Welcome to our Virtual Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner Party!
We’ve got you covered from appetizers to desserts! If you’re coming over from Midwest Life and Style’s delicious green bean recipe, welcome! This is my grandma’s super-secret, never before written down, never published southern style cornbread stuffing recipe. It’s called stuffin’ according to my grandma, never dressing, and it must be cornbread! My grandma is from Arkansas, and her southern roots run deep. She’s a feisty, strong-willed little thing who grew up without indoor plumbing or electricity, (which meant going to the bathroom in a splintery old outhouse!) and having to haul water for her family from the creek a mile away. The kind of grandma who says things like “Bless her little heart.” “If the good Lord is willing and the creek don’t rise.” “It’s hotter than a firecracker!”
My grandma’s Super Secret Southern Style Cornbread
Pinterest has got nothing on this lady, she knew all the tricks! Apple cider vinegar and witch hazel cured everything, and she knew how to make a concoction for every household problem one might ever have. And she could cook! The old-fashioned way with lots of Crisco and fried greasy goodness. Sadly, she is in a nursing home now, but she made me so much of who I am! I think I am the only one who makes her Thanksgiving dinner, and her fudge too!
I come from a long line of dumpers, we seldom follow a recipe in my family. We just have family favorites that we know how to make. My grandma’s southern style cornbread stuffing is no different! My first year of marriage, my husband and I moved to Alaska. This was the first time I had ever not gone to my grandma’s for Thanksgiving, and also the first time that I attempted to make Thanksgiving dinner on the own. Except I had no idea how to do any of it.
I called my grandma and she talked me through her methods, and after a very expensive long-distance phone call later, I had it down! But since we’re dumpers, I still didn’t have a recipe. 28 Thanksgiving dinners later, this is the first time I’ve measured out the ingredients and written it down! It’s also the first time I’ve made the stuffing without using a turkey. So here we go! You can make it two ways-as a regular side dish without preparing a turkey (great if you have to bring a side dish to Thanksgiving dinner or Friendsgiving) and the traditional way using a turkey.
A few notes: You must, must use McCormick’s rubbed sage to get the exact flavor. It has shot up in price, so I bought a different brand, and the flavor and consistency is not the same. Also-Alber’s Yellow Corn meal is a non-negotiable!
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup Alber’s Yellow Corn Meal
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups milk (can substitute almond or soy)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-5 Tbsp. rubbed sage, depending on taste
1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
If making without a turkey, 1 cup plus 1/4 cup of chicken broth
Prepare cornbread according to the Sweet Corn Muffin recipe on the side of the box, except add an additional Tbsp. sugar. Double the recipe if using to stuff a turkey and you want leftovers. If doubling, pour into a 16 x 20 or 2.8 L casserole dish. The cornbread can be prepared a day ahead.
Chop the celery and onion coarsely. This can also be done a day ahead.
If preparing as a side dish without a turkey:
Saute the onions and celery in the 1/4 cup chicken broth until tender. If the celery and onions absorbs all the broth before it’s cooked all the way, add a little more broth.
Crumble the cornbread into a large mixing bowl. If there are any hard or crusty edges, discard them.
Season the cornbread crumbs to taste. Sage can be very strong, and not everyone likes the flavor, so go tablespoon at a time. My grandma used at least a whole container of sage, and her stuffing would be green in color. I use about 5 Tbsp. of sage. She also used a heavy amount of black pepper, you can add pepper if desired. Season with sea salt to taste as well, and you can add in poultry seasoning if you’d like.
Next, add in the sauteed onions and celery.
Add in a cup of chicken broth and combine well. The cornbread mixture should cake to the spoon. If it does not, add a little more broth until the mixture is well moistened and cakes to the spoon.
Transfer mixture into a baking dish, and pack it down like you would brown sugar.
Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until heated thoroughly. Remove foil for the last 5 minutes to brown.
How To Prepare Southern Style Cornbread Stuffing with a Turkey
Remove neck and gizzards from turkey and add to a sauce pan with 2 cups salted water. Bring to a boil, and cook until neck is cooked and starts to separate from bone.
Add chopped celery and onion to a pan and sautee with a 1/4 cup of the broth from the sauce pan. Cook until tender. If the liquid absorbs before the onion and celery are tender, add more broth.
Follow the steps above to crumble and season the cornbread.
Pour sauteed onion and celery into the seasoned cornbread crumbs and combine. Add 1 cup of broth from the sauce pan to mixture. The cornbread mixture should cake onto spoon. Add more broth if needed until mixture is very moist and cakes well together. You can chop the gizzards and add them to the stuffing mixture if you’d like.
Stuff the turkey with the stuffing mixture, and cook according to the stuffed turkey guidelines. Transfer any remaining mixture into casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until heated thoroughly and is 165 degrees. Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes to brown.
After the turkey is cooked, remove the stuffing and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the stuffing is at 165 degrees, per the FDA guidelines for stuffing from inside a turkey.
I’m not sure if my grandma would be proud that we’ll all be making her southern style cornbread stuffing, or mad! We just won’t tell her!
Continue the Thanksgiving Supper Club Tour!
Next, head over to Stacy’s Apple Crisp Easy Recipe!
Still need more Thanksgiving recipes? Here are 10 easy Thanksgiving recipes that can be made in the crockpot, and even Instapot!