My family does not like bread stuffing.
Our Thanksgiving stuffing is rice-based and stuffed with currents, chestnuts, and ground meat (and it’s delicious!).
But when we had a bunch of leftover cornbread sitting in the pantry, I knew that I wanted to take a stab at the Thanksgiving classic. And to my surprise, my family LOVED it.
I love the texture of this cornbread stuffing and that it is loaded with veggies (because there is always room for more veggies at Thanksgiving!). Plus, I love that it comes together in like 20 minutes, bakes in 30 minutes, and that it can be made ahead of time/reheated before serving. So you can make the stuffing earlier in the day and then warm it up before dinnertime!
Make ahead sides… that’s definitely something to be thankful for.
Simple Cornbread Stuffing starts with the flavorful base.
I browned up some sweet Italian sausage (casing removed and broken into large crumbles using a spatula) in a skillet. (and I was SUPER spacey and forgot to take a picture) When it was brown and cooked through, I removed it from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
I added a teeny bit of olive oil to the skillet.
Then tossed in some chopped onion and celery. Cook the veggies for a couple of minutes until they have softened.
Add in some sliced crimini mushrooms and minced garlic. Stir together and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender and cooked down.
Season the veggie mixture with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl.
Then add in the star of the show – the cornbread!
This is my family’s favorite cornbread recipe, but you can use whatever cornbread you like (you can even buy prepared cornbread at the store!). The perfect amount is the amount of cornbread that is baked in a 9″x9″ pan (about ~4-5 cups).
I cubed the cornbread into bite-sized pieces and let it sit out to dry a bit (you can do this overnight!). If you don’t have time, you can pop the cubes into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 10 minutes until they are dried.
Stir everything together and then pour over some low sodium chicken broth. The amount will vary depending on the dryness of your cornbread.
Pour the stuffing mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and baked for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and crusty on top.
Definitely won my stuffing-skeptical crew with this one.
It is now one of our new favorite Thanksgiving dishes!
So, do you like bread stuffing? What’s your favorite?
- 8oz sweet Italian sausage (3 links), casing removed
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
- 6 stalks celery, chopped
- 8oz crimini mushrooms, halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Leaves from 2-3 fresh thyme springs
- ~4-5 cups cubed cornbread - amount from a 9"x9" baking pan
- ½-1 cup low sodium chicken broth, amount depending how dry your cornbread is
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large skillet set over medium heat, add in the sausage. Using a spatula, break the sausage into large crumbled and brown thoroughly. When the sausage is browned and cooked through, remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add olive oil to skillet and add in the onion and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add in garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and brown.
- Add in the salt, pepper, and thyme leaves - stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Pour veggie mixture into a large bowl. Add in the cornbread cubes and toss to combine.
- Pour the chicken broth over the cornbread - starting with ½ cup of broth and adding more until the cornbread is moist (but not soggy!). Stir to completely combine.
- Dump the cornbread mixture into the greased baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. This can be made ahead of time and reheated before dinnertime!