Cornbread Dressing with Celery and Fresh Sage

While many seem to enjoy a yeast bread-based "stuffing" alongside their turkeys each November, my family always has cornbread "dressing" to eat with our bird. Each family and every individual cook has their own way that they like to prepare dressing, often following intuition rather than an exact recipe. But after years of my childhood spent helping my mother prepare it before venturing out on my own, this is the version that I'm happy to share with you.

Cornbread Dressing
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
6 to 8


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

  • Buttermilk Cornbread, day-old, crumbled into large pieces (10 cups)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups unsalted chicken stock, as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium until sizzling. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, salt, and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is softened and onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sage; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large heatproof bowl.

  2. Add crumbled cornbread to vegetable mixture in bowl, and gently toss until well combined. Gradually add stock, 1/2 cup at a time and gently tossing as you go, until thoroughly moistened but not saturated. The cornbread should absorb the stock without leaving a puddle of liquid in bottom of bowl. Season, if needed, with more pepper.

  3. Spoon cornbread mixture into a 11- x 7-inch baking dish; gently press mixture to create an even layer. Bake until just set, about 40 minutes. Let cool until completely set, about 20 minutes.

Make Ahead

Dressing may be assembled up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill until ready to bake.

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