Vegetarian And Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s an excuse to get together with friends and family, spend the day cooking, drink great wine and enjoy one of the best meals of the year. From delicious roast turkey to perfect pumpkin mousse tart or serving an easy side of Brazilian-style collard greens, this is great Holiday for eating.

For those who might not be able to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal due to allergies or choices about the food they eat, I decided to create some dishes that taste great but are also vegetarian and gluten-free. One of my favorites is this vegetarian Cornbread Stuffing. It is sure to please your friends and family who are looking for some healthier options, but don’t want to compromise flavor.

Hopefully you have time to enjoy all that you’re thankful for. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Cornbread Stuffing
Serves 8
Pair with Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir

This gluten-free vegetarian stuffing is full of flavor and is a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving meal.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2 cups pumpkin stock, warm (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe cornbread, cut into 1-inch squares (recipe below)


  1. Preheat convection oven to 375⁰F.
  2. In a 12-inch cast-iron pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery and salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes.  Add walnuts, sage and thyme; cook for 2 minutes.  Add the cherries and stock; stir to combine.  Gently add the cornbread and cover the pan.  Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover the pan and bake for 15 additional minutes or until golden brown.

For the Gluten-free Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread


  • 2 ounces, plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp. masa or corn flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F.  Generously brush the cast-iron skillet with 2 tablespoons butter; set aside remaining butter.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining melted butter, buttermilk, sour cream and egg; whisk to combine.  Add the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  4. Place pan in the oven and allow to preheat for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and carefully pour batter into preheated pan.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted off-center comes out clean.  Flip cornbread out onto a rack and allow to dry overnight if possible.

For the Vegetarian Pumpkin Stock


  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, large dice
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 lbs. pumpkin, chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


  1. In a large pot, add all ingredients and cover with 1 gallon of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.  Strain stock, reserve liquid and discard vegetables.  Extra stock can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 3 months.  Makes an excellent base for vegetarian pumpkin soup.