Cornbread and sage dressing is the root of just about any southern table and this version uses the ingredients your grandma had on hand that warmed your heart every year. Perfect when made ahead, frozen and rewarmed on the big day.
I missed it so much. Sure we’ve had plenty of Thanksgiving meals in that 7 years, but my husband’s family eats some sort of a dressing/custard concoction that I can’t seem to swallow and by the time we make it to my family we’ve had so much turkey and sides we don’t want any more–so we have smoked pork loin and anything but mashed potatoes, dressing, and gravy.
So I lost this experience. If you can have an experience with dressing.
Yesterday I made this batch and put them into the oven then I headed out to handle the chores. That means:
- put on your bulky Carhartt coveralls and all the accessories that smash your good hair day
- feed the chickens
- water the chickens
- get the eggs
- feed and water the dogs
- unload firewood in the garage
- take the big cart to the barn and gather new firewood (smash your finger multiple times while you’re doing this if you want the full effect)
- bring the big cart back to the house
- bring the firewood in
In case you’re wondering, that takes me about 20 minutes.
When I came back in the house, I almost cried. The smell. It smelled like my childhood home and I could almost see myself at 12 years old watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade and waiting for my family to eat with us. It was hard and nice all at the same time.
Tips for the best cornbread and sage dressing
I know it may seem odd to make dressing into balls–and you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Just spread it into a greased baking dish and bake it for the same amount of time. Balls are just how we did it.
This dressing is moist and just classic–cornbread, sage, and perfect with your holiday dishes. Make your cornbread a day ahead so you don’t feel like you’re working too hard. You can learn how to make cornbread or make a mix, either is fine. I also use Better than Bouillon Chicken Base in the place of traditional store bought stock (no one paid me to say that). You can find it in your grocery store in a glass jar just below the regular stock. Mix it in water according to the package directions. Of course regular stock works fine, I just like the flavor better from the base.
And of course if you can use homemade stock, that’s the absolute best and always what I favor most.
Cornbread and Sage Dressing Recipe
- 4 cups crumbled cornbread crumble it and then measure
- 4 slices white bread torn into 1 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 egg
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth 12 ounces, you can add a bit more if your mix seems dry
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a large bowl mix all the ingredients except the broth and toss well.
- Add the broth and mix. If it seems dry, add a little more. Dressing should be wet but not have standing liquid in the bottom.
- Form baseball size balls or spread in a greased 8x8 baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes until heated through and lightly brown on the top.