Prize-Winning Country Cornbread Dressing

August 4, 2011

By Jessica Mozo

Country Cornbread Dressing

When Meigs County 4-H member Justin Crittenden entered his Country Cornbread Dressing in the 2008 National Cornbread Festival’s 4-H cook-off in South Pittsburg,Tennessee, he didn’t think he would actually win. He was doing it mostly for the experience.

“I thought some of the other people would cook better than me – there were about 100 others who entered, and a bunch were from out of state,” says Crittenden, who turns 13 in September.
But win he did, much to his surprise.

“I about passed out when I heard I won,” he recalls. “The prize was $400, so I bought a [Nintendo] Wii and a new dirt bike.”

Crittenden’s mother, Penny, taught him how to make the prize-winning dressing when he was only 5 years old. Since then, he’s been making it for family gatherings at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. Their family typically eats it with turkey or chicken.

“It’s pretty easy. I like the taste of it when it’s all put together,” he says. “It’s not dry like some dressings. It’s always soft and moist.”

The recipe has been passed down for generations in Crittenden’s family. “Part of the recipe we keep secret, just between me, my mom and my granny,” he says proudly.

Crittenden enjoys cooking a variety of foods, including a mean eggs and bacon. But he doesn’t aspire to be a cook someday – he plans to be an archeologist.

“I’m interested in ancient history of places like Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia,” he says.

Crittenden has been active in Meigs County 4-H for the past three years and will enter the eighth grade this fall.

Justin Crittenden’s Country Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published.
* Required fields

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.


  1. joan courter says:

    “Pass the Dressing”–Was the cornbread mixture supposed to be self-rising cornmeal? There was no mention of baking soda or powder. Unlike my mother and grandmother, I use stone ground, all natural cornmeal.

    • Jessy Yancey says:

      Hi Joan,

      Thanks for asking. We just checked with Mrs. Crittenden, and the recipe DOES call for self-rising cornmeal. We’ve updated the recipe at the link above (which goes to our sister site, Farm Flavor).

      Jessy Yancey
      editor, Tennessee Home & Farm

  2. Margo Ownby says:

    I don’t see the recipe, can’t find it attached to any links either. I have the book, I just wanted to copy and paste it into my recipes without having to type it all out.

  3. Michelle Demarchi says:

    so I’m just curious which would be better half and half or evaporated milk??

    • Jessy Yancey says:

      Hi Michelle,

      My thought is that half-and-half would result in a slightly creamier version, but evaporated milk should work just fine, since they can be used interchangeably in this recipe. Sorry for the delay in response, and we hope your recipe turned out well!

      Jessy Yancey
      Tennessee Home & Farm

  4. Treva says:

    This is great! My son likes to cook and learn recipes too.