Southern Cornbread Biscuit Dressing
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Southern Cornbread Biscuit Dressing is an old fashioned recipe featuring day-old cornbread and fluffy cathead biscuits! The entire dish is made from scratch, which makes it a beloved side for Thanksgiving and other holidays.
What's Special About This Recipe?
Back in the day, before there were cornbread mixes and tubes of biscuits, my grandmother made dressing from scratch. Granny Mac mixed cathead biscuits by hand and made her own cornbread like a boss!
Not many herbs were added, or extras like sausage, apples and pecans. The focus was simple. Granny believed if you started with the best cornbread and biscuits, you'd end up with the best dressing this side of heaven. And, she was right!
I love sharing vintage recipes because they bring back so many fond memories of family gatherings. Here's what you'll need to make old fashioned Southern Cornbread Biscuit Dressing just like Granny used to make:
- day old biscuits - easy recipe
- day old cornbread - easy recipe
- celery - gives the dressing it's homestyle flavor
- sweet onion - pairs well with celery
- salted butter - for sautéing and browning
- poultry seasoning - blend of thyme, sage, nutmeg and rosemary
- dried parsley - for color and flavor
- chicken stock - use stock instead of broth to avoid saltiness
- heavy cream - adds richness and depth
- salt and pepper to taste - it's up to you!
See recipe card for quantities.
Choosing The Seasoning
In this recipe, poultry seasoning (ad) is preferred over dried sage because it's not overpowering. If you like a stronger sage flavor, or the addition of sausage, try my Sausage Thanksgiving Dressing or Southern Living's Classic Dressing recipe.
Every southerner has their favorite dressing recipe based on how they were raised. Many of my friends don't use seasoning at all. Some love the flavor of fresh sage cut in slivers. To be perfectly honest, I've never met a dressing I didn't like!
How to Make Biscuits from Scratch
Start a day ahead and make my Buttermilk Drop Biscuit recipe. It's Granny's cathead biscuit recipe in a smaller version. Drop biscuits are easy to make because you don't have to roll or cut them.
After you've baked the biscuits, allow them to cool, then loosely wrap in foil and wait a day before you crumble them into pieces.
How to Make Easy Southern Cornbread
Next, mix up some Easy Southern Cornbread. This recipe comes together in a snap since it's made with self rising cornmeal. Let it cool completely after baking, then wrap loosely with foil until the next day when it's time to break into large chunks.
Preparing the Ingredients
Chop celery and sweet onion, then add both to a skillet. Add butter and sauté over medium-low heat until veggies are tender.
I like to use my cast iron skillet so I can make, bake, and serve everything in the same pan. However, you can transfer the veggies from the skillet to a large 13 x 9 inch casserole dish if you prefer.
Crumble the cornbread and the biscuits into chunks and add to a large bowl or cast iron skillet. Mix well with the celery and onions.
Putting It All Together
In a separate saucepan, add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning, and dried parsley. Mix over medium heat until warm but not boiling. Take off of heat and stir in heavy cream. Pour hot mixture over bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The bread crumbs should be really moist but not swimming in liquid. Pour the hot liquid slowly and mix as you go so you can control the texture.
Spoon dressing into a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish, or pat down in a cast iron skillet. Top with several pats of butter and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and crunchy.
Can I Use Canned Biscuits?
I don't recommend using canned biscuits because the texture doesn't work well in this recipe. However, you can use frozen biscuits, as long as they're the homestyle type that rise up and have a crispy outer layer.
Do I Have to Bake the Breads a Day In Advance?
If you don't have time to bake the breads in advance, you can make them the same day and dry them out in the oven. After baking, crumble breads onto a half sheet pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before adding the rest of the dressing ingredients.
- The dryer the breads, the better the dressing will turn out. Day old bread gives the dressing its substance. If the breads are too moist BEFORE adding the stock, they will break down and disintegrate.
- After adding the stock, the dressing will be very moist. Don't worry...it firms up after baking.
- Try not to bake the dressing for more than 40 minutes or it will dry out. You want the dressing to be moist underneath and crunchy on top.
- You can make this recipe at least 3 days in advance and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Dressing freezes well as long as it is vacuum packed or wrapped well. It will keep up to 3 months as long as it is air tight. You can freeze it before or after baking.
- You can use this dressing to stuff your turkey or chicken if desired. Then, it can be called Stuffing!
The holidays are the perfect time to make Southern Cornbread Biscuit Dressing, but don't stop there! Enjoy these other yummy sides on your holiday table...
- Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts
- Cranberry Pecan Salad
- Southern Creamed Corn
- Skillet Green Bean Casserole
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- Stovetop Mac & Cheese
Southern Cornbread Biscuit Dressing
*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.
- mixing bowl and spoon
- 8 buttermilk biscuits made the day before
- 8 slices homemade cornbread made the day before
- 4 celery ribs chopped
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 4 Tbsp. butter divided
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp. poultry seasoning ad
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Crumble biscuits and cornbread into chunky pieces in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Sauté celery and onion with butter in a skillet over medium low heat until veggies are tender.
- Warm chicken stock in a saucepan on the stove. Add poultry seasoning and parsley. Stir well and take off heat.
- Add heavy cream to chicken stock, stir well, then pour mixture over bread crumbs in bowl.
- Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon dressing into cast iron skillet or large 13 x 8 inch casserole dish and top with pats of butter.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until golden brown and crispy on top.
- If you like extra-moist dressing, add a can of cream of chicken soup to the mixture before baking. Lots of southern folks swear by this ingredient! Others like it better without. It's good to make a trial run before turkey day to decide which way you like best.
- Total cook time does not include the preparation of biscuits and cornbread the day before.
- Be sure to use chicken stock instead of chicken broth or the dressing will be too salty.
- The bread crumbs should be moist but not swimming in liquid. Pour the hot liquid slowly and mix as you go to control the texture.
- Dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen before or after baking for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.
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Just like momma used to make. It is still a staple each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas! I can smell it now!
I remember when your mom made this dressing, Lorna! Leftovers are the best! 🙂
Oh my goodness I came across your recipe and it's every ingredient that my mama used to use I am making it tonight and I'm making it in bulk and freezing half I love this stuff it just smells like Thanksgiving and Christmas yummy
That's wonderful, April! I love all those memories from childhood! So glad you found this recipe and hope you enjoy it for years to come. 🙂
Would it still work without the heavy cream? My daughter is lactose intolerant so really need to leave this ingredient out.
Hi Angela. Yes, it would still work without the cream. Just add a little more broth instead!
I can't tell you how much I love this recipe for cornbread and biscuit dressing. I am so happy to have found it because it is very similar to the one my grandmother made for every holiday. So many of the dressing recipes just use cornbread, but I think adding biscuits is a must. Thank you for this amazing recipe! It's delicious!
This is almost like my grandmothers omitting the cream and parsley. Thanks for sharing!
Yay! I do love those grandmother recipes! 🙂