Savory Southern Cornbread Stuffing
This cornbread stuffing is a classic Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime side dish that’s completely packed with flavor. Sweet, savory, and tender, this traditional side dish is delicious and easy to make gluten free.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Ok, technicallyyyy….. this is a cornbread dressing rather than a cornbread stuffing. What’s the difference? “Stuffing” is stuffed into the turkey (or bird of choice) and cooked, but “dressing” is cooked in a dish on its own and served as a side. Some people use the terms interchangeably, though. Whatever you want to call it, this dish is GOOD.
- The cornbread is dense and rich and buttery, and then it’s crumbled with buttery sautéed onions and celery and deep, earthy sage and thyme. This stuffing is bursting with Thanksgiving flavors!
- You can prep this dish ahead of time! Assemble the cornbread stuffing up to the point of baking in step 4, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it up to 12 hours max. Bring it to room temp before baking, or bake it cold – you may need to add a few minutes to the bake time if it’s cold. You can make the actual cornbread 1 to 3 days ahead.
Cornbread Mix – I know, I know. Using a mix is blasphemous in a lot of kitchens. The holidays can get pretty hectic, though, and opting for a mix can make the day a little easier. You can 100% use a from-scratch cornbread recipe in your cornbread stuffing if you prefer it! You could also use a gluten-free cornbread mix (or from-scratch recipe, like my gluten free cornbread with honey) for a gluten-free cornbread dressing. One batch should do the trick – you want roughly 4 cups of cornbread crumbles.
Eggs – Along with the chicken stock, the eggs bind the cornbread stuffing together while keeping it incredibly moist and fluffy. If you’re vegan, you can omit the eggs entirely, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. The texture will be a little different without the eggs, but still delicious.
- Dried cranberries would be a great cornbread stuffing add-in. This dish is overall super savory, and the sweetness of the cranberries would play off those rich flavors nicely.
- You control the amount of chicken stock you add, and that amount affects the texture of the dish. For a denser, mushier cornbread stuffing, use the full 2 cups (or close to it). For a lighter dressing, stick closer to 1 cup.
- Instead of canned chicken stock, try using homemade Instant Pot Chicken Stock, Instant Pot Turkey Stock, or Instant Pot Bone Broth. Each will give the stuffing a slightly different flavor.
Try These Holiday Sides, Too
- Cranberry Orange Relish
- Sweet Potato Soufflé
- Instant Pot Green Beans
- Great Grandma’s Sausage Stuffing
- Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes
- Asparagus Casserole
- 1 16-ounce package dry cornbread mix prepared according to package instructions, then cooled and crumbled; see Notes
- ¼ cup butter see Notes
- 3 ribs celery chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 large eggs beaten, see Notes
- 2 cups chicken stock divided, see Notes
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 9×13 baking dish
- Large skillet
- Large bowl
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease 9×13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray and set aside.
- In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Once melted, add onion and celery and sauté until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer softened celery and onions to large bowl.
- In large bowl, combine sautéed celery and onions, crumbled cornbread, eggs, 1 cup chicken stock, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well, adding more chicken stock as needed.
- Transfer cornbread stuffing mixture to baking dish. Spread stuffing mixture into even layer, then place baking dish in oven. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is browned. Remove from oven and serve warm.
- Make it Gluten Free: Use a gluten-free cornbread mix, either store-bought or make your own using my gluten-free cornbread recipe. You’ll only need one batch of my GF cornbread for this cornbread stuffing.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use a dairy-free butter.
- Make it Vegetarian: Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
- Make it Vegan: Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, use a vegan butter, and omit the eggs altogether.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.
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