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Grandma’s Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

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My grandma aka the Royal Granda, makes the best Thanksgiving Dressing recipe. I finally sat her down and got her to share this timeless family favorite with all of you.

grandma ina - thanksgiving dressing recipe

Grandma's Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Every year it's a tradition for our family to gather at my grandmothers small house. I don't know how she manages to squeeze us all in but this lady has it down to an art. Traditionally my grandmother would cook the entire meal. That's just the way she wanted to do it but as she has gotten older some of us ladies have finally convinced her to let us help her out.

For many years I have been trying to get her Thanksgiving dressing recipe but she would always just tell me, “Melissa, I don't have a recipe, I just throw it together.” So last year I made it a point to get there much earlier and write down everything as she walked me through the process.

If you ask the family–yes, even my husband– they will tell you that no-one makes turkey and dressing like my grandma.

Oh and she has a secret to her Turkey. You are not going to BELIEVE IT! You can find it here.

stuffing recipe for turkey


When it comes to time for Thanksgiving, people are scouring the web for a good stuffing recipe for Turkey or a good traditional Thanksgiving dressing recipe but many don't know the difference between the two.

thanksgiving dressing recipe

Stuffing is typically made and cooked inside the cavity of your turkey, meaning the stuffing and the bird cook together. This method is one of the tried and true ways of making a delicious Thanksgiving side.

However, food safety issues have brought about some controversy in recent years about whether or not it's a good idea to cook anything along with your poultry. I am not going to go into the debate, but just remember if you do decide to make actual stuffing, be sure to follow all food safety rules including not stuffing your turkey ahead of time! Do your homework and find a good recipe, rather than guess on this one. No one wants to end up sick due to bacteria in food- on that we can all agree!!

Dressing on the other hand, is made in a separate pan and separately from the turkey. You might not have all the authentic turkey flavoring that comes along with a stuffing, but you don't have to worry about any risk of salmonella or other bacteria from the raw turkey. I do recommend this personally. Especially for anyone new to cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner, it's one less thing to worry about! You could start a new family tradition by starting a family cookbook, with all of your family recipes compiled. If you need help you can  also try using canva or contact a a professional food photography editing service to enhance them.

This recipe is for an actual dressing, not a stuffing. ๐Ÿ™‚

GRANDMAS TIP: My grandma said she does make her cornbread ahead of time and then crumbles it up and mixes in the sage, salt, pepper, onion and celery the day before and stores it in the refrigerator. This gives the flavors time to incorporate into each other. This really helps with the flavor.

Essential Cookware for a Great Pan of Dressing!

One thing I want to include before the recipe is a recommendation for a good pan. If this is your first time cooking, make sure to borrow or purchase a good pan, big enough to hold all the Dressing for everyone attending.

Also, don't overfill or under fill the pan. This recipe makes a LOT of dressing. My grandmother uses a good-sized roaster. She even told me that I could have her dressing pan when she passes away. It's funny the things that be sentimental to you like a dressing pan, but I will always have memories of our Thanksgivings every time I use it.

You can find one on Amazon similar. If you don't have a roaster, a large stoneware pan works well. For a dressing or any bread-based recipe, I like a pan that will hold in heat so no-one ends up finding cold food when they come back for seconds! ๐Ÿ™‚

Grandma's Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe:

Yield: 6

Grandma's Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing


This traditional cornbread based dressing is made entirely from scratch!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • Cornbread:
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Cornmeal
  • Pinch Salt
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk, either 2% or whole. (Not Skim)
  • Dressing:
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of sage (more to taste, if desired)
  • Dash of salt (Be careful not to add too much- broth adds salt)
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper (more to taste, if desired)
  • 4-6 cans Chicken Broth, 14.5 oz each


  1. Prepare cornbread first. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2-3 pie pans. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, adding egg and milk afterwards. Combine and divide into 2-3 large pie pans. (I use three). Cook until golden brown on the top. Allow to cool to touch.
  2. After cornbread is cooled, crumble into a large bowl. Cover and set aside. (This can also be done the day before).
  3. Prepare Cornbread. Dice celery and onions on a cutting board.
  4. Add the sage, salt and pepper, and then finally your onions and celery to your cornbread and mix well.
  5. Spray a large pan or 9x13 with non-stick spray.
  6. After your dressing is seasoned, empty bowl into a large roasting pan and gently press down the mixture into the shape of the pan.
  7. Open your chicken broth cans and pour over the mixture. Chicken broth will soak into the mixture. Slowly coat the entire pan until the dressing is covered and moist.
  8. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until hot throughout and browned on top.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 239Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 35mgSodium 549mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 3gSugar 11gProtein 7g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment if you love this recipe!

The Royal Grandma cooking - thanksgiving dressing recipe

I had to include this lovely picture of the Royal Grandma prepping dinner rolls for our Thanksgiving Dinner. I hope you can enjoy her recipe and make it your own, for lots of Thanksgiving holidays to come. Happy cooking!

More Thanksgiving Recipes:

instant pot mashed potatoes

Planning your Thanksgiving dinner? Take a look at my Homemade Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes!

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  1. Love granny recipes! This is exactly what my granny made plus she added deboned chicken. My sister & I now make it every Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner. It’s truly the best traditional side & feels like granny is still with us โ™กโ™ก

    1. According to my grandma she says until golden brown and you see cracks on the top (she thinks about an hour). Grandma only gave us what we have. We are actually going to make this recipe ourselves for the first time this year and she has handed us the torch for Thanksgiving this year.

      I hope this helps.

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