Cornbread Stuffing with Fennel Bulb, Dried Cranberries, and Toasted Pecans is richly flavored and so delicious! The perfect addition to your holiday table. This recipe can easily be made a day ahead of baking. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free adaptable. Video.
Saying this Cornbread Stuffing with Fennel, Cranberries, and Pecans is special is an understatement! Something about cornbread, and all its charm, just elevates this traditional holiday dish to higher heights!
The crusty cornbread absorbs all the lovely flavors and melts in your mouth marrying perfectly with the texture of toasty pecans and chewy bright cranberries. The sautéed shallots, fennel bulb, celery and fresh herbs give this savory classic all the anticipated flavor depth.
The cornbread is quick and easy to make. And actually it is best made a day or two ahead. Make cornbread one day, the next day make stuffing, and then bake on the third day!
Making this over the course of a couple of days feels like a lot less effort than doing it all in one shot. Either way, it is completely worth any effort.
Cornbread Stuffing | 60-Second Video
What you’ll need for Cornbread Stuffing
- cornbread (recipe included)
- fennel bulb
- fresh sage, rosemary & thyme
- salt & pepper
- white wine
- toasted pecans
- dried cranberries
- chicken stock or vegetable broth
- fresh parsley
How to make Cornbread Stuffing
Make cornbread. The beauty here is that day-old cornbread works best.
You can make the cornbread a couple of days ahead of time. It’ll freeze well too.
Cut the cornbread roughly into 1-inch chunks. Use a sharp knife for fewer crumbles. Toast in the oven for 20 minutes.
While the cornbread toasts up, chop the shallots, celery, fennel and herbs.
Throw butter in the pan turn to medium heat, as it is melting add fennel, shallots, celery, sage, thyme and rosemary. Saute 5-8 minutes and add white wine. Turn heat up sautéing 2 minutes more. Add salt and pepper.
Cut down on the butter if you must but really, it is not so very often that we eat something like this. Just relish in the heavenly rich flavor and succulent texture it creates.
Mix together 1 & 1/2 cups chicken broth and egg. In a large bowl gently toss together the sautéed mixture with pecans, cranberries, toasted cornbread, fresh parsley and egg broth mixture.
Place stuffing into a buttered baking dish 9 x 13 or equivalent. Pour remaining broth over the top if needed to fully moisten.
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Cornbread Stuffing with Fennel Bulb, Dried Cranberries, and Toasted Pecans is richly flavored and soul comforting. The perfect addition to your holiday table. This recipe can easily be made a day ahead of baking! Vegetarian and Gluten Free adaptable.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup medium grind cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (sub yogurt, mixed with 1/2 water or use milk with a teaspoon of vinegar)
- 2 eggs
- Cornbread (from above)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1 cup celery, 2-3 ribs chopped small
- 1 cup fennel bulb, 1 medium bulb, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
Make the Cornbread ( Tip: Do this a day ahead!)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Place cast iron skillet (or other baking dish) in the oven.
- Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Remove skillet from oven and put the butter in the hot skillet, stir around until it melts. Pour melted butter into a bowl. Now your skillet is buttered and warm. This will make a nice crust on your cornbread.
- Along with the melted butter, whisk in honey, buttermilk and eggs until completely mixed.
- Pour flour mixture into the wet ingredients and gently mix until just combined.
- Pour cornbread batter into the skillet, and spread out evenly. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. It is ok if it overbakes a bit when used in the stuffing.
Make the Stuffing
- Pre-heat oven to 350F
- Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes and toast on a sheet pan in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Melt butter in the pan and sauté celery, fennel, shallots, thyme, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper for about 6-8 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add white wine and turn up the heat for 2 minutes more, cooking it off. Turn heat off.
- Whisk the egg with 1 & 1/2 cups of chicken broth.
- In a large bowl gently mix sautéed veggies together with toasted cornbread, pecans, cranberries, parsley and the 1 & 1/2 cups of the egg broth mixture.
- Place in a buttered baking dish, 9 x13 or equivalent, and pour over the remaining 1/2 cup of broth if needed to further moisten.
- Bake covered at 375 F for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 15 more minutes, until golden and puffed.
Make stuffing a day or two ahead without baking and refrigerate, take out of the fridge an hour before baking and then bake per instructions.
The cornbread can be made a day or two in advance.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 375
- Sugar: 10.6 g
- Sodium: 464.9 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Saturated Fat: 11.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 31.7 g
- Fiber: 3.4 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 91.2 mg
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