Cornbread stuffing is amazing, and I was trying to think of fun twists on the flavors when I realized you could add all the ingredients to polenta and it would give a similar vibe but be totally different! Taking bites of this creamy polenta and finding tender mushrooms, savory sausage, and tart cranberries is a great dinner experience! this dish could be a side or a main, and would be great at friendsgiving or as a weeknight dinner leading up to Thanksgiving!
The inspiration for this dish
Regular stuffing I’m not crazy about. I know that’s blasphemy to most people around this time of the year, but I just really don’t care about it that much! Cornbread stuffing though, one that’s loaded with sausage and studded with tart cranberries, is a totally different story. I can’t get enough of the stuff! I decided to borrow these flavors for a pre-Thanksgiving polenta I made the other night to hold me over for the big event! Make this this cornbread stuffing polenta weekend to hold you over like I did, or make a big pot of it to serve as a twist on a thanksgiving side dish. Either way you and your family will love it!
Prepping all the veggies
Some of these are common stuffing ingredients, others are once in a while stuffing ingredients. I used pepper, onion, mushroom, and garlic.
Building the flavors for cornbread stuffing polenta in the pot
Start with the veggies, then add in the sausage.
Then add the mushroom and garlic! Stir it all together and let the garlic saute a bit before adding the liquids.
Next cream and chicken stock go in. Stir it all together and bring it to a simmer.
Finally, whisk in the cornmeal and cranberries! Simmer this cornbread stuffing polenta for about 20 minutes until the cornmeal is cooked, stirring often.
Serving the cornbread stuffing polenta
Put it on the plate and top with some olive oil or melted butter, then some herbs and black pepper.
Parsley would be more traditional stuffing flavors, but I just used chives because I had them on hand. Also I love chives and think they are the best herb so just let me have this.
Ohhhhh yea, this cornbread stuffing polenta had all the right flavors! A fun twist on those classic thanksgiving flavors! I also love how this is basically the same ingredients as a cornbread stuffing including the cornmeal, but it is all just cooked and put together in a different way.
Twists on Cornbread Stuffing Polenta
My idea for this was to take my favorite stuffing and make it into a polenta, but I want you to do that with your favorite stuffing and not mine! Want to add some sage or rosemary? Sounds good to me! Vegetarian version? Yes! Anything that makes sense to you for stuffing makes sense to put in here.
If you want a traditional southern cornbread stuffing, I really like this one from Grandbaby Cakes.
Cornbread Stuffing Polenta
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 12 ounces sausage
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 6 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup grated parm
- parsley or chives for garnish
- salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
- Saute the onion and pepper in some butter for about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Stir in the sausage and cook until fully cooked and starting to brown.
- Add in the mushroom and garlic and cook 3 minutes.
- Add in the cream and stock. Bring to a simmer and stir in the cranberries and cornmeal. Stir vigorously to make sure you remove any lumps and end up with a smooth mixture.
- Turn heat to low and stir often until the cornmeal is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the parm and some herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.