Cornbread dressing is a classic dish that brings back memories of family gatherings and holiday feasts. Passed down through generations, this old-fashioned cornbread dressing recipe is a beloved tradition in many households. In this article, we’ll explore how to make this delicious and comforting dish that is sure to become a family favorite. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be able to recreate the taste of nostalgia in your own kitchen.
How to Prepare the Cornbread
The foundation of this cornbread dressing is, of course, the cornbread itself. You have a few options when it comes to the cornbread:
Pre-made cornbread: If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought cornbread. Simply crumble it and proceed with the recipe.
Homemade crumbled cornbread: If you have leftover homemade cornbread, crumble it and use it for this recipe.
Cornbread mix: Prepare the dry cornbread mix according to the package instructions, cool it, and then crumble it.
Choose the option that works best for you and ensure that you have approximately 3 cups of crumbled cornbread for the dressing.
Sauteing the Vegetables
To add depth of flavor and a delightful texture to the dressing, sauté the onions and celery. Here’s how to do it:
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the chopped celery and onion to the skillet.
Saute the vegetables until they become soft and translucent.
Remove from heat and set aside.
The sautéed vegetables will infuse the dressing with a savory aroma that enhances the overall taste.
Combining the Ingredients
Now that you have all the components ready, it’s time to combine them and create the cornbread dressing. Follow these steps:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the sautéed celery and onion mixture, 3 cups of crumbled cornbread, beaten eggs, chicken stock, dried sage, salt, and pepper.
Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. You can adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences.
The combination of cornbread, vegetables, eggs, and seasonings will create a cohesive mixture that forms the heart of the dressing.
Baking the Cornbread Dressing
With the ingredients thoroughly mixed, it’s time to bake the cornbread dressing to perfection. Follow these steps:
- Transfer the cornbread dressing mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Spread the mixture evenly and ensure it fills the dish.
- Place the dish in the preheated oven.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
- Baking the dressing allows the flavors to meld together, creating a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.
Serving and Storing Suggestions
Once your cornbread dressing is baked to perfection, it’s time to serve it. This delicious side dish pairs well with a variety of main courses, making it a versatile addition to any meal. Here are a few serving suggestions:
- Serve it alongside roasted turkey or chicken as a traditional holiday side dish.
- Enjoy it with a drizzle of gravy for added moisture and flavor.
- Pair it with steamed vegetables and cranberry sauce for a well-rounded meal.
To store any leftover cornbread dressing, follow these steps:
- Transfer the dressing to an airtight container.
- Store it in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.
- Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven, adding more broth if needed to restore moisture.
Can I make the cornbread from scratch instead of using a mix?
Absolutely! If you have a favorite homemade cornbread recipe, feel free to use it instead of the mix. Just ensure you have approximately 3 cups of crumbled cornbread for the dressing.
Can I use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock for a vegetarian option?
Yes, you can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock to make the dressing vegetarian-friendly. The flavor profile may vary slightly, but it will still be delicious.
Can I add additional ingredients to the dressing, such as dried cranberries or nuts?
Certainly! Cornbread dressing is a versatile dish, and you can customize it to your liking. Consider adding dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or even cooked bacon for added flavor and texture.
Can I freeze cornbread dressing?
Yes, you can freeze cornbread dressing for future use. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Can I make the cornbread dressing ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the cornbread dressing a day in advance. Follow all the steps up until baking, then cover the dish and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, remove it from the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature, and then bake as directed.
Old Fashioned Corn Bread Dressing
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 16 ounce package dry corn bread mix
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped celery
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs beaten
- Prepare the dry corn bread mix according to package directions. Cool and crumble.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one 9x13 inch baking dish.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the celery and onion until soft.
- In a large bowl, combine the celery, onions, 3 cups crumbled corn bread, eggs, chicken stock, sage and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.
- Place into prepared dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.