Vegan Cornbread Sage Stuffing

Vegan cornbread sage stuffing is holiday comfort food at its finest! Prepared with homemade, whole grain cornbread, vegetables, and herbs.

A small plate of vegan cornbread sage stuffing, with another plate and a baking dish in the background.

I love stuffing. It is my favorite Thanksgiving food, and I’ve made a batch every year for the last six or seven.

I don’t get tired of finding new stuffing ideas. I’ve made vegan stuffing with wild rice. I’ve made it the classic way, with a country boule of bread. I’ve made another bread version with Brussels sprouts, apples, and butternut squash. And now, I’m trying it with cornbread.

The beauty of cornbread stuffing

Now that I’ve made this vegan cornbread sage stuffing, I may not return to regular bread!

OK, probably an overstatement—I love all breads equally. But cornbread has some qualities that make it especially good for stuffing.

First, it’s got a subtle sweetness. I don’t add sugar to my simple, whole grain vegan cornbread, which is what I used in the recipe. But the corn still contributes a slightly sweeter flavor than regular bread.

For even more of a sweet/savory mix, you could try using my pumpkin cornbread.

Also, cornbread is also incredible at soaking up liquid and seasoning. And this is exactly what bread in cornbread should do! I was impressed at how vibrant the flavors in these stuffing are. Not just the cornbread itself, but the herbs, too.

Do I need to make cornbread from scratch?

Not entirely. There are some cornbread mixes on the market that are vegan, like the gluten-free cornbread mix from Bob’s Red Mill. Just be sure to use your favorite egg replacer (I like aquafaba and applesauce) when you bake them.

If you use a substitute, keep in mind that you’ll need about eight cups of cubed cornbread in total.

With all of this said, making cornbread from scratch isn’t a huge time commitment. And homemade isn’t too much more complicated than baking from a mix! Especially if you choose a simple recipe.

Can the cornbread be made ahead of time?

Definitely. The simple, whole grain vegan cornbread can be made up to three days ahead of time. You can even prepare it up to six weeks early, then freeze it prior to making the stuffing.

Storing and freezing vegan cornbread sage stuffing

Speaking of freezing, the stuffing itself can be prepared in advance and frozen for up to four weeks. You can also store it in the fridge for two days prior to serving. Just reheat in a 350F oven for about 25 minutes before enjoying it.

A simpler stuffing

With each year that goes by, I become more focused on streamlined, unfussy holiday recipes. It’s part of what drew me to this recipe, which is especially easy if you make the cornbread in advance.

As you’ll see, I also kept the seasonings and ingredients simple. I’ve made stuffing that features lots of herbs and a whole slew of ingredients: cranberries, squash, crucifers, pearl onions, nuts, seeds, and so on.

I’ve loved the depth and complexity of those results. But, with time and convenience in mind, I kept the seasonings intentionally sparse in this recipe. Sage is the prominent flavor, along with fresh parsley. The vegetable component is a humble trio of onion, carrot, and celery.

A small baking dish, filled with cornbread and vegetables.

It works nicely. There’s nothing flashy or over-the-top about this vegan cornbread sage stuffing, but it checks all of the stuffing boxes. It’s filling, flavorful and carb-forward. It tastes traditional, but the cornbread makes it a little unique.

It was a hit in my home this year. And I know I’ll be making it again and again, through future holiday seasons.

A serving plate, piled with a scoop of hearty cornbread stuffing and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
A small plate of vegan cornbread sage stuffing, with another plate and a baking dish in the background.
3 from 2 votes

Simple Vegan Cornbread Sage Stuffing

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups cubed vegan cornbread (about 3/4 of a batch of my whole grain vegan cornbread recipe)
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried or rubbed sage (to taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup loosely packed, chopped flat leaf parsley (or curly parsley)
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Heat the oil in a very large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is tender and clear.
  • Stir in the cornbread, sage, salt, and 1 scant cup vegetable broth. Warm all of the ingredients through, then taste the mixture and add black pepper and extra salt as needed. The cornbread should be moist but not mushy; if you need to add an extra splash of broth, do. Fold in the chopped parsley.
  • Transfer the stuffing to an oiled rectangular baking dish (either 8 x 11 or 9 x 13 will work). Pour the remaining broth over the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top of the stuffing is just golden. Serve.

Video

Two plates, topped with vegan cornbread stuffing and herbs.

Serving cornbread sage stuffing

As it is, the stuffing is a perfect holiday side dish.

If you’d like to serve it as a centerpiece, or if you’d simply like to make it more nutrient dense, you’ve got options. You might stir in some of the tempeh sausage crumbles from this recipe before baking (along with the parsley).

Another option would be to add slices of your favorite vegan sausage. I’m guessing that the Field Roast smoked apple sage sausages would be excellent! Smoky tempeh strips or my lemon pepper tempeh cubes would also work well, as would seitan grounds.

Whether you dress it up or down, I hope you enjoy this carby, comforting recipe soon. And if you’re sharing, I hope your loved ones will enjoy it along with you. I’ll be back on Thursday with another festive meal idea for your holiday table. Till soon,

xo

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    15 Comments
  1. If I want to make this in advance (like, three days in advance), would you recommend baking it and then reheating it on thanksgiving? Or not baking it in advance?

    • I’d probably make the cornbread ahead of time, cook and assemble the day before, and then bake day of. BUT if you need the whole thing ready in advance, I think you could certainly make it all and keep it covered in the fridge. You’ll be OK 🙂

  2. Gena – stuffing is my thing! I make a gf vegan stuffing every thenkegiving for the past ten plus years and the entire family today was insistent that this year’s was the best ever. All non-vegans, all blown away. Thank you! Hope today’s celebrations brought a smile to your face.

      • Moreover, I made a double batch of cornbread and left some out for the kids to eat with extra room temperature/melty earth balance and local maple syrup on the side. Looked over at the kid’s table and who is doing exactly that…the adults! And this is after having a full plate of food. 🙂 I used a mix of sprouted oat flour and a trusted whole grain gf flour blend (half of each).

        I too am more and more drawn to the simple recipes these days. It takes some confidence as a chef (especially a vegan one I think) to just allow the simplicity of good food to speak for itself. One of my other favorite dishes this year was the simplest – four ingredient roasted carrots from the food network. Nothing fancy at all, but lovely.

        Happy Holiday season!

  3. I’ve been always curious about thanksgiving. This year I decided to try some thanksgiving recipes and this one just blew my mind. So simple and yummy 🙂
    Btw, greetings from Finland!

  4. This is everything I am looking for in a stuffing Gena! And so gorgeously photographed too <3. I love how using corn bread makes it gluten free while also making it taste SO much more incredible. Usually those two don't go hand in hand ;). You are a stuffing wizard. I hope you are gearing up for a cozy and calm holiday week – I vow we all take a long holiday this year 😉 hugs!

  5. We made a cornbread stuffing last year and it stunk. I’m looking forward to your recipe as I’ve used several from your site and they’ve all been spot on.

    Thank you for doing holiday dishes. It makes it so much easier over at relatives homes when we can just bring things that we can eat. Plus, we can show them that vegan food is not going to kill them.
    I actually had a relative 2 years ago ask if it would make him sick when inquiring about tasting one of our dishes. Jeez!

  6. One of the (many) things I love about your recipes is the ingredient list is always moderate. This looks perfect. I’ve been more and more interested in simpler food recently. Thank you!