Recipe: Gluten-Free Cornbread and Mushroom Stuffing

No need to skip the stuffing if gluten isn’t your thing — just reach for cornbread instead. Here, cubes of gluten-free cornbread are mixed with a medley of sautéed mushrooms, toasted pecans, and the usual suspects of onion, celery, and fresh herbs for a hearty stuffing fit for anyone’s table.

We’re supersizing this batch of stuffing so you can make it for a full table of guests or simply enjoy the leftovers after the big dinner — that’s if you’re so lucky to have any.

Start with a Store-Bought Shortcut

There are times that call for making from-scratch cornbread, and then there are times when it’s worth it to lean on a store-bought shortcut. Stuffing most definitely fits the latter of these scenarios. If you have a bakery or market that sells a good gluten-free cornbread, pick some up a few days before you plan to make the stuffing. Otherwise, go for a store-bought mix.

Toast for Texture

Like most stuffing recipes, this one starts out by toasting the bread, and I urge you not to skip it. While it does impart some warm, toasty notes, the real benefit is what it adds to the overall texture of the final product. Cornbread, by nature, is crumbly. Toasting makes it more so, leaving you with dried, broken bits and whole, lightly toasted cubes ready to soak up the seasoned broth mixture.

Gluten-Free Cornbread and Mushroom Stuffing

Serves 8 to 10

8 cups day-old, gluten-free cornbread cubes (about 1 inch in diameter)
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Cooking spray or butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
3 medium celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.

Divide the cubed cornbread onto 2 baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir the bread and divide the pecans among the two baking sheets. Bake until the bread is completely dry and the pecans are toasted, about 5 minutes more. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, and cook until it’s mostly reduced. Remove the pan from the heat.

Place the bread, nuts, and mushroom mixture in a large bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the eggs. Slowly pour the broth over the stuffing mixture, stirring as you go, so that the bread is well-coated and moistened.

Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the center is just set and the stuffing is golden-brown, about 20 minutes more. Let the stuffing cool for about 10 minutes before serving.