9 months ago

Butternut Squash and Bacon Cornbread Stuffing

Made with sweet cornbread, smoky bacon, butternut squash and fresh sage, this sweet-and-salty stuffing recipe from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, I could make an entire meal out of stuffing. Sure, I love mashed potatoes, rolls and sweet potato casserole. But I could eat stuffing for breakfast, lunch and dinner, any month of the year.

I mean, it basically has all the components of a meal: carbs, some sort of veggie (sometimes) and a protein (again, sometimes). Regardless, the stuffing will definitely cover us on the carbs.  

I actually don’t remember loving stuffing at Thanksgiving when I was growing up. I’m guessing we had a pretty basic recipe that didn’t stand out to me. Plus, my grandma made some stellar Czech dumplings and gravy that I always loaded my plate with. Who needs stuffing when you have Grandma’s dumplings?

However, I remember one particular Thanksgiving that we spent in Kansas City, when my mom and aunt decided to try a Food Network recipe that had apples and sausage in the stuffing. It was around the time when people started to become more adventurous with their cooking, so I remember this being kind of a big deal. It was the best stuffing I had ever had, and I’m pretty sure my Thanksgivings have never been the same since.

Every year, I try to think of new, fun stuffing recipe ideas, and I am in love with what I’ve come up with this year: Butternut Squash and Bacon Cornbread Stuffing. It reminds me of a stuffing that you’d find in the south, with a sweet cornbread base and smoky bacon throughout, along with a generous amount of butternut squash. This stuffing is salty and sweet!

In my (stuffing) book, you can’t make stuffing without fresh sage. It gives it that recognizable stuffing flavor, regardless of the other ingredients you have in it.

One note about this recipe: you’ll notice there aren’t any eggs in it. The cornbread stuffing is simply moistened by a cup of chicken broth, which keeps the texture of this stuffing super light, which I loved.

If you’re a huge stuffing fan like me and like to experiment every year with a new recipe, give this one a try for this year’s Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving/Sunday afternoon when ya just need some stuffing!

Butternut Squash and Bacon Cornbread Stuffing

8-10 servings
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
4 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 small butternut squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 slices bacon
1 white onion, diced
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped, plus additional for topping
6 cups of cornbread cubes
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter, cut into approximately 1 teaspoon cubes

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 F. 
  2. Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. 
  3. Toss butternut squash with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.  
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, until roasted.
  5. While squash is roasting, cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  6. Once cooked, remove but keep bacon grease in the pan.  
  7. Add the onion and chopped celery to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes. 
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add sage and cook one more minute.  
  10. In a large bowl, combine cornbread cubes, butternut squash, bacon, and onion/celery mixture.
  11. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture and toss gently to combine. 
  12. Pour into prepared baking dish and top with cubes of butter.  
  13. Reduce oven heat to 350 F. 
  14. Bake stuffing for 30-35 minutes, until warmed through and golden on top. Serve topped with additional fresh sage. Enjoy!