Old Fashioned Southern Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing Recipe

If you are looking for a Southern Thanksgiving Cornbread dressing recipe widely known as the best in the South, you are in the right place. This old-school recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that you can make ahead of time, and it always gets requests for seconds.

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Today, I am grateful that Thanksgiving is approaching! As you know, I usually keep all the recipes over here low-carb, but since my family isn’t 100% on board with healthy eating, chances are yours isn’t either. So, I’m sharing the literal best-ever recipe —no adjectives can do it justice—because it’s that good cornbread dressing recipe.

Another reason I’m sharing yet another Thanksgiving recipe is that I’ve been looking at the so-called “best” ones, and they are pure BS. Sometimes, I think these recipes are written by robots or people with zero experience in the kitchen. 

Anyway, you don’t have to be Betty Crocker to make this dressing – and – FYI – Betty Crocker wasn’t a real person anyway. She was a fictional character created to sell baking crap for General Mills. Know that before you trust the AI:))

Alrighty now, what’s the secret to making legit Southern Thanksgiving Cornbread dressing? 

A good recipe, buttermilk cornbread, homemade chicken broth, and a Thanksgiving miracle seasoning shortcut that never fails—you’re in the right place if you need a fabulous cornbread dressing that your family, friends, and neighbors will adore. 

This dressing is epic. 

This homemade, old fashioned southern cornbread dressing recipe is the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish. It is the BEST soul food stuffing recipe with buttermilk cornbread, celery, onions, homemade chicken broth and Pepperidge Farm seasonings that make it a stand-out. If you’re looking for a classic Thanksgiving stuffing recipe for this year's Thanksgiving dinner this will not disappoint!

You know, there is nothing more important on Turkey Day than a legit slap your mama good Southern Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing.

Unless, of course, you value time with family or you’re into the whole gratitude thing, and in that case, we’ll put the dressing in the third spot:)

But seriously, there is no substitute for this dressing.

It was one of the first holiday recipes I mastered – even before I learned to cook. It isn’t complicated, but there are quite a few steps. I’ll walk you through it.

Let’s get into what you need to get your dressing on.

Cornbread 

You need to use this buttermilk cornbread recipe to make this dressing happen. Yes, seriously. I have messed up a couple of times and used a basic non-buttermilk cornbread instead, and my family hated me for it. 

Small chicken or Cornish Game Hen

You won’t be using canned broth or bouillon cubes. We’re going old school and making the broth ourselves. It makes a huge difference, and it HIGH-key makes you feel like a domestic superhero when you tell folks you did it yourself.

Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing 

Look for the blue bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. It’s a vital seasoning shortcut—don’t skip it! And don’t wait until the last minute to pick it up. I’ve made that mistake before and driven to six different grocery stores like a crazed, desperate maniac. 

That covers the main three ingredients. You will also need:

6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 sticks of salted butter 

1 large red onion, chopped

6-8 ribs of celery, chopped 

1-2 tablespoons sage 

Salt and pepper

Extra-large foil pan with lid 

That Seems Like A lot of Work…Is It Worth It?

In a word, yep. This dressing is absolute perfection. Once you taste it, you will know I speak the truth. Until then, you’ll have to trust me.

The good news is that you can do all of the prep work beforehand so you can handle Thanksgiving day. I make the cornbread one or two nights before, depending on how many I plan to host.

You can also boil the hen and make the broth, chop the veggies, and boil the eggs the day before. Just put everything covered in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble it.

Note: You will want to heat the broth if you have kept it in the fridge. 

Southern Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing Step By Step 

Make the cornbread. 

The full recipe is here, but to save you time and frustration, here’s the short version. 

Combine 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and two eggs. Mix all those ingredients, pour into an oven-proof skillet or a cake pan – whatever you have handy as long as it’s greased, and bake at 450 for 25 minutes. 

Boil the hen in a large stockpot filled with water and two sticks of salted butter, salt, and pepper. 

If you are using a hen with the gizzards, remember to take them out before you boil it. 

Yes, you’ll have to suffer through low-key molesting a chicken, but you will get over it. 

If you’re using a frozen hen, remember to give it time to thaw because cooking a frozen one will take much longer. (I know because I’ve been there. Done that.) 

Boil the eggs and chop the red onion and celery. 

When the eggs are boiled, please put them in an ice bath for five minutes and then peel and chop them.  

Now that the ingredients are ready, it is time to assemble this thing. 

Grab a large skillet and melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat on the stove. 

Add the chopped onion, celery, and about ⅓ cup of broth. Saute for ten minutes until veggies are tender and transparent. 

Remove the hen from the broth and cut it/shred it to use in the dressing and to use as leftovers:) Do not pour out the broth – guard it with your life! This is the magic ingredient that makes this cornbread dressing so flipping good! 

Preheat the oven to 350°

Go ahead and wash your hands before making another move. I know I’m not your mother, but I am a mom of three, and this is just how I talk now. 

Plus, you’re about to get up close and personal with this cornbread. 

Start by crumbling the cornbread into the foil pan with your hands. Don’t use a food processor; it will pulverize it, and the texture will not be consistent. 

Then, add the Pepperidge Farm stuffing and mix it with the cornbread in the foil pan. 

Add the sauteed vegetables and stir again. 

Now start adding the broth one cup at a time, stirring as you go. 

I usually add 4-6 cups. The dressing should be the consistentcy of putty at this point. You want this – the dressing will dry as you bake it, so do not be afraid of a wet-looking dressing. 

Add the pieces of the hen. 

Add the eggs and more broth if it looks dry. 

Add the sage, salt, and pepper. 

Taste it—if you think it needs more salt, pepper, or sage, this is your chance to add them.

Bake for 45 minutes, checking in to stir, and add more broth if needed. 

Enjoy it and the compliments. Feel free to pretend it’s your original recipe. This is your time to shine.

Leftovers can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. This recipe makes a ton of dressing, but the leftovers always go fast. In other words, nobody will complain about having to eat it again. 

If you leave the eggs out, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 

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Southern Cornbread Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Old Fashioned Southern Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing Recipe


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  • Author: Heather Burnett
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 18

Description

This homemade, old fashioned southern cornbread dressing recipe is the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish. It is the BEST soul food stuffing recipe with buttermilk cornbread, celery, onions, homemade chicken broth and Pepperidge Farm seasonings that make it a stand-out. If you’re looking for a classic Thanksgiving stuffing recipe for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner this will not disappoint! 

 


Ingredients

1 skillet of cornbread 

1 small chicken or Cornish Game Hen 

1 package Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing 

6 hard boiled eggs, chopped

2 sticks of salted butter 

1 large red onion, chopped

6-8 ribs of celery, chopped 

1-2 tablespoons sage

Salt and pepper to taste

 


Instructions

Make the cornbread

Boil the hen in a large stockpot filled with water and two sticks of salted butter, salt, and pepper. If you are using a hen with the gizzards, take them out before you boil it. If you’re using a frozen hen, remember to give it time to thaw because it will take a lot longer to cook a frozen one. (I know because I’ve been there. Done that.) 

Boil the eggs and chop the red onion and celery. When the eggs are boiled, put them in an ice bath for five minutes and then peel and chop them.  

Now that you have all of the ingredients ready to go, it is time to put this thing together. 

Grab a large skillet and melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat on the stove. Add the chopped onion, celery, and about ⅓ cup of broth. Saute for ten minutes until veggies are tender and transparent. 

Remove the hen from the broth and cut it/shred it to use in the dressing and to use as leftovers:) Do not pour out the broth – guard it with your life! This is the magic ingredient that makes this cornbread dressing so flipping good! 

Preheat the oven to 350°

Go ahead and wash your hands before making another move. I know I’m not your mother, but I am a mom of three, and this is just how I talk now. Plus you’re about to get up close and personal with this cornbread. 

Start by crumbling the cornbread into the foil pan with your hands. Please don’t use a food processor because it will pulverize it, and the texture will not be right. 

Then you’ll add the Pepperidge Farm stuffing and mix it with the cornbread. 

Add the sauteed vegetables and stir again. 

Now start adding the broth one cup at a time, stirring as you go. 

I usually add 4-6 cups. The dressing should be the consistency of putty at this point. You want this – the dressing will dry as you bake it, so do not be afraid of a wet looking dressing. 

Add the pieces of the chicken. 

Add the eggs and more broth if it looks dry. 

Add the sage, salt, and pepper. 

Taste it- if you think it needs more salt, pepper, or sage, this is your chance to make that happen.

Bake for 45 minutes, checking in to stir and add more broth if needed. 

Enjoy! 

Notes

Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

You can also freeze this (without the eggs) in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Bread, Holiday Recipes, Thanksgiving
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

I hope you enjoyed this Southern Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!

While you’re here, please check out these articles.

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16 Of The Best Christmas Treats Kids Can Make! Easy Holiday Recipes

“I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, but it hasn’t changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I’m just wearing better shoes.” – Oprah Winfrey

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