Instant Pot Cornbread Dressing

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Instant Pot Cornbread Dressing is a sweet and savory Thanksgiving side dish with crisp apples, crunchy celery and plenty of fresh herbs. 

A wooden spoon removing a scoop of Instant Pot cornbread dressing from a white baking dish, with pumpkins and turkey in the background

❤️  Why You’ll Love This Recipe: Making dressing in the Instant Pot is a great way to free up oven and stove top space when you’re cooking a big holiday meal. 

This cornbread dressing adds sweet and savory flavor to your holiday spread, along with traditional and familiar flavors like thyme and sage. It’s a crowd-pleasing side that pairs perfectly with turkey, mashed potatoes and pie!

Picture collage sautéing apples and celery in an Instant Pot on top and finished corn bread stuffing in a white dish with fresh sage on top

How to Make Instant Pot Cornbread Dressing

While the recipe is quick and easy, it does benefit from a bit of planning ahead. The day before you plan to make your dressing, prepare the cornbread. Just like with traditional white bread dressing, it’s best to let the cornbread dry out for a day or even two days. This way, it’s ready to absorb all of the rich, hearty flavors you’re adding with the dressing. 

Dryer bread also helps prevent your cornbread from turning to mush. This is especially important when you’re cooking it in the Instant Pot, which is already a moist and steamy cooking environment, unlike your oven. 

Tip: Around Thanksgiving, many grocery stores will sell pre-dried bread cubes.

The rest of the flavor in this dressing recipe comes from egg, which adds a custardy texture to the dish, as well as sautéed veggies and fresh herbs. 

Ingredient Swaps

Here are a few ingredients substitutions in you don’t have everything on hand:

  • Feel free to use store-bought cornbread or gluten-free cornbread if necessary. 
  • Use any yellow or white onions. Shallots will also work in a pinch. 
  • You can substitute fresh garlic with ½ teaspoon garlic powder but the flavor may not be as nice and delicate. 
  • Use any firm, tart apple for the dressing. 
  • If you can’t find fresh herbs, use half the amount of dried herbs. 

Cornbread vs. Regular Dressing

My family has always made dressing with white sandwich bread, not cornbread for Thanksgiving. 

If you prefer non-cornbread dressing, try our Instant Pot recipe for dressing with crispy cubes of sandwich bread, celery, herbs, and onion. 

Whether you choose one recipe or try them both, you’re guaranteed to delight your guests with these savory dressing dishes. 

Overhead picture of Instant Pot cornbread dressing in a white serving dish with fresh sage on top, next to w white plate with turkey slices, cranberry and fresh thyme.

Stuffing vs. Dressing

In our house, we always call it stuffing. Technically, stuffing refers to the bread mixture that you bake inside a turkey or other bird. Since this version is “baked” in an Instant Pot, it’s technically dressing, but most people won’t bat an eye if you call it “cornbread stuffing.” 

Overhead picture of cornbread dressing in a white dish with fresh sage on top and a wooden serving spoon. With a turkey breast and an Instant Pot in the background.

Make-Ahead Cornbread Dressing

Aside from preparing the cornbread and letting it dry out the day before you make this dressing, you can also make your prep work the day of Thanksgiving a little easier.

Chop the onion and celery the day before. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to make the dish. 

You could even assemble and cook the entire dressing recipe a day before serving. Cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and keep the dressing in the fridge. 

Then reheat the entire pan in the Instant Pot at high pressure for 5 to 10 minutes, until heated through. Alternative, you can pop the dish into a 400°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Instant Pot cornbread stuffing served on a plate with sliced turkey and cranberries with a fork.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Dressing

If you’re looking for holiday menu inspiration, we have plenty! Here’s what will be on our Thanksgiving table alongside cornbread dressing:

Check out my Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up post for more amazing recipes.


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A wooden spoon removing a scoop of Instant Pot cornbread dressing from a white baking dish, with pumpkins and turkey in the background
Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Cornbread Dressing

This easy Instant Pot Cornbread Dressing recipe has sweet and savory flavors from apples, onions, celery, fresh herbs, and day-old cornbread.

Ingredients

  • 1 box (15 oz) cornbread mix, prepared according to the package directions, sliced, and dried overnight*
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

Instructions

  1. The day before, prepare the cornbread according to package directions. Slice the cooled bread into 1/2-inch cubes and let them dry on the counter overnight or for up to 48 hours.
  1. When you’re ready to make the dressing, spray a 7-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Select Sauté. Add the butter to the pot. When the butter is melted, add the celery, onion, and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the apple, sage, thyme, salt, pepper and stir until well combined. Turn off the pressure cooker.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the broth and egg. Fold the cornbread and vegetable mixture into the liquids. 
  4. Press the dressing mixture into the prepared cake pan. Prepare a foil sling.
  5. Rinse and wipe out the bottom of the pressure cooking pot.
  6. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom. Center the pan on the sling and lower it into the pressure cooker. Be sure the sling doesn't interfere with closing the lid.
  7. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 15 minutes. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Use the sling to carefully remove the pan.
  8. Let the dressing cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

* It really is SO important to use dried cornbread. If you use fresh cornbread, there will be way too much moisture in the bread and it won't cook up properly. You can also use a toaster oven or broiler to toast the cubed bread and remove moisture.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 54Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 249mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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