Southern Cornbread Chicken & Dressing

One of my mother’s signature dishes that she is known for in our family and extended family and friends is her Southern cornbread dressing.  There’s nothing Stovetop stuffing about this one, no way!  Made from crumbled up cornbread, it’s a simple, yet deliciously satisfying side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We have it every single year.  I grew up on this stuff.

This was a good opportunity to take notes and write down another one of mom’s recipes that resides in her head. This is yet one more recipe that my sister, niece, and I have never made.  So, now I get to document it for all of you too.  I’m not sure if everyone will love this, but we sure love our dressing in the South made this way.  It’s a big hit in our family!

black skillet

Start with a medium iron skillet to cook the cornbread in.  You’ll want to drizzle a little oil (I prefer canola) in the bottom of the pan and heat it in the oven while you whip up the cornbread batter to pour in.  This makes for a crisp crust!

Iris’s Southern Cornbread

1 1/2 cups self-rising corn meal (mom uses white) (just found out from mom that self-rising cornmeal has salt in it).  I did not know that!

1/2 cup self-rising flour (just found out from mom that self-rising flour has salt in it).  I did not know that!

1 egg

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Pour into iron skillet.  Heat oven to 400* and bake 30 min. or until golden brown.

Southern cornbread

You can bake up the cornbread ahead of time and set aside to cool.

chopped celery

Chop up 3 stalks celery.


Slice and chop one large onion.

Chopped onions

Chop well

sautee onions

Sautee celery and onion until soft.

break cornbread

Break up cornbread in small pieces in a large pan.

add wheat bread

Add 2 to 3 slices of wheat bread (or white if you’re feeling crazy!). :)

break up

Take a large spoon and start breaking it up further, until it’s crumbly texture.

Knorr chicken stock

Of course, I used Knorr’s Homestyle chicken concentrate Homestyle Stock in this recipe and added the celery water as well as any chicken broth that the chicken was cooked in to add to the water.  We used one chicken stock concentrate from Knorr and 4 cups water/broth mixture.

add broth

Begin pouring in the stock and you’ll need 3 to 4 cups.  Add until heavily moistened.  When you bake this, a lot of the broth will cook out, so you want to keep it moist.  We added approximately 4 cups chicken stock.sage

Add sauteed onions and celery.  Add 1/2 tsp. sage (optional, if you don’t like this herb).

stir together

Mix well with a big spoon.  The mixture will be very wet and soupy and that is what you want.

add in pan

Pour it all into a large baking pan.  This is a large flat French cookware piece.

add chicken

Then add pieces of cooked chicken, again optional, but I love it best with chicken added.  You won’t need any more than 1 chicken breast or even dark meat chicken, cut up and added.   Press it down into the dressing.

ready to bake

Ready to bake.   Bake at 400* for 45 minutes and you’ll have this!

cornbread dressing

Golden brown Southern cornbread chicken and dressing.

dressing with gravy

Mom made a little gravy for this too and it was really good!

So, I have to know?  Do you other Southern girls make dressing like this??  It’s really not hard to make now that I’ve watched her do it.  Really pretty easy to put together and it feeds a lot of people.

Southern Chicken Cornbread Dressing

Bake cornbread recipe (above) set aside

Chop celery and onion (3 stalks celery and 1 large onion)

Sautee in saucepan until soft.

Cook 1 chicken breast in water, debone and chop or any other chicken piece you have.

Crumble up entire cornbread into large pan.  Add 3 to 4 slices wheat bread (or other bread) to the mix.  Press down with a large spoon to break it all up into smaller crumbles.

Add sauteed onion and celery back to the pan.

Begin adding broth, approx. 4 cups.  You’ll want the bread all covered and very moist.  Soupy texture.

Add 1/2 tsp. sage (optional)

Mix well.  Pour into large baking pan

Bake at 400* for 45 minutes.

Eat and Enjoy!

Let me know if you’ve made dressing like this before or if you think you might try it out!  I’d love to hear!

Here’s some more exciting news!  I’ve got cookbooks from Chef Marco Pierre White to givaway to one of you, along with a yellow Knorr apron, like I’m wearing below.  I’ll be giving away a couple more on a future Knorr recipe post too.  Just leave a comment if you’d like to win this little giveaway!


- Rhoda


  1. I have to say I love that new Knorr product. I’ve only been able to find the beef flavor locally but it is the best product of it’s type out there. Even my hubby remarked how great it was when I used it in a Shepherds Pie the other night.

  2. Kim Rowell says:

    This recipe seems similar to my mother’s recipe, which like yours, is not written down anywhere. I’ve tried to duplicate it, but it’s just not the same. I believe she uses leftover biscuits instead of white bread though. Thanks for the reminder – I’m going to ask her when I see her on Thanksgiving!

  3. Whitney Pendell says:

    I love cornbread dressing! I didn’t grow up on it, but I always look for it at church dinners here in South Carolina!

  4. becky jeffress says:

    We do ours pretty much like this, YUMMY. I like yellow cornmeal because that’s the kind Momma uses. Also, I boil a chicken to use that stock. When it’s ready for the pan we add 2 -3 beaten eggs to help it ‘set’ when cooking, Momma told me to! It doesn’t get much better but then again Momma’s chicken and dumplings are fab, too. I love the pictures of your momma’s hands, I must do this with my Momma’s hands, priceless treasure.

  5. Southern cornbread dressing is always on the Thanksgiving menu at our house. Earlier this year made this dressing using this product from Knorr – turned out great – convenient to use.

  6. Absolutely love the recipe….not to mention the wonderful hands that have lovingly prepared the dressing over the years…..can’t wait to try your mom’s recipe. If it is anything like the canned tomatoes I prepared from her recipe a couple months ago, I will become the master “dressing” maker for our family’s holiday…Thanks for another “goodie” from you and your mom. I am sure she has forgotten more than most of us will ever know.

  7. This looks delicious!!! I will definetly give this one a try! Thanks for sharing….now I’m hungry!

  8. Here in Louisiana, we also love our cornbread dressing. Mine is very similar , but in addition I add chopped boiled eggs. Love cookbooks, pick me!!! Love your blog Rh0da!

  9. Natasha Jackson says:

    Love the dressing recipe and I’d love to win a cookbook and apron! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Rhoda, We’ll be having your recipe for chicken and dressing for dinner tonight. Thanks! to your Mother for sharing and showing us all how to prepare it.

  11. I make one very similar but have never put chicken in it. I think I will do that this year. Sounds yummy:)

  12. Angela Fultz says:

    I must make this for thanksgiving.sounds so good!!!!

  13. This recipe sounds and looks delicious! I’ve been making a similar cornbread with my turkey on Thanksgiving for the past 40 years or so and I so love it! About the only difference is that I add poultry seasoning. Love the yellow apron by the way, and love your blog.

  14. Teresa Ballard says:

    Now my stomach is growling! This looks really good. It is basically the way I’ve always made it although my Grandmother used more sage. My brother doesn’t like pieces of onion so when we were all at home I would just drop a peeled whole onion in with the boiling chicken to get the flavor without the pieces. Yum! Just found your website and am having fun exploring!

  15. Wonderful recipes and please thank your Mom for that Chicken and dumpling recipe. I’ve made it twice. Please, please enter me in your contest. I’m a cookbook collector and would be overjoyed to have that bright yellow apron. Besides, I do love Knorr!

  16. Pamela Marie says:

    I am reading this while watching my mom cutting up collard greens! Of course, I’m taking pictures. Great recipe. I know my daughter will love it.

  17. Cherish this time with your mom. I wish my mom was still with us, especially for the holidays. I will be making your mom’s recipe soon and I know it will be great. Hope you have a great day and will you please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks.

  18. Hi Rhoda…….Great recipe! Ours is pretty much the same here. I use a Southern Living Cookbook recipe. My grandmother was the most fab cook and my mother didn’t inherit the cooking gene, so when grandmother passed away…… mom would buy Thanksgiving instead of cooking it, ha! My kids were like, “Mom , please do something, we can’t eat grocery store Thanksgiving anymore! ” So I have been doing it ever since…….it was trial & error at first, but kinda gotta it down pat now. My mom is happier too! I love Thanksgiving celebrations with family & food. Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family, Rhoda!!

  19. I stumbled upon this site one morning and had to smile as I read your recipe for cornbread dressing. It is a staple at our Thanksgiving table every year, just as it was (same receipe) at my mother’s, grandmother’s and great-grandmothers. Mine is very similar to this. Thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. My MIL makes the best chicken dressing. No one knows the recipe, but as far as I can tell from others trying to duplicate it, it’s just like your mother’s, only she adds lots of sage. I think I’m going to try my hand at it this year, using your mom’s recipe.

  21. I made this last night! It was fun! My husband has this nostalgic idea of what his grandmother’s dressing was like, so I think it is virtually impossible for me to compete with a memory!! It was good though! I think she usually adds some chopped, hard-boiled eggs – so I may try it again with those added. (I was most grateful for the cornbread recipe – my mom makes cornbread similar to this, but of course, doesn’t have a “recipe” outside of her brain….UGH!!!) Thanks for posting!


  1. […] stumbled across this recipe from one of the blogs I like to read, Southern Hospitality, and she says that this is her mother’s recipe.  That had me hooked and I had to try it!   […]

  2. […] Southern Cornbread Chicken & Dressing from Southern Hospitality […]

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