Grandma’s Famous Cornbread Stuffing

…Kind of.

I call this Grandma’s Famous Cornbread Stuffing, but in reality this is my version of her recipe. It’s not precisely how my Grandma makes it, but it’s close.  I’ve added fresh sage to the required powdered sage, sautéed the onions and garlic in a generous amount of butter instead of putting them into the stuffing raw, dropped in a few more dry bread cubes and made the beaten eggs mandatory. One thing is certain; this is the be all and end all of stuffings.  This is what other stuffings long to be.  This is the apotheosis of stuffing-hood. We’re talking about moist but crisp-on-top-and-around-the-edges sweet cornbread, herb-saturated, onion and celery laden dressing.  In short, it’s pretty darned good*.

*This stuffing comes fully endorsed by my step-mom, Val,  who helped me test this stuffing this afternoon.  If you have an image of two very happy women sitting at a table with a pan full of hot cornbread stuffing and a couple forks you have it about right.

But there’s something else about this stuffing -or dressing, whichever term you prefer- that you need to remember. You cannot smell this without feeling like there are generations of Southern Grandmas cooking Thanksgiving dinner just for you. There is no way to taste it without feeling a big warm hug from my little sweet Grandma. And me. You’ve been warned.

Grandma’s Famous Cornbread Stuffing

Scroll to the bottom for an easy-print version of this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups crumbled cornbread (For the love of the South, don’t use a super sweet cornbread here.  Please. I prefer my Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread recipe.  You can read it here.)
  • 3 cups dry bread cubes (Homemade bread is best.  Any type will do, but herb-laden choices make stuffing that is particularly flavorful.)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock (Again, homemade is best, but a low-sodium store bought broth will be good, too.)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sage
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • freshly ground pepper and kosher salt, to taste

Melt butter over medium-low heat in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan or skillet.  Add celery and onion with a good pinch of salt and stir well. Cook gently, not allowing the celery and onion to color, until the vegetables are nearly translucent, about 6-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Gently grease a 8″x8″ baking dish and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to toss together the crumbled cornbread, dry bread cubes, minced fresh sage, powdered sage, and poultry seasoning. Toss in the softened celery and onion.  Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Crack the eggs into another mixing bowl and whisk until evenly colored.  Add the chicken or turkey stock and whisk to combine.  Pour the liquid mixture over the bread mixture and use a wooden spoon to gently toss it until everything is evenly moist. Scrape the contents into the prepared pan and slide the pan into the oven.  Bake for 40 minutes in the pan or until the internal temperature of the stuffing is 160°.

*You can freeze this stuffing ahead of time.  To do so, cool the stuffing on a rack until the pan is cool to the touch.  Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until it is cold through.  Wrap the pan with foil and freeze.  To reheat: Remove pan from the freezer at least 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours, before you plan to serve it.  Remove the foil and plastic wrap, replace the foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.  Remove foil for about 10 minutes of baking if you wish the top to become crisp.


Grandma’s Famous Cornbread Stuffing
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Crunchy on top and moist throughout, this is the cornbread stuffing I grew up eating and the one I will always turn to for special occasions. This is a true classic!
Ingredients
  • 4 cups crumbled cornbread (For the love of the South, don't use a super sweet cornbread here. Please.)
  • 3 cups dry bread cubes (Homemade bread is best. Any type will do, but herb-laden choices make stuffing that is particularly flavorful.)
  • 3½ cups chicken or turkey stock (Again, homemade is best, but a low-sodium store bought broth will be good, too.)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sage
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • freshly ground pepper and kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan or skillet. Add celery and onion with a good pinch of salt and stir well. Cook gently, not allowing the celery and onion to color, until the vegetables are nearly translucent, about 6-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Gently grease a 8"x8" baking dish and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to toss together the crumbled cornbread, dry bread cubes, minced fresh sage, powdered sage, and poultry seasoning. Toss in the softened celery and onion. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  4. Crack the eggs into another mixing bowl and whisk until evenly colored. Add the chicken or turkey stock and whisk to combine. Pour the liquid mixture over the bread mixture and use a wooden spoon to gently toss it until everything is evenly moist. Scrape the contents into the prepared pan and slide the pan into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes in the pan or until the internal temperature of the stuffing is 160°.
Notes
*You can freeze this stuffing ahead of time. To do so, cool the stuffing on a rack until the pan is cool to the touch. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until it is cold through. Wrap the pan with foil and freeze. To reheat: Remove pan from the freezer at least 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours, before you plan to serve it. Remove the foil and plastic wrap, replace the foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Remove foil for about 10 minutes of baking if you wish the top to become crisp.

 

Comments

  1. “This is the apotheosis of stuffing-hood.” Gawd, I love you.

    You know I will make the cornbread. On Tuesday so it has time to dry out. But to keep the dish “my own,” I will have to do my own ratios of herbs and stock and onion and celery.

    But seriously, 8×8? No, no, no. All wrong. Must be doubled. I have to be able to eat this for breakfast for about 4 days. Awwwww yeeeeeah.

  2. The food looks great! I have to try this one out. Thanks for the share

  3. Yay cornbread!! Sounds like Thanksgiving at my house. Love your recipe and look forward to fixing it soon ;)

  4. I am sure your grandma would be proud of your version of her version of a fantastic recipe! I am thinking about Thanksgiving now non-stop. GREG

  5. Oh YUM! I hate that I saw this after Thanksgiving, but I don’t care–I make stuffing for Christmas too, and you better believe this is going to make an appearance at my table. Grandmas have the best recipes, don’t they?

  6. Delicious! I love old family recipes. Thanks for sharing.
    cupcake

  7. This version of your’s seems awesome..Anyways

  8. This is the first year in many that I didn’t make Cornbread Dressing. I made Brioche a couple weeks before and I wanted it to be this gorgeous braided loaf. It didn’t look too hot but it tasted amazing. So I diced it up and used it for my dressing for Thanksgiving.

  9. I’ve never had cornbread, so no cornbread stuffing either, as this is my first year in the United States (so my first Thanksgiving soon!)… But you make it sound so good I’ll have to try :-)

  10. This is exactly the way I make my cornbread stuffing except I also add some dried craisins or dried Cranberries, and I add some slivered almonds or pecans. So good, I can’t wait to make it.

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