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This easy Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing is a popular Thanksgiving side dish with comforting classic flavors from fresh thyme and sage, along with apples, carrots, and celery. It’s moist and fluffy in the center with perfectly crispy edges. If you usually prefer classic bread stuffing, this recipe might just convince you that cornbread dressing deserves a permanent place on your holiday menu.
Why You’ll Love This Thanksgiving Side Dish
If you’re planning a gluten free Thanksgiving menu, this flavor-packed, herby cornbread stuffing must make the list. Here’s why you’ll love it:
- Classic dish. This is a traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas recipe that even non-gluten-free guests will dig into with joy.
- Perfect texture. It has a moist and soft interior with just the right amount of crisp, golden crust on the edges.
- Seasonal flavors. By adding the classic mirepoix of carrots, onions, and celery along with ripe apples, you get a delicious sweet and savory flavor that’s complemented with plenty of fresh herbs.
If you’re more of a purist who loves regular stuffing made with gluten free sandwich bread, be sure to try my gluten free Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, which is just as tasty without the cornbread.
You’ll need these ingredients to make homemade gluten-free stuffing. This is just a quick overview. The full amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Gluten free cornbread. My recipe makes easy, fluffy gluten free cornbread that’s perfect for this stuffing recipe. You can also use store-bought if you’re in a pinch. You’ll need about a 9-inch square pan of cornbread.
- Butter. Use unsalted if possible.
- Mirepoix. The classic combination of onion, carrots, and celery.
- Apple. You can use any kind of apple, but Granny Smith holds up well during cooking.
- Fresh herbs. Parsley, sage, and thyme give that seasonal flavor you crave.
- Chicken broth. Veggie broth also works for vegetarian stuffing.
- Eggs. These bind the stuffing and give it a moist, custardy texture.
How to Make Cornbread Stuffing
Here are the simple steps to make the best gluten-free cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving this year:
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan or 2-quart casserole pan with cooking spray.
Cook the aromatics: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion, apple, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
Add the seasonings: Stir in the parsley, sage, and thyme, and cook for another minute or two. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix the stuffing: In a large bowl, crumble the cornbread into various-sized pieces. Add the onion mixture, 1½ cups of chicken broth, and the two beaten eggs. Stir until everything is well combined. Add more broth as necessary for a moist, but not liquidy texture.
Bake: Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and it is cooked through.
Tips for the Best Cornbread Dressing
Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind when you’re making this stuffing:
- Make the cornbread the day (or even two) before you plan to make the stuffing. Let it dry out for a few days so it can better absorb the flavors in the recipe. It will also crisp up nicely when it bakes (similar to croutons made with day-old bread).
- If you don’t have unsalted butter, wait to add the salt until you’ve tasted the stuffing.
- When adding chicken broth, only add enough until the stuffing is moist, but not soupy. The amount may vary a bit based on your cornbread.
- If the stuffing is browning too quickly, cover the dish with tin foil in the oven.
If you want to mix up your stuffing flavors, it’s easy to do! Here are some tasty ways to modify this cornbread stuffing recipe to suit your preferences:
- Add crumbled, browned sausage or crispy bacon.
- Add cooked chestnuts
- Stir in dried fruit like cranberries, currents or raisins.
- Add pumpkin seeds, walnuts or pecans.
- Make vegetarian stuffing by swapping chicken broth for veggie broth.
- Add a splash or two of cream for a richer stuffing recipe.
- Use other herbs like rosemary, basil or chives to mix things up.
- Add diced hot peppers or crushed red pepper flakes for some heat.
- Try with my Apple Butter Cornbread for a slightly different flavor, or even Cornbread Muffins with sage.
This cornbread stuffing is delicious hot out of the oven. Serve it with other gluten free classic Thanksgiving menu items like:
- Classic Roast Turkey with Herb Butter
- BBQ-Rubbed Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- Gluten Free Turkey Gravy
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Butternut Squash Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
- Cinnamon Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Gluten Free Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Apples
- Gluten-Free Dutch Apple Pie
Store leftover cornbread stuffing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can enjoy it cold or reheat it in the microwave in 30-second increments until it’s warmed through.
Can I Freeze Stuffing?
Yes, you can freeze leftover cornbread stuffing. Just be sure to let it cool fully. Then transfer it to an airtight container and pop it into the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to serve, defrost the stuffing in the fridge overnight. Then reheat it in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
How to Use Leftover Stuffing
If you end up with leftovers, you can reuse them in delicious ways! Here are some of my favorite ways to serve Thanksgiving stuffing the next day:
- Fill bell peppers, zucchini or eggplant for a vegetarian stuffed dinner the next night.
- Stir some stuffing into your leftover turkey soup for added heft.
- Crumble it on top of BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes before popping them in the oven for a crispy topping.
- Make a heaping Thanksgiving leftover sandwich on Gluten Free Bread with all of the fixings.
- Make stuffing muffins by adding shredded cheese and whisked eggs to the stuffing and shaping them into a muffin tin for breakfast the next day alongside some Waldorf Fruit Salad.
Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing
- 1 prepared recipe of Gluten Free Cornbread or your favorite cornbread recipe (one that makes enough for a 9-inch square pan)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion , finely chopped
- 1 cup diced apple
- ½ cup diced carrot
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 Tablespoon minced sage
- ½ Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1½ – 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan or 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper. Saute until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in the parsley, sage, and thyme, and cook for another minute or two. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Crumble the cornbread into a large bowl. Add the onion mixture, 1 ½ cups of chicken broth, and eggs. Stir until well combined. Add additional chicken broth as needed to achieve a texture that is very moist, but not liquidy.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and it is cooked though.