A Family Tradition
My Grandmother’s Cornbread Dressing recipe is my favorite dressing recipe and has been a Thanksgiving tradition in our family for many years. I debated with myself as to whether to name this my Grandmother’s or my Dad’s recipe because my Dad prepared it for so many years after my Grandmother passed. Also, I was a “picky eater” as a child – I wouldn’t eat cornbread dressing or gravy until I was an adult so I really never ate my Grandmother’s cornbread dressing.
Every year at Thanksgiving my grandfather would state emphatically “you’re going to go all through life not knowing how good dressing and gravy are!” Every year I dreaded hearing this announcement on my food dislikes in his booming voice at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Eventually this scenario became one of those family “inside jokes” that we all laughed about later on in time. So I usually think of this dressing recipe as my Dad’s but he made this dish just like his mother (my grandmother) used to make it.
Thankfully Dad wrote this recipe down and I’m glad to have it today. He was so proud when this recipe for Cornbread Dressing was included in the Viewmont Baptist Church Cookbook in 1995, attributed to him. I was also privileged to watch and help him make Cornbread Dressing over the years. As I mentioned in another post, Dad’s Frozen Peanut Butter Pie, Dad learned to bake and cook in the Navy so when he cooked he always made large quantities of everything. He always made at least 2 sheet pans of Cornbread Dressing. Usually he still had quite a bit of it after Thanksgiving Dinner to put in the freezer for another meal!
The Recipe for Cornbread Dressing
I have cut down the recipe that Dad made to make one 9″ x 13″ pan of cornbread dressing. If you’re serving more than 8 people or have people with large appetites (teenage boys, etc.) you may want to double this recipe.
- 1/2 stick butter (2 oz.)
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion (preferable Vidalia)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 (14-oz.) bag Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing
- 4 (14 1/2 oz. cans) chicken broth or stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Saute celery, onions, and bell pepper in butter until softened.
- In a large bowl, combine parsley and Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing.
- Add sautéed vegetables to the bowl, then add spices and chicken broth.
- (If mixture looks dry additional chicken broth may be added.)
- Spoon dressing into a 9" x 13" greased baking dish, smoothing out the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-45 minutes until nicely browned (but not dried out).
- For a larger crowd, double this recipe.
3 Easy Steps to Prepare Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread Dressing is simple to prepare. First, the chopped vegetables are sautéed in butter in a skillet.
Secondly, add the sautéed vegetables to the cornbread stuffing and spices. Pour in the chicken broth or stock. Stir together until stuffing crumbs are well moistened and all ingredients are well blended.
Thirdly, spoon the Cornbread Dressing into a 9″ x 13″ greased baking pan and smooth the top of the mixture. Finally, bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees F. until lightly browned. Don’t overbake or dressing will be dry!
Enjoy Cornbread Dressing with turkey and gravy!
Variations: My Dad loved sausage so occasionally he would add 1 pound of fried and crumbled sausage to his Cornbread Dressing. He also added chopped hard-boiled eggs to the dressing which I never cared for because the chopped egg white toughens up after being cooked for 30 minutes or more in the oven. I have added chopped apple and dried cranberries to my Cornbread Dressing but have found that I prefer the basic recipe best of all.
One more note – I have given a range for the cooking time because my oven may run hotter or cooler than yours and you may like your Cornbread Dressing lighter or darker than mine! Keep watch on the Cornbread Dressing while it is baking to achieve the results you desire!
Prepare this recipe for Cornbread Dressing soon and it may become a tradition in your family, too! (Don’t go through life not knowing how good dressing and gravy can be!)
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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