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 corn meal
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 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
  • 1 Tbsp. salt, divided
  • 5 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves, broken in half
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  • To make cornbread, preheat oven to 450ºF. Place a 12" cast iron or oven-safe skillet in the oven to preheat.
  • Combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, 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 375ºF. 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 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 salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add the onion mixture and eggs. Toss to evenly distribute everything. Fold in pecans and bread cubes and spread into a large baking dish. Pour remaining poultry broth evenly over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and crunchy. Serve hot.