This recipe is brought to you in partnership with The California Olive Committee.
This cornbread stuffing has a lot to offer: earthy cornbread, crunchy pecans, sweet cranberries and herby California green ripe olives.
Green olives are what make this stuffing truly special and unique. California green ripe olives are particularly mild and buttery, which make them a perfect contrast to the rest of the flavors in this recipe.
Olives are great flavor absorbers, too! Add them to the seasoned vegetables and let them cook for a few minutes and they will take on all that sage and thyme goodness.
You can make your own cornbread, or buy it ready-made at the store. It's even better for this recipe if the cornbread is a day old, but not strictly necessary. Either way, be gentle when you slice the cornbread so the cubes don't crumble too much.
Of course, this stuffing has a place on the Thanksgiving table, but don’t just delegate it to a once a year event. Try it with your next roast chicken dinner; you’ll make the people at your table very happy!
Cornbread Stuffing with Green Olives and Pecans
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 batch cornbread (homemade or store-bought, 8- to 10-inch pan size, or enough to make about 8 cups cubed)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the baking dish
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup California green ripe olives, drained and roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup half and half
Preheat the oven to 350ºF:
Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Toast the pecans:
Scatter the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until slightly darkened and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the pecans to a cutting board and roughly chop while still warm. Set aside until needed.
Cut the cornbread into cubes and toast:
Use a serrated knife to cut the cornbread into roughly 1/2-inch cubes. Be gently as you slice to avoid crumbling the cubes. You should have about 8 cups cubed.
Transfer the cubes and any crumbs the baking sheet used to toast the pecans. Toast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring partway through, until the cubes look golden around the edges and feel dry to the touch.
Meanwhile, cook the vegetables:
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and celery, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the sage, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, olives, and cranberries. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until the vegetables soften and the herbs are very aromatic. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Mix the stuffing:
Gently stir the cooked vegetable mixture into the bowl with the cornbread cubes. Stir in the pecans.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, stock and cream together. Pour over the stuffing and toss gently to combine, using your hands if necessary to avoid crumbling the cornbread too much. The stuffing should feel evenly moist; sprinkle with additional chicken stock as needed.
Transfer to the baking dish.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is brown and crisp
Serve the stuffing while warm. Stuffing can also be made a day or two ahead and warmed in the oven before serving.