Monday, November 21, 2011

Herbed Cornbread & Bacon Stuffing

This year, I am not in charge of our Thanksgiving dessert. I'm always in charge of dessert! So while this is a break from the norm, I'm secretly excited. Pies can take a lot of work! When I was 9 months pregnant with my third child, I entered a pie baking contest. I didn't expect to win, mostly because I'd never ever ever baked a pie before. But it was a challenge for me and I made it up as I went along. Worst part? I was up at 5am to bake the thing, hoping against hope that it turned out okay. Best part? I won first place and $100! All those old ladies who entered thought for sure they'd won, how could an amateur, first-pie-maker win? Probably luck, but also because when I can't sleep at night my mind wanders to how to make the perfect recipe. It doesn't always work out, but sometimes I'm a genius :)

Anyway, back to stuffing. I was asked to make stuffing for Thanksgiving this year and again, I've never made stuffing. Ever. At least not from scratch. I'm not counting the boxed stuffing that my kids could probably make with their eyes closed.

My mother in law makes this amazing cornbread stuffing. It was my first time having stuffing made with cornbread and I was in love. I think I literally fought over the last spoonful. It was just that good.

So here's my version of cornbread stuffing. It's delish, in my opinion. Give it a whirl!

Start with your cornbread. No, I don't usually use egg substitute but Target was sold out of eggs. Apparently that really happens.

Make your cornbread as directed on the box, easy enough. Then add your dried herbs. Pour into a 9x13 pan and cook for about half hour or until golden brown on top.

Chop up your veggies - onions and celery. You'll saute these in bacon grease!

When your cornbread has cooked and cooled, cut into 1-inch cubes and spread them out on a jelly roll pan. You'll stick these back in the oven to dry out. That way they soak in the flavors better while cooking.

Toss everything together in a large bowl. Add enough chicken stock to moisten the cornbread. I used a little over 2 cups in mine.

Cook in a buttered 9x13 pan until golden brown on top and firm in the middle.

So. Amazing. (The stuffing, not me. Well, okay, me too).

Herbed Cornbread and Bacon Stuffing
by Kelli Lafranca

2 boxes cornbread mix, Jiffy brand
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 lb bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
2-3 cups chicken stock
Butter, for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together cornbread mix, eggs, and milk until blended. Batter may be lumpy. Add dried herbs. Bake in a 9x13 greased pan for 30 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Saute bacon in a large skillet or until bacon is crispy. Transfer to a plate topped with a paper towel to drain. Using the bacon grease, saute the onion and celery until the vegetables are tender. Remove from grease and set aside. Crumble the cooled bacon.

When cornbread as cooled, remove from pan and cut into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a jelly roll pan and lay in a single layer. Cook at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until dry (it will feel like toast).

In a large bowl, combine cornbread, crumbled bacon, onions, and celery. Pour chicken stock over mixutre, stirring after each 1/2-cup addition. Add enough chicken stock to moisten the cornbread (I used 2 1/4 cups). Pour mixture into buttered 9x13 pan and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


  1. looks delicious. wanting to make a cornbread stuffing, but was thinking with sausage. may use this instead! thanks

  2. Eileen, I've seen this made with sausage, too, especially Chorizo sausage. Either would be great!

  3. I am gathering recipes for this Thanksgiving tonight! I remember last year I made this and it turned out so good. I am not going to make any other stuffing recipe...ever. It takes some time, but so worth it.

    1. Wow, thanks! It was one of those middle-of-the-night ideas that really came together. I'm glad to hear you're lovin' it as much as we do!