Absolutely loaded with yellow squash, green bell pepper, onion and celery, Squash Dressing is chock full of delicious, savory flavor! An old fashioned version of classic southern cornbread dressing, it is served as a holiday side dish, for Sunday dinners and in mid to late summer when all that delicious squash comes in.
There is just something about a good pan of Cornbread & Squash Dressing that surpasses all other versions and varieties. While the mild flavor of yellow squash won’t overwhelm you, the moistness it brings to the cornbread will certainly cause you to sit up and take notice. Then there’s there’s the whole host of support vegetables, like green bell pepper, onion and celery that add layers of savory flavor.
And side dish? Who am I kidding? Good dressing is no side dish. It’s culinary feat. A well-guarded secret. In the South, cornbread dressing is the whole darn holiday show. And only the best cooks in the family get to make it.
Every Southern cook must have a good cornbread dressing recipe in their wheel house. It’s a must. Non-negotiable if you plan to reach the pinnacle of what Southern cooking is all about.
And like most recipes for this all important holiday dish, the one my family loves the most has been passed down over time. I learned to make it, like most home cooks, in the kitchen with my mother and mamaw.
It was a highly anticipated cooking event, a recipe prepared with both fanfare and reverance. And there was something almost sacred about the way they would roll up their sleeves and use their hands to gently mix, coax and finally transform that cornbread into the holiday side dish we’d been waiting for all year.
Ingredients for Cornbread & Squash Dressing
- yellow cornbread mix
- green bell pepper
- cream of chicken soup
- chicken broth
- poultry seasoning
How to Make Squash Dressing
This dressing starts off like any good cornbread should- in a sizzling hot cast iron skillet. I put a little oil in my skillet and stick it in the oven as it preheats. You know you’ve got it right when you hear that sizzle and pop as soon as your batter hits the pan. This is what puts that great crisp on your cornbread so that it will cook up nice and fluffy like it should!
I also go ahead and just cook all those vegetables right in the cornbread instead of sautéing or cooking them down first. This has a couple of benefits.
- It saves time.
- All the moisture and flavor packed in those veggies goes right into your cornbread instead of being wasted in a boiler of water or sauté pan.
After the cornbread cools enough to work with, we have to break it back down. That’s right! Your beautiful cornbread. Pull it from the pan. Break it into pieces and start adding all those things that make is so yummy, like butter and eggs and broth.
So roll up your sleeves, add all those secret ingredients and get to squishing and mixing with your hands. You have to work those flavors into that cornbread, and no fork or wooden spoon does it quite the same.
When everything is mixed, it’s time to put that cornbread into a casserole dish and put it back into the oven. What goes in as cornbread, comes back out as Cornbread Dressing!
Making it Ahead of Time & Freezing
This dressing is perfect for making ahead of time & freezing. Simply put the dish together, but do not bake. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months or simply cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight.
Allow to defrost in the fridge and bake according to recipe instructions. If made a day before, simply remove dish from fridge and bake as usual!
Other Thanksgiving Side Dishes You’ll Love
- Louisiana Dirty Rice
- Southern Cornbread Pudding
- Homemade Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
- Southern Zucchini Squash Casserole
- Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Cornbread & Squash Dressing
- 2 6.5 oz yellow cornbread mix packages
- 1 C diced squash
- ½ C diced bell pepper
- ½ C diced yellow onion
- ½ C diced celery
- buttermilk as directed
- 1 10 ¾ oz can cream of chicken soup
- 1 14 oz cam chicken broth
- 1 stick butter room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature, beaten
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 1 tablespoon oil to your skillet. Place in oven while it is preheating.
- Prepare cornbread in a mixing bowl as instructed on mix packages. Use buttermilk as a substitute for the water or milk designated on the mix. Use the same measurement for the buttermilk as designated on the mix for the other liquids.
- Stir in the squash, celery, bell pepper and onion. There should be just enough batter to hold the vegetables together.
- Pour batter and vegetables into heated skillet. Bake for the time designated on the mix package. You may have to bake a few minutes longer to compensate for the moisture the squash releases into the cornbread as it bakes.
- Remove cornbread from oven after baking. Allow to cool, but not completely. Turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees.
- While cornbread is still warm, remove from skillet and break into pieces in large mixing bowl. Add butter and mix together, breaking down the cornbread.
- Add soup, broth, eggs and seasonings to cornbread mixture. Mix ingredients together until all are well-incorporated. Cornbread look almost like a batter again.
- Spoon cornbread dressing into 9×13 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30- 40 minutes or until dressing is golden brown and set in the middle.