I’ve promised several friends that I’d share this recipe in time for Thanksgiving prep, so I think I’ve made it in just under the wire! As I mentioned earlier this week in my Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce post, stuffing is one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal. I love it so much that we always have two different kinds at our table, ensuring plenty of leftovers. While some get repeated, there are always so many recipes I want to try that I like changing it up every year. A few examples we’ve loved were sourdough stuffing with mushrooms, apples and sage, herb and bacon cornbread stuffing, and even wild rice, fruit and pecan stuffing, which was a bit of a departure for us one year. Last month, while I was searching for a dish to bring to my cooking club for our Vegan theme night, I went directly to one of my favorite food blogs, The First Mess. My friend Felice turned me onto it a year ago, and even though my diet doesn’t skew vegan generally, I want to make everything Laura writes about. The photographs are stunning, and her flavor combinations always excite me. Assigned to a starch dish that night, I new instantly that I wanted to try what she called her sweet potato, chipotle + chard cornbread stuffing. I figured I could use this as an opportunity to audition it for our Thanksgiving dinner, and I am so glad I did! I mostly followed the recipe, but made some slight adjustments in order to double it to fit a 9 x 13 baking dish. (You know me, if I’m going to spend time cooking, I’m going to make sure there’s a large yield to serve for other meals or to freeze!) I also had to find a vegan cornbread recipe to use, because my standard one uses buttermilk (and bacon fat when I’m going all in!) Food52 pulled through for me on that end, and with a few changes there too I had a winner. With this vegan cornbread stuffing you have the sweetness from both the bread and the sweet potatoes, the smoky spicy layer from the chipotles, and a savory earthiness from the leafy green swiss chard. It balances perfectly, stays moist on the inside, but gets slightly crispy on top. I made a large casserole dish to share with friends, but decided to bake two individual ramekins as well for my family to try. The good news? Because I waited for daylight to grab some of the shots, I didn’t actually let my guys eat their stuffing for 5 days after making it! And you know what? It was just as delicious!
And it turns out it complemented the rest of our vegan cooking club meal as well. We had a fantastic lentil and nut loaf as the main course, which you shoud definitely make, but add a little smoked paprika like our host did. We had roasted spiced nuts, an eggplant dip, braised artichokes, and a broccoli and tahini soup. As always, it was a really fun evening with tasty food-proof (not that it’s needed) that a vegan menu can be flavorful and satisfying!
And I’ve got one bonus tip for you today: freeze your extra chipotles and adobo sauce! If you’re anything like me, you open a can for a single chili, and are stuck with the rest in a random tupperware container that sits in the back of your fridge and grows mold until you remember it months later. Clearly, there’s got to be a better solution. And surprise, there is! On your counter, lay out strips of plastic wrap, about 5 inches wide x the length of the dispenser. In the middle of it, spoon out two chipotle peppers and two tablespoons of the adobo sauce. Wrap it up like a present so it’s sealed, and stick all of these packages into a Ziploc freezer bag. Next time you have need for a recipe, simply thaw the individual package in warm water. If you only need one pepper you can cut the whole block in half while it’s still frozen. Either return it to the freezer, or keep it refrigerated if you actually think you’ll use it within the week. Or just toss it if you can’t be bothered, since it’s no big loss. That’s what I did when I made this stuffing a couple weeks ago; I defrosted from the freezer then, and I’ll do it again this week. It just makes things easier.I would love to hear if you make the stuffing, or if you have another favorite to recommend, so please leave a comment and let me know!
This Vegan Cornbread Stuffing with Chipotle, Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato is a perfect side for your Thanksgiving table. It will satisfy the vegans and the turkey eaters alike, as it balances sweetness with smoky spice, it's moist on the inside and crispy on the outside, and makes for great leftovers for days. And if you want to keep it simple, you can just make the cornbread all on its own!
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 3 cups stone ground yellow cornmeal (360g)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (260g)
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ cup sugar (150g)
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Most of a 9 X 13 baking dish of cornbread, minus a 4 X 13 strip (about 16 cups of cornbread cubed, saving three big pieces for snacking)
- ¼ cup +2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
- 2 cups diced yellow onion (from one large onion)
- ¾ cup diced celery (from 1½ stalks)
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (from about 12 sprigs)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cups swiss chard, roughly chopped (from 7 large stalks, leaves and stems)
- 2½ cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes (from 2 small potatoes)
- 2¾ cups vegetable stock
- 1 chipotle pepper with 1 Tablespoon of adobo sauce, chopped
- Juice from ½ of a lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
*The cornbread recipe is slightly adapted from Gena Hamshaw's recipe on Food52.
**The stuffing recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe on The First Mess.