Southern Sage Dressing

Make Thanksgiving a breeze by making this Southern classic a week or two in advance and freezing it. Thaw in the refrigerator before returning to the oven just long enough to reheat (about 30 minutes).

Serves: 16Hands-on: 45 minutesTotal: 2 hours 5 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 16


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. salt, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, divided
  • 5 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 loaf Italian style bread, cubed
  • 8 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves, broken in half
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a 12-inch cast iron or oven-safe skillet in the oven to preheat.
  • Combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until the mixture is wet, but a few small lumps are OK.
  • Remove hot pan from oven and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Pour cornbread mix into pan and return to oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and move to a small bowl.
  • Spread Italian bread cubes on now-empty baking pan. Toast in oven for 10 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from oven and cool.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery with 1 teaspoon salt and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes. Add 1 cup broth, remaining 6 tablespoons butter, sage, thyme, parsley, and rosemary. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Crumble the cornbread into a very large mixing bowl. Add bay leaves, nutmeg, brown sugar, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add the onion mixture and remaining 2 eggs. Toss to evenly distribute everything. Fold in pecans and bread cubes and spread into a large baking dish. Pour remaining 4 cups broth evenly over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and crunchy. Serve hot.