Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing
Full of flavor, texture and hearty traditional flavors, this gluten free cornbread stuffing makes the perfect side, sure to be a hit on your holiday table or any day of the week!
About This Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing
This gluten free cornbread stuffing has all the traditional flavor, but is made with easy gluten free cornbread, so gluten free friends and family can enjoy it.
For my take on stuffing, I wanted to elevate the standard Thanksgiving classic by adding a meaty, savory element with sausage; a sweet, tangy element with dried cranberries; and a nice crunch with toasted pecans.
This stuffing can easily be customized based on your tastes and preferences, however, so check out the ingredient notes and substitutions, below, for how.
Whether you want to make it vegetarian, nut free, or skip the cranberries, I’ve got you covered!
Tip: This stuffing can be fully made ahead of time, or the parts prepped ahead as well. Check out my notes on how, below.
Process & Tips
While there is some debate as to whether this dish can be called stuffing or gluten free cornbread dressing (since it’s baking in the oven and not stuffed into a bird), I grew up calling it stuffing, so that’s what we’re going with!
I love the flavor of this stuffing prepared with 1 recipe gluten free cornbread, but if you prefer to use a store bought box mix for convenience, that’s fine too.
Tip: Be sure to check all your ingredients to ensure they are each gluten free, including the sausage and nuts if feeding someone with Celiac Disease.
Make Ahead & Storage Notes
There are two options when it comes to making this recipe ahead.
First, the full recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance, then tightly wrapped and refrigerated.
To reheat, place, covered, in a 350F oven until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes.
Second, the parts of the recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance, then assembled and baked the day of (this is my preferred method).
For this option, prepare the cornbread, as well as the sausage-vegetable mixture (steps 1-3 of Cook the Sausage and Vegetables) up to 3 days in advance.
Store each, separately, tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.
On the day of, follow steps 1-3 to Prepare the Stuffing.
Gluten free cornbread: I used 1 batch of homemade gluten free cornbread for this recipe, but you can also use a prepared boxed mix or store bought prepared gluten free cornbread as well.
Butter: Butter lends classic flavor to this stuffing, but you can use plant based butter for a dairy free option.
Sausage: Adds heft and protein to the stuffing. Ground bulk sweet Italian sausage, either pork or sausage, may be used. Use spicy Italian sausage for a spicier stuffing. Skip the sausage for a vegetarian option, or use chicken sausage for a lighter option.
Sage: Ground rubbed sage lends a traditional flavor to this stuffing. Poultry seasoning can also be used.
Chicken stock: Vegetable broth can be used for a vegetarian option if omitting the sausage.
Egg: Helps the stuffing hold together and add richness.
Dried cranberries: Look for fruit juice sweetened cranberries to keep the sugar low. Dried cherries would also be a lovely option.
Toasted pecans: Adds a nice crunch to the stuffing. Walnuts can also be used, or leave them out for a nut free option.
Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- ½ pound bulk sweet Italian sausage, pork or chicken
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, or 2 teaspoon dried sage
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 recipe gluten free cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped toasted pecans
Cook the Sausage and Vegetables
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the sausage, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is cooked through and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the celery, sprinkle with an additional ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat, then add the chicken stock and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool, then whisk in the eggs until fully incorporated.
Prepare the Stuffing
- Heat the oven to 350F. Grease or line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Add the cornbread pieces, then pour over the onion-stock-egg mixture. Add the cooked sausage, cranberries, and pecans, stirring until the cornbread pieces are evenly coated.
- Dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until crisp and golden.