Ultimate Cornbread Stuffing is an AMAZING Thanksgiving dressing recipe featuring both French bread and cornbread, customized with garlic, your favorite herbs, and optional add-ins!
Last week I brought you Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes and Mini Pecan Pies. This week I'm bringing you some tasty Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan, quite possibly the best darn Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon you'll ever try, and this DELECTABLE Ultimate Cornbread Stuffing!
I guess you could say we're officially in a Thanksgiving frame of mind these days. 😉
So back to this stuffing! Or is it dressing? What do you call it? I honestly waver back and forth...
French Bread + Cornbread Stuffing
Whatever you call it, this stuffing/dressing is sublime. I first heard the notion of combining French bread and cornbread in a stuffing about seven years ago over at a blog by the little-known Pioneer Woman. I tried her recipe back then and wow...it was undoubtedly the best stuffing I had ever had. In fact, it's been right up there as my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal ever since...and that's saying a lot, seeing as how I grew up on stuffing á la Stovetop and never particularly cared for Thanksgiving dressing (at all).
This Cornbread Stuffing is full of flavor -- thanks to fresh minced garlic and plenty of fresh herbs -- but it also boasts incredible texture.
The cornbread soaks up the seasoned broth and crumbles, keeping the stuffing moist, while the cubes of French bread remain intact and slightly chewy.
I always buy my French bread (using a loaf similar to the one pictured in this recipe, in case you're curious about what kind to buy) but make my own cornbread using my Homemade Cornbread Mix. And I like to add a little honey so that my cornbread is slightly sweet, which I think is a nice contrast in this savory stuffing.
As for flavoring this Ultimate Cornbread Stuffing, well, there's plenty of fresh minced garlic and fresh herbs! I always like to start with parsley, rosemary, and thyme as my base herbs. Then if I'm using another herb in the meal -- such as sage in the turkey, for example -- I incorporate a bit of that into my stuffing as well, to help tie everything together.
I like to keep my dressing simple and straightforward -- bread, garlic, herbs, broth -- since there's often a lot going on in the other Thanksgiving side dishes. However, the nice thing about this stuffing is that you can easily jazz it up if you want to.
- Reduce the garlic and add in the traditional onions and celery.
- Spice it up with some bell pepper chunks.
- Throw in savory sauteed mushrooms.
- Fold in some crispy cooked bacon or crumbled sausage.
Make it your own!
Whether you prefer it plain or decide to toss in your favorite additions, this Ultimate Cornbread Stuffing is sure to be a popular addition to your table this Turkey Day! At our fake, food blogging-induced Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend, my eldest child declared it his favorite part of the meal and asked, "Can you eat this stuff all year long or only on Thanksgiving?" Guess I know what someone's going to be requesting for his birthday dinner come August... 😉
More Thanksgiving Recipes
- Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze
- Cream Cheese Corn Casserole
- Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Ultimate Cornbread Stuffing
- 1 large loaf French bread
- 1 (8-inch) round pan of cornbread
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic, about 3 to 5 medium-sized cloves, depending on how strong you want the garlic flavor to be
- 4 cups chicken broth OR stock
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- The day before you make the stuffing, slice the French bread into 1-inch thick slices and then cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread out in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with cornbread, cutting into 1-inch cubes and spreading out on a baking sheet. Set pans on the counter and allow bread cubes to dry for 24 hours. (If you wish to speed up the process, place baking sheets in a 250°F oven for 30 minutes or until bread is dried out.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and generously grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish (or an oven-safe dish of a comparable size). Heat a large pot over low heat, add butter, and allow to melt. Add fresh minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garlic should be fragrant and beginning to turn a light golden brown but not dark. Add chicken broth to the garlic, increase heat, and bring to a boil. Stir in fresh herbs, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat.
- Combine dried French bread and cornbread cubes in a very large bowl (or in a stock pot, if you don't have a big enough bowl). Ladle a few scoops of broth over bread cubes, gently toss to combine, and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and/or herbs, if desired. Continue to add broth to bread cubes, carefully tossing to moisten bread without breaking it all up.
- Transfer stuffing to greased baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- If you would like to add onion, celery, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc. to your stuffing, increase the butter (to about 1 stick), reduce the garlic (to about 1 clove) and cook vegetables in butter until tender (onions/celery should be translucent, and any liquid given off by mushrooms should have evaporated) before adding broth and proceeding with the recipe.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic will give your stuffing a pretty garlicky flavor. Use less if you prefer a milder garlic flavor.
- Fresh herbs are optimal for this recipe, but if you use dried herbs, reduce the amounts to 1/3 of what was originally called for in fresh herbs (dried herbs are more potent so you need to use less). Feel free to increase/decrease/change the herbs to your tastes.
- The amount of salt you use will depend on if your butter was salted, how much sodium your chicken broth/stock contains, and how salty you like your food. Add salt carefully and taste often to get the amount to your liking. I ended up using 3/4 teaspoon total in our stuffing.
- You may stuff your turkey with this dressing, if desired...the stuffing is safe to eat once its internal temperature reaches 165°F with a food thermometer. Bake any leftover stuffing in a baking dish.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman