South Boulder Peak is mountain just outside of Boulder that tops out at 8,549 feet above sea level. Compared to the range of Rockies behind it, it's a baby peak, but it's a peak nonetheless. On Thanksgiving Day we started up it's trail around noon, after a light breakfast. Getting our bodies moving before a really big meal is sort of our thing.
It was two hours to the summit and two hours down, the descent rocky and slow. By the time we were an hour from the car, it was three, and our light breakfast wore thin. "I could eat a vat of jell-o," Oliver said, though he's not a fan of jell-o, and shortly there after, "Let's make Cornish Hens." That's when I piped in about stuffing. Stuffing!! It's the secret star of the show, right? Stuffing, boxed or homemade, is what everyone goes back to get more of.
We made it to the car, and that evening we dined like royalty on my mom's cooking. We had salmon and two types of cheese, fresh salad, and even pie. It wasn't meant to be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, just an evening with family. (That's what it's about anyhow, right?)
Still, that stuffing craving lived on. It wasn't four days later and I was in the kitchen, stuffing Cornish Hens with cornbread dressing.
When I sat down to write this post, I toyed with the fact that Thanksgiving has already passed, and that it's likely no one in the world is looking for a cornbread stuffing recipe anymore. I thought to myself: But stuffing could be eaten at Christmas (or whatever other winter holiday) right? And yea, the answer is you can eat stuffing whenever you please. It makes a great addition to a Christmas menu (some may even make this a tradition) or a Sunday feast. The leftovers make for a pretty happy desk lunch, or even breakfast.
This recipe calls for gluten-free cornbread. I share a link to my go-to gluten-free cornbread recipe below. I asked a crowd of you on Instagram Stories if I should make this recipe grain-free before sharing, but most of you love stuffing as much as I do, and said to share it now! You get me.
This stuffing is pretty simple, but the addition of fresh cranberries gives it a tart burst of flavor and a hint of red color, and toasted pecans add extra crunch.
For those of you who are looking to make this grain-free, I would encourage you to experiment with using a grain-free (almond flour based) cornbread in this recipe. Report back on how it works! I'll be running my own experiments. A long time ago, I also shared a meat-based stuffing here.
Serves: 8 | Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 8x8 inch pan of cool cornbread, this is my favorite cornbread recipe, but feel free to use your favorite recipe (day-old cornbread works well!)
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup whole pecans
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 1 egg
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease an 8x8inch baking pan.
- Sauté the diced onion and celery with the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent Then, scrape onion and celery into a mixing bowl.
- Dice cornbread into 1/2-inch or 1-inch cubes, and add to mixing bowl. Then, add cranberries, pecans, and sage. Season with salt & pepper.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and broth together until combined. Then, pour the broth mixture into the cornbread mixture. Use a spatula to fold the cornbread mixture until all of the ingredients are equally distributed and the broth is well incorporated.
- Scrape stuffing into prepared baking dish, patting down into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, or until stuffing is golden on top. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then serve warm.