The BEST Cornbread Dressing! Loaded with buttery, delicious flavor, this cornbread stuffing recipe is made with fresh herbs, onions, celery and optional sausage! You’re going to love the moist, light and fluffy interior with the golden, crunchy top – seriously delicious! This dressing recipe goes perfectly with my mashed potatoes, turkey gravy and cranberry sauce!
This post is sponsored by Challenge Dairy.
This year I wanted to try something a little different than my Sausage Stuffing. I’ve been working on a cornbread dressing recipe to wow my family with this year. Mission accomplished.
I am absolutely in love with this dish! Sooo much flavor and it’s super easy to make! I kept a lot of my favorite elements from my sausage stuffing recipe but adding a few new things to make this extra delicious. It’s amazing you guys!
I used my cornbread recipe to make it extra special and completely homemade BUT you can use a box mix or buy it already baked at the store if you’re looking for a shortcut.
I am one of those crazy people that start thinking about what I’ll be serving on Thanksgiving day starting sometime in September. I like to mix the menu up just enough each year to keep it interesting, while making sure we include our traditional favorites as well.
If I had to construct my perfect Thanksgiving meal it would included these favorites:
- Nana’s Famous Green Bean Recipe
- Homemade Cornbread
- The BEST Homemade Mashed Potatoes
- Crockpot Turkey Breast
- The BEST Dinner Rolls
- Best Ever Cranberry Sauce
Cornbread Stuffing vs. Cornbread Dressing
There is some debate on whether it’s called Cornbread Dressing or Cornbread Stuffing. For me, I’ve always been told that it’s dressing if it’s cooked outside of the bird and stuffing if it’s cooked or “stuffed” in the bird. You call it what you want. The most important thing is it’s delicious.
Homemade Cornbread vs. Store Bought
I used my favorite cornbread recipe for this stuffing recipe because it’s easy to make and I can control the sweetness. I used 1/4 cup of sugar (or honey) instead of 1/3 cup to reduce the overall sweetness.
You will want to make cornbread the day before so it has a chance to cool completely and dry out just a bit.
Store bought also works! If you don’t have time or don’t feel like making a batch of cornbread, pick some up at the store, it’s not a big deal. Just make sure you’ll have about 9 cups cubed when all is said and done.
How To Make Cornbread Stuffing
- Bake cornbread until dry.
- Brown sausage and add onion, celery, salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.
- Add sage, thyme, and pecans and stir to combine. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Whisk together 2 cups of stock or broth and both eggs.
- Combine all ingredients. Place cornbread in a very large bowl. Add sausage, onion and herb mixture, egg mixture and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Gently fold together until combined.
- Transfer to a buttered baking dish and press down lightly. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Check consistency of dressing. Add additional stock as needed and drizzle with the remaining 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Increase temperature to 375F. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until stuffing is lightly golden brown on the top.
- Top with fresh herbs and serve immediately.
I used Challenge butter in this cornbread dressing recipe because they’re the brand I’ve used and trusted for years and years. Made with 100% real cream, it’s my butter of choice. I’ve been using Challenge products my whole life and trust their products.
I know the quality is outstanding and use it for all my baking and cooking! I wouldn’t trust Thanksgiving with any other brand!
Cornbread Dressing FAQs
How much stock do I add? The answer to this varies based on personal preference and how dry your cornbread is. I like to start with two cups and then add up to two more cups as needed if the dressing seems too dry when I check on it.
When you are combining the ingredients before baking, if the dressing seems dry, go ahead and add some more stock right then as well as after the 30 minutes of baking. Remember that the moisture will be absorbed during baking.
Can cornbread dressing be made ahead of time? Absolutely! In fact, it’s one of the best side dishes to prepare in advance and is one less thing to have to do on Thanksgiving day.
- The dressing can be assembled the day before and then refrigerated until ready to bake. (Keep tightly covered with foil.) I like to pull the dish out as I’m preheating the oven so it doesn’t go in completely cold. You will need to add some additional baking time since it will be chilled and not warm.
- The dressing can be assembled and then frozen up to 1 month in advance. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before baking as instructed above.
Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh? Yes. Sometimes it can be difficult to find fresh herbs during the holidays and if you find yourself in that situation simply reduce the amounts by 50%.
Cornbread Stuffing Variations To Try
As you know, I can never leave well enough alone and I know so many of you are like me. Here are some fun ways to customize this cornbread stuffing recipe:
- add fruit: think dried or fresh cranberries, dried cherries, apples, dates, pears.
- nut alternatives: don’t love pecans? Try walnuts, pistachios, or even almonds.
- herb options: I’ve included parsley, thyme, and sage in this recipe. Feel free to omit or swap out with another herb like rosemary or chives.
- sausage: you can omit the sausage entirely or substitute in bacon if you prefer. Remember, any type of sausage will work in this recipe; Italian, spicy, sage, breakfast – whatever you like.
More Side Dish Recipes
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Mac and Cheese
- Candied Yams
- Dinner Rolls
- The BEST Homemade Biscuit Recipe
- Loaded Scalloped Potatoes
- Sausage Stuffing Recipe
- Easy Creamed Corn (Two Ways!)
- Cranberry Sauce
How To Make Cornbread Dressing
- 8 to 9 cups cornbread cubed, homemade or store bought
- 1 pound sausage Italian, breakfast, spicy, sage - pick your favorite, optional
- 1 1/2 cups onion diced
- 1 1/2 cups celery chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 21/2 to 3 1/2 cups low sodium turkey or chicken stock or broth
- 8 tbsp butter melted, divided
- Preheat oven to 300F. Place cubed cornbread on a large baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until dried out. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, brown sausage. Remove from skillet leaving one tablespoon of grease in skillet.
- Add onion, celery, salt and pepper to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add sage, thyme, and pecan and stir to combine. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of stock or broth and both eggs.
- Place dried cornbread cubes in a very large bowl. Add sausage, onion and herb mixture, egg mixture and 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Gently fold together until combined.
- Pour into a greased 3 quart baking dish and press down lightly. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove dressing from oven and remove foil. Check consistency of stuffing. Add additional stock as needed and drizzle with the remaining 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Increase temperature to 375F. Return dressing to the oven, uncovered, and continue to bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until stuffing is lightly golden brown on the top.
- Top with additional fresh herbs and serve immediately.