Cornbread Stuffing — Fast and easy homemade cornbread is transformed into a family favorite cornbread stuffing side dish with the addition of celery, onions, garlic, broth, and a bouquet of fresh herbs! Soft, tender, EASY, and sure to become a hit at your Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday celebrations!
Cornbread Stuffing Recipe
This easy cornbread stuffing has the buttery subtle sweetness that comes from freshly baked homemade cornbread that’s cubed and tossed with a mixture onions, celery, sage, thyme, rosemary, broth, and a bit of milk before baking
While you’re fussing over who’s going to do the honors of carving the turkey and who is going to sit where at the table, you can breathe easily knowing this homemade cornbread stuffing doesn’t require too much of your attention and is a breeze to make.
Even the most novice of home cooks can master this easy recipe for the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas and is sure to become a comfort food classic side dish recipe because it has tons of moisture and flavor thanks to starting with cornbread that’s not dry, adding broth and milk, and of course plenty of fresh herbs.
Speaking of herbs, you’re going to love the aroma and flavor of the sage, thyme, rosemary, and parsley as they perfume your house and cause everyone to say, oh wow the kitchen smells so GOOD!
Those herbs are what Thanksgiving smells like for me. That is, if Thanksgiving could have its own signature scent!
While I highly recommend using fresh herbs, I’ve included some tips and tricks in this post to help you measure dried herbs if that’s the route you take.
Cornbread Stuffing Ingredients
For this holiday side dish recipe, you’ll only need a short list of easy-to-find fridge and pantry ingredients including the following items:
- Cornbread (homemade highly recommended* see below for more info)
- Unsalted butter
- White or yellow onion
- Chicken broth
- Whole milk
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Cornbread Stuffing
Don’t be scared of making a stuffing recipe with cornbread! I promise that they’re both a cinch. Follow my easy and straightforward directions and you’ll wind up with a new favorite stuffing recipe this year!
Step 1: Make the cornbread and then cube it. You can use my fast and easy Skillet Cornbread recipe and make a double batch, OR use one 15-ounce box of something like Krusteaz. two 8.5-ounce boxes of Jiffy, or another favorite boxed cornbread mix.
Step 2: Preheat the oven, spray a baking dish or casserole dish, and add the cubed cornbread to it.
Step 3: To a saute pan, add the butter, onions, celery, and saute momentarily before adding the garlic, herbs and seasonings, salt and pepper, and sautéing for 2 minutes more.
Step 4: Add the broth, milk, stir to combine, and remove the pan from the heat.
Step 5: Whisk a little of this warm milk mixture into two beaten eggs (this is called tempering the eggs) and then stir the eggs into saute pan.
Tip: Do not skip the skip of tempering because if you just add whisked eggs directly into the hot buttery mixture, you’ll wind up with scrambled eggs. Not good!
Step 6: Pour the mixture evenly over the cornbread.
Step 8: Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 9: Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until lightly golden browned on top and then get ready to serve the homemade cornbread stuffing!
What Kind of Cornbread is Best for this Recipe?
Since cornbread is the star of the show here, I highly recommend making your own homemade cornbread for this holiday side dish recipe.
My Classic Skillet Cornbread recipe is fast, easy, foolproof, tastes delish, and ready in 30 minutes from start to finish!
- You can either make it fresh, cube it up, and get ready to make stuffing with it right away for the softest and moistest stufffing.
- Or you can cube it, and allow it to sit out and exposed to air for a few hours, which creates a drier final cornbread stuffing.
How Much Cornbread Do I Need?
You’ll need 8 cups of cubed cornbread to make this recipe for cornbread stuffing.
If you’re using my favorite homemade cornbread recipe, you’ll need to make 2 batches in order to have enough.
Luckily, it’s such an easy recipe that it’s not a bother at all to double up on those ingredients. I suggest baking it in two separate 9-inch cast iron skillets.
Make sure you yield 8 cups of large-cubed cornbread no matter what approach you take to get there since all mixes will vary in their exact yield.
What Kind of Baking Pan Should I Use?
Alternatively, you can alternatively use one 9×13-inch pan for the double batch if you don’t have a 9-inch skillet.
Can I Use Dried Herbs?
I strongly prefer using fresh herbs in this recipe for homemade cornbread, and if you’re cooking any other type of holiday recipe from turkey to green bean casserole to gravy, you probably already have fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, and parsley on hand anyway.
However, dried herbs will certainly work in a pinch.
Note that dried herbs tend to be more potent than fresh. For this reason, it’s best to halve the measurement of the herbs if you’re using dried versus fresh.
For example: This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of fresh sage. If you’re using dried sage, use only 1 tablespoon.
If you’re trying to get ahead for the big day, meaning a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday meal, here are my suggestions:
- Bake the double batch of my homemade cornbread or the store bought cornbread mix you’re using up to 24 hours in advance. You can cube it and leave it in the baking dish you plan to bake the stuffing in until you’re ready, such as the next day, for up to 24 hours as I mentioned.
- When you’re ready to make the stuffing, make the rest of the recipe as written, and bake it off. At this point, if you don’t care about a lightly crispy top, cover it for up to 4 to 6 hours and leave it on your counter.
- Pop it in a 400F oven, uncovered, for about 10 minutes before you plan to serve it to re-warm and “re-crisp” it a bit and then serve!
Can I Bake Stuffing with Cornbread Inside a Turkey?
I have only ever made this stuffing recipe as written and baked in its own casserole or baking dish and not inside a turkey.
Personally after hearing so many warnings to not bake stuffing or dressing inside a bird because there’s a chance it doesn’t fully cook through is enough to scare me off.
You’re welcome to try it and see what happens.
However, I never have so really can’t say other than common sense tells me you will not get these lovely golden brown tops on your cornbread and it’ll be much mushier and more mutilated-looking.
What to Serve with Cornbread Stuffing
First and foremost, let’s state the obvious! This is a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday recipe that’s intended to be gobbled up hot and fresh and served next to the turkey and other beloved side dishes!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
But the holiday season is sometimes about making enough to have purposeful or planned leftovers. If that’s the case, it’ll keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You can reheat it in the microwave.
Or, if you want to be a little extra about it, feel free to reheat it in a 400F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, making sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. The oven is nice because it’ll help recreate a bit of a browning and crust to the outermost layer.
Tips for Making Stuffing with Cornbread
Don’t Overmix – This is perhaps the biggest tip I have for perfect looking homemade cornbread stuffing. When you pour the liquid buttery mixture over the cubes of cornbread, do not mix it around too much at all, and be very gentle with the mixing you do.
If your cornbread crumbled, you likely mixed it around too much when you poured the liquid on top of it. To avoid this, simply take your time and evenly pour the liquid mixture all over each cube.
So, what do you do if there’s a cube that doesn’t have a lot of liquid on it? Very gently toss it around with a spoon or other utensil until it looks just like the others. Don’t be too forceful, or you’ll end up with cornbread mush instead of stuffing.
Keep the Cornbread Chunky – I like to cube my cornbread into nearly 1-inch cubes. Perhaps a bit smaller if you prefer, but not by much. The cubes will naturally deteriorate and lose a bit of their size when you pour the aforementioned liquid over them, no matter how careful you are. Therefore, my advice is don’t start with cornbread cubes that are too small.
Herbs – As previously mentioned, I prefer fresh herbs for this holiday side dish recipe. Fresh herbs tend to lend a more pleasing aromatic quality and more authentic holiday-inspired flavor to the stuffing as a whole. However, you can use dried if that’s what you have on hand, or take a mix-and-match approach with fresh and dried. Halve the measurements accordingly.
Milk – I prefer to use whole milk for the thicker consistency and and ultimately a better flavor and mouthfeel from the fat. However, you could use 2% milk or a thicker, more viscous plant-based milk such as cashew milk.
Chicken Broth – Use a lower or reduced sodium option to help prevent your stuffing from tasting overly salty.
Temper the Eggs – Don’t skip the step of tempering your eggs before adding them to the main hot herb and butter mixture. That means, add a couple tablespoons of the hot buttery mixture to room temperature whisked eggs, and whisk to combine the two. Then, add that mixture back into the main herb and butter mixture.
If you don’t, the eggs will scramble and you’ll need to start over again. And no one wants to do that – especially when cooking a holiday meal!
Don’t Forget The Foil – For the first 20 minutes of the baking time, the baking dish needs to be covered with aluminum foil. This helps prevent the top from burning before the interior has a chance to fully cook through. Then, remove the foil, and bake uncovered for the last 20 minutes which creates a perfectly golden brown top.
Pin This Recipe
- 8 cups baked cornbread, cubed into 1-inch pieces* (2 batches of my Homemade Skillet Cornbread highly recommended for this)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped**
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped**
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped**
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped**
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup reduced or low sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup whole milk (2%, almond, cashew, or another milk may be substituted but I don't recommend skim)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Make the cornbread according to my homemade Skillet Cornbread (make 2 batches) OR use a boxed mixed and make according to package directions. See Notes below of suggestions.
- Once baked and lightly cooled, dice it into 1-inch cubes. At this point you can either carry on with the Cornbread Stuffing recipe (which creates a moister final cornbread stuffing) OR feel free to let the cubes sit out, exposed to air for a few hours on your countertop, if desired (this creates a slightly drier final cornbread stuffing).
- Preheat the oven to 400F and spray a 2-quart baking dish or casserole dish with cooking spray and add the cubed cornbread; set aside.
- To a large sauté pan, add the butter, onions, celery, and heat over medium-high heat to melt the butter and soften the vegetables. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes; stirring nearly constantly.
- Add the garlic, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes; stirring nearly constantly.
- Add the chicken broth, milk, stir to combine, and take the pan off the heat; set aside.
- To the already whisked eggs, slowly add about 1/3 cup of this warm buttery broth mixture, making sure to whisk constantly as you are adding it. Tip - This is called tempering the eggs. Do not skip this step or you will end up with scrambled eggs in the next step and will have to start over.
- Now take the mixture of eggs and buttery broth, and add it all back into the main mixture in your saute pan that's off the heat, whisking vigorously as you add it.
- As carefully and precisely as possible, slowly pour this now unified and combined buttery broth mixture over the surface of each and every cornbread cube, to the best of your ability. The goal is to coat each and every bread cube with a bit of the liquid, although it's ok if it's not perfect. Tips - Do not stir, flip, or jostle the bread cubes after adding the liquid because this will cause them to disintegrate and you'll end up with a much mushier looking and tasting final dish. If absolutely necessary, use a fork or your fingers to move the cornbread cubes around a tiny bit if there are pieces that are obviously dry.
- Cover the baking dish with nonstick foil and bake covered for 20 minutes.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven, peel back the foil, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden browned, or as desired. Start checking after 10 to 15 minutes because some ovens bake faster than others and you don't want to burn it! Tip - Make sure to read the blog post section about how to Make in Advance if you're trying to get ahead before a big holiday meal.
- Serve immediately or allow it to cool slightly to room temperature, or as desired, before serving.
- Stuffing will keep airtight for in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheating is best in a 400F oven although the microwave is just fine and much quicker and simpler.
*Use my fast and easy Skillet Cornbread recipe and make a double batch.
OR make use one 15-ounce box of Krusteaz. one 15-ounce box of Trader Joe's cornbread mix, two 8.5-ounce boxes of Jiffy, or another favorite boxed cornbread mix. Make sure you make enough (check the package sizes) so that you yield 8 cups when cubed into 1-inch chunks.
**Fresh herbs are strongly recommended but dried may be substituted, noting to halve the quantity of dried. For example 2 tablespoons fresh = 1 tablespoon dried.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 414mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
More Easy Stuffing And Side Dish Recipes:
Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread — Moist, fluffy, golden brown buttermilk cornbread prepared in a cast iron skillet for a crispy edge. The buttery subtle sweetness makes it a cross between a side dish and a stand-alone comforting snack. Whether you make it for a weeknight family dinner or a holiday celebration, it’s so EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and FOOLPROOF!
Honey Cornbread Muffins — Between the sour cream, coconut oil, and butter in the batter, it’s impossible to wind up with dry honey cornbread muffins! Serve these at Thanksgiving, or alongside your favorite soups, chilis, and stews.
The Best Stuffing Recipe – Nothing frilly or trendy. Classic, amazing, easy, homemade stuffing that everyone loves!! Simple ingredients with stellar results! It’ll be your new go-to recipe!!
The Best Ever Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing – This sausage stuffing is super easy to make since the slow cooker does all the hard work for you! There’s no sauteing or browning required at all and you can FREE UP YOUR OVEN!!
Stovetop Stuffing – With this easy homemade stuffing recipe, you’ll never need a box of the store bought stuff again! Onions, carrots, and celery are sautéed in butter, seasoned with an aromatic bouquet of herbs, and cubed bread is stirred in to create the most perfect stuffing that’s moist and tender! FAST, EASY, and guaranteed to become a Thanksgiving and Christmas family favorite!