Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, we didn’t get to spend this holiday with my grandparents in South Georgia very often; but we certainly ate food passed down from my Grandma Sarah. She was an amazing lady who paid her way through college by selling biscuits. She passed down her cooking wisdom to my mother who passed it down to me and I pray I will be able to pass it down to my own daughter.
My Grandma Sarah passed away last year and there have been definate times this year that have made me think of her. The start of college football season brought a wave of memories flooding through my mind. Meeting her and my Grandpa Joe in Athens, Georgia for UGA football every Saturday was the highlight of my fall growing up. We would tailgate from early in the morning and then several hours after each home game. She always had yummy food to share and I can fondly say those were the best days of my childhood! The other time of year that reminds me of my Grandma Sarah is Thanksgiving. Her Cornbread Dressing has been a tradition in our home all my life. I’ve had other dressing (not to be confused with stuffing) recipes and there is just no recipe that compares to my Grandma’s.
I recently shared a cornbread recipe with you that I made in the Emile Henry Loaf Pan. In this cornbread dressing recipe, you will take the regular version of that cornbread, (omit jalapenos and cheese) and use it in this recipe. The recipe also calls for 3 cups of crumbled bread. I love recipes where I can make different elements ahead of time and this recipe is one of them! You can make the cornbread and the regular bread early in the week, and then Thanksgiving morning it will take hardly any time at all to throw this together.
I want to point out this recipe calls for both fresh and dried sage. This is an ingredient that my mother added to the recipe. My Grandma Sarah HATED sage but my mother loves it!! Always remember that herbs and spices called for in a recipe are subject to your liking. If you don’t care for sage, leave it out and use something else in its place like thyme or rosemary. If you REALLY like sage, you might use 2 teaspoons of the dried instead of 1, and 1/2 cup of fresh sage. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family has. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Sarah’s Cornbread Dressing
1/2 cup butter
3 cups celery, diced
2 cups onion, diced
1/4-1/2 cup fresh sage, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon dried sage (optional, to taste)
1 recipe of cornbread, crumbled (click here for the cornbread recipe)
3 cups crumbled bread (take bread slices and crumble by hand)
4-6 cups chicken broth*
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400º
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, sautè celery and onions in the butter until tender. Stir in the fresh sage and cook for about 1 minute.
Combine crumbled bread and cornbread in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Stir in celery, onions, dried sage and enough broth for desired texture. Salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
*Cook’s Note: If you prefer a crumbly, more dry dressing, use 4 cups of broth. Using 6 cups of broth will give you a moist broth that can still be easily scooped from the dish. If you want a dressing that can be pressed into the pan and then sliced and served, use more than 6 cups of broth.
This post is dedicated to the late Sarah Kennedy Minchew, my amazing Grandma! Love and miss you!