A perfectly moist Southern cornbread dressing flavored with sauteed onions and celery and speckled with fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and parsley.
SOUTHERN CORNBREAD DRESSING: A FAMILY RECIPE
This recipe was inspired by my Grandma Campbell’s Thanksgiving dressing. It is a dish that feels like family and reminds me of home. What better purpose could food serve? I’m sure regardless of where you’re from, you’ve likely heard that cornbread is somewhat of a staple in the South. Southern cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving is no exception, and this one is a long-established, fan favorite tradition.
The main difference between my version and grandma’s is this: Homemade cornbread and fresh herbs. If you don’t have time for homemade cornbread on Thanksgiving day, I get it and you could sub in the store-bought/pre-packaged stuff, no problem. However, the fresh herbs make all the difference in the world, and if you’ve ever cooked with them before, you know first-hand the beauty they add to any given dish when used.
WHAT IS STUFFING AND DRESSING?
Stuffing and dressing differ in the way they are cooked, however, they are both made up of the same elements. They each consist of bread, broth to moisten, vegetable add-ins of your choosing (most commonly celery, onions, and herbs), as well as eggs to bind it all together.
STUFFING VS. DRESSING
Truth be told, I still slip from time to time and call this old family Southern cornbread dressing recipe stuffing way too often. Linguistically, it just seems to be the more popular verbiage of the two. However, this recipe is indeed dressing and not stuffing.
So what is stuffing? The word stuffing indicates that the mixture has been stuffed inside of the turkey carcass (or chicken) and cooked with the bird. A dressing is treated more like a casserole in which the mixture is mixed up, then transferred to a large casserole dish to be baked in the oven all on its lonesome…not inside of a bird.
I prefer the golden crust that develops cooking the mixture this way, giving it a lovely variation in texture.
WHY CORNBREAD DRESSING?
The cornbread adds just a hint of sweetness to the casserole and brings a lovely balance to the dish overall. Its subtle sweetness is also absolute perfection alongside all the other savory items commonly found at a Thanksgiving feast. Position it smack-dab in between the perfectly roasted turkey and the creamiest mashed potatoes, hit it with a teensy bit of gravy and you truly cannot go wrong. It also looks particularly lovely right there next to a serving of homemade green bean casserole. Yes, please.
It is a beloved tradition, passed down generation to generation, and I truly can’t imagine a Thanksgiving turkey without it. Once you’ve given this recipe a go, I promise, you’ll feel the same way. Please, enjoy.
A perfectly moist Southern-style dressing flavored with sauteed onions and celery and speckled with fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and parsley.
- 1 pound Day-Old White Bread purchased from your bakery
- Half a batch of day old TAK's Co. Cornbread or 1 1/2 pound cornbread
- 8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 2 Yellow Onions finely diced
- 4 Stalks of Celery finely diced
- 4 cups Unsalted Chicken Broth
- 3 Eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup Minced Flat-Leafed Parsley
- 1 tablespoon Minced Sage
- 1 tablespoon Minced Thyme
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 350° and have ready a greased 9x13” casserole dish.
Remove crust from the loaf of white bread, cut into 1/4" cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Crumble the cornbread (you should have eight cups) and add it to the mixing bowl as well. Set aside until ready to use.
Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and celery to the pan and sauté for 15 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
In the large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients along with the sautéed vegetables. Using your hands, gently mix ingredients until evenly distributed. Transfer to baking dish, even out the top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20-25 minutes more, until the center no longer jiggles and the top is golden brown.
You can prepare the stuffing a day in advance up until the point of baking. Cover and refrigerate, then set out at room temperature 1 hour before you intend to bake it to remove any chill. Resume with the recipe as directed.
Makes 16-18 Servings.