Apple Chestnut Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing (Vegan + GF)

Apple Chestnut Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing (Vegan + GF)

This Apple Chestnut Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing is the perfect side dish for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any roast dinners in between. 

Apple Chestnut Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing (Vegan + GF)

I’ve always disliked stuffing made with normal bread because there’s something a bit unappealing about the bread being soggy. So I thought it could be nice to use cornbread as a substitute for normal bread, as it’s already naturally moist anyway, so it doesn’t feel weird for it to be made soggy in stuffing, and also adds an interesting almost nutty flavour.

My parents always use apple, sage and chestnut for stuffing so I used that combination and added dried cranberries because the ruby-red jewels spice up an otherwise bland colour palette, and their slightly tart sweetness adds a lovely flavour.

For the cornbread, you can use your favourite recipe, but I’ve also included a recipe below, along with gluten-freedairy-free and vegan options too. Cornbread sounds deceptively hard to make from scratch, but it’s much easier to make than normal bread as all you need to do is mix all the ingredients in one bowl.

You won’t need a whole loaf of it to make stuffing, but you can enjoy the leftovers – thick slices of cornbread are especially nice drizzled with (drowned in) maple syrup, or spread with almond butter and strawberry jam (my personal favourite).

Try this stuffing if you’re looking for something a bit different to cook this festive season!

If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!

Apple Chestnut Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing (Vegan + GF)
Serves 4
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For the cornbread (makes 1 loaf)
  1. 200g corn flour
  2. 100g plain all-purpose flour (or sub your favourite gluten-free flour blend)
  3. 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  4. 2 eggs (or 2 flax eggs if vegan)
  5. 300ml milk, any kind
  6. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the stuffing
  1. 1 apple (cooking or otherwise), peeled, cored and diced
  2. 1 small onion, diced
  3. Handful of chestnuts (thawed if frozen), cut in half
  4. Handful of dried cranberries
  5. 1 tablespoon dried sage (or equivalent amount of fresh sage)
  6. Generous drizzle of olive oil
  7. Salt + pepper, to taste
  8. Optional: tablespoon of maple syrup, to taste
For the cornbread
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Add all ingredients to a bowl (in whatever order, and there’s no need to sieve any of the flours)
  3. Mix well, ensuring there are no lumps left
  4. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin
  5. Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean and top is golden brown
  6. Once it’s out the oven, remove from the loaf tin immediately once and transfer to a wire rack to cool
For the stuffing
  1. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add onions once the oil is hot
  2. Fry for about 15 minutes, or until the onion is soft and slightly caramelised
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  4. Break up the cornbread into crumbs and place into oven-proof baking dish of choice
  5. Add the apple, chestnuts, cranberries and sage
  6. Drizzle with plenty of oil, season with salt + pepper (and maple syrup if you wish), add a splash of water (or stock) and mix well
  7. Cover the tray with tin foil or baking parchment and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes
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