Easy Cornbread Dressing makes the perfect side dish for the Thanksgiving table and any holiday dinner. It’s simple to make with homemade cornbread, rubbed sage, butter, onion, celery, and cream of chicken soup.
Growing up whenever my mom made dressing, I knew it was a process.
She had to make the Southern Cornbread, followed by chopping the vegetables, and then mixing everything together to bake in the oven. As an observer, it appeared to be a simple process, but I wasn’t sure I was up to the task.
As an adult, when I moved into my own place my first Thanksgiving I opted to use box stuffing instead. It wasn’t the same. So the following year I begged my mom to make it for me and it was delicious.
By the third Thanksgiving, I finally decided to learn how to make it myself. While going through the process it dawned on me how simple it really is. The only tedious part is chopping the onion and celery. I basically felt I could have been making dressing for years. It was certainly a light bulb moment.
Over the years I’ve continued to make my mom’s recipe while adding a few additional ingredients to make it my own. Some years I opt to make my own chicken broth and other years I use the boxed broth instead. My family has never complained either way.
What is the Difference between Cornbread Dressing and Cornbread Stuffing?
Now I’ve always called it dressing because no matter whose table I found myself at during the holidays that is what it was referred to. I know that some people prefer to call it stuffing and to me stuffing is the stuff that you actually ‘stuff’ inside the turkey and cook. I believe stuffing is a northern thing and dressing is a southern thing. Honestly, you can call it whichever you prefer, it’s your kitchen, your rules.
So which do you prefer to call it? Dressing? Stuffing? Please let me know in the comments below.
Why You’ll Love this Cornbread Dressing Recipe?
This recipe is loaded with flavor from the dried sage, salt, and pepper. It also contains sauteed celery and onions that are cooked in butter. And I would not substitute the butter for margarine or vegetable oil in this recipe. The butter really makes a difference.
You can use homemade chicken broth or keep it simple with the premade version. Plus you add in a whole can of cream of chicken soup to add a bit of creaminess to the dressing and keep it from drying out and trust me, dry dressing is not tasty.
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Medium or large skillet
- Large spoon
- Large mixing bowl
- 9x13-inch oven-safe baking dish (casserole dish)
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cornbread - This is the main ingredient of this cornbread dressing recipe. You must make a full batch of Southern Cornbread and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding it to the dressing. I prefer to make it a day ahead of time because it becomes a little stale and absorbs the liquid ingredients better. This cornbread is savory and will need to be crumbled up into coarse breadcrumbs to make the base of the dressing.
- Bread - Use any bread that you prefer or have on hand. Toast it and break it up into large pieces to give the dressing that great classic dressing/stuffing texture. You may use white bread, sourdough bread, French bread, biscuits, etc. This ingredient helps to bulk up the dressing.
- Butter - Needed to saute the onion and celery to soften it and break it down a bit. You may use salted or unsalted butter in any brand that you prefer. Give the veggies a nice buttery flavor.
- Onion - Be sure to grab a white onion or yellow onion and chop it into small pieces to add aromatic flavor to the dressing. Avoid using red onion for this particular recipe.
- Celery - Will be cooked along with the onion in butter to add mild flavor and texture that is traditionally found in cornbread dressing.
- Chicken Broth - The liquid used to break down the dressing before it is cooked. May use chicken stock, vegetable broth, or vegetable stock instead.
- Sage - Grab the rubbed sage from your spice rack instead of fresh sage for the dressing. Adds an earthly, peppery, and slightly herby flavor to the cornbread dressing. If you prefer to use more or less, then you may do so it’s perfectly fine.
- Eggs - Two lightly beaten large eggs are added to the dressing mixture before baking it in the oven. It helps to thicken the dressing and give it structure.
- Cream of Chicken Soup - An amazing addition that adds creaminess and makes the dressing moist. If you prefer to use cream of celery soup instead, then that is a great option as well.
- Salt - Adds flavor to the recipe and prevents all of the ingredients from tasting flat.
- Ground Black Pepper - Provides the dressing with a slight amount of heat and bold spice flavor that really brings out the flavors of the rest of the ingredients included in the dressing. Try using freshly ground black pepper for the best results.
See the recipe card below for exact ingredient quantities and instructions.
Step By Step Instructions
Begin the recipe by crumbling the cornbread into smaller pieces and toasting the three slices of bread and breaking it up into small pieces as well. Use a sharp knife and cutting board to chop the onion and celery into smaller pieces.
Place a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated add in the butter and allow it to melt completely. Add the chopped onion and celery and allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Do not overcook it to the point of becoming mushy. It should still have a slight amount of crunch to it. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
To a large bowl, add the cooked and crumbled cornbread and pieces of toasted bread. Add the warm onion and celery mixture and stir to combine.
Add the chicken broth, rubbed sage, lightly beaten large eggs, cream of chicken soup, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir until combined and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Try not to over-mix or break down the dressing to the point that it is too fine. It should still have a coarse and slightly chunky texture. It is perfectly fine if there are still a few large chunks in the dressing mixture.
Grab a 9x13-inch baking dish and lightly butter the entire bottom of the dish and the sides. You may also spray with cooking oil or use shortening instead. Pour the cornbread dressing into the prepared baking dish and spread it out in an even layer.
Place the dressing into the oven to bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the dressing has set and is lightly golden brown. Carefully remove from the oven and serve warm with gravy. Enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Try not to crumble up the cornbread too fine, it should be coarse and chunky.
- Make the cornbread a day ahead for the best results. It will also soak up the ingredients much better.
- Do not over-mix the cornbread dressing mixture. Just mix it enough to combine all of the ingredients together.
Storage. If you have any leftover cornbread dressing, then allow it to cool to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container to store in the refrigerator. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Reheating. When ready to serve again, it can be reheated in the oven at 300 degrees F. until warm. It may also be reheated in the microwave oven as well.
Freezing. The dressing recipe can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the freezer for up to 30 days. Place the unbaked dressing in a freezer-safe container/dish and cover tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminim foil.
When ready to cook, transfer from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight before baking as instructed. If you’re in a hurry, it can also be baked frozen as well, just keep in mind the cooking time may need to be adjusted to longer than the instructions suggest.
Want more delicious side dish recipes? Try these:
- Collard Greens Recipe with Ham Hocks
- Easy Candied Yams
- Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Green Beans
- Corn Pudding
- Sweet and Sour Cabbage
- Ham Green Beans and Potatoes
- Southern Mac and Cheese
- Sweet Potato Casserole
Have any comments, questions, or other delicious ways to enjoy this Easy Cornbread Dressing Recipe? Please share them in the comments below!
Easy Cornbread Dressing
- 1 prepared cornbread recipe, crumbled into small pieces
- 3 slices toasted bread, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
- ⅓ cup butter
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 can (10.5 oz.) cream of chicken soup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Begin the recipe by crumbling the cornbread into smaller pieces and toasting the three slices of bread and breaking it up into small pieces as well. Use a sharp knife and cutting board to chop the onion and celery into smaller pieces.
- Place a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated add in the ⅓ cup butter and allow it to melt completely.
- Add the ½ cup chopped onion and 1 cup celery and allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Do not overcook it to the point of becoming mushy. It should still have a slight amount of crunch to it. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
- To a large bowl, add the cooked and crumbled cornbread and pieces of toasted bread. Add the warm onion and celery mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the 3 cups chicken broth, 1 tablespoon rubbed sage, 2 large lightly beaten eggs, 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir until combined and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Try not to over-mix or break down the dressing to the point that it is too fine. It should still have a coarse and slightly chunky texture. It is perfectly fine if there are still a few large chunks in the dressing mixture.
- Grab a 9x13-inch baking dish and lightly butter the entire bottom of the dish and the sides. You may also spray with cooking oil or use shortening instead. Pour the cornbread dressing into the prepared baking dish and spread it out in an even layer.
- Place the dressing into the oven to bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the dressing has set and is lightly golden brown. Carefully remove from the oven and serve warm with gravy. Enjoy!
*All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands used, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Original post date 11/13/2018. Updated 10/16/2023.