Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing

As the leaves turn golden and the air becomes crisp, our kitchens transform into sanctuaries of warmth and comfort. Fall is the season for hearty, soul-soothing dishes that bring friends and family together around the table. One such dish that embodies the spirit of autumn is Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing. This recipe is a delightful twist on traditional cornbread dressing, infusing it with the sweet-tart flavor of apples and the rich, nutty crunch of pecans. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any cozy fall meal, this dressing is sure to become a beloved staple in your culinary repertoire.


For the Cornbread:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups crumbled cornbread (from the cornbread recipe above)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


Prepare the Cornbread:

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a 9-inch square baking pan or a cast-iron skillet.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients:
    In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter until smooth.
  4. Create the Batter:
    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the cornbread dense.
  5. Bake the Cornbread:
    Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan or skillet, spreading it evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cornbread cool completely, then crumble it into a large bowl. You should have about 4 cups of crumbled cornbread.

Prepare the Dressing:

  1. Sauté the Vegetables and Apples:
    In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and celery, cooking until they are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the diced apples and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the apples are just tender.
  2. Add the Pecans:
    Stir in the chopped pecans and cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the pecans to toast slightly and release their aroma.
  3. Combine with Cornbread:
    Transfer the sautéed mixture to the bowl with the crumbled cornbread. Add the dried sage, thyme, and rosemary. Mix well to combine.
  4. Moisten the Mixture:
    Gradually pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, stirring as you go, until the mixture is evenly moistened. The dressing should be moist but not soggy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake the Dressing:
    Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the dressing mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Garnish and Serve:

  1. Finish with Fresh Herbs:
    Sprinkle the baked dressing with freshly chopped parsley before serving. This adds a burst of color and a fresh, herbaceous note that complements the rich flavors of the dish.
  2. Serve Warm:
    Serve the Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing warm, as a side dish to your favorite roasted meats or as a centerpiece of a vegetarian meal. This dish pairs beautifully with turkey, chicken, or pork, as well as roasted vegetables and autumnal salads.


Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing is more than just a side dish; it’s a celebration of the season’s best flavors. The tender cornbread, sweet apples, and crunchy pecans create a harmonious blend that is both comforting and exciting. This recipe brings a new dimension to traditional dressing, making it a standout on any fall menu. Whether you’re hosting a festive holiday gathering or enjoying a quiet dinner at home, this dressing will add warmth and joy to your meal. Embrace the flavors of fall and share the love with this delicious and hearty Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment