RECIPE WEDNESDAY: Old Fashioned Alabama Dressing for your Thanksgiving meal

Do you want to make dressing like your Alabama grandmother for Thanksgiving? Then start with Alabama corn meal from the J. T. Pollard cornmeal in Hartford, Alabama and purchase a cast-iron skillet.  Now you are ready for the recipe below.


Thanksgiving cornbread dressing (the

Old Fashioned Alabama Dressing

  • 2 cups of J. T. Pollard cornmeal
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 cups plus chicken broth (can be canned or from boiled chicken)

Sift cornmeal. Add eggs and chicken broth until slightly soupy. Bake in well greased cast iron skillet in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. This can be prepared early in the morning.

  • 3 stems celery, chopped
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 tube saltine crackers (minus 7 crackers)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth

In large container break up cooked egg bread. Add saltine crackers and combine using a regular potato masher. When mashed to a smooth consistency, add celery, onions, salt and pepper. (Note: Most Alabama cooks add sage and/or poultry seasoning and some do not add the crackers.)

Add chicken broth until a soupy consistency. If dressing is dry going into the oven, it will be dry when it comes out. Pour mixture into well greased 9 x 13-inch oblong dish and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Dressing is ready to serve.


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  1. Stevie Moreno

    Sarah Hanson Lauran Moreno Ciera Moreno Womack May be worth a try!!! I loved the way it is worded!!! LOL

  2. Selaina Porter

    I have wonderful memories of Hartford and my grandmama’s dressing!

  3. Dianna Rogers

    I use lots of eggs in my dressing.

  4. Priscilla Martin

    This Alabama family always has a generous amount of rubbed sage in the dressing. It is not dressing to us without the sage. Also, I have the onion and celery cut up and in the bottom of a large bowl. When the cornbread is fresh out of the oven, I turn it onto the onions and celery and cover the bowl. This steams the onion and celery a bit before cooking. Another thing, for us, breaking up the cornbread is, quite literally, a hands on process. Otherwise this is our recipe also.

    1. Kathryn Abrams

      i was thinking the same thing! where’s the sage??? ☺️

    2. Jennifer Jones Earnest

      Agreed. My Mama also puts a little poultry seasoning in hers, also.

    3. Cecelia Deavours Campbell

      You are so right they left out some key ingredients to be from Alabama or southern period. Lol

    4. Kris LaDawn Turley

      Cream of chicken soup also gives it a nice flavor

    5. Kris LaDawn Turley

      Mother’s dressing……1>Buttermilk cornbread 2.Turkey or chicken broth 3. Sgae 4. Poultry seasoning 5. eggs 6. cream of chicken soup 7. Chopped onion *optional* 8. salt & Pepper to taste..Just remb not to go overboard of the Sage 🙂

    6. Priscilla Martin

      Kris LaDawn Turley I did not think it possible to have too much sage until one year I did put too much sage in my dressing. It was bitter. Yuck! All that work down the drain, or more precisely, out the door.
      There are as many variations on Southern cornbread dressing as there are families. The main thing is that families get together.

    7. Marlon Long

      This is not meant to be ugly, but sage taste like something a pig would eat???

    8. Janet Morgan Smith

      Marlon Long you’re right! No sage here!!!

    9. Gene Marvie Giles

      Marlon Long my family hates sage sorry..

    10. Gene Marvie Giles

      Marlon Long my family hates sage sorry..

    11. Frances S. Hughes

      My family does not like sage either. I use poultry seasoning, and sometimes just a dash of sage.

  5. Jayne Pleasants

    J.T. Pollard is the best. That’s what mama always used!

  6. Melinda Nichols

    More eggs ,add sage,and cook the onion and celery in the cornbread to begin with. That way they are sure to be good and done.

  7. Jan Clark

    It’s just not dressing without sage

  8. Frances S. Hughes

    I am 66 now, nd can truthfully say I have never heard of putting crackers in dressing! I guess I have led a sheltered life:)

    1. Susan Mashburn Connelly

      I’m 65, and I’m from Alabama, and have never heard of putting crackers in the dressing either. I use two slices of toast instead.

    2. Michael D. Evans

      Well, I’m 46 and learned to make dressing from my mother who learned from my grandmother. I’ve been making it since I was 15. Never heard of either crackers or toast. And although rubbed sage is the secret ingredient, too much tastes terrible.

    3. Kay Fulmer

      Me either and I am 71 and grew up in AL

    4. Amanda Ward

      That was one of those moments in time where they didn’t have enough meal so they added crackers and it was good and a new recipe was Born…..

    5. Michael D. Evans

      Amanda Ward , good explanation.

  9. Lisa Garner

    To use left overs, make into small balls while cold then deep fry, serve with gravy…we call them turkey balls, so yummy!!

    1. Frances S. Hughes

      Lisa, that sounds incredible! If I ever have any dressing left over, I am going to try that!

    2. Sandra Statham Klee

      That sounds great! We love dressing but after the first round of leftovers….trash.

    3. Lisa Garner

      They really are good and ypu can dice up turkey and put it them…it’s like kicked up hushpuppies.

    4. Jackie Harrison

      Love your idea!! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    5. Michelle Cox-Unterseher

      that sounds divine….I am so going to have to try that!!!!

  10. Tere Vermillion Sizemore

    It’s missing the sage!!!! And I’ve never used crackers.

  11. Cindy Pratt

    I never have liked dressing with a lot of sage. I prefer just a small amount of poultry seasoning, which has some sage in it.

    1. Cindy Pratt

      I also like to saute my onion and celery before I add it to the crumbled cornbread, bread and crackers.

  12. Deborah Hastings

    “old fashioned Alabama” dressing? Crackers? Where’s the sage? Sage makes it SOUTHERN. Toasted bread/left over biscuits instead of crackers!

    1. Kay Fulmer

      Nope, nothing but cornbread in it and lots and lots of SAGE!!!

  13. Cecelia Deavours Campbell

    Sorry but no this isn’t the way to make old fashioned Dressing. You forgot the sage!

  14. Dixie Brooks Reynolds

    I always make Alabama dressing….Love it..

  15. I only use a small amount of sage if any, and no crackers. I bake my cornbread without broth or chicken. That is broken up, and added to the stockpot with the chicken broth, onions, and finely diced celery heart (my family does not like large chunks of celery). I stir in some eggs, the cooked chicken, salt if needed, fresh cracked black pepper, and maybe some butter. Anything else I add is secret. Always taste it before pouring into baking pan. My mother always enjoyed that spoonful more than the baked dressing.

  16. Myra Yates Crowson

    I like my mama’s. Half cornbread half biscuits. And sage!!!

  17. Debra Weeks Whittle

    Safe lots of it, onions, celery, chicken, no crackers!

  18. Juanita Black Rickard

    I use cornbread only with onions and celery cooked in the bread. Then after crumbling the cornbread in a large bowl add sage and broth then stir and keep repeating until It taste just the way it should be. Not enough sage is not good and too much sage will ruin it. Add a little sage and broth at a time, taste, then repeat until it taste like it should. I never add more eggs than what I use in the cornbread. Never add biscuits, toast or crackers. Cornbread only with the chopped onions and celery cooked in the bread.

    1. Charlene Etheredge

      Juanita, I, too. Cook the onions and celery in with the cornbread. Works perfectly… And no more eggs..

  19. Susan Mashburn Connelly

    For those of you who are saying that it must have sage or poultry season, go back and look at the recipe and instructions again. It IS mentioned.

  20. Sheri Munro Pennington

    No way would I ever serve that with my Thanksgiving meal . I can hear grandmothers , aunt and my mother in law rolling over in the graves .

  21. Tim Wolf

    My mother would put it inside the turkey and then cook the Turkey in the oven. Best dressing I ever ate.

  22. Michael D. Evans

    I sometimes make dressing with pulled chicken or turkey cooked in as an entree for dinner with a contingent of southern veggies to complement.

  23. Kay Fulmer

    Regular cornbread, made without eggs. Baked, crumbled up when cool, then add 5-6 eggs, salt, pepper, SAGE, chicken/turkey broth, (chopped onion if you like onion). Bake until inserted knife comes out clean.

  24. Jean Brooks

    Everybody makes their dressing the way their Mama made it. There is no right or wrong way, it’s whatever your family likes.

  25. Julia Hornsby

    I’m 73 years old and have never put sage in my dressing! Always boil onion & celery before adding to dressing!

  26. Marilynn Sides

    My Granny Vaughn’s legendary 2 dozen egg dressing. I’m craving it already

  27. Rhonda Bush

    My 90 year old aunt and I were discussing cooking when she was a child recently. She said the only spices she remembered her mother and grandmothers using were salt, pepper, and sage and I am not talking about dressing but everyday cooking!

  28. Sharon Murphy

    I have my grandmother’s recipe – homemade egg bread – seems like it took 2 days to make it! My children like oyster dressing these days!

  29. Connie Newman Coker

    my grandmother and mother always added boiled eggs to the cornbread and celery and onions. No egg in the baked cornbread unless you wanted it to rise. Also, through the years, I have learned if I am only going to use the cornbread for the dressing and nothing else to go and put the celery and onions in the cornbread when baking. That way they bake twice and are good and done when my dressing is ready. My grandmother always added a couple slices of white bread mashed in together with the cornbread.

  30. Granny added chopped boiled eggs, mama didn’t. Dressing must be accompanied by giblet gravy. Mama added chopped boiled egg to her gravy and granny didn’t.

  31. Michelle Cox-Unterseher

    Add sage, leave out the eggs and never even considered crackers….and probably won’t be adding them. LOL

    1. Michelle Cox-Unterseher

      Cornbread made without eggs or sugar…… celery and onions chopped and cooked in chicken broth or boiled with the giblets (neck mostly….don’t care for the other stuff)…..crumble the cornbread, mix in the celery and onions along with broth/giblet juice…..add sage to taste (I like lots of it but not so much that it makes it bitter)…..put it in baking pan and bake…..our family dressing….ocassionally we might add chicken/turkey on the top before baking but I usually bake it without the meat.

  32. June Chandler

    Allison Chandler Holcomb

  33. KellieAnne Smith Foreman

    omg this is what I have eaten at my grannies house, and I hated it… I had no idea its from Alabama, which makes sense as her father in law was from there and she learned to cook in their house as a young bride

  34. Not Alabama dressing. You have to make the cornbread and biscuits first, then add those, crumbled, to turkey and/or chicken stock, add the celery onions salt pepper and sage, and mix the up. Then beat six eggs into the mixture until well blended. Cook in the oven till it’s done. You can save up a part of the mixture to add to giblet gravy.

  35. Candy Speir

    Nope, that’s not it.

  36. Tammy Brooks

    Pollard cornmeal in the refrigerator

  37. Icey Nichole Bales

    This is similar to how I make it from my Nina. Get corn bread you cooked a day or two ago and crumble it with white bread. Cooke up some diced onions celery and bell pepper with sage. Mix it all together with the water from the veggies also and an egg. Nothing else taste the same lol

  38. Jennifer Carter White

    I already make homemade southern cornbread dressing by my Mother’s recipe! Delicious and a family tradition.

  39. Janet Keown

    Our family puts crackers in our dressing, no sage, only use home made broth from a hen, and add raw eggs to the egg bread and broth.

  40. Nancy Taff Brasher
  41. Evelyn Douglas Williams

    My mom hated sage,,so she never added it. Salt and pepper were the only seasonings. We use boiled eggs instead of raw. Onions, green onions, and celery. We crumble our cornbread in chunks, and add bread too. When we were young my mom would save old cornbread and biscuits in the freezer, and add those too. We still use my moms recipe. It’s the best ever, and we make it very wet, not dried out. Everything is cooked except veggies,,so all we have to do,is bake it until the vegetables are done. If I make it, and I’m running late, I’ll precook the veggies a little in broth. I also learned to make sausage dressing, and I add sage to that, because some people do,like the taste of sage.

  42. Lorena Leger

    best corn meal ever made!!!!

  43. Did y’all not read the whole article? It plainly states that most Alabama families use sage and/or poultry seasonings and not everyone adds crackers. It’s just a matter of taste preference. To me sage tastes like dirt, but if you like it then use it!

  44. I use King Alabama Corn Meal and I bake my cornbread the day before I make the dressing. I put onions, carrots (sometimes, don’t like celery), chicken broth (which I usually have frozen and yes the broth is homemade.) I put eggs, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning in mine. My Alabama mother-in-law taught me how to make it. I’m from Kentucky and ours was different, but both are really, really good.

  45. Nita Risher McGlawn

    Why so many pop ups just accessing the recipe?

  46. Anna McCord Greer

    I’m from Mississippi and I only use Sunshine mills corn meal!

  47. Nancy O

    Never heard of putting crackers in dressing. I can say that the statement about dressing being dry before baking and after is correct.

  48. Anne Jester Turner

    Seems like a lot of eggs to me, but agree to the soupy consistency. My grandmother added about four crumbled cold biscuits instead of crackers. Instead of chicken broth, I used the broth from boiling the neck and other parts of the turkey….also all a cup of drippings from the cooked turkey. Always a hit!

  49. Jane Jester Townsend

    But I don’t add extra eggs to my dressing. I just put eggs in cornbread. And add lots of onions and celery. Otherwise agree with Anne. One year I mistakenly opened a beef broth and poured it into dressing. And actually had a rather good flavor. I use both broth from boiling pieces and bought chicken stock. I just want enough boiled broth for gravy.

  50. Jane Teres

    When I make my cornbread I put 5 large eggs and a large chopped up onion with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and plain water into my Pollards corn meal and bake in a large, well oiled cast iron frying pan. I let it cool and mix in fresh chicken broth, some boneless chicken breast or thigh pieces, some crackers or white bread, pepper, and a little poultry seasoning. Yum!

  51. Jerri DeLamar

    Not interested in anything Alabama

    1. Richard Haynes

      Says a person from Arkansas….LOL

      Don’t buy Mercedes (GLE SUV, GLS SUV, the C-Class and the GLE Coupe) Honda (Odessy), watch anything relates to NASA or SEC Football, NASCAR, don’t fly Boeing…

    2. Jerri DeLamar

      Richard Haynes Agreed Arkansas is nothing to brag about, but we don’t have Sessions, Moore, or that awful governor.

  52. Ed Browning

    Mom taught me to always boil a FAT hen. Refrigerate broth overnight, then scoop fat from top for dressing. 3 egg cornbread, fat, stick of margarine, broth for thinning, 3 more eggs, onion, salt and pepper. Sometimes, she would add shredded chicken.

  53. Donna Murdock

    Melissa Kathleen Hopkins

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