This post has been sponsored by Del Monte Foods, Inc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
How is your Thanksgiving menu prep coming along, friends?
With Thanksgiving only three weeks away, my menu is just about ready. This year, we are celebrating it with eight other friends in another friend’s house. I was asked to bring a few vegetarian side dishes as some of these people are observing a meat-free diet.
So I plan on taking this Vegetarian Cornbread Stuffing along with my Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash. They are both vegetarian-friendly, filling and showstoppers on the Thanksgiving table.
Though I have to say, this cornbread stuffing recipe is a little different than what you are used to, especially if you are like me, who equates “Thanksgiving stuffing” to sausage stuffing.
Because, as the name suggests, this is a vegetarian recipe with no sausage in it. Instead, I packed it with veggies. And not just any veggies. In addition to onions, celery and garlic, I used Del Monte® Golden Sweet Whole Kernel Corn No Salt Added and Del Monte® Blue Lake® Whole Green Beans. The corn is in the jalapeno cheddar cornbread, which I plan on talking more about in a minute, and the green beans are in the stuffing.
I love Del Monte’s canned vegetables because they are (1) picked at the peak of freshness, (2) grown in the US and packed within 75 miles of the farm where they are picked, and (3) – and this is the lazy girl in me talking – super convenient.
Want to get your hands on them? Click here to find where you can buy them. And if you need ideas on how to use them, check out their recipe collection to get some inspiration for all your holiday prep.
On to the recipe..
How To Make Homemade Cornbread Stuffing
This recipe has 4 folds:
First, you make the cornbread. Any cornbread recipe would work, but I went with my favorite one, Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. It is a recipe that I found in a magazine years ago and changed it up to make it my own. It is packed with sliced (seeded or not seeded – if you can handle the heat-) jalapenos, scallions, Del Monte’s whole kernel corn, and just a cup of cheddar cheese.
For the best results, I recommend making the cornbread a few days ahead. During my recipe testings, I found that two- to three-day-old stale cornbread is ideal for this recipe.
Additionally, instead of crumbling your cornbread, I recommend cutting it into large bite-size pieces (1-inch cubes) to give some substance to the overall dish with a lot of corn flavor.
Second, you prep the vegetables. To do so, you sauté some onion with celery and garlic. If you are short on time, you can cook this a day in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to use. However, be sure to let it cool if you are cooking it on the same day.
While the onion mixture is cooling, you prep the wet ingredients: eggs, vegetable broth, and some half and half. Here, each of these ingredients has an important role—eggs to make the stuffing cohesive, broth to add the necessary moisture, and half and half for extra creaminess.
Then you pour the mixture over the cornbread to let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Here I have to mention, it will take a minute for the cornbread to soak in the liquid, but if you give it a gentle (making sure to not to break the cornbread too much) stir, that should speed things up.
Finally, at the last minute, you stir in the sauteéd onion mixture along with Del Monte’s cut green beans and transfer it to a baking dish. After 40-45 minutes in a 400 degree F oven, your vegetarian cornbread stuffing casserole will be ready to serve.
Other Side Dishes for Your Thanksgiving Table You Might Like
- Brussels Sprout Kale Salad
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Vegetarian Butternut Squash Soup
- Need more inspiration? Check out all our Vegetable Side Dishes and Grain Recipes
Vegetarian Cornbread Stuffing Recipe
To make the Jalapeno Cheddar cornbread:
- 1/2 cup 4 ounces or 1 stick butter, melted and cooled plus more for greasing the skillet
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups yellow corn meal
- 1 cup 8 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup scallions both green and white parts - chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped jalapeños chopped (with the seeds, if you can handle the heat)
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar shredded
- 1 cup Del Monte No-salt added Whole Kernel Corn drained
For the sautéed vegetables:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 stalks of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
For the filling:
- 1 ¾ cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can Del Monte cut green beans drained
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- To make the cornbread:Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet with butter. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk butter and honey until no lumps remain. Whisk in the eggs and set aside.Mix the dry ingredients, yellow corn meal, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt, in a bowl.
- Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients into the butter and honey mixture and mix until combined.
- Stir in the buttermilk and sour cream. Fold in the chopped scallions, jalapenos, cheddar, and corn to the mixture. Transfer the mixture into the prepared 10-inch cast iron skillet.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Once it cools down, let it sit on the kitchen counter, covered with a clean kitchen cloth, upto 2 days.
- To make the sauteed vegetables: Heat olive oil in a small pan. Add in the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme, and cook for 30 more seconds. Set aside to cool.
- To make the filling: Whisk together vegetable stock, half and half, eggs, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
- To soak the cornbread: Place the cubed cornbread in a large mixing bowl and pour the filling over it. Using a spatula, gently fold in the bread into the liquid making sure to not break the cornbread cubes. Let it soak for 15 minutes.Stir in the sauteed onion mixture and green beans.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Transfer the stuffing into a 9X13 inch casserole dish. Using the back of a spatula, smooth the top.
- Bake until golden brown, for 40-45 minutes.