Monica's favorite gear for
making Cornbread Stuffing
This is the mix I use for convenience when I don't want to make cornbread from scratch.
This 3-quart, 9x13 baking dish gets lots of use in my kitchen. The cover is especially convenient for refrigerating make-ahead recipes like this one.
Cumin and coriander are the secret ingredients in my family's stuffing recipe. Click below for coriander.
Also available: organic ground coriander
This is the classic herb blend used for seasoning stuffing and poultry soups.
I use this spatula for stirring when I saute and stir fry (like the onions and celery in this recipe). It's safe to use on any surface and can tolerate 600 degree heat.
I use this painter's tape for labeling food for the fridge and freezer. It sticks well, yet removes easily without leaving behind a gummy residue.
These little seeds add a nutritional punch to stuffing. Their neutral flavor makes them a great addition to many recipes like oatmeal and smoothies.
Also available: more chia seed options,

Make-Ahead Cornbread Stuffing

A healthy makeover of a favorite family recipe


Whole Grain Cornbread Dressing

By Monica              12 servings
A make-ahead, healthy makeover of a favorite 50-year-old family recipe.

A make-ahead, healthy makeover of a favorite 50-year-old family recipe.

Ingredients
  • 6 cups crumbled whole grain cornbread
  • 6 cups cubed sturdy white bread (not Wonder-type bread)
  • 6 cups cubed whole grain bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds (optional)
  • 4-6 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions
DRY THE BREAD:
Dry the bread cubes and crumbled corn bread by spreading it out over two large baking sheets and choosing from these drying options: (1) leave the trays of bread out on the counter to dry for 1-2 days, OR, (2) put the trays of bread in a 200 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn, just in case your oven cooks hot.)

SAUTE VEGGIES, ALMONDS, AND SEASONINGS:
Heat olive oil in skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, poultry seasoning, pepper, coriander, cumin, salt, and almonds. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onions and celery are soft and just beginning to brown.

ASSEMBLE & BAKE:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; coat 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine dried bread, chia or ground flax seeds, and sauteed veggies and seasonings along with any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour in 4 cups of broth, stir, and let rest a few minutes for broth to get absorbed. Continue to stir in more broth, as needed, until dried bread is completely moistened. It usually takes a total of around 5 cups of broth. (The actual amount of broth needed can vary depending on the dryness of the bread used.) Taste a sample of the mixture to make sure it has enough salt and other seasonings; add more, if needed. (Note: It's important for safety reasons to taste and adjust seasonings before raw eggs are added.) Stir beaten eggs into the stuffing mixture. Transfer stuffing mixture to prepared baking dish. Bake uncovered for approx. 1 hour, or until sides and bottom are visibly browned.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP:
Stuffing may be mixed, transferred to baking dish, covered, and refrigerated for 1-2 days before baking. Remove from fridge and rest on counter, uncovered, for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature before baking.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): 208 calories, 9.0g fat, 24g carbs, 2.6g fiber, 2.1g sugars, 8.1g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5


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  • Tip for easy added nutrition:  Add chia seeds or ground flax seeds to your stuffing. These mighty seeds completely disappear into the stuffing (no one will know they are there) while adding fiber and nutrients.

Dressing or Stuffing? Cooked inside the bird or in a baking dish? Soggy or crumbly? Plain or with fruit, sausage, or nuts? There is much debate about what makes good stuffing--or dressing--whatever you call it.

Me? I call it both dressing and stuffing, but more often dressing. I like it cooked in a baking dish resulting in crispy brown edges and moist (but not soggy) stuffing. No fruit or sausage in mine, but I do add some almonds.

This is one of those traditional foods that many people feel passionately about. Lots of us simply like it prepared the way our mothers or grandmothers made it. That's definitely the case in my family. Although the recipe I'm sharing today has been tweaked through the years, this is very close to the way my mom (aka Grammy) has been making cornbread dressing for at least 50 years. She learned it from her Southern-cooking mother. I'm not sure exactly how far back the origins of the recipe go before that. My mom did add her creative touch to the recipe when she began seasoning her cornbread dressing with cumin and coriander, in addition to traditional poultry seasoning. That may sound like an odd combination to you, but in our family it has become the only way to season stuffing. Most newbies who taste it can't quite put their finger on what's different about it, but it consistently gets rave reviews.

Healthified. Unlike most stuffing recipes, my cornbread dressing has zero butter. Two tablespoons of olive oil is the only added fat. I use mostly whole grain breads with equal portions of whole grain cornbread, whole wheat bread, and white bread (a little white bread is needed to lighten up the texture a bit). Chia seeds (or ground flax seeds) completely disappear into the stuffing (no one will know they are there) while adding a nutrition boost. I like to throw in some slivered almonds for crunch,  flavor, and nutrition, too. Stuffing is by definition one big carb-fest; but as carbs go, and certainly as stuffing goes, this is a healthy recipe.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 208 calories, 9.0g fat, 24g carbs, 2.6g fiber, 2.1g sugars, 8.1g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5

Easy and Make Ahead. This recipe is really easy to make--simple ingredients and not much prep time. I've experimented with assembling it a day or two ahead. It's every bit as good, if not better. It is such a relief to have the stuffing prepared ahead and ready to pop in the oven as the turkey is finishing up. We always have this with our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Those are such busy days, and I try to make ahead as much of the menu as possible so that I can relax and enjoy myself and our family and guests. (My Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes are both stress relievers, too.)

 

Step-by-step pictures for making
Whole Grain Cornbread Stuffing 

Step 1. Assemble these ingredients:

  • low-sodium chicken broth --  homemade or store bought; Swanson's Organic Chicken Broth is recommended by Cooks Illustrated for the best flavor.
  • olive oil
  • onion
  • celery
  • eggs
  • ground black pepper
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • poultry seasoning -- buy it or make your own; here's my recipe
  • salt
  • slivered or sliced almonds
  • whole grain cornbread, crumbled -- use a mix (Bob's Red Mill has a good whole grain mix); or, make your own, here's my recipe
  • whole grain bread, cubed
  • white bread, cubed -- use a heartier bread, not Wonder-type bread (it becomes gluey when it's moistened in the stuffing); French bread works well
  • chia seeds or flax seed meal (same as ground flax seed)--not pictured

view on Amazon:
Bob's Red Mill cornbread mix  
organic cumin, coriander, poultry seasoning 
organic chia seeds, organic flax seed meal

IMG_5925.jpgCornbread_Stuffing1.jpg

  • Make-ahead tip: You can bake and crumble the cornbread and cube the whole grain and white bread well in advance. Combine the 3 breads in a gallon size ziploc bag and freeze it for up to 1 month.

IMG_5969.JPG

Step 2. The bread needs to be dried so that it will absorb the broth and other seasonings better and make for a more flavorful stuffing. There are two ways of doing this. Spread out the bread cubes and crumbled cornbread on two large baking sheets. 

  • Leave the trays of bread out on the counter to dry for 1-2 days. 
  • OR, put the trays of bread in a 200 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn, just in case your oven cooks hotter than mine.)

Cornbread_Stuffing4.jpg

Step 3. Chop the celery and onion.

Cornbread_Stuffing3.jpg

Step 4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, almonds, and seasonings. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onions and celery are soft and just beginning to brown.

view on Amazon:
Oxo silicone spatula (I use this for stirring when I saute)

Cornbread_Stuffing5.jpg

Step 5. In a large bowl, combine the dried bread cubes and crumbs. Add the sautéed veggies and seasonings along with any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Step 6. Pour in 4D cups of broth, stir, and let rest a few minutes for the broth to get absorbed. Continue to stir in more broth, as needed, until dried bread is completely moistened. (The actual amount of broth needed can vary depending on the quantity and dryness of the bread used.) I added a total of 5 cups of broth to this batch.
Step 7. Taste a sample of the mixture to make sure it has enough salt and other seasonings; add more, if needed. (Note: It's important for safety reasons to taste and adjust seasonings before raw eggs are added in the next step.)collage10.jpg

Step 8. Whisk the eggs and stir them into the stuffing mixture. The eggs serve as a binder to hold the stuffing together. If you prefer a more crumbly stuffing, omit the eggs or use 1 egg instead of 2.collage9.jpg

Step 9. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. I like to use a glass baking dish so I can check the edges and bottom for brownness to determine when to take it out of the oven when it's baked.

  • Make-ahead tip. At this point, you can cover the filled baking dish and refrigerate it for 1-2 days. Remove it from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for 1/2 hour to bring it to room temperature before baking it.

view on Amazon: Pyrex baking dish with cover

Cornbread_Stuffing7a.jpg

thumbIMG_2395_1.jpg

Step 10. Bake it uncovered at 350 degrees for approx. 1 hour, until the edges and bottom are browned. The combination of the browned edges and moist center are so good!

Cornbread_Stuffing8.jpg

You can serve the stuffing directly from the baking dish or spoon it into a serving bowl. Fresh sage or parsley makes a pretty garnish.squareIMG_6009.jpg

  • Leftovers. I put leftovers in a 2-serving freezer containers (for King-Man and myself). They can be frozen for 2-3 months and are great to have ready for reheating and enjoying with a rotisserie chicken for a quick meal down the road.
  • To reheat, put the stuffing in a covered oven safe dish and heat at 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes. Or, heat it in a skillet on the stove top to restore some of the crispy bits.
  • Tip. I use blue painters tape for labeling food for the fridge and freezer. It sticks well but is easily removed without leaving a sticky residue. 

view on Amazon:  blue painters tape for labeling

IMG_6019.jpg

Gravy is a must! It's a rule that stuffing should be smothered in gravy. I make turkey gravy in advance, too, so that I'm not scurrying around trying to get it made after the turkey comes out the oven. Here's my recipe:

Make-Ahead, Fat-Free Turkey Gravy

IMG_8249thumbnailresize.jpg

 

I love the flavor and texture of this old family stuffing recipe. What kind of stuffing do you like?

squareIMG_5989.jpg

Make it a Yummy day!
Monica

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Whole Grain Cornbread Dressing
By Monica              Servings: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 cups crumbled whole grain cornbread
  • 6 cups cubed sturdy white bread (not Wonder-type bread)
  • 6 cups cubed whole grain bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds (optional)
  • 4-6 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Directions
DRY THE BREAD:
Dry the bread cubes and crumbled corn bread by spreading it out over two large baking sheets and choosing from these drying options: (1) leave the trays of bread out on the counter to dry for 1-2 days, OR, (2) put the trays of bread in a 200 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn, just in case your oven cooks hot.)

SAUTE VEGGIES, ALMONDS, AND SEASONINGS:
Heat olive oil in skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, poultry seasoning, pepper, coriander, cumin, salt, and almonds. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onions and celery are soft and just beginning to brown.

ASSEMBLE & BAKE:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; coat 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine dried bread, chia or ground flax seeds, and sauteed veggies and seasonings along with any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour in 4 cups of broth, stir, and let rest a few minutes for broth to get absorbed. Continue to stir in more broth, as needed, until dried bread is completely moistened. It usually takes a total of around 5 cups of broth. (The actual amount of broth needed can vary depending on the dryness of the bread used.) Taste a sample of the mixture to make sure it has enough salt and other seasonings; add more, if needed. (Note: It's important for safety reasons to taste and adjust seasonings before raw eggs are added.) Stir beaten eggs into the stuffing mixture. Transfer stuffing mixture to prepared baking dish. Bake uncovered for approx. 1 hour, or until sides and bottom are visibly browned.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP:
Stuffing may be mixed, transferred to baking dish, covered, and refrigerated for 1-2 days before baking. Remove from fridge and rest on counter, uncovered, for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature before baking.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): 208 calories, 9.0g fat, 24g carbs, 2.6g fiber, 2.1g sugars, 8.1g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5
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Posted on Sunday, November 11th, 2012








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