Best Cornbread Dressing EVER!! This Thanksgiving Dressing (aka stuffing) is the perfect side dish to round out your holiday feast! It’s light, fluffy and moist, with the perfect balance of sweet from the cornbread, maple sausage and cranberries and savory from the chicken broth and herbs. You’re going to LOVE this easy recipe and that it can be made ahead of time. And I highly recommend serving it beyond Thanksgiving too, since it’s the perfect pairing with any meat or poultry main dishes.

cornbread dressing in a large white casserole dish

Delicious!! Not only great tasting but fairly easy to make. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely fix this again. 

— Judy

My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the laughing and visiting with my family. Of course, I thoroughly enjoy all of the delicious food and drinks too. Have you tried my vodka cranberry cocktail? 😉 I always bring my grandma’s pumpkin pie squares because those are truly a family tradition and the best Thanksgiving recipe (in my opinion). The other Thanksgiving dish I look forward to devouring every year is this cornbread dressing.

It’s seriously SO delicious and, honestly, this Thanksgiving dressing recipe isn’t even a family recipe. My family’s dressing is definitely tasty, but one bite of my sister’s mother-in-law’s dressing and I knew I would be craving this cornbread dressing every Thanksgiving.

Why you should make this recipe

  • Loaded with flavor. This homemade stuffing recipe is filled with flavor from the cornbread, sweet cranberries and maple sausage. You will definitely be going back for seconds!
  • So easy. Making this dish is really very easy to put together, and then let it bake in the oven until it’s nice and golden.
  • The perfect holiday side. This stuffing is colorful and bursting with savory and subtly sweet flavors. It will be everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish!
cornbread stuffing on a small plate with a fork

Ingredients needed

This easy Thanksgiving dressing recipe calls for simple, straightforward ingredients. Here’s what you need:

  • Cornbread. We like Jiffy boxed cornbread and 2 boxes makes the perfect amount for this recipe.
  • Vegetables. Chopped onion and celery are mixed in the cornbread batter before baking for extra flavor.
  • Panko breadcrumbs. Adds the perfect texture to the cornbread and keeps it from becoming soggy.
  • Melted butter. For delicious richness.
  • Eggs & broth. A mix of eggs and chicken broth is used to keep the stuffing from drying out in the oven. It also adds a ton of flavor!
  • Seasoning. A simple blend of dried rosemary, salt and pepper add flavor and help all of the ingredients in the dish come together. This recipe doesn’t call for sage, but you can add 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage, if you’d like.
  • Cranberries. Add dried cranberries or craisins to give this side a pop of color and subtle sweetness.
  • Maple sausage. This really takes this Thanksgiving classic to the next level! There’s something so delicious about that little touch of sweetness with the meat and all of the other ingredients in this stuffing that is absolutely incredible.
  • Garnish. For presentation, you can garnish with chopped fresh parsley or rosemary.

How to make this recipe

This dressing recipe is super easy! Follow these simple steps to major deliciousness:

For the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  • Bake the cornbread. We use 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread to make this dressing recipe. Follow the instructions on the box to make the cornbread, but before you pour the batter to a baking pan, stir the celery and onion into the batter. Bake as directed.
  • Sauté sausage. While the cornbread is cooling, you can sauté the sausage in a skillet over medium heat and prep the other ingredients.
  • Combine ingredients. Once the bread is completely cooled and crumbled and the sausage is cooked, stir all of the ingredients together in a VERY large mixing bowl.
  • Bake. Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes and until lightly browned on top.
  • Enjoy. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or rosemary and serve warm with your holiday feast!
steps for making cornbread dressing

Expert tips

Thanksgiving dressing is pretty straightforward to make, but here are some tips for the best possible result.

  • Many dressing recipes call for stale bread cubes, but for this particular recipe there is no need to use stale cornbread.
  • Choose unsalted butter, so you can control the seasoning. This Thanksgiving dressing may turn out too salty, if you use salted butter.
  • The bake time for this recipe is 30 minutes, but after about 20 minutes begin checking the dressing. If it overcooks, it can become too dry. If you feel that it is drying out, you can always add more broth.
  • Keep stuffing warm by placing it in a 200-degree oven, covered, until you are ready to serve.

Frequently asked questions

Is cornbread stuffing the same as southern cornbread dressing?

Stuffing and dressing are basically the same dish. Each is made with chicken broth, onions, and bread. The best way to differentiate the two is that stuffing is supposed to be cooked INSIDE the turkey, while dressing is baked in a pan separate from the turkey. Despite cooking techniques, what you choose to call this recipe usually depends on what region you’re from, with cooks from the Northeast and Pacific Northwest using the term, stuffing, while the South and Midwest prefer the more proper name, dressing. I’ve even been told that some people from Pennsylvania refer to it as filling. No matter what you call this popular holiday side dish, I think we can all agree, it’s absolutely delicious!

How moist should dressing be before baking?

The stuffing should be moist, but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you’ve added too much. Drain the moisture out. If the mix is still dry and crumbly, add more liquid and toss gently until it starts to clump together.

Can I make my dressing the night before?

Cornbread dressing is a great make-ahead recipe! Prepare the dressing up to about 8 to 12 hours before the big meal. Cover the casserole dish and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. You may need to increase the cooking time a bit since you’ll be starting with a cold dish.

cornbread dressing being served out of dish with a wooden spoon

Storage recommendations

Storing. Leftover dressing will stay good if covered tightly and kept in the fridge for up to about 5-7 days. Simply reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Freezing. Unbaked cornbread dressing can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3-4 weeks. Just thaw in the fridge overnight before baking the next day. Already baked cornbread dressing can also be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature, then reheat it in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until warmed through, before serving.

serving of cornbread dressing on a plate with a fork

As you plan your Thanksgiving menu, this incredibly tasty Thanksgiving dressing is a must-have on the table! Enjoy for the holidays, but also work this flavorful, easy cornbread dressing recipe into weekday dinners. This one is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

serving of cornbread dressing on a plate with a fork
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Best Cornbread Dressing

Best Cornbread Dressing EVER!! This Thanksgiving Dressing (aka stuffing) is the perfect side dish to round out your holiday feast! It’s light, fluffy and moist, with the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
Author: Kim

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or craisins
  • 1 (1 pound) roll maple sausage, fully cooked and drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth, more or less depending on how moist you like your dressing
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional for garnish: chopped fresh parsley and/or fresh rosemary

Instructions 

  • Prepare the cornbread according to instructions on the box. Before transferring to pan, stir in the celery and onion to the cornbread batter. Bake as directed.
  • Cool the cornbread for a couple of hours and then crumble into medium size pieces.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9″x13″ pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Place the cornbread crumbles in a VERY large bowl with Panko bread crumbs and melted butter and toss to combine. Add the eggs, salt + pepper to taste, rosemary, cranberries and sausage. Stir to combine.
  • Mix in broth a little at a time, until it is the consistency you like.
  • Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, checking often. Add more broth, if you feel like the dressing looks too dry for your preference.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with fresh rosemary, if desired. Serve warm.

Notes

*Prep and cook time does not include the time needed to make and cool the cornbread.
Storing. Leftover dressing will stay good if covered tightly and kept in the fridge for up to about 5 days. Simply reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
Freezing. Unbaked cornbread dressing can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3-4 weeks. Just thaw in the fridge overnight before baking the next day. Already baked cornbread dressing can also be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature, then reheat it in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until warmed through, before serving.
 
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 449kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 936mg, Potassium: 296mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 426IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 2mg

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