Oooo-eeeee, I’m excited for some stuffing (dressing if you hail from certain parts of the world, or subscribe to the the thought that it’s only really stuffing if it’s stuffed inside the bird). I love making it with all kinds of bread, but I might like making it with cornbread the most. But I haven’t decided. Luckily I have time for a few more rounds of pre-game testing to make sure.
The types of mushrooms you can use in this recipe are fairly limitless. You can use less expensive button or cremini but since this stuffing is so much about the mushrooms, go for the shiitakes if at all possible. If you’re splurging definitely go for all wild mushrooms, perhaps a mix of a few different kinds. I love the meatiness-without-the-meat quality the mushrooms add to this, which is especially welcome if the vegetarians at the Thanksgiving table are making a meal out of the side dishes, as they do in my family.
If you have extra time you might sauté the mushrooms separately to let them gain maximum flavor and texture, and then blend them in. If you are in a hurry (and during the holidays, who are we kidding, when are you not?), just sauté all of the vegetables together. Anything one can do to make the holidays easier on him/her self is super fair game.
If you’re not looking for a vegetarian stuffing, you can also mix in some browned and crumbled sausage or some crumbled crispy bacon or pancetta for extra flavor (add any additional salt judiciously if you do that, as the pork will add some saltiness).
You can certainly cook this in the turkey, should you be so inclined, but I rather love it in a pan, so that the top gets crispy and browned. Or do some of each, if your gang is divided.
Skip the cream if anyone in your world can’t have dairy – the stuffing will still be fabulous.
Cornbread and Mushroom Stuffing or Dressing
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 pound button mushrooms trimmed and chopped
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms trimmed and chopped
- 1 minced large minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme or sage
- Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 recipe cornbread crumbled (about 6 cups) and left to sit on a baking sheet for one day
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 to 1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ cup cream
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 9x 13 inch baking pan.
- In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and sauté everything until the all of the liquid is evaporated (the mushrooms will release liquid as they start to cook), and the vegetables are all tender and lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine, stir to scrape up any browned bit stuck to the bottom of the pan, and sauté for another couple of minutes until it is almost evaporated.
- In a large bowl, place the cornbread, then drizzle over 1 cup of the broth and the cream (feel free to drizzle over up to ½ cup of turkey drippings if desired. Toss well. Add the vegetables and toss to combine. If the mixture still seems a bit dry, add in as much as another ½ cup of the chicken broth.
- Turn the mixture into the prepared baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or so until the stuffing is cooked through and the top is browned and crispy.
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