Growing up, stuffing (with gravy, of course) was probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, and for the most part it still is. When I was a kid, my mom made it with the bag of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing (non-cubed style), adding chopped celery and onion to it, a tradition I kept for many years. For a while, I started making chicken and stuffing with gravy for the kids year round, and I often cheated by using Stove Top Stuffing (don’t judge!) for an easy weeknight meal. After Colleen and I got married, we ended up doing two Thanksgivings per year–one at her parent’s house, and one that we would host for my parents a few days later. We also started having holiday parties at our house occasionally. This gave us the opportunity to experiment a little with the otherwise mandatory traditional (i.e. “what we always have”) holiday dishes. So we went really old school one year and did a Dickensian Wild Rice and Chestnut Stuffing with Roast Goose and Bourbon Gravy, and went new school a few other times with a Sourdough Artichoke Parmesan Stuffing with our Smoked Turkey
Both were excellent, but last year we wanted to return to a more classic stuffing for my parents and kids, so I decided to do a home-made cornbread stuffing. I looked around the interwebs at various possibilities, before settling on the braggadociously entitled “The One Right Way to Make Stuffing,” from Slate.com, of all places. I eliminated the sausage from the recipe and took a short cut by using Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (the star of my Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins) instead of doing it from scratch, as in the original recipe.
It turned out great, and we have now served it two years in a row, with my step-mom demanding the recipe this year for herself–which is what is finally prompting me to get this year old post done! We’ve paired it with our Port Wine Cranberry Sauce, Whiskey Glazed Carrots, and Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes (hmmmm… I’m sensing a theme…) and our aforementioned Smoked Turkey, and it does a great job of rounding out the meal!
Maybe someday I’ll get brave and try it with the breakfast sausage mixed in, but in my opinion, this classic cornbread stuffing doesn’t need any assistance in tasting great.
Weight Watchers Info: 7 PointsPlus per serving (when yields 12 servings), 5 PointsPlus per serving (when yields 18 servings).
- 2 Boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
- 5 Eggs
- ⅔ Cup of Milk (we use 1%)
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Yellow or Sweet or Brown Onions, chopped
- 8 Celery Stalks, chopped
- 2-3 Cups Pepperidge Farm or Mrs. Cubbison's Herb Seasoned Cubed Stuffing or Croutons
- 1 Tbsp Rubbed Dried Sage
- 1 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning
- Black Pepper (to taste)
- 4 Cups fat-free Chicken or Turkey or Vegetable Broth or Stock (more or less)
- The day before serving, heat oven to 400 degrees, and mix the two packages of corn muffin mix, two eggs, and ⅔ cup of milk in a medium sized bowl, before pouring into a greased 9 X 13 pan. Bake 20 minutes, or until browned. Let cool uncovered overnight, to allow to dry and harden a bit.
- An hour before serving, heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Put butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it melts, add onions and celery and cook until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Break cornbread in 1 to 2 inch chunks into a very large bowl (I actually used my unplugged wok for this).
- Add onions, cubed stuffing, sage, poultry seasoning and pepper to taste.
- Beat remaining three eggs and fold into mixture.
- Gradually add stock until moist, but not mushy, stirring gently while adding, to avoid breaking up cornbread chunks.
- Transfer into greased 11 X 15 pan, or whatever combination of pans you have that will fit the stuffing.
- Bake uncovered until golden brown, 30-40 minutes, and serve hot or warm.
- NOTE: Could be done the day before up until the baking part, or could all be done the day of your dinner, but your cornbread may need to be browner to keep from falling apart.