|A traditional southern cornbread dressing, made with crumbled cornbread and toasted crumbled bread.|
Traditional Southern Cornbread DressingSoutherners love their traditional cornbread dressing, but I didn't exactly grow up with stuffing made with cornbread. My southern Mama, the rebel that she was, always made the herb bread dressing, and often using the Pepperidge Farm seasoned bread crumbs, alongside the oyster dressing for Daddy, that I also happened to love.
Now some of us Southerners like the dressing made with only cornbread. I'm in the other camp because I like the added body that comes from adding a little bread too.
You can use any kind of bread, and often we use the accumulation from those one of two leftover rolls or biscuits that we've tossed in the freezer throughout the year. You can use sandwich bread, homemade bread, French bread, whatever bread you like, but do toast the bread you use.
Taste the dressing before you add in the raw eggs, because the flavor then is pretty much gonna be the flavor when it's baked. Adjust the seasonings as needed, then add the eggs and add in additional stock if it isn't moist enough. A lot of us Southerners add in boiled egg, so if you like, add 2 eggs raw, and 2 eggs boiled and chopped.
Stock measurements in dressing recipes are always a simply a guide. Put in a small amount of liquid, stir and add more liquid to get it to the texture you want. The dressing pictured at the top was prepared with about 5 cups of stock and baked covered, resulting in a very moist dressing. Sometimes it takes a little more, sometimes a little less.
Dressing... a perfect receptacle for just a bit of homemade gravy!
If you don't have access to Bell's seasoning and you don't feel like foolin' with making up a copycat batch, just use a couple pinches of some or all of those seasonings, and don't forget. Taste and adjust before you bake! Stop by and check out my cornbread and oyster dressing and my other traditional southern Thanksgiving dishes if you have time. Some additional recipe ideas for Christmas can be found here. You'll want to check out my 7 Top Tips to Perfect Your Holiday Stuffing.
MJR said: I am an Oregonian, so good southern food is hard to find around here. I made your cornbread stuffing (with the addition of spicy sausage) for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a huge hit both times.
Recipe: Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 10 to 12 servings
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 stalks (ribs) of celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of chopped green bell pepper
- 6 cups of cooked, crumbled cornbread
- 6 cups of dry, toasted bread, crumbled (toasted sliced bread, leftover biscuits or rolls)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepperor to taste,
- 1 teaspoon of sage (or Bell's seasoning), or to taste, optional
- 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
- 1 cup of turkey gravy (canned is fine)
- 4 to 6 cups of turkey or chicken broth or stock, more or less
- 4 large eggs, beaten (or 2 raw and 2 boiled and chopped)
Please also review the notes in the above post.
Toast the bread in a toaster or in the oven. Remove and set aside to cool. Make a pan of cornbread, remove and set aside uncovered to cool completely. You want the breads to be very dry.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan with butter or non-stick spray.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper. Add the salt, Cajun seasoning, pepper, Bell's seasoning and poultry seasoning. Continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Crumble the cornbread into a large bowl. Add the bread and toss. Add the sauteed veggies, scraping out all of the butter; stir. Add the gravy and enough of the stock to moisten; gently toss. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Add the beaten eggs; gently toss. This is where you fix the consistency. If you want a fluffy stuffing, you'll use less stock. If you prefer a wetter stuffing, add additional stock as needed to reach desired consistency, taking care not to get too soupy! Lightly spoon into the casserole dish, but do not pack!
Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. For a moister stuffing, baked covered. For a drier stuffing with a crunch top, bake uncovered.
Serves about 10 to 12
Cook's Notes: Instead of sage, I prefer to use Bell's seasoning, which is a mixture of sage with other herbs and spices. Click here for a copycat blend. This dressing is also excellent with chicken! Mix in about 2 cups of roughly shredded, cooked chicken - works great with a rotisserie chicken from the deli (let them do the work!). Use a 9 x 9 inch pan of homemade cornbread, or use the back of the bag recipe, or two boxes of Jiffy cornbread, made in a 9 x 9 inch glass baking dish. Can also substitute the large (16 ounce) bags of preseasoned Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing - just be sure to adjust seasonings since those are preseasoned crumbs.
For Sausage Stuffing: Brown and drain a 1 pound roll of Jimmy Dean pork sausage. Set aside and stir into the dressing just before it goes into the oven.
Make Ahead Tip: Assemble all the way up to the baking stage the day before, but don't bake it. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Any longer ahead than that freeze it. You'll need to allow for a day for it to thaw in the fridge before baking.
How to fix a too dry or too wet stuffing: If you find your stuffing is too dry, add additional warmed broth to it, stir well, and return to the oven, checking periodically. If the stuffing is overly wet and too gummy, cook it uncovered for a bit longer, checking periodically. Be sure to check out my 7 Top Tips to Perfect Your Holiday Stuffing.
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