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Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

Make the best cornbread stuffing with Southern flavors from bacon, cheese and spices.

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

This Southern-Style Cornbread Stuffing with bacon, onion, celery, and plenty of herbs and species is a flavor-packed Thanksgiving side dish the whole family will love. 

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

It’s impossible to have Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing. And while there are dozens of ways to make this popular side dish, from Skillet Vegan Stuffing to Wild Rice Stuffing, my family always has a classic Southern-style stuffing on the table. It’s made with cornbread and has a savory, smoky and sweet flavor that everyone loves.

The difference between southern-style cornbread stuffing and many other recipes is one important ingredient: cheese. That’s right, this baked stuffing is topped with gooey melted cheddar cheese. Add bacon, dried herbs, paprika and onion and you have a totally flavor-packed stuffing that will disappear quickly!

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread vs. Regular Stuffing

If you usually make stuffing with white bread, I urge you to try this stepped-up version. Cornbread adds a decadent flavor and a bit of sweetness to the stuffing. It also soaks up all of the delicious flavors from eggs, broth, and spices wonderfully. 

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

Stuffing vs. Dressing

The technical difference between stuffing and dressing is just the way it’s cooked. Stuffing is cooked inside a bird, while dressing is baked in a dish on its own. However, these days the two terms are used pretty much interchangeably. 

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make the most flavorful cornbread stuffing, Southern-style:

  • Cornbread. Using day-old cornbread is best, so if you can, make it the day before and let it dry out. 
  • Bacon. You could also use candied bacon for a tasty sweet and savory addition. See the notes section below for how to make easy candied bacon. 
  • Red onion. Yellow or white will also work in a pinch. 
  • Garlic powder. You could also use a minced garlic clove. 
  • Dried herbs. I use parsley, basil, and oregano, but rosemary, thyme, and marjoram also work. 
  • Paprika. For a touch of heat. 
  • Egg. This helps your stuffing hold together and gives it a custardy texture. 
  • Chicken stock. Use low-sodium store-bought or make your own!
  • Cheddar cheese. I like mild cheddar, but sharp will also work. 

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

Tips for Success

Use these tips for Southern-Style Cornbread Stuffing perfectly the first time:

  • Let your cornbread dry out for a day. After baking it, l recommend tearing the bread into 1-inch pieces and letting them dry out on the counter for a day. Drier bread absorbs more flavor!
  • If the top is browning too quickly in the oven, cover the dish with aluminum foil. 
  • Beat the egg before you add it to the stuffing mixture so that everything gets blended well. 
  • Make gluten-free cornbread stuffing by using a gluten-free cornbread recipe or baking mix.  

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

Vegetarian Southern-Style Stuffing

I like the addition of smoky bacon in this classic stuffing recipe. But you can certainly leave the bacon out for a vegetarian Thanksgiving side dish. 

Storing Leftover Stuffing

If you have leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can reheat the stuffing in the microwave in 30-second intervals until hot. Or, if you’re making turkey soup after Thanksgiving, I like to add a scoop of cornbread stuffing on top. 

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

What to Serve with Thanksgiving Stuffing

I’ll be serving this cornbread stuffing with new and classic side dishes. If you’re looking for holiday menu inspiration, try these recipes:

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

If you make this Southern-Style Cornbread Stuffing, tag me on Instagram @orchidsandsweettea!

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

Southern-Styled Cornbread Stuffing

Southern-Styled Cornbread Thanksgiving Stuffing

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Serves: 6 servings
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Ingredients

  • 6-7 cups cubed cornbread (I used a cornbread mix; Day old cornbread is best!)
  • 6-8 cooked bacon strips, chopped (Candied bacon adds a nice touch!)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsps dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup organic chicken stock or broth
  • 1 1/2 cups Mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add cubed cornbread unto baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes or until crispy and edges are golden.
  • In bowl, whisk together the chicken stock/broth, beaten egg, and seasonings.
  • In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (oven-safe), lightly grease with butter. Add toasted cornbread into skillet (spreading out evenly), and pour mixture unto cornbread.
  • Sprinkle on the chopped bacon, celery, and onions, slowly tucking everything in between the cornbread. Sprinkle on cheese.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to hour, until cheese has melted, top is golden brown, and everything is crispy. Remove from oven once done.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  • CANDIED BACON: Place the bacon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush the tops of the bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle on some brown sugar. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes or so, flipping the bacon and brushing the opposite side with maple syrup and sprinkling the brown sugar as well. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until it is completely caramelized and crispy. 

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Southern-Style Cornbread Stuffing

Shanika

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