This Skillet Cornbread Dressing with Pear, Sage, and Bacon is just right for a smaller crowd—and it’s bursting with fresh flavor!
Why is it that we only have dressing at Thanksgiving? Or is that just me? Are the rest of you eating cornbread dressing all year long and I just don’t know about it? It’s not that dressing is difficult to make—it’s really easy—but for some reason, it seems to be reserved for special, holiday occasions. Maybe because one recipe for Cornbread Dressing makes A LOT of dressing.
I wanted to create a smaller version of dressing, so I started with my Southern Cornbread Dressing and cut the quantities in half. But I figured if I were going to make dressing I would want the flavors to be different so that the dressing would complement different entrees, like grilled steak or pork chops, or maybe just a roasted chicken. I tossed in some crispy bacon, added extra fresh sage, and then cut up a juicy, red pear—the result was wonderful, a moist dressing with subtle sweetness from the pear and salty goodness from the bacon. We loved it!
How to Make Skillet Cornbread Dressing
For this recipe, I used half a pan of cornbread. You could just make a smaller batch of cornbread, but I like to have the extra cornbread for soup. Then add the onions and celery as usual. Chop up some fresh herbs: sage, thyme, and parsley. Fry some bacon until it’s nice and crispy, then add that to the bowl. Then peel and chop one pear. Bake it all for about 45 minutes, until golden brown.
Skillet Cornbread Dressing
- 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp Reserve bacon grease
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease (optional)
- 3 1/2 cups crumbled cornbread
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces, place in large cast iron skillet and fry until crispy. Remove bacon and reserve two tablespoons drippings.
- Preheat oven to 375. Add butter to bacon grease and place skillet in oven. Allow the butter to melt and get hot but not smoking.
- Mix cornbread and the other dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add two cups chicken stock and stir gently until mixed well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove skillet from oven and pour most of the butter/bacon drippings into the dressing. Stir to mix well. Pour the dressing into the hot skillet and bake until well browned, about 45 minutes.
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