Smoky, tender bacon cornbread dressing for your Thanksgiving table

Southern Kitchen
Bacon cornbread dressing

About the recipe

When making a cornbread dressing, it’s important to remember that the crumbly cornbread will absorb a significant amount of liquid, so don’t worry if the initial mixture appears loose. While not mandatory, your dressing will benefit by letting it rest overnight in the refrigerator before baking, as it gives the cornbread more time to absorb the liquid. Store-bought chicken broth is fine to use, but homemade chicken stock — or even turkey stock — is always preferred.

You can either buy pre-made cornbread or make your own. If you do decide to use store-bought cornbread, purchase a cornbread with as little added sugar as possible.

Serves: 12

Hands On Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound applewood-smoked bacon, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups crumbled cornbread (see note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups chicken or turkey stock, plus more if needed (see note)

6 large eggs

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread the bacon across the bottom of a large cast iron skillet, place over medium-low heat, and slowly cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until it has crisped and the fat has rendered out, 8 to 10 minutes. 

Increase the heat to medium, add the onion and celery, and cook until the vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in the crumbled cornbread and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the chicken stock and parsley. Fold into the cornbread mixture in the skillet until evenly combined. Bake until the dressing is set and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.