Mama’s Cornbread Dressing

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Mama’s Cornbread Dressing is a beloved Southern dish that’s perfect for holiday gatherings and family dinners. This recipe combines crumbled cornbread with savory vegetables, rich chicken stock, and fragrant sage, creating a deliciously moist and flavorful dressing. Whether served alongside turkey or enjoyed as a standalone dish, this cornbread dressing is sure to bring comfort and warmth to your table. Let’s dive into this classic recipe and learn how to make Mama’s Cornbread Dressing step-by-step.


  • 3 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage (or more to taste)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Step 1: Prepare the Cornbread

  1. Make Cornbread:
    • Prepare your favorite cornbread recipe or use a store-bought cornbread mix. Let it cool completely, then crumble into small pieces to make 3 cups.
  2. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or casserole dish.

Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables

  1. Melt Butter:
    • In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Cook Onion and Celery:
    • Add the diced onion and chopped celery to the skillet. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and translucent. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Mix the Dressing

  1. Combine Cornbread and Vegetables:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the crumbled cornbread with the sautéed onion and celery. Stir to mix.
  2. Add Eggs and Stock:
    • Pour in the beaten eggs and chicken stock. Mix until well combined.
  3. Season:
    • Stir in the dried sage, salt, and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Step 4: Bake the Dressing

  1. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Transfer the cornbread mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  2. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the dressing is set. The edges should be slightly crispy, and the center should be moist but not runny.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Let the dressing cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy Mama’s Cornbread Dressing warm with your favorite holiday meal or as a comforting side dish!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Cornbread: Use homemade or store-bought cornbread. Make sure it is fully cooled before crumbling.
  • Chicken Stock: Use low-sodium chicken stock to control the saltiness. You can also substitute with vegetable stock if preferred.
  • Sage: Adjust the amount of sage to taste. Fresh sage can be used instead of dried; use about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage.


Sausage Cornbread Dressing

  • Add Sausage:
    • Brown 1/2 pound of crumbled sausage in the skillet before adding the onions and celery. Stir into the cornbread mixture for a savory twist.

Mushroom Cornbread Dressing

  • Add Mushrooms:
    • Sauté 1 cup of sliced mushrooms with the onions and celery for added flavor and texture.

Nutty Cornbread Dressing

  • Add Nuts:
    • Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts for a nutty crunch.

Serving Suggestions

Side Dishes

  • With Turkey:
    • Serve alongside roasted turkey or chicken for a classic holiday meal.
  • With Gravy:
    • Drizzle with homemade gravy for added richness and flavor.


  • With Wine:
    • Pair with a glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for a sophisticated touch.
  • With Iced Tea:
    • Serve with a glass of iced tea or lemonade for a refreshing drink.


Q: Can I make this dressing ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the dressing up to the point of baking. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake just before serving.

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Q: Can I freeze the dressing? A: Yes, you can freeze the baked dressing. Let it cool completely, then wrap tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw and reheat before serving.

Q: Can I use cornbread stuffing mix? A: Yes, you can use cornbread stuffing mix if you prefer. Adjust the amount of chicken stock as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

Q: Can I add other vegetables? A: Yes, you can add other vegetables like bell peppers or carrots for added flavor and texture.

Mama’s Cornbread Dressing is a classic and comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its savory blend of crumbled cornbread, sautéed vegetables, and fragrant sage, this dressing is sure to be a hit. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or try one of the variations, this dish is easy to make and always satisfying. Enjoy making and sharing this delicious Cornbread Dressing with your family and friends!

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