My mom got this Cornbread Dressing recipe from a little old church lady back in 1962, and she’s been making it exactly the same way ever since. The ingredients: cornbread, celery, onion, and sage, are simple and make this dish a comforting classic for your Thanksgiving table.
The key to a truly great Cornbread Dressing is to keep it flavorful, but subtle, and not overwhelm any of the other items on your plate. It’s there in a supporting role, adding to, but not distracting from any of the other dishes that you’ve waited all summer to gorge yourself on. The Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Buttery Glazed Carrots, Turkey, Ham, etc. etc.
Did I mention the Cornbread? This Cornbread recipe alone is worth the effort, a combination of butter and buttermilk make it the best I’ve ever tasted. Both sweet and buttery, you’ll want to make it year-round.
My parents immigrated to the U.S. from England in October of 1962, and they received a crash course in Thanksgiving traditions. I am pretty sure my mom has never changed any of the items on the menu, or any of the recipes since I was a child, which I think is perfect. Our Thanksgivings have been, and still are, rigidly traditional. Turkey, dressing, family, and football — the only thing missing this year is my dad. We lost him this summer and this will be our first Thanksgiving without him, it’s going to be a tough one. The holiday is a good reminder to be thankful for the family and friends that we have.
It’s important to have a plan going into Thanksgiving and you should start prepping several days in advance. My Mom’s Cornbread Dressing is one of those make-ahead items that can take some of the pressure off of you on Thanksgiving Day. I make the cornbread on Monday, make the dressing on Tuesday, then leave it, uncooked, in the refrigerator until Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and all that is left to do is bake it.
My plan is to make sure all of my mom’s traditional recipes get posted on the blog prior to Thanksgiving. Funnily enough for me as a food blogger, I’m starting my Thanksgiving planning in August when it’s 107°F outside, and I’m about to start cooking up some classic Traditional Thanksgiving fare. What a weird hobby I have.
Note: You need to double the cornbread recipe in order to make the My Mom’s Cornbread Dressing.
- ½ Cup Butter, Melted
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Cup Cornmeal
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
-Preheat oven to 375°F
-Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well
-Beat the eggs and add to the dry mix
-Add the melted butter and the buttermilk, combine until smooth
-Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour
-Bake approximately 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out smooth
My Mom’s Cornbread Dressing
- ½ Cup Butter
- 1 Cup Diced Onion
- 1 Quart Diced Celery
- 2x Cornbread Recipe, ½ inch cubes (Roughly 4 Quarts)
- 2 Tablespoons Poultry Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2-4 Cups Chicken Stock
-In a large pot, melt the butter and sauté the onions and celery until soft, not browned
-Add the seasonings to the onions and celery and combine well
-Add the diced cornbread to the onions and celery and combine well
-Place the dressing in a casserole dish, cover tightly until you’re ready to bake it
-Uncover the casserole dish and evenly pour 2 cups of chicken stock over the dressing
-Place into a preheated 350°F oven, bake until golden brown, around 45-50 minutes
-Add addition chicken stock if the dressing seems dry
WHITE BREAD DRESSING: Use 4 quarts of cubed day-old white bread instead of cornbread
BUTTERMILK BISCUIT DRESSING: Use 4 quarts of crumbled day-old buttermilk biscuits instead of cornbread
PRUNE DRESSING: Add 1 pound of dried prunes that have been chopped and reconstituted in 2 cups of chicken stock
SAUSAGE DRESSING: Omit the butter, brown 1 pound crumbled sausage, cook with the onions and celery. Reduce the poultry seasoning to 1 teaspoon
APPLE DRESSING: Add 2 cups of ½ inch diced Golden Delicious Apples to either the Prune Dressing or the Sausage Dressing
GIBLET DRESSING: Brown chopped giblets in the butter prior to adding the onions and celery
EGG DRESSING: Add 4 diced, hard-boiled eggs
PARSLEY DRESSING: Add 1 cup of chopped parsley
Although my recipe is for ‘dressing’ cooked outside of the turkey, it will also work as ‘stuffing’. If you like to stuff the turkey, please be sure to test the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Just like the turkey, it needs to read 165°F for it to be safe.
Happy Thanksgiving, if you need additional recipes, check out some of my other holiday favorites: