Southern Cornbread Dressing (otherwise known as Cornbread Stuffing) is a delicious take on a classic Thanksgiving side dish. This recipe is made with stale Buttermilk Cornbread then flavored with herbs, spices, and bacon!
If your family loves Thanksgiving stuffing, try giving it a Southern twist!
In addition to its delicious taste, I love this Cornbread dressing recipe because you can make it with stale leftover cornbread.
Cornbread Dressing Ingredients:
This delicious dressing is made with stale Buttermilk Cornbread that’s been cut into cubes. The bread is tossed in a blend of olive oil, sauteed onion, celery, thyme, sage, and garlic paste. Chopped bacon is added for a smoky, rich flavor.
A blend of chicken stock, milk, eggs, and black pepper is poured over the cornbread mixture. This adds moisture, melds all the ingredients together, and keeps them from falling apart after baking.
How To Make Cornbread Stuffing:
Preheat the oven and add the onion, celery, thyme, and sage to a large skillet with olive oil and cook until tender. Then add in the cooked bacon and garlic paste and cook for an additional minute.
Add the bacon and vegetable mixture to a large bowl with the cubed cornbread, chives, and salt and toss to combine.
In a separate large bowl, beat together the chicken stock, milk, eggs, and black pepper followed separately but the butter, then pour it into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and gently stir to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is lightly crunchy and it doesn’t jiggle.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing?
Both are essentially the same thing. The big difference is that stuffing is traditionally cooked inside the turkey while dressing is cooked in its own pan.
How long does cornbread take to go stale?
Leave it out on the counter, it should dry out in a day or two.
Can I use fresh bread?
Since dry cornbread soaks up more moisture, it has to be stale.
How to dry out cornbread in the oven:
You can cut the bread into cubes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees F. This will help dry them out and allow them to soak up the wet ingredients in the recipe.
Do you always put eggs in Cornbread Dressing?
Eggs are very important because they bind everything together. Otherwise, you’ll just be serving up piles of crumbled cornbread!
How much liquid do you put in Cornbread Dressing?
You’ll want enough to soak into the bread and keep everything moist. This recipe calls for about a cup (½ cup milk and ½ cup chicken stock). The melted butter and eggs also help do the job.
Substitutions & Variations:
- Use store-bought cornbread: In a rush? You can use store-bought cornbread. If you get a discount for a day-old batch, even better!
- Use box mix: Another time-saving substitute would be to use a boxed cornbread mix like Jiffy. However, the flavor and texture of my Southern Cornbread recipe are far superior!
- Salt and pepper to taste: Be careful if you decide to add any additional salt since it’s already in the butter and bacon.
- Vegetarian: You can omit the bacon for a vegetarian option.
- Sausage: A great alternative to bacon is using a cup of ground sausage. Make sure it’s pre-cooked before adding it to the skillet.
More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes:
- Sausage Dressing – A more traditional dressing recipe, this one is made with French bread and ground sausage.
- Roasted Delicata Squash – If you’re looking for an easy veggie side dish to add to the table, this is it!
- Bourbon Orange Cranberry Sauce – Give this sweet and tart side a boozy twist.
- Mashed Potatoes – The BEST recipe for buttery, creamy potatoes!
- Sweet Potato Casserole – This is guaranteed to be a hit for diners of all ages!
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- 1 batch Buttermilk Cornbread stale
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 3 celery stalks finely diced
- fresh thyme
- fresh sage finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic paste
- 6 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- fresh chives finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs beaten
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 10×10-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray; set aside.
- Cut the cornbread up into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the diced onion, celery, thyme, and sage and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in the garlic paste and chopped bacon and cook for 1 additional minute, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add the vegetable and bacon mixture to the bowl with the diced cornbread, then add in the chives, and salt and toss to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, beat together the chicken stock, milk, eggs, and black pepper. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the cornbread along with the melted butter and gently toss to coat.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and then bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- I highly recommend using the cornbread recipe that’s linked in the card for the best flavor and texture, but any 8×8-inch cornbread recipe will do.
- I like to bake my cornbread two days in advance and let it sit out for a couple of days to get stale. If you do not prepare it in advance, you can cube it up after the first bake and then place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes.
- All chicken stock or all milk may be used in this recipe.
- Bacon can be omitted.
Adapted from Delish.