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Try our easy small batch cornbread dressing recipe, ideal for small gatherings. This dish blends the rich flavors of cornbread, broth, and a mix of vegetables and seasonings, creating a comforting and satisfying side dish perfect for one or two. It’s a simple, versatile, and traditional favorite that adds a unique touch to any meal.

Want more small batch Thanksgiving recipes? Don’t miss our Cranberry Sauce, Carrot Soufflé, Mashed Potatoes, or Pumpkin Pie Bars!

If you’re organizing a Thanksgiving meal for two, adding this Cornbread Dressing would be a great choice – and don’t let those Thanksgiving leftovers go to waste, our Thanksgiving Sliders are the perfect way to enjoy them again!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Effortless: A simple recipe that is beginner-friendly and quick to prepare.
  • Versatile: You can easily adjust the recipe to suit your preferences.
  • Traditional Yet Unique: Enjoy the classic taste with a personal touch.
  • Perfect for Small Gatherings: Scaled down to serve one or two, but can be doubled if needed.

Watch How To Make This Recipe

What Is Cornbread Dressing?

Cornbread dressing (cornbread stuffing) has its roots in Southern American cuisine. It is a savory blend of cornbread, vegetables, and herbs baked to perfection. It’s often served as a side dish, mainly during Thanksgiving, adding a comforting touch to any meal.

Ingredients

ingredients in cornbread dressing; cornbread, a slice of bread, cream, broth, and egg and seasonings on a wooden cutting board.
  • Cornbread: A top-notch cornbread is key to this dressing, and we have the ideal recipe for you! Our mini cornbread is just the right size, and you can bake it in a 6.5-inch cast iron skillet, a 5×5-inch baking dish, or a 4×6-inch baking dish. I recommend that you make the cornbread a day or two earlier, as slightly stale bread creates the best texture.

Pro Tip: Cornbread should be made a day or two in advance because “stale” bread is best for dressing. If you use fresh-baked cornbread, you will wind up with soggy dressing. To dry bread overnight, crumble the cooled cornbread into small pieces and put them in a large plastic bag. Don’t seal the bag or you will trap moisture in the bag and the bread will not dry out.

See the Frequently Asked Questions section below to learn how to dry out cornbread quickly in the oven.

  • Butter: Salted butter works well here; use two tablespoons for sautéing vegetables and another tablespoon to dot over the top before baking. If you opt for unsalted butter, consider adding an extra 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  • Vegetables: The combination of chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic infuses this dish with flavor. Skipping them is not advised as they bring a rich complexity to the dressing.
  • Seasonings: Salt, dried sage, and Italian seasoning. The main herbs found in Italian seasoning are basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, use one or two of these herbs instead.
  • Bread: In addition to cornbread, you will need to use bread. I use one slice of bread or a large biscuit, if I’ve made a biscuits the day before. A big tip for getting as much flavor in your dressing as possible is to use stale bread which will soak up more of the broth and add tons of flavor to the dressing. If the bread is not stale or dry, toast it before using.
  • Egg: We use one large egg in this dressing recipe. The egg acts as a binder and will help keep the dressing moist.
  • Chicken broth: I like using low-sodium chicken broth in my dressing recipes. Broth is used to moisten and add flavor to the cornbread dressing. You can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian dressing instead.
  • Heavy cream: This ingredient adds richness and flavor. You can substitute with half & half instead.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

Cooking is a creative process, and this cornbread dressing recipe encourages experimentation. Try these variations to create a dish that resonates with your style:

  • Add Nuts: Pecans or walnuts provide a delightful crunch. Toast them lightly for an enhanced flavor.
  • Include Fruits like Apples or Cranberries: Incorporating chopped apples or dried cranberries adds sweetness and complexity to the savory dressing.
  • Experiment with Herbs: Incorporate fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme for a more robust herbal flavor that enhances the classic dressing taste.
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How To Make Cornbread Dressing

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a small batch of cornbread dressing. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. Then, add the garlic, salt, sage, and Italian seasoning to the onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently for 30 seconds.
  2. In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread and stale or toasted bread and set the bowl aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, chicken broth, and cream. Stir in the onion mixture.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the cornbread and stir. The mixture should be very moist. Add more broth if necessary.
four photos showing how to make cornbread dressing: sauteed vegetables in a skillet, mixing the wet ingredients, and pouring the wet ingredients into the cornbread in a large bowl.
  1. Transfer to a buttered 5×7-inch baking dish. Cut 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and scatter the butter over the top of the dressing.
uncooked cornbread dressing in a rectangular baking dish dotted with butter.
  1. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden.
baked cornbread dressing in a small blue baking dish.

Expert Tips

  • Prepare Cornbread Early: It’s best to make the cornbread a day or two in advance to let it dry naturally, or use the oven to speed up the process. For convenience, you can freeze cornbread for up to 3 months, ensuring you have the perfect base ready for your dressing recipe.
  • Make Ahead: Assemble this small batch dressing ahead of time and refrigerate. Be sure to remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature. This step helps the dressing cook faster and more evenly in the oven.
  • Scale Up Easily: Need to feed a larger crowd? Simply double the ingredients! You can use either two 5×7-inch baking dishes or one larger 8×8-inch square dish or a 9-inch round dish to suit your needs.

Serving Suggestions

Looking to complement your small batch cornbread dressing? Create a memorable Thanksgiving meal by pairing it with these single serving, traditional holiday side dishes and more:

These serving suggestions ensure that your cornbread dressing takes center stage, surrounded by a host of beloved holiday classics. Whether you’re cooking for one or two, these dishes will make your festive meal feel complete and satisfying.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal baking dish size for a small batch southern cornbread dressing?

For small batch cornbread dressing, a 5×7-inch baking dish (35 square inches base area) is perfect, as showcased in our recipe photos. Alternatively, you can opt for a 6×6-inch dish (36 square inches base area) or a 7-inch round dish (39 square inches base area) for similar results. If you prefer individual servings, dividing the dressing into several ramekins and baking as per the recipe works great too.

How can I oven-dry cornbread effectively for this dressing recipe?

Oven-drying cornbread is an easy and effective way to prepare it for recipes like dressings or stuffings. To achieve the perfect dryness, follow these steps:
Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to a low temperature of 250 degrees F (121 degrees C) for a gentle drying process.
Cube the Cornbread: Cut the cornbread into even-sized cubes to ensure uniform drying.
Baking: Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes.
Perfectly Dried Cornbread: This method gently dries the cornbread, making it ideal for absorbing other ingredients in your recipe.
By following these steps, you ensure that the cornbread is dried to the right level, enhancing the overall flavor and texture of your dressing.

Can I freeze cornbread dressing?

Yes, it freezes well for up to 3 months.

Can I make cornbread dressing ahead of time?

Absolutely, prepare it a day ahead and bake when needed.

What is the difference between dressing and stuffing?

Although ‘dressing’ and ‘stuffing’ are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two. Dressing refers to a bread-based casserole baked separately from the turkey, often enjoyed as a standalone dish. On the other hand, stuffing is specifically prepared and cooked inside the turkey.

cornbread dressing in a rectangular baking dish on a silver tray.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this small batch cornbread dressing or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


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Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Cornbread Dressing

5 from 8 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
This small batch cornbread dressing is a traditional Southern staple for the holidays. It's buttery and moist, perfectly seasoned, and incredibly delicious!

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 full recipe Mini Cornbread * See notes below
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter , divided – plus more for greasing the baking dish
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 slice white or wheat sandwich bread , cut into cubes (It's best to use stale or toasted bread)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
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Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350°F (177°C)
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic, salt, sage, and Italian seasoning to the onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently for 30 seconds. Remove pan from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread and bread. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, chicken broth, and cream. Stir in the onion mixture.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the cornbread and stir. The mixture should be very moist.
  • Transfer to a buttered 5×7-inch baking dish. Cut 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and scatter the butter over the top of the dressing.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
  • Enjoy warm.

Notes

Click here for the Mini Cornbread Recipe
We use a 5×7-inch baking dish that has a base area of 35 square inches.
You can also use a 6×6-inch dish with a base area of 36 square inches or a 7-inch round dish with a base area of 39 square inches.
Another option would be to divide the dressing between a few ramekins and bake as directed.
Expert Tips
    • Prepare Cornbread Early: It’s best to make the cornbread a day or two in advance to let it dry naturally, or use the oven to speed up the process. For convenience, you can freeze cornbread for up to 3 months, ensuring you have the perfect base ready for your dressing recipe.
    • Make Ahead: Assemble this small batch dressing ahead of time and refrigerate. Be sure to remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature. This step helps the dressing cook faster and more evenly in the oven.
    • Scale Up Easily: Need to feed a larger crowd? Simply double the ingredients! You can use either two 5×7-inch baking dishes or one larger 8×8-inch square dish or a 9-inch round dish to suit your needs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 259kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 368mg, Potassium: 162mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1914IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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6 Comments

  1. Carol says:

    About how much cornbread does this need? I have some leftovers and wonder how to use them in this recipe. Thanks.

  2. Phyllis W Bowman says:

    Can cooked dressing be frozen?

    1. Phyllis W Bowman says:

      Great recipe. Just wanting to know if it can be frozen after cooking.

      1. Joanie Zisk says:

        Thank you! Yes, it freezes beautifully. Just wrap the cornbread dressing tightly in plastic wrap and store it in a zip-top bag or airtight container. It will last in the freezer for 4 months.

    2. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes. Store the baked cornbread dressing in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat the stuffing in the microwave or in the oven.