables.
- Next crumble your batch of homemade cornbread into the biggest bowl you have. The crumbles should be small, but don't try to reduce it to such a fine consistency that you can sift it or anything. Crumbling it by hand is more than enough. I love to keep some bigger chunks.
- Mix all of your ingredients into the cornbread crumble well. Ensure that all of your vegetables are chopped small enough to evenly distribute throughout the “batter”, too.
This will make a sort of gloopy, overly-moist, mess at first, but don't worry, the dressing will sort itself out later if you used the exact measurements provided.
- Spread your mixture into a lightly greased 3qt baking dish. Glass or ceramic casserole dishes work great for this, as they'll prevent the dressing from caking to the sides.
Place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30-40 or minutes until golden brown and cooked throughout.
If you want to make your cornbread dressing ahead of stop at the point where you pour the batter into a casserole dish.
Instead of baking, cover the top with cling wrap, and put it in the freezer.
We recommend only leaving it there for up to three days. When it's time to cook, just pull it out, let it thaw completely. Remove the cling wrap and replace it with aluminum foil. Bake until it's golden brown and cooked through.
It will take longer due to it being frozen, but you'll still get a yummy, golden, cornbread dressing that knocks the socks off that boxed stuff.
Cornbread Dressing Recipe
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup celery sliced
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 tbsp garlic finely minced
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh chopped sage
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
Cornbread dressing mixture
- 2 cups chicken broth I used Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- 7 cups cubed cornbread use day old cornbread
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper for taste
- In a skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onions and celery. Saute until softened about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour cubed cornbread into a large bowl. Crumble cornbread (I like to leave some bigger chunks for texture). In the video you can see how I chopped them up with the wooden spoon.
- In a smaller bowl, add the eggs. Whisk until combined then add all of the seasonings.
- Pour heavy cream into the bowl with the cornbread. Mix to combine. Slowly add in some broth and stir until you reach your desired texture.
- Pour the cornbread mixture into a 3 qt baking dish. Bake until golden brown about 30-35 minutes.
How to Make Cornbread Dressing in AdvanceIf you want to make your cornbread dressing ahead of time stop at the point where you pour the batter into a casserole dish. Instead of baking, cover the top with cling wrap, and put it in the freezer. We recommend only leaving it there for up to three days. When it's time to cook, just pull it out let it thaw completely. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the cling wrap, replace with aluminum foil. Bake in until it's golden brown and cooked through. *See below on how to achieve crisp topping. It will take longer due to it being frozen, but you'll still get a yummy, golden, cornbread dressing that knocks the socks off that boxed stuff.
How to Reheat Cornbread DressingMake and bake the cornbread dressing the day before. Wrap tightly and refrigerate. Remove the corn bread dressing from the fridge. Place it on the counter to let it come to room temperature (about 40-60 minutes) You'll want to do this so the cornbread dressing can bake evenly. Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove any plastic wrap from the baking dish and replace it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until heated through. *To achieve crisp top, If the dressing seems dry you can add a bit of chicken broth on top before baking. During the last ten mins of baking remove the foil. Then bake at 350°F covered, for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.
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