Recipe: (Un)Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing

Dear Offspring,

Marriage is not always peaceful, but it is always possible to make peace if you are intentional about it. 

Made with Southern skillet cornbread and Italian ciabatta, this is an imperfect marriage perfected by butter and poultry seasoning – and grace. 

For example,  I love Jiffy, but I make Southern cornbread because Dad thinks sweet cornbread is an abomination. Grace. Dad is a purist who finds the idea of white bread in dressing scandalous, but he puts up with it because I like it. Grace. 

My friend, Katie, adds milk to her dressing too. She is a really good cook, so I often do as she says to resounding results, like so. 

(Un)Traditional Cornbread Dressing

1 recipe traditional Southern skillet cornbread, cut into one inch cubes

1 small loaf ciabatta, cut into half  inch cubes


1 stick butter

1/2 onion, diced finely

2-3 stalks celery, diced finely

2 tbsp poultry seasoning

Salt & Pepper

2/3 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup milk


A. Dry the cubed breads, either by spreading the cubes out on a baking tray and leaving them out for a few days, or drying them out in the oven (200F for 30 minutes). The breads need to be dry dry dry. Transfer into a large bowl. 

B. Preheat the oven at 350F. 

In a large skillet, melt the butter. When it stops foaming, add the diced onion and celery. Cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in the poultry seasoning and about 1 tsp each of salt & pepper to taste. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn of the heat and add the milk. 

Slowly drizzle the broth base (B) over the dried bread cubes (A), mixing well. The cornbread will crumble slightly – that’s okay. Continue adding the broth base until your desired texture is achieved. We like it on the drier side but you might like it mushy. Add more chicken stock if necessary. 

Transfer the dressing to an oven-proof casserole. Bake for 30 minutes. 


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