The sheet pan really does makes a difference: Uber-buttery cornbread stuffing gets crispy at the edges, almost chewy. The vegetables are just cooked with a little bite. Also, I use milk instead of stock, which keeps this not only vegetarian, but also incredibly rich and comforting in a nursery-food kind of way. —Eric Kim
Prepare the cornbread mix according to the instructions on the box (usually asks for an egg and 1/3 cup milk). Grease a muffin pan and, using an ice cream scoop, fill with cornbread batter. (Account for about 6 to 8 muffins.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Place the sourdough cubes on a half sheet pan and bake alongside the muffins in the same oven, until dried out and slightly browned. Set aside to cool. (Alternatively, you could cube the bread and leave it out overnight in a single layer on a sheet pan to dry out.)
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven, then sauté the onion and celery until translucent. Add the sage, parsley, and remaining 2 cups milk, bring to a gentle simmer, then stir in the bread cubes and corn muffins, which you can just crumble in with your hands. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a greased half sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.
Eric Kim is a senior editor at Food52, where his solo dining column, Table for One, runs Friday mornings. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.