Stuffing has its historical roots in thrifty recipes to stretch day-old dry bread into one more meal. Here, we turn tradition on its head and give this quintessential holiday dish a whole new dimension as Cornbread Stuffing with Apple and Fennel—making it gluten free and full of fruit and veg!
Tweaking the texture
To achieve a moister stuffing, bake it in a deep baking dish and keep it covered until the last five minutes of baking. For a crispier stuffing, bake it uncovered in a shallow casserole-style dish.
Cornbread Stuffing with Apple and Fennel
- 2 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted, or grapeseed oil, divided
- 2 cups organic fine yellow cornmeal
- 1 Tbsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 Tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 4 large organic eggs, divided
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 large leeks, trimmed, rinsed, and diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced fennel
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 chipotle chili in gluten-free adobo sauce, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage or 2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cups chopped Granny Smith apple
- 2 cups low-sodium gluten-free vegetable or chicken broth
- The day before serving...
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9 inch square baking pan with 1/2 Tbsp oil and set in oven to warm while preheating.
- In bowl, whisk together cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cayenne (if using). With wooden spoon, stir in 1 Tbsp oil, buttermilk, 2 eggs, green onion, and corn until just combined. Transfer batter into warmed baking pan and bake cornbread until firm and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature on wire rack before unmolding. Cut into 1 inch cubes and allow to dry at room temperature overnight in single layer on baking tray.
- The day you’re serving...
- Preheat oven once again to 350 F.
- In large saucepan, warm remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add leeks and bay leaf and sauté until leeks are starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in celery, fennel, garlic, and chipotle chili and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until celery and fennel have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley, sage, thyme, and apple before tipping mixture into large bowl. Add cornbread cubes and toss to combine. Discard bay leaf.
- Whisk together broth and remaining 2 eggs before pouring over cornbread mixture, gently tossing until moistened. Transfer to 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake, uncovered, until top has lightly browned and sides are dry and crisp, about 35 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.
Per serving: 184 calories; 7 g protein; 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat); 28 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 3 g fiber); 360 mg sodium