How to Make Cornbread Dressing

There are only a handful of dishes that define holiday dinners in the south and cornbread dressing is one of them. There are a million different variations but when you get down to the core, the basic recipe is pretty much the same. Sauteed aromatics, crumbled cornbread, spices, and a moistening agent. Once you get the basic idea down, there are endless possibilities.

This recipe is a pretty basic one. The only extra I added was the sausage because the sage in the sausage adds another layer of flavor. I actually used hot breakfast sausage to add a little extra kick. Also it occurred to me that I could by pass dirtying up a bowl and a baking dish by mixing everything in the skillet and popping it in the oven. If you don’t have a huge skillet, feel free to use the traditional method. I’ve included directions for both ways below.

A few notes on dressing:

  • The most important lesson I’ve learned about making dressing is to add minimal seasoning, mix everything to together, and add more as needed.  It’s easy to get dressing too salty because of the amount of broth. It’s also easy to over do it with the sage. Keep adding your seasonings until it tastes the way you want.
  • Use fresh sage if you have it. Fresh is always better.
  • Add the broth a cup at a time. You want the texture to be moist enough that you could mold a handful of dressing into a ball. It should be moist but not soupy and runny.
  • I like dressing with bread that’s a day or two old. I think it holds up to the broth better. If you can make the cornbread a few days ahead, the final texture of the dressing will be better (less mushy).

 

 

corn bread dressing skillet

 

How to Make Corn Bread Dressing

Basic Corn Bread Recipe

½ cups self rising corn meal mix
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 cup milk
¼ cup canola oil
2 beaten eggs
1. Oil 10 inch cast iron skillet. Put skillet in cold oven and heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Remove skillet from oven and pour in batter.
3. Cook for 15 minutes and remove from oven.
4. Let cornbread cool and crumble into a large bowl. Set aside.

cornbread dressing collage

 

Corn Bread and Sausage Dressing

  • 1 corn bread recipe
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery fined chopped
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage or 1 tbls fresh sage
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage

Skillet Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onion and celery in 1 tsp butter until softened. Add crumbled sausage and cook until browned. Remove from heat.
  3. Add crumbled corn bread and combine thoroughly. Add seasonings.
  4. Gradually pour in broth until corn bread is moistened but not soupy. Add remaining butter.
  5. Taste to see if more seasonings are needed. Add more if necessary.
  6. Smooth out dressing in skillet.
  7. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Baking Dish Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onion and celery in 1 tsp butter until softened. Add crumbled sausage and cook until browned. Remove from heat.
  3. Place crumbled corn bread in a large mixing bowl. Add veggies and sausage – combine thoroughly. Add seasonings.
  4. Gradually pour in broth until corn bread is well moistened but not soupy. Add remaining butter.
  5.  Mix well, making sure that all of the cornbread is incorporated.
  6. Taste to see if more seasonings are needed. Add more if necessary.
  7. Spoon cornbread mixture into 9 x13 baking dish.
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

corn bread dressing

1 Comment

  1. Shannon @ Bake.Frost.Repeat.
    December 19, 2013

    Your dressing looks wonderful! My husband is a Yankee and really one of the only things we disagree on is food…and football. He likes ‘stuffing’, which in my opinion is gummy and ick. Dressing made with cornbread is THE dish and I refuse to make anything else. So, of course, he gets his mother to make him his stuffing over the holidays. 🙂

    Reply

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