Southern Cornbread Dressing is a holiday classic that’s full of soul, familiar flavors, and the comforting aromas of home. Drizzle with hearty gravy for one of the most delicious sides ever!
Load up your Thanksgiving table with even more amazing Southern-style goodies. My Dirty Rice is good enough to eat on its own, while these Bacon Cheddar Corn Fritters are always a hit with all ages. Swap out your usual mashed potatoes with this Sweet Potato Salad!
Moist Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern Cornbread Dressing is sure to take center stage at your Thanksgiving table. It’s such a great and loved comfort food. This moist and delicious side dish tastes like something your favorite aunt or grandma will make for you. It’s got sweet and savory cornbread, meaty pork sausages and mushrooms, aromatics and herbs, cranberries, and pecans.
Basically, the essence of the holidays in one side dish. In fact, I’ve been known to just take a plate of this and call it a meal. It’s so good!
If the holidays are as chaotic at your house as they are in mine, prepare to fall in love with this recipe. Also, you can make it way in advance, even a couple of weeks ahead. Simply heat up on the day you’ll serve. One less task off your to-do list, and one more tasty item to serve your family and friends.
What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?
It’s common to use the terms interchangeably, but in the South, people tend to call this particular dish “dressing.” They’re very similar in terms of ingredients and preparation.
But one very big difference is how they’re cooked. Stuffing gets cooked inside the bird, while dressing is cooked in a pan.
How to make Southern Cornbread Dressing?
It’s really easy! To start, prepare my Southern Cornbread Recipe in advance. Now, for the dressing:
- Get your ingredients ready. You’ll need chopped cornbread, day-old bread, sausages, and mushrooms. For the herbs, prepare rosemary, thyme, and flat-leaf parsley. Measure out your oil, butter, and chicken broth. You’ll also need salt, pepper, garlic, and onions. Finally, prep your pecans and cranberries.
- Preheat your oven. Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is at 350°F (175°C).
- Brown the sausages. Break them up with a fork. Once done, add them to your chopped cornbread.
- Cook the vegetables. In the same pan where you browned the sausages, sauté the mushrooms, garlic, onion, and herbs. Season and cook soft.
- Combine everything. Add the vegetable mix to the sausages and cornbread. Pour in the melted butter and broth, mixing well. Then, stir in your pecans and cranberries. Transfer into your baking dish.
- Bake. Cover with foil and bake until golden brown and hot.
- Serve. Garnish with slivered almonds, cranberry, and parsley. Enjoy warm!
What to serve with Southern Cornbread Dressing?
This dressing tastes terrific with a lot of mains. I like serving it with my Perfect Oven Roasted Turkey, Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin, or Instant Pot Short Ribs. Those sweet notes in the dressing go well with this Slow Cooker Glazed Smoked Ham.
Can Cornbread Dressing be made ahead of time?
Yes, and that’s one of my favorite things about this recipe! You can make it in advance up to one month, but make sure to properly store and freeze it. If you prefer making it closer to the day, you can do so the night before or eight hours ahead.
However, be aware that you’ll need to extend the cooking time a bit if you’re baking it from the fridge or from frozen.
I like freezing some after it’s freshly baked so I can have it all year long. Just microwave until hot, and enjoy!
More Thanksgiving side dishes:
- Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
- Perfect Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
- Make it your own! Add chestnuts, apples, other sausage flavors, raisins, your favorite nuts, and different herbs and kinds of mushrooms.
- For heat, throw in some jalapenos or red pepper flakes.
- You can also use baguettes and wheat loaf.
- Make the cornbread a day or two ahead so it holds up better. Chop it and leave it on the counter overnight to create a firmer structure.
- Taste as you go along to make sure it’s seasoned perfectly.
Southern Cornbread Dressing
- 1 batch cornbread (search on the blog "cornbread")
- 4 slices day-old bread (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 pound pork sausages
- 8 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 4 stalks celery (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Chop the cornbread into 1-inch pieces and place into a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- Add half of the oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once hor, add the sausages and cook for about 10 minutes breaking them with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and cooked through.
- Once the sausage has been cooked add it to the bowl with cornbread.
- In the same pan, over medium heat, add the remaining oil and add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl with the cornbread.
- Add the broth and melted butter, and stir to combine until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the cranberries and chopped pecans, stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove foil and bake 5 more minutes until browned on top. Serve warm.
- Garnish with parsley, cranberries, and slivered almonds.