How to Make Sweet Cornbread & Sage Dressing for an Unforgettable Holiday Meal (Part 1 of 3)

Thanks to all of the attention my “Thanksgiving Memories” blog post has gotten with the 5 Ingredient Fix, Best Dressing Ever on Pinterest, I decided to write about our family favorite Sweet Cornbread and Sage Dressing! You can read about the recipe and also watch a how-to video so you can see how simple and fun that it is to make! For a complete meal, check out parts 2 and 3 of this Unforgettable Holiday Meal with my Simple, Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy and Stir-Fried Garlic Green Beans.

Jump to Recipe

Thanksgiving and Christmas are times to bring out the classic family recipes but my family eats this dressing any time of the year! The original recipe came from Claire Robinson on Food Network’s Five Ingredient Fix. 

I’ve tweaked her recipe and also made my own video for preparing this simple and delicious side dish. I use yellow onion and less of it, chicken stock instead of water and I’ve included the sweet cornbread recipe that I use for one of the five ingredients.

Mix ingredients in one bowl, pour in pan and bake!

Claire uses store bought cornbread, but that can make your final dressing flavor unpredictable and possibly more dry. My cornbread recipe has equal parts flour to cornmeal so the dressing turns out more moist and not grainy.

Fry sage leaves until crispy, then drain on crumbled cornbread.

Alternatives & Suggestions for the recipe:

  • I’ve doubled the recipe so that it can feed 16, but feel free to cut the recipe in half and bake it in an 8×8 dish.
  • If you don’t have fresh sage leaves, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of dried sage. Just make sure that after you add the dried sage to your melted butter, you simmer the butter until it turns golden brown.
  • My family likes the dressing’s sweet taste that is balanced with the savory brown butter sage, but if you want to reduce the sugar in the cornbread to 1 cup, it would still be delicious!
  • If you’re short on time, use pre-made cornbread from your grocery deli. Just beware that it might make your dressing too dry and more grainy.
Blessing by Design sells digital planners!

I keep all of my recipes and menu plans organized with digital planners that my daughter Rinne and I design and sell on our store. To help you plan recipes and meals, we have life planners or menu & recipe planners. Please go check out our collection! New 2021 digital planners are arriving in November!

Roasted Turkey Breast w/gravy, stir fry garlic green beans & sweet cornbread & sage dressing

Check out…

…parts 2 and 3 for an Unforgettable Holiday Meal! I posted about the roasted turkey breast with gravy and stir fry garlic green beans that I like to serve with this sweet cornbread & sage dressing.

Be blessed,
Momma

p.s. If you need detailed, step by step instructions for brining and roasting a Turkey. Check out this post

Sweet Cornbread & Sage Dressing

This savory and slightly sweet cornbread dressing is a delicious blend of browned butter, sauteed onions and fried sage. A delicious side for a holiday meal or any time of the year!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cornbread, dressing, easy, holiday
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 16
Author Abigail Aars

Ingredients

Sweet Cornbread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1⅓ cups sugar (can reduce to 1 cup)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • cup vegetable oil

Dressing

  • 16 tbsp butter divided into 4 T, 12 T
  • 1 large yellow onion diced (yield 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 lb sweet cornbread (see recipe) broken into pieces (about 12 cups)
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 24 fresh sage leaves (⅔ ounces)(can sub 1 T. dried sage)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

Sweet Cornbread instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Grease 2, 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray.

  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.

  4. Stir in the beaten eggs, milk, and oil until well combined.

  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 22 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  7. While the cornbread cools, start the dressing.

Dressing instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. In a large skillet on medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onions. Cook until light golden brown, stirring every couple of minutes, for about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove onions from skillet into a small bowl and set aside.

  3. Keep skillet on medium heat and add 1 cup chicken stock, scrape any browned bits of onion from the skillet and simmer the stock for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  4. Get a very large bowl and break up your cornbread by hand into bite size pieces.

  5. Melt 12 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium – medium high heat. If necessary, be sure to trim the sage leaves from larger stems while butter is melting. Let the butter bubble until the solids are just turning golden.

  6. Add the sage leaves to the melted butter to fry them until just beginning to crisp. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon and place on top of the crumbled cornbread to drain. (If substituting 1 T. dried sage for fresh leaves, add to melted butter and let butter simmer until lightly browned) Remove pan from heat and set aside.

  7. In the very large bowl of crumbled cornbread and sage leaves, add the beaten eggs and cooked onions. Pour the browned butter over the mixture. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir with large spoon to combine.

  8. Now pour the stock from the skillet over the mixture and stir to combine. The mixture should be quite moist, but not soggy. If it appears too dry, you can add a splash of stock, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture 'holds its shape' when pressed with a spoon.

  9. Spoon the mixture into the lightly greased, 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes until light golden brown.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Alternatives & Suggestions for the recipe:

  • I’ve doubled the recipe so that it can feed 16, but feel free to cut the recipe in half and bake it in an 8 x 8 dish.
  • If you don’t have fresh sage leaves, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of dried sage. Just make sure that after you add the dried sage to your melted butter, you simmer the butter until it turns golden brown.
  • My family likes the dressing’s sweet taste that is balanced with the savory brown butter sage, but if you want to reduce the sugar in the cornbread to 1 cup, it would still be delicious!
  • If you’re short on time, use pre-made cornbread from your grocery deli. Just beware that it might make your dressing too dry and more grainy, and you may need more stock to make it moist.

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