Caramelized Onion & Cornbread Dressing is one of my go-to side dishes for holiday dinners. Even people who say they don’t like stuffing love this recipe!
Caramelized Onion & Cornbread Dressing is everything good and comforting about dressing for Thanksgiving dinner. While the roasted turkey might be the star of the show, this dressing holds its own. Simple flavors even the pickiest eaters love.
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For anyone wondering why I’m not calling my dressing “stuffing” it’s because my grandma taught me better. It’s a Southern thing.
So what’s the difference between cornbread stuffing and dressing?
- Stuffing goes in the bird and cooks with all the juices and such while the turkey bakes. It’s totally delicious, but it’s stuffed into the bird = stuffing.
- Dressing, on the other hand, is made in its own dish. It’s not stuffing anything, so we call it dressing at my house and not stuffing. It’s dressing up your plate.
I had to get that out. I feel so much better now. So let’s talk about Thanksgiving!
After hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago, I’m on a mission to be more in control this time around.
The first year we had everyone over, Mike had to work. On Thanksgiving. He was holding down two jobs so I could stay home with the boys. He’s kind of awesome like that.
To make sure Mike had dinner before working that afternoon, I got up at 5:30 am to start cooking so we could be eating by 11:30 am. Craziness! Next time I’m in charge of the turkey I want to be relaxed and enjoy my food coma…and sleep in. Which at my house means 6:30 or 7:00 am.
I’m thinking about going big again this year and hosting our moms at our house for dinner. But this time I’m going outsource more of the cooking and ask the moms to bring a side dish or two with them. But the dressing is mine to make.
Ingredients for Southern Cornbread Dressing Recipe
- Yellow onions
- Cornbread muffins
- Fresh sage
- Chicken broth or chicken stock
- Hald and half
- Salt & pepper
If you like, you could even add 1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning to boost the overall flavor.
How to Make Cornbread Dressing
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often to prevent them from searing instead of caramelizing.
Add the cornbread, sage, and onions to a large bowl and gently stir together.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Pour cream mixture over the cornbread mixture. Stir everything together gently.
Transfer the dressing to your prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a little crusty.
Carefully remove from the oven. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature. I like to sprinkle a little extra sage on top for garnish.
Note: The cornbread will break down as you add other ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir. It’s better to start with really large pieces and them you won’t have mush after you’re done mixing.
How do you dry cornbread for dressing?
- Ideally, you’ll make the cornbread to a day before and let it sit out overnight. As long as your cornbread muffins have a chance to cool completely, you should be good to go. Unless you’re using a moist homemade cornbread recipe.
- Jiffy cornbread muffin mix is my favorite for this recipe. It’s not overly moist after baking.
- If you didn’t prebake your cornbread of it just seems too moist – break it up, spread it out on a baking sheet, and bake at 250F for 30 minutes.
This recipe is the only stuffing recipe Mike will eat. He’s not a stuffing guy, but he has some of this Caramelized Onion & Cornbread Dressing every year. Winner winner turkey dinner!
Our favorite Thanksgiving sides
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- Creamed Corn Casserole with Peppers
- Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
- Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing
- Easy Turkey Gravy
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- More Thanksgiving recipes…
Caramelized Onion & Cornbread Dressing
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter thinly sliced
- 2 yellow onions
- 24 cornbread muffins broken into large pieces
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh sage leaves finely diced
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- ⅔ cup half-and-half
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.
- Add the cornbread, sage, and onions to a large mixing bowl and gently stir together.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Pour cream mixture over the cornbread mixture. Stir everything together gently.
- Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a little crusty.
- Carefully remove from the oven. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature.
- The cornbread will break down as you add other ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir. It's better to start with really large pieces so they don't turn to mush as your stir.
- I use 4 boxes of Jiffy cornbread muffin mix to get 24 muffins. They're not overly moist after baking and work really well for this recipe.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.