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Southern Cornbread Dressing

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Southern cornbread dressing is a traditional dish that is often served during holidays and special occasions in the Southern United States.

This savory dish consists of crumbled cornbread mixed with various seasonings, vegetables, and sometimes meats, then baked until golden brown. It is a staple of Southern cuisine and has been passed down through generations, with each family adding their own unique twist to the recipe.

Southern cornbread dressing is a comforting and delicious dish that has become a symbol of Southern hospitality and tradition and this recipe was shared with us from our dear friend at Julia’s Simply Southern.

Southern Cornbread Dressing Verses Stuffing

The terms “dressing” and “stuffing” are often used interchangeably, but there are some regional and traditional differences between Southern-style cornbread dressing and stuffing:

  1. Location and Terminology:
    • Dressing: This term is more commonly used in the Southern United States to describe a side dish made from cornbread or bread crumbs, usually cooked outside the turkey or other poultry.
    • Stuffing: This term is often used in the Northern United States and other regions to describe a mixture that is placed inside the cavity of a turkey or other poultry before roasting. However, it can also refer to a similar mixture baked in a separate dish.
  2. Ingredients:
    • Southern-style Cornbread Dressing: As the name suggests, this dressing typically features cornbread as its base. It often includes ingredients like sautéed onions, celery, and bell peppers (the “holy trinity” of Southern cooking), along with seasonings, broth, and additional ingredients like sausage, giblets, or hard-boiled eggs for flavor and texture.
    • Stuffing: Stuffing can vary widely in terms of ingredients. It may use white bread or other types of bread as the base and can include ingredients like onions, celery, herbs, and occasionally fruits or nuts. The exact ingredients used can differ based on regional and personal preferences.
  3. Cooking Method:
    • Southern-style Cornbread Dressing: This dressing is typically baked in a casserole dish or cast-iron skillet, either as a standalone side dish or as a complement to roasted poultry. It usually has a slightly crispy top layer.
    • Stuffing: Stuffing, when used to stuff a turkey, is cooked inside the bird during roasting. The juices from the turkey can infuse the stuffing with flavor. However, there are also recipes for “stuffing” that are baked separately from the turkey.
  4. Flavor Profile:
    • Southern-style Cornbread Dressing: Southern dressing tends to have a savory and rich flavor profile, often featuring a blend of herbs and spices to complement the cornbread base.
    • Stuffing: Stuffing can vary in flavor depending on the ingredients used, but it may lean more towards a neutral or herby taste, depending on regional preferences.

I’m not only going to give you my dressing recipe, I’m going to give you three just in time for Thanksgiving! My regular recipe, a shortcut version, and a version in case you don’t have to feed a crowd.

Make the cornbread Ahead of time

Anytime I am going to make Southern Cornbread dressing, I always make the cornbread the day before. By doing this, I save myself some time and frustration of trying to make it all on the same day.

Also, typically when I am making cornbread, I am concerned with it drying out, if you are too, I have some tips and tricks to help with that. In this particular case, you do not have to worry about it since using stale bread and cornbread actually makes this recipe better.

How often do you need to season a cast iron skillet?

When I make cornbread, I love to bake it in my cast iron skillets. If you did not already know this, southern-style cornbread is typically cooked in a cast iron skillet to give it a nice crunchy crust. This will help with the texture of the southern cornbread dressing as well.

How to make Southern Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 8 Slices White Bread – Cubed and Toasted lightly
  • 1 Sleeve of Butter Crackers – crumbled (optional)
  • 1 Cake of Cornbread (recipe follows)
  • 2 Cups of Chopped Celery
  • 1 Large Onion – Chopped
  • 2 Boiled Eggs – Diced
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 7-8 Cups of Chicken Stock (NOT Broth)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 tbs poultry seasoning
  • 6 Eggs Beaten Lightly

How to make it

  • Start by cubing and toasting 8 slices of white bread. Add to a large mixing bowl and crumble in 1 sleeve of butter crackers (optional).
  • Cut the cornbread into cubes and add to the bowl. (Make the cornbread the day before to use when needed to save yourself some time)
  • Dice celery and onion and add to a skillet with 1 stick of butter and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Pour the bread into the mixing bowl.
  • Add half of the chicken stock and stir to combine. This will begin to break down the bread cubes.
  • Add the cubed-boiled eggs and the beaten eggs. Stir to combine well adding the remaining chicken broth.
  • Add seasonings and continue to stir until everything is combined.
  • Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on desired firmness. Some people like a moist loose dressing and others prefer it baked a bit firmer.

Pro Tip: I always make up the dressing batter the day before and store it in the refrigerator. On turkey day, give the batter a stir, pour it into your baking dish, and bake. This saves you a lot of time on Thanksgiving Day.

Cornbread Dressing Julia's Simply Southern

Conclusion

In conclusion, Southern-style dressing is a beloved comfort food that brings together the rich flavors and traditions of the American South. This classic dish, often enjoyed during Thanksgiving and other special occasions, is a testament to the region’s culinary heritage.

Whether you prefer it served as a side dish or the star of the meal, making Southern-style dressing at home allows you to savor the authentic taste and soul-warming comfort that this dish has to offer. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the Southern spirit, and enjoy this timeless recipe with family and friends. With its delicious blend of flavors and textures, Southern-style dressing is sure to become a cherished addition to your culinary repertoire.

FAQ’s

What is the best way to reheat leftover Southern Cornbread Dressing?

To reheat leftover dressing, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.

How do I achieve the perfect texture for Southern Cornbread Dressing?

One main key is to cook the cornbread in a cast iron skillet, as this gives the cornbread a nice crust. Make sure to use stale bread as well. Also, achieving the right texture involves adding the appropriate amount of broth. The dressing should be moist but not overly soggy. Gradually add the broth and adjust as needed.

Can I make a vegetarian or vegan version of Southern Cornbread Dressing?

Yes, you can make vegetarian or vegan Southern cornbread dressing by using vegetable broth and omitting any meat-based ingredients. You can also use plant-based alternatives for eggs and butter.

Can I customize the dressing with other ingredients?

Absolutely! Southern cornbread dressing is versatile. You can add ingredients like cooked sausage, giblets, hard-boiled eggs, or even dried fruits and nuts to suit your preferences.

What seasonings are commonly used in cornbread dressing?

Common seasonings include sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Additional seasonings like garlic powder and paprika can be added for extra flavor.

What type of cornbread is best for Southern Cornbread Dressing?

Southern-style cornbread is typically made with a coarser texture and less sugar than Northern-style cornbread. It is typically cooked in cast iron skillets and has a crunchy crust. It’s often preferred for dressing. You can make your cornbread from scratch or use store-bought cornbread.

Thanks for stopping by Southern Food Junkie. It is our hope that you enjoy this recipe sharing it with friends, family, and coworkers. Make sure to take time to give thanks to the creator, God, by which all blessings flow.
John 6:35​

-Ronnie | Let’s Get Food Junked

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Southern cornbread dressing

Discover the heartwarming flavors of Southern cornbread dressing – a beloved classic that blends savory cornbread, aromatic herbs, and a touch of tradition. Perfect for holidays and family gatherings, our Southern cornbread dressing recipe brings the warmth of the South to your table.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of white bread -cubed and toasted lightly. (stale bread is best to use)
  • 1 sleeve of butter crackers -crumbled.
  • 1 cake of southern style cornbread
  • 2 cups of chopped celery
  • 1 large onion -diced
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 7-8 cups of chicken stock (not broth)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (sea salt or kosher salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
  • 6 eggs lightly beaten

Instructions

    1. Start by cubing and toasting 8 slices of white bread. Add to a large mixing bowl and crumble in 1 sleeve of butter crackers (optional).

    2. Cut the cornbread into cubes and add to the bowl. (Make the cornbread the day before to use when needed to save yourself some time).

    3. Dice celery and onion and add to a skillet with 1 stick of butter and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Pour the bread into the mixing bowl.

    4. Add half of the chicken stock and stir to combine. This will begin to break down the bread cubes.

    5. Add the cubed-boiled eggs and the beaten eggs. Stir to combine well adding the remaining chicken broth.

    6. Add seasonings and continue to stir until everything is combined.

    7. Bake 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on desired firmness. Some people like a moist loose dressing and others prefer it baked a bit firmer.

Notes

Pro Tip: I always make up the dressing batter the day before and store it in the refrigerator. On turkey day, give the batter a stir, pour it into your baking dish, and bake. This saves you a lot of time on Thanksgiving Day.

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