Thanksgiving Day Menu & Cornbread Dressing

Because my children always request their favorite dish for special occasions, my Thanksgiving Day menu & cornbread dressing pretty much stays the same each year – lots of meat and heavy on the starches!  Hey, it’s Thanksgiving, what can I say?  Sometimes I do a squash or broccoli casserole, a sweet potato casserole (for me), but the meats, the dressing and the dumplings get all the attention!

My Thanksgiving Day Menu

Cornbread Dressing

In the south it’s dressing, not stuffing!  No sausage for me, thank you.  No chestnuts, no raisins, just mama’s cornbread dressing (with a twist).

 I grew up not helping my mom make the dressing.  Why would I ruin such a beautiful thing?  Then the inevitable happened.  I grew all the way up!   One year we couldn’t make it home to Georgia for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  My husband and I were attending Bible College in OK about, oh, 25 years ago and with his job, us both in school and the kids in school as well, it was just out of the question.

After several episodes of hysteria, I decided to cowboy up (Oklahoma – cowboy – get it?) and make my own Thanksgiving and Christmas meals – all by my twenty-something-year-old-self.  And we decided to have about 30 of our closest friends (some from other countries) over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Am I a complete idiot???  Probably!  But I am adventurous!  So, first things first:  I called mama.

Me:  “Well, mama, you know we can’t come home this year and if you are still speaking to me, I gotta know two things.  I need to know how to make turkey and dressing and I need to know how to make chicken and dumplings (from scratch, mind you).”  (I actually was a pretty decent cook by then, as long as I did not have to make the “D” words – dumplings and dressing.)

Mom:  “Well, honey, I don’t have a recipe.  I mean, I just add this and that and . . .

Me:  “What?????? You don’t have a recipe????  What do you mean, you don’t have a recipe???”

Mom:  “You make two pans of cornbread, but you put extra eggs in it to make it richer.  I call it egg bread.  Then you crumble it up.  Add a diced onion and some diced celery – oh, about a cup full.  Then you mix it all up and salt and pepper it.  We don’t do sage.  We don’t like sage.  (Well, I do a little bit but don’t tell mama).  Then you pour in the chicken stock until it’s kind of thin.  Pour it in a greased 13″x 9″ pan and bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes or until it’s nice and crispy on top.”

We like crispy on top.  We don’t like soggy and we don’t like hard boiled eggs chopped up in our dressing.

Well, I knew I probably shouldn’t mess with a good thing, but I just had to.  I axed the chopped celery and added a can of cream of chicken soup and a can of cream of celery soup and I think it’s divine.

In my book, mama’s dressing is the best dressing in the south. But then, she’s the best cook in the south!  And I pray that I inherited a tiny bit of her talent!

Thanksgiving Menu featuring Cornbread Dressing


Mama’s Cornbread Dressing with a Twist
  • 2 round cake pans of cooked cornbread (follow the directions on the back of the self-rising white cornmeal mix but use 3 eggs instead of one. We are making egg bread! Follow those directions twice!) We are making it two times! This is for a crowd!
  • Chicken stock
  • 1 can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • One Medium Onion, diced
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. After baking the cornbread and letting it cool, break it up into crumbs in a large bowl. Add the diced onion, cream of celery and cream of chicken. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. We like lots of pepper. Then add the chicken stock until soupy. This is where you just have to "eyeball it." Pour into greased 13" x 9" baking pan. Cook at 350 until the top is crispy, about 40-45 minutes.
  2. Note: I usually mix this up the night before except for the chicken stock. I remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking, mix the broth in right before baking and bake according to the above instructions.

Helpful Hint:  Feel free to leave out the cream of celery and cream of chicken soups.  Just add 1/2 cup diced celery and more chicken broth.

Here’s more of my Thanksgiving Day Menu recipes!  Just click the title!

Cajun Turkey Rub

Autumn Apple Salad

Stuffed Potatoes

Pumpkin Roll

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day food?


About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. I am so ready for Thanksgiving and the food that surrounds it that I am DROOLING over here!!

  2. Your conversation with your mother sounds a lot like mine. Made me smile. Our Thanksgiving menu will be heavy on the starches too. Those Thanksgiving traditions and Thanksgiving day is the very best day of the year! Looking forward to it!

  3. I can say from experience that this truly is the best Thanksgiving meal. You’re an awesome cook and I can’t wait to eat all this yumminess.

  4. I might suggest that we do ham this year instead of turkey. With Baby #2 due that week, it might be easier while still saying true to the holiday traditions.

    • You are going to be busy! I suggest someone else do all the cooking and you prop your feet up and relax. 🙂 Congrats on your upcoming blessing #2!!

  5. I love Thanksgiving! It’s only time of year we get mom’s stuffing <—- which is my favorite on the menu 🙂 Your cornbread dressing sounds yummy and easy to make.

  6. Where do you live again??? 😉 Great menu!

  7. Your cornbread stuffing sounds delicious. PINNED!

    Life With Lorelai

  8. We are also having Ham! You’re post made me hungry and excited at the same time. Yum!

  9. It is amazing how some of us depend on recipes measurements to make stuff these days. My mom never measured anything!!!!!! The dressing looks tempting! What a menu you have put together, Alli! I bet you and the family need to go on a diet afterwards!!LOL!

    • My mom never measures anything, either, and it always comes out great. Some of my family doesn’t like turkey. Some don’t like ham, etc. So I just make them all happy! 🙂

  10. So the real question is… what time should I be over? Man, your Thanksgiving menu looks incredible! I love the idea of using cornbread as the stuffing, I bet that is delicious!

  11. Good gracious, that picture alone looks delicious!!! So light and fluffy! Thanks for this recipe!

  12. Cooking without recipe, Oh yes! One reason I started to blog my recipes, so my daughter would have the no recipe recipes, you get it ;). This looks vary yummy! I might just have to try it!

    • That’s one of the initial reasons I started my blog, too, so my kids would have all of our family favorites in one place – a virtual cookbook! 🙂

  13. What time are we eating? Just kidding. But your menu looks great. I would love to have some Chicken and Dumplin’s. Thanks for linking up at the Home Matters Link Party!

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