Easy vegetarian cornbread stuffing is the perfect side to serve at your Thanksgiving holiday dinner. It is so flavourful, moist and soft inside, and crispy and golden on top. This stuffing is packed with toasted cornbread, savoury celery and onions, sweet dried cranberries, and fresh thyme, and is all mixed with vegetable stock. It is easy to make ahead of time and can even be prepped a day in advance.
Thanksgiving dinner is all about the side dishes, and stuffing is kind of the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish. But if you want to make something a little different from the usual stuffing made with bread (like my cranberry walnut apple stuffing), why not try cornbread dressing? Cornbread just adds such a comforting and unique flavour to this stuffing. Especially if you use my rosemary cornbread... hello extra herby flavour!
- cornbread - you can use homemade or storebought cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes. I used my rosemary cornbread in this recipe. You can also break up any leftover cornbread muffins into 1-inch pieces.
- olive oil
- fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- vegetable stock - you can also use chicken stock or turkey stock.
- dried cranberries
How to Make the Best Vegetarian Cornbread Stuffing
First, you need to toast your cornbread. Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the oven is preheating, evenly arrange the cubed cornbread onto a large baking sheet pan. Transfer into the oven (while the oven is still preheating) and keep it in the oven for a total of 20 minutes. This helps the cornbread dry out and become crunchy. Alternatively, you can let the cubed cornbread dry out on the kitchen counter overnight.
Now, let's prepare the vegetables. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes until the oil is hot and starts to sizzle and shimmer. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add celery and cauliflower and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Remove the skillet and allow the vegetable mixture to cool down to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Then, add in beaten egg, vegetable broth, and dried cranberries and stir to combine. Add toasted cornbread and gently fold it in with a spatula.
Transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the cornbread becomes golden brown. If you do not have a cast-iron or oven-safe skillet, you can transfer everything into a large casserole dish or sheet pan and bake.
Tips for Preparing Cornbread Stuffing
- How to customize: You can easily customize this stuffing with other ingredients. Some of my favourites to add are pecans, walnuts, apples or pears. It is also very popular to add in some sliced sausage.
- How to toast cornbread: It is a key step that the cornbread you use is toasted or dried out. Otherwise, you will end up with stuffing that is extra soggy. You can easily toast the cornbread in the oven while it is preheating, or you can let it dry out on the counter overnight.
- How to make stuffing in advance:
- You can prepare the cornbread several days in advance. Toast the cornbread in the oven or let it dry out overnight at room temperature..
- You can prepare the stuffing up to a day in advance. Prepare it up until the point where you add the cornbread. Do not add in the cornbread. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to one day in advance. When ready to bake, place the stuffing on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature. Then, gently fold in the toasted cornbread and bake according to recipe instructions.
More Thanksgiving Sides
- Cranberry Walnut Apple Stuffing
- Classic Homemade Turkey Gravy
- Easy Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce
- The Best and Creamiest Mashed Potatoes
- 10 Minute Nutty Green Beans
- Savoury Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.