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Easy Southern Cornbread Dressing With Chicken

This Easy Southern Cornbread Dressing with chicken is the best old fashioned and homemade recipe from scratch. Drizzle it in gravy and serve it for Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving, or any occasion. 

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Growing up I learned that we make a lot of our side dishes differently. By we, I mean the Black and African American community. From our mac and cheese (that must be baked) to this dish here, it definitely stands out from the rest!

When choosing how to prep your dressing you first need to decide how you like it. I prefer dressing that isn’t too soggy or too dry. If want a really moist and soggy dressing you will need to use more broth and cover the dish while it bakes. You can find more tips below. You may also like my Seafood Dressing recipe!

What’s the Difference Between Dressing and Stuffing

The true definition of stuffing is when a bird, such as a turkey is actually stuffed with the side dish and cooked. But the differences between standard dressing (typically from those from the North) and Southern dressing lies completely in the preparation.

Southern recipes are made using cornbread. Stuffing is made using cubes of bread and it’s really dry. I often joke and refer to stuffing as bread casserole. Most dressing is served moist or a balance between moist and not soggy.

Some are definitely moister than others. I like to prepare mine in the middle. I don’t like it dry, but I don’t want it to be wet, either.

Spices and Flavor to Use

I like to make mine using the Holy Trinity of vegetables: white onion, green peppers, and celery.

We also use sage. Sage is probably the star of the show for dressing. It’s a critical spice and you have to use it. Most times I use dried sage, but I have made it using fresh as well. Whichever you wish to use will work fine.

Why You Need Day Old Cornbread

If you use fresh cornbread, your dressing mix will be really soupy and hard to thicken. Your cornbread has to be dry and pretty much stale.

I like to make my Southern Homemade Cornbread Recipe the night before. You can use cornbread mix if you wish.

Once baked, allow it to cool. I store mine in the fridge overnight loosely covered in foil. You don’t want to store it in a tightly sealed bag because that will lock in moisture and it won’t dry out.

If you can’t use day old cornbread, you can also over-bake the cornbread until it’s really dry.

How to Make Southern Cornbread Dressing from Scratch

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil, celery, onions, garlic, and green peppers.
  2. Saute until the onions are translucent, fragrant, and the vegetables are soft. Remove the vegetables from the pan. Set aside to cool while prepping the remaining ingredients.
  3. Place day-old cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Use a large spoon and/or your hands to break down the cornbread.
  4. Add in the sauteed veggies, ground sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Add in the eggs, broth, and cream of chicken soup. Stir.
  6. Add in 1/2 of the dressing mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and spread it throughout the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the shredded chicken on top.
  8. Top it with a layer of the remaining dressing.
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes uncovered until a toothpick returns clean.

How Long to Cook and Temperature

I bake the dish for 45 minutes uncovered on 350 degrees until a toothpick returns clean.

Should Dressing Be Covered While Cooking?

If you like moist dressing, cover it with foil while bakes. If you like drier dressing with a crunchy top, bake it uncovered.

What Type of Chicken to Use

I used 1 shredded chicken breast (about 6-8 ounces) that I make using the Instant Pot. I cook it in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of broth or water for 10 minutes on Manual > Pressure Cooking. When the time indicates it has finished, allow steam to release naturally for 10 minutes. Open, remove the chicken and shred.

You can also cook it any other way you prefer to cook it.

You can use any cut of chicken you wish. Boneless chicken thighs will work well, too.

Can You Add Bread to it?

I sometimes see people add additional bread to their dressing. If you wish you can add any of the following.

Can You Make it the Night Before?

You can prepare it the night before and place it unbaked in the refrigerator. From there, you can bake when you like. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature prior to baking.

How to Make it Vegetarian

You can make the dish without meat by substituting chicken broth for vegetable broth. Instead of cream of chicken soup, you can use cream of mushroom.

How to Freeze It

Place the dish in sealable bags or containers. Ensure they are tightly sealed. It can be frozen for up to several months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the oven until warm.

More Southern Side Dishes to Serve With It

Air Fryer Cornbread
Southern Baked Mac and Cheese
Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce

How to Make a Charcuterie Cheese Board
Homemade Maple Butter
Homemade Blueberry Cornbread
Cornbread Muffins
Pumpkin Cornbread
Sweet Potato Cornbread
Cornbread Casserole
Seafood Mac and Cheese

Southern Vegetable Side Dishes

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes
Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
Homemade Creamed Corn

Southern Mustard Greens
Instant Pot Southern Green Beans
Instant Pot Collard Greens
Instant Pot Cabbage
Fried Cabbage
Okra and Tomatoes

Southern Green Beans
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
Southern Coleslaw Recipe
Southern Potato Salad
Scalloped Corn
Southern Black Eyed Peas

Southern Main Dish Recipes

Smothered Turkey Wings
Baked Crab Legs
Baked Turkey Wings
Southern Baked Ham With Pineapple
Air Fryer Turkey
Air Fryer Baked Ham

Instant Pot Brisket
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
Cajun Roasted Turkey
Air Fryer Cornish Hens

Stuffed Turkey Legs

I love to drizzle this in Keto Gravy.

Get a full listing of Soul Food Thanksgiving Recipes and the Best Authentic Soul Food Recipes here.

Southern cornbread dressing in a baking dish with a large scoop in a wooden spoonSouthern cornbread dressing in a baking dish with a large scoop in a wooden spoon

Easy Southern Cornbread Dressing with Chicken

This Easy Southern Cornbread Dressing with Chicken is the best old fashioned and homemade recipe from scratch. Drizzle it in gravy and serve it for Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving, or any occasion. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword cornbread dressing, soul food cornbread dressing, Southern cornbread dressing
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 289kcal


Get the recipe for Homemade Cornbread here.





    If you are using Jiffy or a boxed cornbread mix you’ll need 2 cups, which is about 16-17 ounces.
    I use a food processor for the celery, onions, green peppers, and garlic. It will provide finely chopped veggies in seconds.
    You can omit the shredded chicken if you wish.
    I prefer dressing that isn’t too soggy. If you like moist dressing, cover it with foil while bakes.
    You can find my Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe here. 14oz is 1 and 3/4 cups.


    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g
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