Poblano Cornbread Stuffing

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

I come from a very traditional midwestern family where some Thanksgiving traditions are not to be messed with. I don’t know how some of these culinary delights came to be, but I’m sure many of you can relate… the infamous canned green bean casserole made with canned cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions? Plain white mashed potatoes with a stick of butter? Sweet potatoes made sweeter with sticky marshmallows? And I’m not sure if this is a midwest thing or a “my family” thing, but there’s always Jello (and not for dessert… it’s “dinner Jello”).*

I won’t be with my family this Thanksgiving, but if I were, I might bring something like this to spice things up…

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

I’ve had cornbread stuffing on my mind lately and when I saw these cute little poblano peppers at the farmers market, I knew they would add just the right kick (of course you could use jalapeños if you can’t find poblanos).

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

It’s a bit of an extra step to have to make the cornbread, but you can make it a day or two in advance. (And it’s ok if you sample a piece).

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com

I mixed in some traditional stuffing ingredients – onions, celery, carrots, and sage – as well as some southwestern accents – scallions, cilantro and mexican oregano. And for a healthy kick I even snuck in some kale.

poblano cornbread stuffing / loveandlemons.com *disclaimer: my mom is also not a fan of the green bean casserole and of course she makes many other delicious Thanksgiving dishes aside from the ones I listed above. And “dinner-jello” is made with love by my Aunt Kathy, and was, in fact, my sister’s favorite dish as a kid.

{ loving this enamelware, pictured above, from the new West Elm Market }

poblano cornbread stuffing
Serves: serves 4-6 as a side
for the stuffing:
  • 1 batch of cornbread, coarsely crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ -1/3 cup chopped poblanos or jalapeños (depending on spice level)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • scant ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup white wine (or 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar)
  • ½ cup corn (frozen works fine)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • ½ cup thinly sliced kale
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup melted butter (or vegan earth balance butter)
  • 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (reserve some for garnish)
for the cornbread:
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all purpose gluten free blend (or regular all purpose)
  • ½ cup almond flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. First, make the cornbread: Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients.
  3. Using a large spoon, mix both together (do not overmix)
  4. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish and bake for approx. 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. For the stuffing: In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add carrots, celery, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the vegetables soften. About 5 minutes. Add poblanos, garlic, sage, oregano and cook a few minutes more. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine. Add the corn, scallions, currants and kale (and some more salt) and cook for just another few minutes until the kale wilts down. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  6. Whisk together almond milk, melted butter and maple syrup. Set aside.
  7. Place crumbled cornbread in a large bowl, add the cooked veggies from the pan, and toss it all together. Pour almond milk mixture on top and toss again. Mix in the chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings, keeping in mind that it will taste (a lot) less spicy once it’s baked.
  8. Pour into a greased 11×9 (or similar) pan and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. You want the inside to remain soft, and the outside just slightly crisped. I turned my broiler on for the last 2-3 minutes to get a nice golden crust.
*Alternatively, you could stuff this in the turkey and/or bake some separately if you have vegetarian guests.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. shabs from shabscuisine.blogspot.com on said:

    Very beautiful pictures!!

  2. Christina from delacasa.wordpress.com on said:

    Being from NZ (Thanksgiving doesn’t exist there) I do appreciate hearing of these tradational family dishes. Even if they make me giggle (I didn’t even know green beans came in a can!). I cant believe only one square of cornbread is missing. I know my husband and I would have to sample one each for sure. Great alternative to a typical stuffing – and the enamelware IS beautiful.

  3. Elizabeth from greensandseeds.com on said:

    That is the Thanksgiving of my childhood, along with a big turkey and the football game. Very thankful for not having to endure it any longer!

  4. Sarah from sarahthearchitect.com on said:

    This looks amazing! I will definitely give it a try.

  5. Tara S. on said:

    Yes, that is SO Midwestern!!! I live in Ohio and grew up eating every single Thanksgiving item on your list (except the sweet potato casserole but now my SIL brings it every year 🙂

  6. Karen from karenling.net on said:

    I love cornbread by itself, and this variation looks and sounds amazing.

  7. I have to know what goes into dinner jello, is it savory or sweet? I’ve never heard of that and am so curious!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      It’s sweet (like, dessert sweet)… some people put cranberries in red Jello… my family’s recipe had a layer of cream cheese in the middle.

  8. Ashley from edibleperspective.com on said:

    I’m pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to stuffing. No nuts, no fruit, etc. I like to keep things simple. But this?? This has to be made. I have a definite thing for cornbread and these flavors, but would have never thought to turn it into a stuffing. I know my husband and our friends would be a huge fan of this, so I might have to switch plans and make it for Thursday!

  9. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com on said:

    Spicy poblano stuffing sounds like a fabulous idea! Although I do think I’d have a hard time not just eating the pan of cornbread by itself… 🙂

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      yea… if it sat around any longer there would have been way less cornbread left for the stuffing. It was a matter of speed really…

  10. Courtney Jones from thefigtree.blogspot.com on said:

    Love this spin on regular stuffing. The cornbread and poblanos are a great add-in. I’m not a huge fan of the normal stuffing. This is a version I know I’d love. I’ll definitely give it a try soon 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  11. Charlotte on said:

    Yes! Just what I’m looking for! Traditional with a modern vegan gluten-free twist! Thank you!

  12. This looks absolutely amazing!! I’ve been trying to come up with a vegan and GF stuffing recipe that my non-vegan family members will like too, and this sounds perfect! We’re in TX, so this Southwestern-style recipe is right up my alley; and I love that you used cornbread–genius!


    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Thanks – I’m hoping my meat eaters will like it too 🙂

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  14. Jennifer from jenpaddackhyde.typepad.com on said:

    We were just going through my husband’s late grandmother’s recipe box and were laughing at all the marshmallow recipes. And Jello recipes. My husband was telling me about how he had to suffer through quite a few of the recipes when he was younger. She was from the Mid-West also:)

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      aww, that’s sweet. Our family Jello was passed down through my grandmother as well 🙂

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  16. Michelle on said:

    Just looking for your cornbread recipe… the stuffing looks amazing!!!!

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  27. Leslie on said:

    I am excited to make this for a belated Thanksgiving. One of my guests has a nut allergy so I was wondering: should I replace the almond milk with rice or dairy milk or would it be better replaced with a veggie broth? Can’t wrap my head around the right answer. Just not sure if the almond milk is supposed to bring a creaminess that I would need to replicate or not. I would love some feedback when it’s convenient. Thank you!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Leslie, (sorry I didn’t reply quicker!), the almond milk isn’t crucial so I’m thinking any of those replacements you mentioned should work just fine. Other milks or extra broth.

      • Leslie on said:

        It’s Thanksgiving! No apology needed. I am grateful for your quick response! Thank you for the info! Have a great day!

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  38. Alexis on said:

    Hi! I’ve been vegetarian for about two years now, but I still haven’t found my new traditional Thanksgiving dish. I’ve seen stuffed mini pumkins on the Web and I was wondering if you think they would go well with this spicy stuffing? The pumkins probably need to bake for 45-60 minutes and I’m worried the stuffing would get overdone because not a lot would fit in the mini pumkin (1/4-1/2 cup maybe?). Would you bake this stuffing separately or add it part way through the baking of the pumpkins? Thank you so much!

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  44. Arshiya on said:

    This was delicious!
    I made a few modification
    – Cooked the vegetables for longer. I love caramelized onions so made sure to caramelize those for like a good 10 minutes
    – Instead of white wine vinegar i used a pomegranate vinegar, though any fruity one would work (apple cider vinegar, etc)
    – Used cranberries instead of currants!
    – i used TJ’s frozen roasted corn which i sauteed before adding to the caramelizing veggie medley!

    Guests loved the dish. Definitely a huge success!

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