Make-Ahead Cornbread Stuffing
Turkey’s great and all, but Thanksgiving sides are the crown jewel on the table. And you absolutely HAVE to make this cornbread stuffing part of your feast!
I first baked it last month to test out and, as two cornbread loving freaks, Kevin and I loved it. I also gave a tupperware full of it to our friends– I literally carried stuffing in my purse. So weird.
They said it was gone within 12 hours and scraped their plates clean!
The soul-warming savory herb flavors completely shine through and what you’ll also love about this recipe is that it’s formulated to make your holiday easier. It’s 100% make-ahead. In fact, it even tastes better when prepped ahead of time. This means you’ll have more time with your loved ones and more time eating pie. Something we can all be thankful for, right?
This is a straightforward stuffing recipe, beginning with homemade cornbread. You can use your favorite cornbread recipe, but I have a super simple one below. Lightly toasting the cornbread ahead of time will help it absorb some of the liquid ingredients, preventing your stuffing from being soggy and creating a more cohesive dish. It’s deliciously moist with plenty of hearty texture.
The cornbread stuffing is bursting with the season’s favorite herbs and spices like McCormick Parsley Flakes, Thyme Leaves, Black Pepper, and Rubbed Sage. Simple and vibrant, these flavors brighten the stuffing up; just a couple shakes of each completely transforms everything!
Extras like sausage, sweet pear, and pecans round out the cornbread stuffing providing even more flavor. Salty, sweet, savory, crunchy = this stuffing has it all. Feel free to play around with these ingredients. Vegetarian? Leave the sausage out and add mushrooms or diced butternut squash instead. Use an apple instead of pear or walnuts instead of pecans. Or leave it nut free and maybe add some pumpkin seeds. (YUM!) As long as you stick to a starting line-up of cornbread, parsley, thyme, black pepper, and sage– you’re golden.
Most of the stuffing is prepped on the stove, then mixed together before baking. At this point you can refrigerate it overnight and bake before the big meal. Or you can even whip it up now and freeze it. Thaw out the night before Thanksgiving in your refrigerator, then warm it up before serving. Just one less thing to worry about!
Is your cornbread stuffing going into the turkey? Let it all cool before stuffing. If not, let’s bake it until toasty brown and steaming hot. 🙂
Isn’t this so fun? I made a faux Thanksgiving plate, though there’s about 1 billion things missing like cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole from scratch, and a honey butter roll or 5 (obsessed). Is it ok that’s chicken and not turkey? Who really cares because all that matters is the glorious pile of CORNBREAD STUFFING! ♥
Make-Ahead Cornbread Stuffing
- 1 cup (120g) cornmeal
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons; 115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup (60g) honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 and ½ cups (600ml) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 celery stalks, sliced (about 1 and ¼ cups)
- 1 Tablespoon McCormick Parsley Flakes (plus more for sprinkling on top)
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Rubbed Sage
- ½ teaspoon McCormick Sea Salt Grinder
- ½ teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- 1 lb uncooked sausage
- 1 medium pear, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup (125g) Diamond of California shelled pecans
- Cornbread: (Prepare 1 day in advance!) Preheat oven to 375°F (1791°C). Whisk all of the cornbread ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9x9 square baking pan. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Set aside to cool overnight. Do not cover.
- Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Slice the cornbread into small 1-inch cubes. You will have about 7-8 cups cubes. Spread onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool as you prepare the stuffing. Turn the oven up to 375°F (1791°C).
- Stuffing: Whisk the broth and eggs together in a very large bowl. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, parsley, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings into the skillet. Break up with a spoon, then add the pears. Cook until sausage is just about cooked through. Pour into the broth + egg mixture, including any liquid that may be in the skillet as well. Add the toasted cornbread cubes and pecans. Very gently fold everything together.
- Spoon stuffing into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until toasted on top. Sprinkle with additional parsley, if desired, and serve warm.
Make ahead tip: Prepare the cornbread (step 1) 1 day in advance. You can also chop and toast it 1 day in advance (step 2). To save time, you can also chop the onion, celery, and pear 1 day in advance as well. Cover and refrigerate them overnight. You can also prepare the entire recipe through step 4, cover and refrigerate overnight, then bake the next day.
*If using to stuff a turkey, skip step 5 and allow to cool completely after step 4. Then stuff into the turkey.
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Another must-try: creamy green bean casserole from scratch.
This recipe is sponsored by McCormick. Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction!