Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Heirloom Eats

heir·loom (noun): a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations

From furniture and faith to collectibles and character traits, there are a lot of things that get passed down over the course of a family’s history, and recipes are no exception. But a recipe nurtured by generations of love and care is so much more than the food it creates. It’s also a reminder of the laughter and light that can happen when a family comes together. 

Photography by Rich Smith

Cornbread Dressing

Shelia Keasler with family | Ooltewah

 

Keasler Family with their cornbread dressing and photos of their family members

(L to R): Sarah Keasler, Emerson Teal, Allie Keasler Teal, Betty Buckley, Shelia Keasler, and Taylor Keasler Reed

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plate of cornbread dressing shot from above

 

“Many of my fondest childhood memories are the times I spent with my grandparents. My grandmother, Christine Buckley, was a wonderful cook, always preparing food for her family, friends, and church, and she would often let me help in the preparation. She loved nothing more than having us all around her dinner table, sharing laughs and stories as we did each Sunday for over 35 years. Granny Buckley passed down many treasured traditions, especially her love of cooking during the holiday season. Preparing this cornbread dressing that she made each Thanksgiving and Christmas allows our family to reflect on the values of love and togetherness that she instilled. I feel very fortunate to have had her influence in both mine and my children’s lives. Sharing her recipe and enjoying the dressing is our way to spread her love.” – Shelia Keasler

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Keasler family serving their cornbread dressing recipe

 

Yields: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-inch) skillets of cornbread
  • 9 biscuits
  • 1½ sticks butter, divided
  • 5 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp. dried, rubbed sage
  • 1-1½ Tbsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. bacon drippings or vegetable oil, divided

Directions

Take prepared cornbread and biscuits and finely crumble by hand into an oversized mixing bowl and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter on medium heat. Add chicken broth to the melted butter and keep warm. In a separate pan, sauté onion and celery in remaining ½ stick of butter on medium heat and cook until tender. Pour beaten eggs over the cornbread mixture and stir until well combined. Pour warm butter and broth combo (reserving 2 cups to adjust consistency later) over cornbread mixture and stir with spoon until moist throughout. Add sautéed onion and celery, sage, salt, and pepper. After all ingredients are added, use the reserved chicken broth to adjust the consistency, which should be similar to oatmeal. Once desired consistency is attained, cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375° and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Prepare three cast-iron skillets by adding 2 Tbsp. of bacon drippings or vegetable oil to each one and heating in the oven. Pour dressing into warm skillets and bake for 45 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Run under the broiler for several minutes or until the top is browned. 

Note: Dressing mixture should be prepared the day prior to cooking and refrigerated. Cornbread and biscuits may also be baked 1-2 days prior to mixing and kept in a cool, airtight location. Unused mixture may be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen.

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plate of cornbread dressing from the Keasler family's recipe

Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Shelia Keasler
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 (10-inch) skillets of cornbread
  • 9 biscuits
  • 1 ½ sticks butter, divided
  • 5 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 6 stalks celary, finely chopped
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp. dried, rubbed sage
  • 1-1 ½ Tbsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. bacon drippings, divided (or vegetable oil)

Instructions
 

  • Take prepared cornbread and biscuits and finely crumble by hand into an oversized mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter on medium heat.
  • Add chicken broth to the melted butter and keep warm.
  • In a separate pan, sauté onion and celery in remaining ½ stick of butter on medium heat and cook until tender.
  • Pour beaten eggs over the cornbread mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Pour warm butter and broth combo (reserving 2 cups to adjust consistency later) over cornbread mixture and stir with spoon until moist throughout.
  • Add sautéed onion and celery, sage, salt, and pepper.
  • After all ingredients are added, use the reserved chicken broth to adjust the consistency, which should be similar to oatmeal. Once desired consistency is attained, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375° and allow mixture to come to room temperature.
  • Prepare three cast-iron skillets by adding 2 Tbsp. of bacon drippings or vegetable oil to each one and heating in the oven.
  • Pour dressing into warm skillets and bake for 45 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Run under the broiler for several minutes or until the top is browned. 

Notes

Note: Dressing mixture should be prepared the day prior to cooking and refrigerated. Cornbread and biscuits may also be baked 1-2 days prior to mixing and kept in a cool, airtight location. Unused mixture may be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen.
Keyword Cornbread, Dressing, Thanksgiving
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