The present study delineates the preparation, characterization and application of gelatin-carboxymethyl chitosan scaffolds for dermal tissue engineering. The effect of carboxymethyl chitosan and gelatin ratio was evaluated for variations in their physico-chemical-biological characteristics and drug release kinetics. The scaffolds were prepared by freeze drying method and characterized by SEM and FTIR. The study revealed that the scaffolds were highly porous with pore size ranging between 90 and 170 μm, had high water uptake (400–1100%) and water retention capacity (>300%). The collagenase mediated degradation of the scaffolds was dependent on the amount of gelatin present in the formulation. A slight yet significant variation in their biological characteristics was also observed. All the formulations supported adhesion, spreading, growth and proliferation of 3T3 mouse fibroblasts. The cells seeded on the scaffolds also demonstrated expression of collagen type I, HIF1α and VEGF, providing a clue regarding their growth and proliferation along with potential to support angiogenesis during wound healing. In addition, the scaffolds showed sustained ampicillin and bovine serum albumin release, confirming their suitability as a therapeutic delivery vehicle during wound healing. All together, the results suggest that gelatin-carboxymethyl chitosan based scaffolds could be a suitable matrix for dermal tissue engineering applications. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.