This blog post is sponsored by Swanson®.
Nothing smells more like the holidays to me than good ol’ cornbread stuffing. However, stuffing tends to not be the prettiest dish on that holiday serving table. Next to the golden turkey, the bright and happy sweet potatoes, or that glorious bowl of cranberry sauce… the stuffing seems to be more for taste and smell than show.
And this is where I have a cornbread stuffing conundrum. How to make the stuffing both pretty and tasty?
Well… normally, I’d let the specific mixture of bread and herbs do the work for taste. I’m a fan of dried cornbread with parsley, sage and thyme. So when I was recently walking around the grocery trying to find a “pretty” solution, I thought of what stuffing was up against… and I thought of the infamous cranberry sauce… and then it hit me.
Cranberries! Seasonal, tart and sweet, with a vibrant color. Perfect for my stuffing mix!
Once I grabbed those beauties, it donned on me the two other issues stuffing can have… Being too moist or not savory enough. Who wants bland stuffing that looks and tastes like baby food?
Near the cranberries was a large aisle of nuts where I found one of my favorites, walnuts. This would add the perfect crunch in my stuffing. Plus, when serving the stuffing, you can really make a beautiful plate by sprinkling fresh cranberries and walnuts around it.
Finally, I walked down a very crowded soup aisle (after a certain point during the holiday season, the market never ceases to have people in need of food) to nab Swanson® Chicken Broth. This paired with my selection of fresh herbs ensures the cornbread will be just the right amount of moist and savory!
So with cranberries and walnuts, Swanson® Chicken Broth, plus proper baking time (have to look for that right shade of golden toastiness at the top of the dish), I and now you can achieve a rich, seasonal, sweet, savory, just-right (and pretty cute) cornbread stuffing!
Hostess Note: Mix up cut/dried cornbread, cranberries, walnuts and some dried herbs in a decorated bag, tie up with ribbon and give to family and guests so they can recreate this stuffing at home!
- 6 c. cut/dried cornbread
- 2 Tbps. softened butter
- ½ c. celery (diced)
- ½ Tbsp. parsley, sage, thyme (leaves only, finely chopped)*
- 1 c. cranberries
- ½ c. walnuts (chopped)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- 3 c. Swanson® Chicken Broth
- 2 eggs (beaten)
*If using dried herbs, ½ Tbsp. each
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Scatter cut cornbread onto 2 large baking sheets. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bread is dried, crisp and lightly toasted. Place on rack to cool. Turn oven up to 400° F for next steps.
- Butter baking dish (I used 8x8x2 inch dish) with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
- Take a small pot or pan, spray with vegetable oil, place on stove with medium heat. Add diced celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until celery and onion are translucent and tender (takes 8-10 minutes).
- In a large mixing bowl, add toasted cornbread, celery, onion, chopped herbs, salt, pepper, cranberries and walnuts. Mix gently with large spoon to combine. Add chicken broth and beaten eggs. Stir gently until ingredients are blended. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil, finish baking uncovered dish until top begins to turn light golden brown (15 minutes). Serve right away OR cool and store.
*When reheating, add water/broth in mix to help moisten.