This Skillet Dressing Recipe with Pear, Sage, and Bacon is just right for a smaller crowd—and it’s bursting with fresh flavor!

Skillet Dressing Recipe made in a cast iron skillet with sage leaves on the side.

Why is it that we only have dressing at Thanksgiving? Or is that just me? Are the rest of you eating fabulous Southern 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 cornbread dressing in a cast iron skillet, so I started with my Southern Cornbread Dressing and cut the quantities in half. But I also wanted to create a unique skillet dressing recipe with different flavoring so that the dressing would complement more than just traditional turkey breast, like grilled steak or pork chops, or maybe just a roasted chicken.

You may also like…
15-Minute Southwest Chicken Skillet Dinnergreat quick and easy weeknight meal from Family Food on the Table.

I tossed in some crispy bacon, added fresh sage, and then cut up a juicy, red pear—the result is wonderful, a moist dressing with subtle sweetness from the pear and salty goodness from the bacon. We love this skillet dressing recipe!

Helpful Tools and Ingredients

  • cast iron skillet – you need a good cast iron skillet for much more than this skillet dressing recipe! I use my skillet for SO MANY things. It’s ovenproof and you can’t beat the heat retention. I have always used a Lodge skillet and that’s what I recommend. You can spend more money if you want to, but there’s no reason to.
  • stainless steel bacon grease container – my Granny always kept one of these on the counter. I keep my bacon grease in the fridge but I always have some on hand for flavoring!
  • bacon
  • butter
  • bacon grease (optional)
  • cornbread
  • celery
  • onion
  • pear
  • fresh sage
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh parsley
  • rubbed sage
  • chicken stock
  • salt and pepper

How to Make Cornbread Dressing in a Skillet

For this skillet dressing 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.

Step 1. Make cornbread and then crumble half the of it into a large bowl, about 3 1/2 cups. Set aside.

Cook’s Tip: Cornbread can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Step 2. Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces, place in large cast iron skillet and fry until crispy. Remove bacon and reserve two tablespoons of the drippings.

Cook’s Tip: If you don’t want to use bacon drippings then just use extra butter.

Step 3. Preheat oven to 375. Add butter to the reserved bacon grease and place the skillet in the oven. Allow the butter to melt and get hot but not to the point of smoking.

Step 4. Mix crumbled 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.

Cast iron skillet with cornbread dressing ready to bake.

Step 5. Remove skillet from the oven and pour most of the butter/bacon drippings into the cornbread mixture. Stir to mix well. Pour the cornbread mixture into the hot skillet and bake until well browned, about 45 minutes.

What to Serve with Skillet Cornbread Dressing

This skillet dressing recipe goes great with almost any roasted or grilled meat. You can also include some traditional Thanksgiving accompaniments, like my Cranberry Sauce and Giblet Gravy.

Skillet Cornbread Dressing recipe serving size in a white bowl with cast iron skillet in the background.

Join Southern Food and Fun Community group
and Southern Potluck group!

And please follow us on social media:

Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!
5 from 1 vote

Skillet Dressing Recipe with Pear, Sage, and Bacon

This Skillet Dressing Recipe with Pear, Sage, and Bacon is just right for a smaller crowd—and it's bursting with fresh flavor!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Save This Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp Reserve bacon grease
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease (optional)
  • 3 ½ 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
  • ¼ 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

Instructions 

  • Bake cornbread and crumble half into a larger bowl (about 3 1/2 cups crumbled). This step can be done up to 3 days ahead.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces, place in large cast iron skillet and fry until crispy. Remove bacon and reserve two tablespoons drippings.
  • 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 cornbread mixture. Stir to mix well. Pour the cornbread mixture into the hot skillet and bake until well browned, about 45 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 629kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 1878mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g
Course: Casseroles
Cuisine: American
Calories: 629
Keyword: cornbread dressing in a cast iron skillet, how to make skillet dressing, skillet dressing recipe
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Are you looking for a gluten-free recipe? Try this Sausage and Wild Mushroom Skillet Stuffing from Columbia Gorge.

Update Notes: This post for Skillet Dressing Recipe was originally published November 10, 2016, and on October 14, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

You’ll Love These Other Skillet Recipes:

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

Follow Lucy on social media:

You May Also Like:

Sign up with your email address to receive a 5-day series of Southern Cooking Secrets, followed by weekly emails with recipes and tips. We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating