This Cornbread and Cranberry Vegetarian Stuffing is a remake of the classic and traditional sausage stuffing, with mushrooms and sage providing the savory umami flavor base that pops from tart cranberries compliment.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl until well mixed. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until just blended.
Pour into the prepared pan and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
Let the cornbread cool till room temperature before cutting into squares. Start making the stuffing OR store in an airtight container at room temperature to use the next day.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees and arrange the racks to the lower and upper-middle positions. Spread out the cornbread on baking sheets and the white bread pieces on a separate baking sheet. Arrange the trays in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, until completely dry, stirring and rotating the trays a couple times. Dry the cornbread 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Remove and allow to cool. Turn up the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add half of the mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Remove and then pulse the rest of the mushrooms.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once it’s shimmering, add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently until all the moisture has been released, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the sage and continue to cook the mushrooms until they are well browned about 5 minutes.
Toss in the rosemary, thyme, onion, garlic, and celery and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Gently stir in the cranberries, bread, egg, and butter until evenly mixed, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a greased 9x13 inch rectangular baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp on top and golden. If you are going to freeze it though to serve later, go ahead and take it out. When reheating, you can crisp up the top.
Serve immediately or let it cool completely to room temperature before wrapping it up tightly and freezing.
The night before, let it unthaw in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before reheating. Pour some melted butter on top, cover with foil, and reheat in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until its hot. Take the foil off and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the top is crispy.
This recipe is based on J. Kenji Lòpez-Alt's The Best Vegan Stuffing Recipe
Depending on the heartiness of the white bread, it might become dry faster than 50 minutes.