Southern Cornbread Dressing With Gizzards

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Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards is an old-fashioned cornbread dressing recipe that makes good use of the often discarded protein, chicken gizzards. 

Southern Cornbread Dressing With Gizzards

What is Southern cornbread dressing?

Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards is an old-fashioned comfort food generously flecked with herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, and sage. 

Then sautéed vegetables like onion, celery, and soul food seasoned chicken gizzards are smothered in the cornbread mixture for baking.

It’s an ideal holiday specialty. An elevated version of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe

Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards is also best served for Sunday dinner and other special occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner.

Where did cornbread dressing originate?

Cornbread dressing is a delicious dish traced back to enslaved people in the American South. This recipe’s history goes back to a West African recipe known as kush.

Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards is an old-fashioned Black folks’ recipe created by Southern soul food cooks

Out of necessity, this recipe, like many iconic soul food recipes, was made when Black people used what they had available to create a delicious meal.

So when the whole chicken wasn’t available to make traditional Southern chicken and dressing, the often over-looked chicken gizzards saved the Thanksgiving Day dressing!

Chicken Gizzard Cornbread Dressing

What makes this a Southern cornbread dressing recipe?

A complete meal in one dish, this dressing casserole starts with a base of buttery-rich Southern homemade cornbread

Then onion and celery are sautéed in a homemade poultry seasoning made of savory seasoning and chicken broth with the addition of hearty, delicious chicken gizzards.

Then this cornbread dressing with gizzards casserole is baked and served warm!

It can be easily reheated for servings of seconds and thirds!

Kitchen equipment for Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards

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Ingredients for the homemade cornbread

  • 1 cup of medium grind cornmeal
  • ⅔ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar (*can be omitted if you don’t prefer cornbread sweet)
Ingredients for the Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards

Can you use Jiffy cornbread mix instead of making homemade? 

Wondering if you can use the box cornbread? 

The answer is yes! Check out the recipe notes below for cornbread mix instructions.

Making the cornbread for this recipe from scratch?

Follow the step-by-step instructions below!

Instructions for the homemade cornbread recipe

Instructions for the homemade cornbread recipe

  1. Preheat the conventional or Instant Pot Omni Plus oven to bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (although you may not use all this time to melt the butter). 
  2. Place the butter in an 8-inch baking pan or skillet and melt in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. While the butter is melting, combine the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar) with the heavy cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the melted butter from the baking pan into the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients. 
  5. Pour the cornbread batter into the baking pan or skillet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F. In the conventional oven, bake for 20-25 minutes. Bake in the IP Omni Plus oven for 18-20 minutes.
  7. When baking has finished, allow the cornbread to cool for approx. 10 minutes.
  8. Cut the bread lengthwise and then across into 1-inch bread cubes and set aside.
Why are chicken gizzards so tough?

Ingredients for the Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards

  • 1 pound of chicken gizzards, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning (I use Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning)
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup of yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup of celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, or dried
  • 1 tablespoon of rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon of sage, ground 
  • ¼ cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of chicken broth (or chicken stock)
  • ½ cup of chicken broth (or chicken stock)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ a teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 large egg
Could you use the Jiffy box cornbread?

Instructions for the Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards

  1. Pro-tip for more tender gizzards: First, use the Instant Pot to pressure cook the chicken gizzards (seasoned with the poultry seasoning) in 1 cup of chicken broth for 20 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release of 10 minutes. Or, on the stovetop, allow 1 cup of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon and the chicken gizzards to come to a boil. Turn the stovetop to low heat and simmer covered for 60-90 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Be careful not to allow all the water to evaporate. Set the cooked gizzards aside.
  2. Grease an 8″ or similar-sized baking dish, transfer the set-aside cornbread cubes to the pre-greased dish, and then set aside the cornbread cubes.
  3. Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and turn on the sauté setting for 10 minutes.
  4. With the lid off, melt ¼ cup of butter. 
  5. Add the chopped onion, celery, thyme, rosemary, and sage. 
  6. Stir to coat the vegetables in the herbs and melted butter and then sauté until they soften and slightly brown.
  7. Add the gizzards, ½ cup of chicken broth, salt, and pepper to the inner pot’s simmer, and stir to combine.
  8. Allow the gizzards to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
  9. Remove the gizzards and herb mixture from the heat and set aside. 
  10. Allow the mixture to cool to the touch so that it can be mixed with the egg. (You don’t want the egg to cook from the residual heat and scramble!)
  11. While the herbs are cooling off, beat the egg with the parsley in a medium-sized bowl.
  12. Pour the egg and parsley mixture over the cubed cornbread in the set-aside baking dish, and gently fold in the mixture evenly with the bread cubes. 
  13. Then, pour the cooled gizzards and herb mixture into the cornbread and egg mixture, evenly distributing with your pour.
  14. Gently fold in the gizzard mixture evenly with the bread cubes. 
  15. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes in the conventional oven. Bake for 30 minutes if using the Omni Plus oven.
  16. Uncover and bake until golden, 10-15 more minutes (conventional oven) or 10 minutes (Omni Plus oven).
  17. Serve this Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards recipe warm, and enjoy! Optional – serve with gravy on top.

Does your family have a chicken and dressing or stuffing recipe that passes down from one generational table to the next?

Black Folks Chicken And Dressing
Black Folks Chicken And Dressing
Thanksgiving means Southern soul food, made by our grandmamas, mamas, and favorite aunties. A meal we’ve waited all year to eat!
One Southern dish that you shouldn’t miss this Thanksgiving is Black folks chicken and dressing. 
Check out this recipe!

Could you use the Jiffy box cornbread?

Yes, check out the recipe ingredients and instructions below!

Instructions for the Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards

Ingredients for Jiffy box cornbread

  • 8.5 oz. box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar (*can be omitted if you don’t prefer cornbread sweet)
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Instructions for Jiffy box cornbread 

  1. Preheat the conventional or Instant Pot Omni Plus oven to bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (although you may not use all this time to melt the butter).  
  2. Place the 4 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch skillet and melt in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. While the butter is melting, combine the Jiffy cornbread mix, sugar, and heavy cream in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the melted butter from the skillet into the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients. 
  5. Pour the cornbread mixture into the skillet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F. In the conventional oven for 25-30 minutes. Omni Plus oven for 23-25 minutes.
  7. When baking has finished, allow the cornbread to cool for approx. 10 minutes.
  8. Cut the bread lengthwise, then cut it across into 1-inch bread cubes and set aside.

Can you use Pepperidge Farm herb classic bagged stuffing?

A bagged stuffing could work if you’re in a time pinch and can’t make homemade cornbread

Replace the cornbread in this recipe with the bagged stuffing mix.

What is Southern cornbread dressing?

What goes with cornbread dressing?

This Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards can serve as a casserole or a delicious side dish with just about any protein.

It’s great as a side dish alongside turkey or on the side of warm, cooked ham.

It can also hold its own as a main course casserole with soul food sides or Thanksgiving side dishes like Southern green beansSouthern baked candied yams, a Southern creamy mashed potato recipe, or soul food collard greens.

Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards FAQs

What is the difference between stuffing and cornbread dressing?

Oh, that age-old question… What’s the difference between dressing and stuffing?

The traditional view is that stuffing is made using bread crumbs, herbs, spices, and chicken, while dressing is made using cornbread. 

Cornbread Dressing - Do you use all of the cornbread that was baked?

Do you put eggs in Southern cornbread dressing?

Yes, adding eggs makes the dressing richer and more flavorful. 

Remember the classic rule of baking? Don’t forget the egg! 

What does adding eggs to dressing do?

Beyond the savory flavor, when baking, egg yolk is the binding ingredient that holds the dish together. 

Would it be fine leaving the eggs out since the cornbread was made with eggs?

The egg is necessary. It makes the dressing more solid and less runny.

Soul Food Southern Cornbread Dressing With Gizzards

How moist should dressing be before baking?

How dry should bread be for stuffing? Cornbread should not be watery or runny. 

However, the uncooked dressing will be moist because of the herb and egg mixture. Then it goes through a two-step baking process, covered and uncovered.

The dressing must be moist enough to hold it together. However, it should not be wet because it will make the overall dish mushy. 

For example, if there’s a puddle of liquid at the bottom of the dish, like chicken soup. You might have added too much liquid. 

This Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards recipe should be crumbly and hold its shape when turned out of the pan.

How do you fix runny cornbread dressing?

If your dressing is runny after baking, add some cubed sandwich bread to soak up the excess moisture. Then bake again in 5-minute intervals.

What is the best bread for stuffing?

Southern dressing recipes use cornbread.

If you need to add bread because the dressing is too moist, Any bread addition will work. 

From white bread to artisan or a cubed baguette. Although I recommend honey wheat! 

It’s also ideal if the bread is hard or dried, so you can make dried bread cubes.

How moist should dressing be before baking?

Do you use all of the cornbread that was baked?

Yes, and cut it into cubes.

What kind of cornmeal do you use?

You can use either yellow or white cornmeal for this Southern recipe. 

The taste is similar and good, but yellow cornmeal is sweeter than white. 

This is because one comes from white corn kernels, while the other is from the sweeter yellow kernels of corn.

Cornbread Dressing - Should you cover with foil and bake?

Which size cast iron skillet or pan would you bake the cornbread in?

To cook the cornbread, an 8″ medium-sized skillet works best.

Or you can use an 8″ or similar size baking pan

Why is your dressing gummy?

Remember, try not to overwork the stuffing when adding ingredients and mixing. 

You don’t want to break down the cornbread, which will cause the dressing to then have a mushy, gummy texture.

How do you fix bland stuffing?

Even though it’s called an old-fashioned Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards, that doesn’t mean it should taste old and bland.

You’ll avoid a bland dressing by using a soul food seasoned recipe with the addition of chicken!

How much sage do you put in dressing?

Why are chicken gizzards so tough?

Chicken gizzards are the muscles that help chickens chew their food. They’re the heavily exercised muscles that break down hard grains. 

The gizzard muscle is coated with a membrane on each side. The one on the inside is very rough and meant to withstand grains and rocks. Thus, gizzards are naturally tougher meat, even after cooking.

How do you cook gizzards, so they are not tough?

Before sautéing the gizzards, pressure cook or boil them to help tenderize the meat. 

How do you cook gizzards so they are not tough?

How would this taste without the chicken?

Without the chicken, Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards would simply be Southern cornbread dressing.

Do you want oysters instead of a chicken recipe?

If you like changing the protein in your cornbread dressing recipes, try this soul food oyster dressing recipe or this Southern liver dressing.

What spices do you put in Southern cornbread stuffing?

The flavor is in the African-American recipe tried-and-true flavor profile of broth, fresh herbs, and spices.

This Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards recipe calls for onion, celery, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, and chicken broth. 

And, of course, salt and pepper – already measured to the correct proportion and included in the recipe instructions for you. (You’re welcome!)

The art of seasoning combinations is no stranger to soul food cooks, who are very well-versed in spice profiles and seasoning to perfection!

What spices do you put in Southern cornbread stuffing?

How much sage do you put in dressing?

This recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of ground sage.

Can this be made vegetarian?

Yes, simply omit the chicken gizzards for a soul food cornbread dressing recipe.

Cornbread Dressing Recipe With Chicken Gizzards

Should you cover with foil and bake?

The dressing will go through a two-step baking process. 

First, cover the baking dish with foil for this Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards recipe and bake.

Then uncover and bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes more.

What temperature do you cook homemade dressing on?

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.

Can this be prepped the day before and cooked on the actual serving day?

Yes, pre-make the cornbread and cube it. Then on the actual serving day, combine the egg mixture with the pre-baked cornbread and bake as directed. 

Cornbread Dressing - Should you cover with foil and bake?

How long will cornbread dressing keep in the refrigerator?

When stored correctly, cornbread dressing will stay in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Cornbread dressing stored in the fridge should be covered to prevent drying and to keep out unwanted refrigerator odors.

Can you freeze cornbread dressing?

To freeze Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards, place the prepared dish in the freezer wrapped in 2 layers, plastic wrap or parchment paper, then foil.

Keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.

How do you store leftovers?

Store cornbread dressing with gizzards in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or prepare a leftover meal with the dressing.

Prepare a leftover meal with the dressing

What can you do with the giblets and neck?

The cooked giblets can be chopped or pureed to make giblet gravy or broth.

What do you think about this Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!

Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest “Soul Food Recipes” board!

Southern Cornbread Dressing With Chicken Gizzards
Southern Cornbread Dressing With Gizzards

Southern Cornbread Dressing With Gizzards

When the whole turkey or chicken wasn't available, soul food cooks made good use of all the chicken parts.
They made Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards, saving the Thanksgiving Day dinner!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 8
Calories: 437kcal

Equipment

  • 8″ cast-iron skillet
  • Or 8″ baking dish
  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
  • Instant Pot Omni Plus oven

Ingredients

Ingredients for the homemade cornbread

  • 1 cup cornmeal medium grind
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar *can be omitted if you don’t prefer cornbread sweet

Ingredients for the Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards

  • 1 pound gizzards chicken gizzards chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning – I use Famous Dave's Country Roast Chicken Seasoning
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme fresh or dried
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon sage ground
  • ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth or 1 cup of water & 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon
  • ½ cup chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg large

Instructions

Instructions for the homemade cornbread recipe

  • Preheat the conventional or Instant Pot Omni Plus oven to bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (although you may not use all this time to melt the butter).
  • Place the butter in an 8-inch baking pan or skillet and melt in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.
  • While the butter is melting, combine the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar) with the heavy cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Pour the melted butter from the baking pan into the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients.
  • Pour the cornbread batter into the baking pan or skillet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F. In the conventional oven, bake for 20-25 minutes. Bake in the IP Omni Plus oven for 18-20 minutes.
  • When baking has finished, allow the cornbread to cool for approx. 10 minutes.
    When baking has finished, allow the cornbread to cool for approx. 10 minutes.
  • Cut the bread lengthwise and then across into 1-inch bread cubes and set aside.
    Cut the bread lengthwise and then across into 1-inch bread cubes and set aside.

Instructions for the Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards

  • Pro-tip for more tender gizzards: First, use the Instant Pot to pressure cook the chicken gizzards (seasoned with the poultry seasoning) in 1 cup of chicken broth for 20 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release of 10 minutes. Or, on the stovetop, allow 1 cup of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon and the chicken gizzards to come to a boil. Turn the stovetop to low heat and simmer covered for 60-90 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Be careful not to allow all the water to evaporate. Set the cooked gizzards aside.
  • Grease an 8″ or similar-sized baking dish, transfer the set-aside cornbread cubes to the pre-greased dish, and then set aside the cornbread cubes.
  • Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and turn on the sauté setting for 10 minutes.
  • With the lid off, melt ¼ cup of butter.
  • Add the chopped onion, celery, thyme, rosemary, and sage.
  • Stir to coat the vegetables in the herbs and melted butter and then sauté until they soften and slightly brown.
    Stir to coat the vegetables in the herbs and melted butter and then sauté until they soften and slightly brown.
  • Add the gizzards, chicken stock, salt, and pepper to the inner pot’s simmer, and stir to combine.
    Add the gizzards, chicken stock, salt, and pepper to the inner pot’s simmer, and stir to combine.
  • Allow the gizzards to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
  • Remove the gizzards and herb mixture from the heat and set aside.
  • Allow the mixture to cool to the touch so that it can be mixed with the egg. (You don’t want the egg to cook from the residual heat and scramble!)
  • While the herbs are cooling off, beat the egg with the parsley in a medium-sized bowl.
    While the herbs are cooling off, beat the egg with the parsley in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Pour the egg and parsley mixture over the cubed cornbread in the set-aside baking dish, and gently fold in the mixture evenly with the bread cubes. 
    Pour the egg and parsley mixture over the cubed cornbread in the set-aside baking dish, and gently fold in the mixture evenly with the bread cubes.
  • Then, pour the cooled gizzards and herb mixture into the cornbread and egg mixture, evenly distributing with your pour.
    Then, pour the cooled gizzards and herb mixture into the cornbread and egg mixture, evenly distributing with your pour.
  • Gently fold in the gizzard mixture evenly with the bread cubes. 
    Gently fold in the gizzard mixture evenly with the bread cubes. 
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes in the conventional oven. Bake for 30 minutes if using the Omni Plus oven.
  • Uncover and bake until golden, 10-15 more minutes (conventional oven) or 10 minutes (Omni Plus oven).
    Uncover and bake until golden, 10-15 more minutes.
  • Serve this Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards recipe warm, and enjoy! Optional – serve with gravy on top.
    Serve this Southern cornbread dressing with gizzards recipe warm, and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 246mg | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1260IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 3mg
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One Comment

  1. Babette T HOWARD says:

    5 stars
    Happy Thanksgiving! This recipe was a hit! My favorite dressing and for years the only dressing I would eat was my mother’s and she was heavy on the sage! She did not have a written recipe so say…she verbally told me and I was her sous chef but I can never get it quite right! So I am always trying different dressing recipes…this one caught my attention although nothing like my mother’s or any dressing I have ever seen! It has all the parts and ingredients just assembled different for a whole other workd taste experience! Just follow the recipe and trust the process! You will wonder if you are doing ot right but KEEP GOING! And make sure you tenderize your gizzards! The cubes of sweet cornbread and the savory gizzards in every bite is so unique and delicious! Will be using this recipe over and over!