For as long as I can remember, this recipe has been a staple on our holiday table, whether Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I remember my grandmother and my mother prepping this and it’s a bit of a labor of love, but the outcome doesn’t disappoint. As a little girl, I remember this routine as though it were yesterday. It was always so much fun because you can use your hands to do the first few steps.
Up go the sleeves to the elbows, rings go into the dish next to the sink, then the washing of the hands, and then it’s go time! They always included my sister and I with the mixing and the measuring of the ingredients. We were responsible for pouring the chicken stock and cracking the eggs, so I’m sure a family member got a shell or two over the years!
This is a fun dish to be inclusive but should be made ahead of time. It’s comforting, warm, fragrant, and has all of the textures you’re looking for to pair with your holiday spread. The sweetness of the apple is perfect for the season with the slight crunch of the celery and onion.
This recipe is unlike any dish and I wouldn’t compare it to traditional cornbread as it is very, very moist. My family typically serves this as a side of stuffing, but could easily be put into muffin tins to make a perfect single serving or given as a gift.
There’s usually not a lot of leftovers, so if we have company, they always fight over who will take some home! —Hilary Duff
Test Kitchen Notes
These stuffing muffins are part of Recipes to Give & Share, a collection of perfectly packable holiday treats that we're sending to our loved ones this year. —The Editors
- Prep time 48 hours 20 minutes
- Cook time 50 minutes
- makes 12 stuffing muffins
box Jiffy cornbread mix (it really is the best!)
heel of bread, or 2 slices
yellow onion, diced
thin-skinned red apple, unpeeled and diced (I use Honeycrisp)
whole scallions, ends trimmed and finely chopped
plus 2 tablespoons salted butter
freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
ground sage, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups
chicken or vegetable stock
- Bake the Jiffy mix according to the package instructions; let it over-brown but not burn. Let the bread cool completely.
- Once cooled, tear the cornbread into 1/2-inch chunks and place into a bowl big enough to mix up the stuffing mixture. Next, tear the heel of bread into pieces roughly the same size as the cornbread and add to the bowl. Let the bread dry out for 2 days. (Alternatively, spread out the torn bread and cornbread on two half-sheet pans and bake in a 250°F oven for 30, minutes until the bread has dried out considerably.)
- When you’re ready to make the stuffing, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a skillet, melt the 1/2 cup butter until it sizzles, then sauté the celery and onion until soft and translucent. Add the apple and cook until softened.
- To the bowl with the torn up, staled cornbread, add the salt, pepper, sage, poultry seasoning, and smoked paprika and stir to combine. Add the softened vegetables and green onions to the stuffing and stir well again.
- In a separate, medium-size bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the milk and the stock. Pour combined liquid mixture over the bread mixture and toss until the liquid has soaked into the bread completely.
- Portion into lined muffin tins (you should get about 12 muffins).
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and distribute evenly over the top of each muffin.
- Bake the muffins for 35 to 40 minutes, until they look set in the middle and are golden-brown on the top.