This old fashioned Southern cornbread dressing recipe is a classic that’s a must-have for every Thanksgiving table. It’s made with celery, onions, homemade cornbread, white bread and plenty of herbs. You’ll never look at cornbread stuffing the same way again!

Looking for the perfect cornbread stuffing recipe for your holiday meal? This cornbread dressing is a staple in many Southern households for good reason – it’s absolutely delicious! Serve it alongside other side dish recipes such as slow cooker creamed corn and bacon roasted brussels sprouts.

Southern Cornbread Dressing in a baking dish topped with chopped parsley.

Today we’re talking about stuffing, because Thanksgiving is almost here! There are about ten million ways to do stuffing, but this Southern cornbread dressing is my favorite. It’s moist and delicious with a light and fluffy texture and the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Not gonna lie, my husband and I both made this our dinner after I took these photos, it’s just that good.

Southern Cornbread Dressing Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need cornbread, white bread, butter, onion, celery, chicken broth or turkey broth, eggs, sage, parsley, salt and black pepper.

How Do You Make cornbread Dressing?

Prepare my honey cornbread recipe, or use store bought cornbread if you’re short on time. Place the cornbread and cubes of white bread in a large bowl. Preheat the oven and grease a baking dish. Melt some of the butter in a pan or large skillet, then add the onion and celery. Cook until the vegetables are soft, then add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the cornbread mixture. Melt the rest of the butter and pour it into a bowl. Add the broth, eggs, salt, pepper and sage, then whisk it all together. Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the bread and vegetables, then toss to combine. Place everything into the casserole dish, and bake until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve and enjoy.

Cornbread dressing made with cornbread, white bread and vegetables, with a serving spoon in it.

Tips For The Perfect Dish

  • You can make your homemade cornbread up to a month in advance and freeze it until you’re ready to make stuffing.
  • I prefer to crumble my cornbread into larger pieces as it will break down some more when you mix everything together.
  • This recipe is really best when baked as directed in a dish, rather than using it to stuff a turkey. If you use this to stuff a bird you won’t get that same great crispy texture on top!
  • I recommend to use fresh herbs here as they have a lot more flavor than dried herbs. If you need to use dried herbs in a pinch, cut the amounts by 2/3.
  • Serve your stuffing alongside Thanksgiving main course favorites such as spatchcock turkey, honey glazed ham, smoked turkey breast and baked ham.

Quick Tip

While I typically use plain old white bread in this recipe, you could also use wheat bread, or an artisan bread like a baguette.

Cornbread and white bread cubes in a mixing bowl.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?

It is mostly a regional preference as to whether you call it stuffing or dressing.
Dressing tends to be baked almost exclusively outside the bird, while stuffing can either be inside the turkey or in a separate dish. I actually tend to mostly refer to it as stuffing because that’s what it is called in my geographic area, although I never stuff my bird. In the South people tend to call it dressing, and this is a Southern style recipe which is why I’ve labeled it as dressing.

Is stuffing better with or without eggs?

I find that stuffing is always better with some eggs in the mix. The eggs add moisture, a rich flavor, and also help bind all the ingredients together. I would not recommend omitting the eggs in this recipe unless there is an allergy. In the case of an allergy, you’d want to use an egg alternative to make sure everything holds together.

How do you fix dry stuffing?

The best way to prevent dry stuffing is to be careful not to overcook it! You want the dressing top to be crispy and golden brown, with a soft and tender interior. It’s important to keep an eye on your dish as it bakes to make sure the top is not getting overly browned. If you feel like the top is brown before the inside is done, simply cover the dish with foil. In a situation where the stuffing bakes for too long and is dry, mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1/3 cup warm chicken or turkey broth. Drizzle this mixture over the stuffing and let it soak in for a few minutes, and that should help to fix the problem.

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Bread cubes, cornbread and sauteed celery and onions in a bowl.

Flavor Variations

This recipe is great as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Protein: Feel free to add some cooked breakfast sausage, bacon, prosciutto or smoked chicken apple sausage to your stuffing. It’s also common to add oysters to stuffing!
  • Vegetables: Stir in some extra sauteed veggies such as mushrooms, carrots, fennel, parsnips, or even butternut squash.
  • Fruit: Cooked apples are a popular addition to dressing, as are dried cranberries, apricots, figs or cherries.
  • Herbs: Amp up the flavor with extra herbs such as thyme, rosemary or marjoram.
Cornbread dressing ready to go into the oven to bake.

Make Ahead Instructions

You can assemble your dressing up to 8 hours before the big meal. Simply cover your baking dish with foil and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. You may need to increase the cooking time a bit since you’ll be starting with a cold dish. You can also prepare the dish, bake as directed, then seal tightly and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake the covered dish from frozen at 350 degrees F until it’s warmed through, about 45-60 minutes.

Cornbread Dressing in a white baking dish garnished with fresh herbs.

I have a lot of people in my family that are stuffing haters, I can’t wait to unveil this Southern cornbread dressing to them this year to see if they change their minds! In my opinion this is the best stuffing recipe I’ve tried, and I try a different recipe almost every year trying to find one my family will like. The combination of the veggies, two types of bread and fresh herbs is simply the best. It’s buttery and delicious just like any good Thanksgiving recipe should be!

Cornbread stuffing served with turkey and green beans.

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Cornbread Dressing Video

5 from 105 votes

Southern Cornbread Dressing

AuthorSara Welch
Southern Cornbread Dressing
This Southern cornbread dressing recipe is a classic that’s a must-have for every Thanksgiving table. You’ll never look at cornbread stuffing the same way again!
Time
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Serves 10

Ingredients 

  • 1 recipe honey cornbread or any 9″ square cornbread that’s homemade or store bought
  • 5 slices stale white bread cut into cubes
  • 10 tablespoons butter divided use
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  • optional: sage leaves for garnish

Instructions 

  • Prepare the honey cornbread according to post instructions.
  • Cool the cornbread and crumble. Place the cornbread in a large bowl with the bread cubes and toss to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9″x13″ pan with cooking spray.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables in the bowl with the cornbread mixture.
  • 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.
  • Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the cornbread mixture and stir to combine. 
  • Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until dressing is browned and cooked through.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with sage leaves if desired. Serve.

Notes

  1. You can make your homemade cornbread up to a month in advance and freeze it until you’re ready to make stuffing.
  2. I prefer to crumble my cornbread into larger pieces as it will break down some more when you mix everything together.
  3. This recipe is really best when baked as directed in a dish, rather than using it to stuff a turkey. If you use this to stuff a bird you won’t get that same great crispy texture on top!

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 411mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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Comments

  1. I really like your sausage stuffing, but due to husband’s gluten-free diet will have to make this cornbread now. Can the sausage be incorporated into this cornbread dressing and, if so, when and how – would it be along the same order as the sausage stuffing?

    1. Yes just cook the sausage before or after the vegetables and add it into the bowl when you combine all the ingredients!

  2. 5 stars
    Sara,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I used this for my Thanksgiving meal this year, and it was great! I’ve never made a stuffing that tasted the way I wanted it to. This is going into my yearly rotation!

  3. Just two of us for Christmas. Want to make half of your dressing recipe. Would I use 4 cups of cornbread? What size dish would your recommend you instead of 9 by 13? Would I still bake for 30 min? Thankyou

    1. Yes, use a 9×9 square or 8×8 square and you can start at 30 minutes for baking but add a few more minutes if the middle is not set.

  4. Hi there! I’m looking at making this recipe for our Christmas meal, but hesitant to use a honey cornbread for the dressing due to the sweetness. I know it’s just 1/4 cup in your recipe – would it affect your cornbread recipe if I just left the honey out? Thanks!

  5. My Mother always made stuffing and it was my favorite, she passed and I don’t have a recipe because she did it from memory. This sounds like it might be pretty close except she had a gravy to put on it that had egg whites in it? Any idea what kind of gravy and would you do this with this recipe? Going to try it for Christmas, Thank you.

  6. I normally use package cornbread that requires to eggs per package which I’m using six package. Once I mix in veggies do I need to add extra eggs?

    1. You’re cooking the cornbread first correct? So those eggs would get baked into the cornbread. Then you’ll need more eggs in the actual stuffing to help bind it all together.

  7. I was wondering what steps I could do the day before? Would it be a bad idea to combine all ingredients so far ahead? Will it turn to mush? Thanks in advance!

  8. 5 stars
    I did this recipe and I didn’t use bread with my cornbread, I used 2 cups of croutons, it came out magnificent!
    The seasoned croutons gave it even more flavor !

    1. You’d want to use more cornbread, another 3 cups. Just be aware this will alter the texture of the stuffing and it will be more dense!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this last year, but with gluten-free cornbread and bread slices (toasted). I really liked it and plan to make it again this year!

      1. Thank you for your quick reply. Cornbread dressing is a requirement because my husband has eaten it every Thanksgiving of his life. But I really don’t like it the way his mother made it. This isn’t so different that he would reject it, but it was different enough that I absolutely love it!

  10. This is an amazing recipe! If I recommend though and it drives me nuts when people do this: Use 4 or 5 tablespoons of fresh sage at least when you make this. Seriously great stuff. Our table will never not have this at Thanksgiving or Christmas again.

  11. Going to try your cornbread dressing . Need to know how many eggs to use you don’t list it in the ingredients. Letitia

      1. Are you using the same size pan or a larger pan? If you use a large pan the cook time shouldn’t change significantly as the thickness will be similar, maybe an extra 10-15 minutes. If you’re doubling it in the same size pan it could take as much as 30 minutes more, you can cover with foil if you think it’s getting too browned.