Southern Cornbread Dressing is so easy to make thanks to the packaged cornbread mix. Layered with crumbled cornbread, sauteed vegetables, chicken broth, and herbs, this classic Thanksgiving side dish is just as good as grandma’s recipe!
Grandma’s classic cornbread dressing recipe
This Southern Cornbread Dressing replaces the usual toasted white bread you’d find in dressing with crumbled cornbread instead. A traditional southern Thanksgiving side dish, this buttery and savory recipe is layered with sauteed vegetables, warm chicken broth, and herbs. Every scoop is moist, soft, and so delicious.
To make this traditional cornbread stuffing recipe as easy as possible, I swapped homemade cornbread for a storebought mix (but if you want to make homemade, go for it). The dressing only takes 35 minutes to bake, giving you plenty of time to focus on the Thanksgiving turkey and other delicious holiday side dishes. Better yet, whip it up a day ahead of time so you can relax on the big day.
Thanksgiving stuffing vs. dressing
Stuffing and dressing are both made with similar ingredients (bread, herbs, broth, and vegetables) and served as a holiday side dish, but have one major difference. The dish was coined with the title of “stuffing” because the mixture is traditionally stuffed and cooked inside of the turkey. Dressing, on the other hand, is cooked separately in a baking pan.
How to make cornbread dressing at home
Buttery and soft cornbread dressing is easy to whip up thanks to the storebought cornbread mix. The bread is crumbled together with herbs, veggies, and broth, then baked in just 30 minutes! It’s the perfect Southern holiday side dish:
Prepare the cornbread mix according to the package directions. Crumble the bread when it’s ready, then set it aside.
Saute the celery, onion, and peppers in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook until they’re tender and have a slight crunch.
Add 4-5 cups of the cornbread mixture to a large bowl along with the sauteed veggies, eggs, broth, and seasonings. Mix well to fully combine. Pro tip: Heat up the chicken broth so the sage is easier to incorporate.
Bake the cornbread dressing in a baking dish until it’s lightly golden brown and crisp on top. Let it rest for 10 minutes out of the oven, then serve!
Make ahead cornbread stuffing
No time on Thanksgiving day? No problem! You can bake this dressing recipe the night before, refrigerate it, and then pop it in a 350ºF oven for 20 minutes before serving.
- Add cubed day-old or toasted white bread to the dressing mix for more substance.
- Instead of the storebought cornbread mix, make this Southern dressing recipe using homemade cornbread or jalapeno cornbread for a little spice.
- Roasting a turkey? Use the pan drippings in the dressing instead of the chicken stock.
- Add meat to this dressing, like shredded turkey, ham, chicken, sausage, ground beef, bacon, or anything else you like.
- You can make this with as many sautéed vegetables as you want, like mushrooms, shallots, garlic, bell peppers, and more.
- Add dried fruit, seeds, nuts, or more herbs for more flavor and crunch!
Frequently asked questions
Can you stuff cornbread dressing into the turkey?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Cornbread stuffing needs a lot less time in the oven compared to a Thanksgiving turkey. If you were to stuff the turkey with the dressing, it would likely turn out overcooked and mushy.
Which dry cornbread mix should you use to make cornbread dressing?
This depends if you prefer your cornbread to taste more savory or sweet. For sweet cornbread dressing, use a mix that contains sugar, like Jiffy Cornbread Mix. Otherwise, try to use a mix without any added sugar.
Can it be made gluten free?
To make gluten free cornbread stuffing, use a gluten free cornbread mix, like Bob’s Red Mill. Everything else is in the recipe is naturally gluten free!
How long does it last?
Store the leftover dressing in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. It makes great leftovers!
Can you freeze cornbread dressing?
You can! Once it’s baked and cooled, wrap the baking dish with the dressing really well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight and warm it up in the oven the next day.
Looking for more Thanksgiving side dish recipes?
- Fluffy Dinner Rolls
- Green Bean Broccoli Casserole
- Onion Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Brussels Sprouts
- Thanksgiving Salad with Spinach
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Southern Cornbread DressingPrint
- 16 ounce package dry corn bread mixture (please see notes at bottom)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup celery finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth warmed up
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Prepare the cornbread mix according to the directions on the package. Bake, crumble cornbread and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a medium sized pan over medium high heat, melt butter. Add celery, onion and pepper and sauté until vegetables are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables, we still want them to have a crunch.
- In a large bowl add 4 cups of crumbled cornbread mixture, sautéed vegetables, eggs, chicken broth, sage, salt and pepper. Mix well to fully combine. TIP: I like to warm up the chicken broth and stir sage into that first, as I find it combines better.
- Place mixture into baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes, remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.