There are so many things to love about traditional southern cornbread dressing! In addition to the taste, which is divine, you can make this old-fashioned, southern-style recipe ahead. And it’s simple to make.
In the South, cornbread dressing recipes have been passed down through generations, and there are almost as many variations as there are Thanksgiving turkeys. This recipe, which includes hard-boiled eggs, is reminiscent of the dressing or stuffing you probably remember as a child.
Besides the eggs, the one constant in most of these old-fashioned recipes is butter! And, this recipe calls for, hold on to your hat, two full sticks of butter! And, butter is what makes this cornbread dressing so moist and flavorful! I know what you’re thinking, but it’s only once a year.
What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing?
These days the terms are used interchangeably. Whether it’s called stuffing or dressing mostly has to do with where you are from. In the south, we usually refer to it as dressing.
Originally, dressing referred to a bread mixture that was cooked outside the turkey in a separate dish. If the bread mixture was stuffed inside the turkey, it was called stuffing.
Today folks rarely stuff their birds anymore because the stuffing has to come up to 165 degrees to cook correctly. By the time this happens, the turkey is overdone.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Why, yes, you can! It’s even better if it sits overnight before baking. You can make it up to three days ahead and store it in the refrigerator before baking. Or, you can freeze it for up to three months. Let it thaw completely in the fridge overnight before cooking.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
If you need to make a gluten-free dressing, I recommend that you either purchase gluten-free cornbread or use my easy gluten-free Old-Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Cornbread recipe to make your cornbread.
How to make it:
Gather your ingredients, which include homemade or purchased cornbread, butter, onion, green bell pepper, celery, hard-boiled and raw eggs, poultry seasoning, chicken broth, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add butter to a large skillet over low heat. Stir in onions, celery, and green bell pepper.
Saute the vegetables for 10 minutes or until softened. Set aside.
While the vegetables are cooking, crumble the cornbread in a large bowl and add the hard-boiled eggs, two cups of chicken broth, and poultry seasoning.
Add the cooked vegetables and mix well to combine everything. You can use a spoon, but your hands work best for this task.
Taste and add kosher salt and ground black pepper. Add beaten raw eggs and mix well.
Don’t be alarmed if the mixture is soupy. If it’s not, add up to one more cup of chicken broth, a little at a time, until it is just this side of soupy. It should be about the consistency of a very thick cornbread batter.
Pour the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish or a two-quart baking dish.
Bake uncovered 45 to 50 minutes, or until the dressing is set and golden brown.
More holiday and special occasion side dishes:
Just as Thanksgiving and the holidays wouldn’t be the same without dressing, it also wouldn’t be the same without these delicious side dishes:
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon
- Ultimate Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- Southern Cheesy Corn Pudding
- Green Bean Pie with a Ritz Cracker Crust and Onion Ring Topping
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Oranges
- Southern Sweet Onion Casserole
If you need more inspiration, check out my roundup posts Top Ten Thanksgiving Sides and Menu Ideas, 42 Best Savory Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Menu Ideas, or 25 Best Thanksgiving Dressing and Stuffing Recipes.
- If you get in a bind and run out of time to make cornbread for the dressing, around the holidays, most grocery stores and bakeries sell pre-made cornbread or corn muffins, which you can use instead of making your own. Just try to avoid cornbread with sugar added.
- My easy Traditional Southern-Style Cornbread recipe is perfect for this recipe. Just click on the link for the recipe.
- To make this dressing gluten-free, use my gluten-free Old-Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Cornbread recipe. It doesn’t contain any flour and is made with just cornmeal.
- If making ahead, cover and refrigerate the unbaked cornbread dressing for up to three days or freeze for up to three months. Let it thaw overnight before baking.
- It’s best to make or purchase your cornbread a day or so ahead of making the dressing to allow it to dry out a little.
- It’s essential to taste the dressing before you add the raw eggs so that you can add more poultry seasoning or salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
- Check your dressing about halfway through the cooking time. If it starts looking dry, sprinkle a few tablespoons more of chicken stock evenly over the top.
★ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
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Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing - A Holiday Classic
- 9 inch round of cornbread purchased or homemade
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 sweet onion medium, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper medium, seeded and chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 4 hard-boiled eggs peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 2-3 cups chicken broth
- 2 raw eggs beaten
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add butter to a large skillet over low heat. Stir in onions, celery, and green bell pepper; saute vegetables for 10 minutes or until softened.
- While the vegetables are cooking, crumble cornbread in a large bowl. Add hard-boiled eggs, two cups of chicken broth, and poultry seasoning.
- Add the cooked vegetables and mix well to combine everything. You can use a spoon, but your hands work best for this task. Taste and add kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Add beaten eggs and mix well. Don't be alarmed if the mixture is soupy. If it's not, add up to one more cup of chicken broth, a little at a time, until it is soupy. It should be about the consistency of thick cornbread batter.
- Pour the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish or large baking dish.
- Bake uncovered 45 to 50 minutes, or until the dressing is set and golden brown.
*This recipe was originally published on October 29, 2017. Republished on December 20, 2019, to add a “how-to” video, new images, and expanded directions and tips.