Monday, November 24, 2014

Cornbread Sage Dressing with Gravy

A classic cornbread dressing made with day old cornbread, traditional sauteed vegetables and seasoned with sage.

Cornbread Sage Dressing with Gravy

Wow y'all! I cannot believe Thanksgiving is just days away now. Where does the time go? Before we know it, Christmas will be here, speaking of which... I put my tree up and started decorating this weekend, which is the earliest ever for me. There were a few reasons for starting a little early this year, and none of them have to do with blogging.

First, well... we moved this year and I wanted to make sure my tree would fit in the new house! I bought one of those Bethlehem Lights LED instant-power trees (LOVE!) a couple of Christmases ago, and while it fit fine in the family room where I had a cathedral ceiling, I wasn't sure how it would fit in the new house that has standard height ceilings.

It fit, yay!
Although the tree bag was one of the earlier things we brought to the new house and we were pretty careful with it, I also wanted to make sure the tree was still in good working condition after the move. It was!

Then there's the cats. If you happen to be owned by any cats, you already know that when anything "new"" shows up in your house, it must be investigated. In order to not have every single ornament batted to the ground, I have to put my tree up a little at a time so that they get used to it - tree first for a day or three, precious and breakable ornaments at the top next, and last, the unbreakable ones at the bottom.

Once you get started though, it's just a few steps away from the holiday door wreath, the Elf on the Shelf, candles in the windows and the animated Santa on the floor and all bets are off after that, because I am now officially in the mood to decorate!

Major retailers had Christmas out before Halloween this year anyway, and besides, in case you hadn't noticed, the tradition of decorating on or after Thanksgiving seems to be moving up a bit thanks to our crazy, busy lives these days.

So, the holidays are upon us y'all! I'm gonna slip in one quick recipe for a delicious cornbread sage dressing before I kick back to enjoy my own Thanksgiving holiday. I still have much work to do on the cookbook (yes, I have a cookbook finally - look for it in the spring of 2015!), the grandkids are on Thanksgiving break and their parents are home with them, so Paw Paw and I have no children this week. Seems odd actually and The Cajun and I already miss them!

I've already established my position on the silliness of the whole dressing versus stuffing argument, so I won't reiterate that here. This version is a straight-up cornbread dressing with no bread and that's a little heavier in sage than my usual dressing. I know some folks that put a ton of sage in their dressing, and while I like a taste of sage, I don't like when it's too overpowering.

I'm skirting on the edge of it here to be honest, but I used rubbed sage, which is fluffy, so it's really not that dramatic. Do not substitute ground sage though or it will be too strong! I also wanted a little bit of pork flavor too, but didn't have any thawed sausage on hand when I decided to make this, but I always have bacon, so I started off with a bit of bacon before sauteing my veggies down.

I wrote this recipe for 4 to 6 servings using an 11 x 7 inch, 2-1/2 quart pan and went ahead and made a simple gravy since I actually wrote this for "any day" cooking. It's a nice, moist dressing that stands on its own and really needs no gravy, but I happen to like a little bit of gravy on mine. Double this recipe if you're wanting to give it a run for Thanksgiving. As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions are further down the page. Just scroll past the step-by-step, picture tutorial. Here's how to make it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 11 x 7 inch or a shallow 2 to 2-1/2 quart baking pan; set aside. In a large skillet cook the sausage or bacon just until fat has been rendered. Add the butter to the drippings in the skillet - yes it's a full stick added to fat, don't cry - and melt, adding the onion, bell pepper and celery.

Saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add the crumbled cornbread, parsley, sage, poultry seasoning and salt and pepper; toss.

Whisk together the cream soup - yes, cream soup. Southerners love the stuff so again, no crying - just add it and the broth with the eggs, beat and pour over the dressing, tossing to coat.

Dressing should be the consistency of a cooked oatmeal. Pour into prepared baking pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for about 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through in the center and golden brown on top. Pass it under the broiler very briefly if you want some crunch to the top.

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Recipe: Cornbread Sage Dressing with Gravy

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 recipe of cooked cornbread, staled overnight and crumbled (for 6 cups crumbled)
  • 1/4 pound of raw sausage or 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped bell pepper
  • 1 rib of celery, with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can of condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey broth or stock
  • 2 large eggs
For the Gravy:
  • 1/2 cup of fat (bacon drippings, canola oil, butter, or a combination)
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (more or less) of room temperature turkey or chicken stock/broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 11 x 7 inch or a shallow 2 to 2-1/2 quart baking pan; set aside. In a large skillet cook the sausage or bacon just until fat has been rendered. Add the butter to the drippings in the skillet and melt; add the onion, bell pepper and celery and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add the crumbled cornbread, parsley, sage, poultry seasoning and salt and pepper; toss. Whisk together the cream soup, broth and eggs and pour over the dressing, tossing to coat. Dressing should be the consistency of a cooked oatmeal.

Turn out into prepared pan and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for about 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through in the center and golden brown on top.

For the Gravy: Heat fat in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle in the flour a little at a time with one hand, while stirring briskly and constantly with the other hand, until all flour is incorporated and lumps disbursed. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly and moving the flour mixture all around, including from the outside edges. Add broth slowly, stirring briskly and constantly until it is blended in well. Season.

Cook's Notes: Pass it under the broiler after baking very briefly if you want some crunch to the top. Double recipe for the holidays.


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y’all!

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Posted by on January 1, 2014
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  1. Your know what I like better than dressing and gravy - almost nothing.

  2. Dressing and gravy are my favorites at Thanksgiving. I'm not cooking this year due to my house being tore up from remodeling. We're eating out. It's not the same but no one else has volunteered to cook. Happy Thanksgiving, Mary.

    1. Oh I imagine that's a mess Tricia, but the end result will be worth it. I made some changes to our house when we bought it and there's a place where I want to close an open wall leading from the transformed family room to what is now my office but I thought, no way, not until after the new year!!

      We have some pretty good options for eating out here and although I cook a separate meal for my husband and me either before or after the big day, we do spend that with my son, his wife, the grandkids and lots of extended family on my DIL's side. I have it easy on that one because we do potluck & everybody just brings something! I sure wish that somebody would have stepped up under the circumstances and at least organized a potluck for your family, but I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving - you'll miss the leftovers, but not the cleaning up!

  3. I could eat just the dressing and gravy and skip the turkey. I don't know why I make this only during the holidays,. But I'm ready for some and the leftovers too! Have a great Thanksgiving.

    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

    1. I love it ALL, but the leftovers are my favorite part!! Happy Thanksgiving Linda!

  4. my mother's Cornbread dressing recipe calls for Chicken and Stars soup, and I've never seen another recipe that had soup in it, Thank you!!!!!


  5. YUM Mary, just the way I make mine, love this!

  6. This is my favorite dressing, just like my mom used to make. Thanks Mary!

  7. If I make ahead, should I go ahead and cook it and reheat or can it stand over night and cooked tomorrow?

    1. I like dressing the best when freshly assembled and baked, so I prefer to prep most of the ingredients ahead to save time. If you wanted to prepare the entire dish ahead, assemble all the way up to the baking stage the day before, using additional broth to make it more soupy, 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.

  8. Gotta say this is Almost my Mamas Dressing! Closest I have had in years and sooo good! I gotta say I know she did not use the canned soup and I know she used more eggs. But this will more then do. I baked it in my large cast iron skillet and the texture was awesome!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! I bet with a few tweaks here and there you'll come around close to hers. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it and thank you for letting me know!

  9. I so enjoy your blog and the many yummy dressing and or stuffing recipes you put on your blog..Turkey day is over but I still made my bread stuffing/dressing, my hubs bought a complete turkey meal, the stuffing was not to my liking so I made a batch and real mashed spuds and sweet spuds, the dessert was an apple pie it was yummee, but I still made my ambrosia salad to cleanse the palate after a big meal, we ate it while watching a Netflix orginal series we love! Happy Holidays to you and yours! Healthy new year too! ciao

  10. The cornbread sage dressing looks delicious!

  11. So I left a comment earlier this week about how close this was to my mamas cornbread dressing... You said great and that with a few tweaks I could probably make it like I remembered... So I tweaked and got it "just right" and then noticed the listing you had for the "traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing"!
    That's It!!!! And pretty darn close to what I came up with on my own!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. You're welcome Rebecca!! Sometimes you just really need a starting point. Now if I can just get to my Mama's seafood gumbo!

  12. I'm with you, a little sage goes a loooooong way. I like it but use it with a very light hand.

  13. Always must make cornbread and yankee dressing. Family is split 50/50 on this and has been for years. I have noticed the past few years that both sides are trying both kinds of dressing. Nobody says a word and it just happens without the usual argument on which is best. I'm on the yankee side of the family.

    1. Hey, you should always do what works and I think that's a fantastic way to address the whole cornbread debate! I'm not one to be critical of anybody that likes a little sweetness to their cornbread, I'm right there with them quite frankly, despite being as southern as they come!

  14. Hey Mary. Loving looking@all or recipes!I wish I got as able to cook as I us to. I suffer from and xiety an depression Ivan cook like one thing I love the hamburger press an was wondering where to get it. Also I have a range mate which is a micro gave grill Its still in the box I wish I had a few recipes to try in it I already have chicken breast in frezzer I an my husband eat cereal oatmeal an sand wishes. I feel so guilty He used to brag on my coking to everybody. I'd love to make those hamburgers too. Could you help me with a few ideas for the mic grill? I see has I you have temptations. The"Q" I rarely use mine but I love them. I am going to try to get myself together an make those burger. I need a press. Where did you get yours.? I would love to surprise my husband. I'm only 55 an been like this for 4yrs after losing my 28yr job..lost income benefits 401etc over a customer lying an assaulting me I didn't do nothing. I just have to put my faith an trust in the lord. I bet your table is beautiful with your temptations an all your trimmings.I notice your dressing pan:) have ta very blessed day..

    1. Hi Donna! Thanks so much for stopping by!! Life is full of hard knocks - trust me I know! I lost my job thanks to Hurricane Katrina & I'd spent all of my life building a career to that point, only to find out it was hard to get hired at my age and at a decent salary with my experience! But you know you just have to let things go and keep plugging along and pressing through the depression. When one door closes another one opens - you just have to be there to catch it!

      The hamburger press I used for those I got from Amazon and is linked in there at the post but if you click here
      you'll get there too. I love that tool - makes the process of making burgers so much easier!

  15. Hi Mary! This is the first time I've run across your blog, and I can say, I'm very impressed. I've viewed quite a few of your recipes, and I can hardly wait to try them. Thanks so much for sharing your love for great food and drink.

  16. I am so making this for Thanksgiving. I remember an older woman serving me cornbread sage dressing years ago. I asked for her recipe but she just told me things like, "a lil bit of onion," or "some eggs." Never the exact measurements. Well yours look exactly like hers. Thank you so much. YOU ROCK!!

    1. Aw thanks and please let me know what you think if you have time to pop back by!

  17. This looks really good. Basically what I make. I add garlic. and sometimes jalapeno. We like it spicy -- its a Cajun thing.

    1. Not traditional, but I'm sure garlic and jalapeno would be divine!

  18. I just made this exactly as written. I will let you know the reviews tomorrow. Smells soooo good!


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