Fresh Cornbread Dressing

1 cup 1% cultured buttermilk
3 eggs
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 pound bacon
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons rubbed sage
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet (13x18x1) or two 9×13 pans with non-stick spray; set aside. Beat together buttermilk and 2 eggs; set aside.

Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar; stir to mix. Add buttermilk/egg mixture and stir to thoroughly blend. Spread batter in prepared pan(s). Bake 10-15 minutes. Cool, cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Place in large mixing bowl (or freeze for later use).

Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan or casserole with non-stick spray and set aside.

Chop bacon into small pieces; scramble fry until crisp. Add chopped onions and celery to bacon and drippings;* cook until onions are transparent and celery is tender; partially cool (bacon maybe frozen at this stage for later use), add to cornbread (do not stir yet). Add dried cranberries; sprinkle with rubbed sage, salt and pepper to taste.

Beat together 1 egg with approximately 1/2 the chicken broth. Evenly drizzle egg and remaining chicken broth over cornbread; gently toss to mix. Gently spoon dressing into prepared baking dish. Bake dressing uncovered at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until browned.

* To reduce fat to 4.5 grams per serving, drain cooked bacon well. Measure 1-tablespoon drippings back into frying pan, add drained bacon and chopped onion and celery, add 1-3 tablespoons chicken broth; continue with recipe as directed above.

Turkey Stuffing: To use dressing as turkey stuffing, eliminate egg and reduce chicken broth by about half. Prepare dressing just before stuffing turkey. Follow directions for roasting stuffed turkey. Recipe makes approximately 8-9 cups uncooked dressing.

Prepare Ahead Tips:
Prepare cornbread cubes and freeze; fry bacon, onions and celery and freeze. Allow cornbread to thaw at room temperature. Thaw bacon onion celery in microwave. Continue with recipe as directed above.

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