Made with homemade cornbread, stuffing cubes, and savory herbs this Cornbread Dressing is a Southern classic that belongs on every holiday table. It will quickly become one of your favorite easy holiday side dishes as it requires minimal prep (and hardly any dirty dishes).
Quick & Easy Cornbread Dressing Recipe
This recipe is my take on Southern cornbread dressing, a staple that appears on nearly every holiday table in the South. It begins with homemade cornbread, prepared a day or two in advance because the less prep on the actual holiday, the better. And, of course, the cornbread needs to dry out before being added to the stuffing.
I also add stuffing cubes so there’s about a 50/50 mix of cornbread cubes and bread in this recipe, which offers up a great texture combination. It’s generously seasoned with a handful of herbs, melted butter, celery, and onions for a hearty but comforting dish loaded with savory flavors.
Is Dressing The Same As Stuffing?
Basically, yes. Most people would consider cornbread dressing and cornbread stuffing to be the exact same thing (and I use them interchangeably). If you want to get technical, the real difference between dressing and stuffing is that stuffing is meant to be stuffed inside the turkey, while dressing would be served on the side.
But whether you say dressing or stuffing is mostly a regional difference at this point and almost always refers to the same thing!
What You’ll Need
This recipe is made from scratch, starting with baking the cornbread a day ahead of time. Below you’ll find ingredients for both parts of the recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for measurements.
For the Cornbread
- Cornmeal – The key ingredient in making cornbread!
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder – Baking powder helps the cornbread rise while baking.
- Milk – Whole, 2%, and skim are all fine.
- Butter – Unsalted, since additional butter is added to the recipe.
For the Stuffing
- Stuffing cubes – You can buy these by the bagful at the grocery store.
- Unsalted butter
- Onion & celery – Both are added for flavor and texture in the cornbread stuffing.
- Chicken broth – The exact amount you’ll need will vary, as noted below.
- Herbs – This Thanksgiving stuffing is seasoned with dried parsley, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Can I Add More Vegetables To This Stuffing?
If you’re the type of person who likes to sneak extra veggies in their dressing, go for it. You can add anything from carrots to peppers to this cornbread dressing. Or you can even add in some mushrooms – THAT would be super tasty!
Prefer meat in your stuffing? You may like my sausage stuffing recipe!
How to Make Cornbread Dressing
Even though we’re starting from scratch, this Southern cornbread dressing recipe is quite easy to make. Just be sure to make the cornbread portion at least one day (preferably two) in advance!
Make the Cornbread
- Combine the ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add in the milk, eggs, and butter. Mix until smooth. Transfer to the baking dish.
- Bake. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
- Dry it out. It’s best to prepare the cornbread a day or two in advance, so it dries out on its own. If it’s not dry when you make the stuffing, cut it into cubes and bake it at 250 for 30 to 45 minutes.
Make the Stuffing
- Saute the onions and celery. Cook the onions and celery in melted butter until tender. Mix in the seasonings.
- Combine the ingredients. Add the cornbread cubes and stuffing cubes to a bowl. Stir in the onion mixture. Mix in the whisked eggs, then slowly add the broth.
- Bake. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned on the top. Enjoy!
Tips & FAQs
Here are a few helpful things to know about making this holiday side dish.
- Why did my cornbread dressing come out gummy? If you don’t mix the ingredients fully, you may end up with clumps that have a “gummy” texture. For this reason, I always recommend combining each ingredient fully before adding the next.
- How can you tell when dressing is done? The top should be lightly brown and it shouldn’t appear to be super wet. You can also test it the same way you do baked goods, by inserting a toothpick in the center. It should come out with no wet pieces.
- Can I use bread instead of stuffing cubes? Absolutely. You can use cubes of dried bread to make your stuffing instead of buying a bag of cubes, if desired. Like the cornbread, you want to make sure the bread is dried before making the stuffing.
- Can I use box cornbread mix? Some would say no but, honestly? If you want to make cornbread from a box instead of from scratch, I’m not here to stop you. You may lose out on some flavor but the side dish will still be tasty!
What To Serve with Southern Cornbread Stuffing
It’s no surprise that this Southern cornbread dressing is typically served up on holidays, especially Thanksgiving. We love it on Christmas with glazed ham too.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Leftover Thanksgiving stuffing should be tightly covered or transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge. It will last for up to 3 days.
The easiest way to reheat it is as individual servings in the microwave. If you want to reheat the whole baking dish of stuffing, cover it with foil and reheat in the oven at 300F for 15 minutes or so.
More Easy Holiday Side Dishes:
Cornbread Dressing Recipe
- 1 bag 12 oz dry stuffing cubes
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ½ – 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Coat a square 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray
- In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
- Add milk, eggs and butter
- Beat until smooth
- Pour into prepared pan
- Bake for 20-30 or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Prepare cornbread 1-2 days ahead
- Be sure cornbread is dry, if not, cut into 1 inch cubes and spread on baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
- Dry cornbread in oven for 30-45 minutes, toss every 10-12 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Coat 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat
- Add chopped onions and celery and cook until soft
- Remove from heat
- Add seasonings and mix well
- Add cornbread and stuffing cubes to very large bowl
- Add onion mixture and mix well
- Lightly beat eggs and add to cornbread mixture, mix well
- Gradually add broth to cornbread mixture and stir with each addition ** see notes
- Spread stuffing into prepared baking dish
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
- Remove from oven and serve immediately