Contemplating my holiday menu, I thought about many friends who have adopted a gluten-free lifestyle. I wondered what they would do instead of a traditional dressing made with wheat bread.
In their honor, here is my savory solution – a gluten-free cornbread dressing made with lots of aromatic vegetables and sweet dried cranberries. Everyone will eat well, and your gluten-free family members and guests will be both happy and relieved that they can enjoy.
Tradition Minus the Wheat
Traditional bread-based dressing is a wonderful side dish for turkey, ham, and roast pork or beef. But if you have discovered that you must follow, or feel better, on a gluten-free diet, that tradition doesn’t work.
Gluten-free cornbread dressing is a terrific solution. Filled with lots of aromatic vegetables, herbs and sweet dried cranberries to accompany the dried cornbread cubes, this dressing has great flavor and texture.
Last week I posted the recipe for my gluten-free cornbread. This is the basis for the dressing. You can make it up to two days ahead. After baking and cooling, cut the cornbread into small cubes and allow the cubes to dry for about 24 hours uncovered. Then place in an airtight container until ready to make the dressing.
Prep Vegetables Ahead
To save time, prep your vegetables a day ahead. Chop and mix together the leek, celery, fennel, onion and keep refrigerated until you want to prepare the dressing recipe. I make my dressing barely moist. If you prefer a wet or very moist dressing, increase your liquid a bit. I use milk. You can use almond milk or broth (vegetable, chicken, or turkey).
The day of your dinner, complete the dressing recipe and bake for a total of about 50-60 minutes. If you like a browned crisp top, take the foil off the last few minutes. Keep warm until serving time. Leftovers are good the next day and even work for breakfast with scrambled eggs.
Notes – Before you make this recipe, read my post and the recipe for gluten-free cornbread.
The pan I use is a 6 quart All Clad stainless steel saute pan. It’s a handy size for cooking larger quantities without crowding.