Mouth-Watering Cornbread Dressing Recipe for Thanksgiving

As I sit down to write about Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe, the aromatic scent of sage and black pepper fills the air and transport me down memory lane. This recipe has been in my family for generations and every time I make it, I feel as if I am visiting with loved ones from the past.

Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe is the ultimate soul food comfort food for many people across America, especially in the southern states. It is a staple dish during Thanksgiving and other festive occasions, celebrated by families all around. But what makes this recipe so special? Is it the old-fashioned cornbread that forms the base of the stuffing or perhaps the mix of celery and onion that give it an added zest?

Whatever your connection to cornbread, you will love this recipe’s unique flavor, texture, and savory taste. It has been passed down through generations of my family and finally captured on paper for me to share with all of you. Imagine crispy yet moist cornbread mixed with flavorful hot chicken broth, seasoned with a blend of herbs like sage, parsley, and celery that brings forth a hearty taste which invokes fond memories from holidays past.

So get ready to experience Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe in its true soulful flavor as we embark on a journey back in time with this classic southern dish that will ultimately fill your dinner table with warmth and nostalgia alike.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Emaw's Cornbread Dressing
Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing

This recipe for Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing is a Southern classic that will steal your heart and make your taste buds dance with joy. Trust me, when I say this is some of the best cornbread stuffing you will ever try.

First of all, the flavors are just amazing. The combination of sage, black pepper, parsley, onion, celery, and hot chicken broth creates a savory profile that is out of this world. And let’s not forget about the star of the show – Emaw’s cornbread. This old-fashioned cornbread recipe adds a special touch of sweetness that makes this dish truly unique.

But what really sets this dressing apart is the texture. The cornbread gives it a hearty, crumbly consistency that pairs perfectly with the creamy gravy-like turkey broth. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, this recipe can be easily adapted into a creole cornbread or herb stuffing by incorporating boiled eggs and other seasonings.

If you’re looking for a soul food cornbread dressing recipe that will impress at any Thanksgiving dinner or family gathering, you need to try Emaw’s version. It’s been passed down through generations and has finally been captured on paper – trust me when I say you won’t regret giving it a shot.

Ingredient List

“Gather around for a taste of our Southern family recipe: Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing!”

The crucial ingredients for the perfect Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe!

  • 1 1/2 cups of self-rising cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter or oil
  • 6 slices of Emaw’s Cornbread, crumbled into bite-size pieces. (Recipe finally captured on paper, LOL!)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 2 boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 cups of hot chicken broth (can also use turkey broth)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh sage, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

This recipe calls for self-rising cornmeal and buttermilk that give the old-fashioned soul food cornbread a tender texture and rich flavor. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make the cornbread from scratch; you can easily substitute it with pre-made mixes. The onion and celery add depth to this Thanksgiving or Christmas classic dish, while the boiled eggs bring in a new level of richness. The fresh sage and parsley are essential herbs that complement the savory flavors perfectly. Make sure to have chicken broth handy to keep the mixture moist during baking.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, let’s get started with the fun part – making the cornbread dressing! Follow these easy steps to create a filling and delicious side dish:

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Before anything else, it’s important to preheat the oven to 350°F. Once it has fully heated, place your Emaw cornbread on a baking sheet and let it toast in the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes. This will give it the perfect texture to be mixed into your dressing.

Step 2: Sauté vegetables

In a large skillet, sauté one large diced onion and two cups of chopped celery until softened. I prefer to use turkey broth instead of oil, make sure you have some ready in case things get dry.

Step 3: Add spices

After the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add in 2 tablespoons of sage, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and black pepper according to your taste.

Step 4: Mix cornbread

Take the toasted cornbread out of the oven and break it up into small pieces using your hands or a fork. Add it to a large mixing bowl along with the sautéed vegetables you prepared earlier.

Step 5: Mix liquids

In another mixing bowl, whisk together one can of hot chicken broth (or turkey broth if you have made one), salt according to your preference – start with one teaspoon first – and two beaten eggs. Once everything is well combined, slowly pour it into the mixing bowl with the cornbread and vegetables. Add until everything is wet but not sopping.

Step 6: Bake it up!

Preheat the oven again – this time at 375°F while you put all ingredients in casserole/pan. Make sure that you evenly distribute the mixture across an oiled baking dish! Then cook for about an hour or until lightly browned on top.

Voila! Your Emaw’s cornbread dressing recipe is now ready to be devoured!

Substitutions and Variations

If you want to put your own spin on this classic cornbread dressing recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try.

Firstly, if you don’t have access to turkey broth, you can always substitute with chicken broth or even vegetable broth. Just remember to adjust the salt content accordingly.

You can also experiment with different types of bread to create a unique texture and flavor profile. Traditional white bread or wheat bread can be used in place of the cornbread for a less intense flavor. You could also try using old-fashioned southern cornbread for a soul food-inspired dish or even creole-style cornbread for a spicy twist.

If you prefer more veggies in your dressing, consider adding some boiled eggs or diced bell peppers. This will add more color and texture to the dish without altering the overall taste too much.

For those who prefer herb stuffing, feel free to add some fresh sage, thyme or parsley to heighten the flavor factor.

Lastly, if you’re short on time, instead of making pre-made mixes, opt for self-rising cornmeal instead. This way, you can cut down on preparation time while still maintaining that homemade charm.

Whether your taste calls for an old-fashioned thanksgiving dressing or a more modern take on cornbread stuffing, these substitutions and variations can help transform Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe into your personal masterpiece.

Serving and Pairing

When it comes to serving Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing recipe, let me tell you – this dish is a meal on its own. It’s perfect for a soulful Southern-style Thanksgiving dinner or any time you’re craving a comforting, hearty meal that’ll warm your insides.

You can serve this delightful dish with some boiled eggs or herb stuffing, but truly, it doesn’t need much more. The cornbread dressing is so flavorful and savory on its own that it will surely become the star of the show.

As for pairing, you could keep things simple with some sweet iced tea or go for something more robust and pair it with a full-bodied red wine. It all really depends on preference, but I’d say that a nice zinfandel or malbec would do the trick nicely.

Whether you’re serving this to guests or simply making it for yourself, just be prepared for some seriously satisfied tastebuds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Ah, the beauty of a make-ahead dish! Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing is no exception. You can definitely make this recipe up to two days before serving it, and that might even enhance the flavors. Here’s how you can store and reheat the dressing like a pro:

First things first, allow the dish to cool down completely. Then cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. If you made it in a disposable baking dish, you can cover it with its lid or move it into an airtight container.

When the time comes, remove the wrapping or lid and let the dish sit on your kitchen counter for about 30 minutes. While that’s happening, preheat your oven to 350F. You want to warm up the dressing thoroughly without drying it out or overcooking it.

Once the oven is hot enough, slide the baking dish inside and wait for at least 20 minutes before checking on it. Depending on how big your batch is, you might need to warm it up for longer (up to 45 minutes). A rule of thumb is to use a toothpick or fork to puncture the center of the dish; if it comes out clean, that means the dressing is heated throughout.

If you’re opting for a no-oven approach, you can reheat small portions of Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing in a microwave-safe container. Cover it with a damp paper towel or microwave-safe lid, and turn on your microwave at medium power (around 50%). Heat up for 1 minute at a time, stirring occasionally in between cycles.

Remember not to leave the dressing outside for too long; food safety should always be your top priority. You can store leftovers in an air-sealed container in your fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze them (not recommended) for up to one month.

With these tips, there’s no room for cold, soggy dressing on your table – only warm and fluffy goodness awaits!

Tips for Perfect Results

To achieve the perfect Emaw’s cornbread dressing, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, ensure the cornbread is made with fresh ingredients and not pre-made mixes that are too sweet or self-rising. A good old-fashioned southern cornbread recipe would be ideal. This will guarantee better taste and texture.

Secondly, when making the hot chicken broth and turkey broth, it is best to use quality ingredients for richer flavor depth. Thirdly, be sure to dice the onions and celery into large pieces as this gives texture and bite to the dish.

When preparing the herb stuffing mix, freshly chopped parsley and sage work best together. These flavorful herbs will enhance the overall taste of the dish. Lastly, Emaw’s original recipe calls for boiled eggs mixed in, which adds an extra layer of goodness into the dressing.

By following these tips, you can achieve the perfect soul food cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving dinner or any other special occasion.


Now that we have covered the essential aspects of this recipe, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions or FAQs that will help you troubleshoot any issues and have a flawless cooking experience.

How do you make Paula Deen’s cornbread dressing?

Alright folks, let’s start prepping our dish! Grab a big bowl and a whisk, pour in some vegetable broth and soup, crack in some eggs and toss in some poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Give it a good mix and then stir in a medley of vegetables. Now, crumble some cornbread into the mixture and keep stirring until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture into a baking dish that’s been prepped with some non-stick spray. We want to make sure the center is cooked thoroughly, so bake it in the oven at 375°F for 45 to 55 minutes.

How do you keep cornbread dressing from being gummy?

Achieving the perfect texture in cornbread dressing can be a tricky task. To prevent a sticky consistency, it is recommended to reduce the amount of liquid used, increase baking time, or ensure thorough mixing of all ingredients.

What is the difference between cornbread stuffing and cornbread dressing?

When it comes to the difference between stuffing and dressing, the main point of distinction lies in the method of cooking. The general consensus among dictionaries is that stuffing refers to a mixture that is used to stuff another food item, usually poultry, before cooking. In contrast, dressing is usually prepared outside of the turkey cavity and cooked in a pan separately.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe is a true embodiment of southern cuisine at its finest. The delicious blend of herbs, the moist and fluffy chunks of cornbread, and the mirepoix style onion and celery will leave your taste buds yearning for more.

The recipe has been passed down through generations for a reason. It’s a staple dish that has been a part of Thanksgiving and other occasions for decades. The recipe is versatile enough to be adapted to your taste preferences, with various substitutions and variations possible.

So why not give it a try? This recipe is an excellent addition to any dinner spread and is sure to impress your guests. And if you’re ever feeling adventurous or simply want to tantalize your taste buds with some soulful food, Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe should be at the top of your list.

Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Emaw's Cornbread Dressing

Emaw’s Cornbread Dressing Recipe

This is my mother's dressing recipe, finally captured on paper, lol. We use her cornbread recipe to make this as the pre-made mixes are very sweet and affect the taste of the dressing in a really not so good way.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 52.6 kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups celery, large dice
  • 1 cup onion, large dice
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sage
  • 9 cups cornbread, crumbled
  • 8 -9 cups of super hot chicken broth or 8 -9 cups turkey broth, I use homemade
  • salt, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all the ingredients except stock.
  • Pour hot stock over everything and mix well.
  • Pour into a large casserole or roasting pan.
  • I use a 12 x 14 x 6 pan.
  • Bake for at least one hour, depending on the size pan you use, you may have to bake an additional half hour.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 227gCalories: 52.6kcalCarbohydrates: 4.1gProtein: 5.4gFat: 1.5gSaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 792.4mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 1.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beginner Cook, Breads, Easy, Inexpensive
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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