Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing

For me, Thanksgiving is not complete without a good stuffing/dressing recipe, so when I was diagnosed with celiac, we worked on creating a gluten free version of my family's favorite stuffing recipe.  Because we smoke our turkey, we don't put our stuffing in the bird, like my family did when I was growing up.  Thankfully, it's just as good baked in the oven.  

First tip, DO NOT skimp on the butter.  Use the two sticks!  My mom tried to cut back on the butter once, and the whole family noticed the stuffing was not as good.  They're still talking about it years later.  :-)

I start by sautéing the onion in all that butter, which will seem excessive at this point.    

After a couple of minutes, put the carrots in the butter bath.  

Next up, add the celery.  

Finally, add the red pepper.  You could use green, yellow, or orange bell peppers in this recipe, but I use red, because it is sweet, and I like the color it adds to the stuffing.  

While my vegetables are cooking, I crumble my bread and cornbread into a very large bowl.  

I am all about making things as easy as possible on Thanksgiving.  I could make cornbread from scratch, but it is easier to use a mix.  I like to make my cornbread a day ahead for even less stress on the big feast day.  

The morning before Thanksgiving, I put my Whole Foods Bakehouse Gluten Free Sandwich Bread on the counter to defrost and dry out.  

Make sure you add enough chicken broth to make your stuffing super moist.  It should be moist enough to form stuffing balls, like meatballs, that stick together easily when pressed, but not so wet that chicken broth is dripping all over, and pooling in the bowl or pan.  

If you prep it ahead and put it in the fridge, you might have to cook your stuffing for 40 minutes.  From room temp, it cooks up in about 35 minutes.  I use a deep 9 x 13 aluminum disposable pan for easy cleanup.  

For me, no piece of turkey is complete without stuffing on top of it.  I only make stuffing once a year, which makes it extra, super special.  Smoked turkey, cornbread stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, apple orange cranberry relish, cream cheese pumpkin pie, and apple crostata - hands down, it's my favorite meal of the year. 

Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing - serves 12


1 C (2 sticks) salted butter 
1 1/2 large sweet onions - diced
2 C carrots - chopped 
2 C celery - chopped
2 large red bell peppers - chopped 
One 9 x 9 pan of cooked cornbread 
2/3 loaf gluten free bread - stale/dried out or toasted 
32 oz gluten free chicken broth
1/2 C fresh curly parsley (chopped)
Optional - kosher salt 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the onion, carrots, celery, and red peppers.  Cook each vegetable for a couple of minutes before adding the next one.  Cook until everything is soft, then add the parsley, and continue to cook for another minute or two.  Optional - add 2 or 3 pinches of kosher salt to the vegetables.  

Crumble the cornbread into a very  large bowl, then add the bread, ripping it into small pieces as you add it to the bowl.  Add the cooked vegetables, and stir.  Add chicken broth until your stuffing is nice and moist.  I usually use about 3 cups.  

Cook uncovered in a deep 9 x 13 pan for about 35 minutes, until the top is slightly browned.

Recipe Notes

I have considered adding an apple or two to the recipe, but I am afraid certain family members would revolt.

2015 Update - I used to use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix, but this year, it did not cook well, so we ended up using muffins we had made with Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Corn Bread Mix, and the stuffing was so much better than in previous years.  We made 12 muffins with the mix, but only used 6 of them, because that is all we had left.  Because we did not use as much cornbread as in previous years, we did not have to use as much chicken broth.


  1. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I can't wait to see what you share next time!