This savory gluten-free cornbread stuffing is packed with caramelized mushrooms, fennel and sage. The crust forms quickly thanks to the skillet, which makes it a great option for making ahead of time and reheating right before the meal. Though I love a little butter around the holidays, you can also make this vegetarian stuffing dairy-free!
Thanksgiving used to be “our holiday,” meaning the one my small branch of the family hosted every year for our ever growing masses. Once we hit the 40 person mark, and my dad made the misguided decision to erect a tent in our backyard to host the meal, we ceded ownership to a much less eccentric host with a larger dining room. The one thing that has remained the same since I was a teenager: I am, and always will be, the gluten-free stuffing girl.
While some people have immortalized their Thanksgiving dishes—my mom’s gluten-free gravy has remained the same for 25 years, as has her sweet potato casserole—I like to shake things up with a different spin on my gluten-free stuffing ever year.
I switch off between a gluten-free cornbread dressing and a sourdough or loaf based stuffing, and like to mix up my veggie add-in’s to keep things interesting. Or, perhaps, because I can never remember what I’ve done the previous year.
After all this dilly dallying I finally landed on the gluten-free stuffing recipe I wanted to immortalize, and you can find this Butternut Squash and Leek version in my new cookbook CARIBOVORE! Those who pre-order can download 6 bonus holiday recipes immediately, including that stuffing.
So for this year’s addition to the blog gluten-free stuffing recipe arsenal, I decided to go the cornbread route. I’ve previously done a gluten-free cornbread stuffing with rice, which is delicious. But this year with a wee one now crawling into the kitchen and grabbing at the oven doors, I decided to go with something quick and easy in a skillet.
This year’s gluten-free cornbread stuffing is packed with wild mushrooms, fennel, and sage butter. It’s a woody, earthy, savory cornbread dressing with only a hint of sweetness that goes so nicely with everything else on the holiday table. It also lends itself to making ahead of time and plenty of variations. So let’s talk about each element!
How to make gluten-free cornbread dressing / stuffing!
Gluten-free cornbread for stuffing
For the gluten-free cornbread, I prefer to make my cornbread in advance, cube it, and allow to dry out for a day. Then I store it in the fridge in an airtight bag or container.
If you are not making the cornbread in advance, that’s fine too as my recipe is on the denser side and not overly moist. Simply begin with this gluten-free cornbread recipe in step one and use the same skillet for the stuffing.
I’ve gone with a mix of mushrooms and fennel, but you can substitute other vegetables if you’re so inclined. Leeks, shallot, onion are all interchangeable with the fennel. If mushrooms aren’t your thing, kale, butternut squash, fresh pumpkin and creamed spinach are other stuffing mix-in’s I’ve favored over the years.
For the mushrooms, feel free to pulse or finely chop the caps for extra shroom essence and less waste. Just sauté along with the sliced caps.
For the non vegetarians
If you’re not a vegetarian, some sweet or hot Italian sausage would be wonderful in this recipe. Simply brown the sausage (no casings) before adding the fennel. It marries wonderfully with the slightly sweet cornbread and savory mushrooms.
Making this gluten-free stuffing dairy-free
You can use plant-based butter or ghee instead of regular butter. The gluten-free cornbread recipe also can be made dairy-free.
This stuffing recipe isn’t low FODMAP because of the mushrooms, but you can find a completely low FODMAP stuffing recipe made on a sheet pan here.
Tips for making the stuffing in advance
The whole stuffing can be made ahead of time in 30 minutes and stored in its skillet or casserole dish for up to 3 days covered. Simply reheat it before the meal in a 400 degree oven until the top and sides are golden brown and crispy. If it hasn’t been tightly covered, you may want to drizzle in a little extra olive oil and stock (1/3 cup) just to moisten it slighty in the center.
Alternatively, you can make each element separately—cube the cornbread, sauté the vegetables—and assemble to bake the day of Thanksgiving. If this is the route you go, simply skip the sage butter step and make that in the microwave right before you put it in the oven.
Read on for this gluten-free cornbread stuffing recipe. I hope it earns a permanent place on your family table, even if I probably won’t be able to help myself by changing it up next year.
With health and hedonism,
30-Minute Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing
- 1 gluten-free cornbread
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter olive oil or ghee
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage rosemary or thyme work too
- 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 8 ounces cremini or shitake mushrooms or a mix, thinly sliced (see note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup veggie or chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- If you haven’t made your gluten-free cornbread in advance, proceed with this recipe. The cornbread can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge.
- Once cooled, cut the cornbread into ½-inch cubes. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large ovenproof skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sage and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minutes. Transfer the butter to a small bowl or liquid 1-cup measure.
- Return the same skillet to a medium flame and sauté the fennel and shallots in the dregs of the butter, adding more butter or oil if needed, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and continue sautéing until the mushrooms release some of their moisture and reduce in size, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and add the wine, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce by half, then remove from the heat. Add the veggies to the mixing bowl with the cornbread and allow to cool. Reserve the skillet (no need to clean it).
- Once room temperature, stir in the eggs and stock until well incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish or return it to the same skillet or saucepan you were already using, if ovenproof. Drizzle the gluten-free cornbread stuffing evenly with the sage butter. You can also use a pastry brush to ensure every crouton gets covered.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until cooked through and turning golden brown on top. If your stuffing isn’t browning enough, turn up the oven to 425F for 5 minutes. The stuffing can be made a day in advance up until this point. To serve, return to the oven at 425 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or until a crust has formed on top.