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A pan of southern cornbread dressing up close.
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5 from 8 votes

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Southern Cornbread Dressing is a Thanksgiving staple - the combination of sweet cornbread and savory sausage is so delicious. The celery and onions add such a wonderful crunch and the creamy soup brings it all together.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: cornbread dressing, cornbread stuffing, southern cornbread dressing, southern cornbread stuffing
Cooking Method: Oven
Servings: 12
Calories: 388kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large pan of cornbread I use this recipe
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 3 - 4 celery stalks diced (this should be about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup butter 1 stick

Gravy Mix

  • 2 cups chicken broth chicken stock or turkey stock will also work
  • 1 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch marjoram

Instructions

  • The first step is to make cornbread - I like to use this recipe - and then let it cool.
  • Once the cornbread is ready, cook the Italian Sausage. Once it is cooked, drain off the grease and set it off to the side.
  • Cook the onion and celery in the butter until the onions are translucent and the celery is soft - about 5 minutes.
  • Once the cornbread is cooled off enough to handle, crumble it into a large bowl. Add the drained sausage and cooked celery and onions to the same bowl, along with any butter left in the pan and gently toss it all together.
  • Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish and spread it out.
  • In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together spices, cream of chicken soup, and broth.
  • Pour the soup mixture over the cornbread - trying to cover as much as you can. Do not stir.
  • Bake the cornbread dressing at 350°F for 30 - 35 minutes, uncovered.
  • When the dressing is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

🔢 Recipe Yield
This recipe should make 12 servings, but if you have big eaters, you might end up with 8 - 10.
🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating
Once cooled, store leftovers in the refrigerator. Reheat in the toaster oven, microwave, or in the oven. I like to use the oven over the microwave because it makes the cornbread chunks nice and crispy. It is hard to explain but it is so good!
📋 Tips
  • Don't overmix - cornbread chunks will get broken up and the end result will be soggy dressing.
  • Pour the "gravy" over the dressing to prevent overmixing. Sure, this will leave a few bites "undressed" but then you will have this delicious toasty cornbread mixed with the gravy drenched bites - it is really delicious.
  • Serve leftovers for lunch - this cornbread dressing is delicious even as a standalone meal. It would be a really easy lunch prepare on Sunday then have for a few days.
🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my cornbread dressing mushy?
If your cornbread dressing comes out mushy, it is either because it was overmixed and the cornbread just turned to crumbles - or if there was not enough cornbread to mix with the gravy. Too much liquid will cause a soggy mess!
What is the difference between cornbread stuffing and cornbread dressing?
I think the difference used to be that one was "stuffed" in the turkey and one is baked in a pan. Most people don't stuff their turkeys these days, so I don't think there is a huge difference other than how you break up the cornbread. I think stuffing might have more uniformly sized pieces vs. dressing's crumbles - but that might be the only difference.
Why do Southerners call it dressing?
Based on my research, I honestly have no idea other than again, stuffing is stuffed in the bird and the dressing is cooked on the side, therefore "dressing" up the table. I think it is just a "tomato, tom-ah-to" or "you all, y'all" dialect thing. It's a Southern Thing wrote a funny article about this!
How do you know when the dressing is done?
Dressing is done when the gravy is no longer liquid - it kind of melds into the bread and forms a thicker delicious crust. The cornbread will also be nice and toasty on the edges.
What kind of sausage do you use in cornbread dressing?
I love using Italian sausage - it seems kind of weird but the flavors complement the sweet cornbread and the chicken gravy flavors really well!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 910mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 2mg