Cornbread Dressing (aka Cornbread Stuffing)

If you live in the North United States, this is called Cornbread Stuffing. In the South United States, this is called Cornbread Dressing. Whether it is called dressing or stuffing, it is delicious. It is a savory bread pudding where half of the bread is replaced with cornbread. It adds a nice texture and depth of flavor that most find very comforting, especially in the South United States where cornbread is served more often and associated with childhood memories.

Some people prefer to actually stuff their holiday turkey with this and cook it that way, while many others prefer a safer method of baking it in a pan in the oven. I have not yet practiced safely cooking stuffing inside a turkey, so I use the pan method. In my opinion, this is the most delicious savory dish on the holiday menu. Ladle with turkey gravy and it is exquisite.

A word of advice: make the cornbread and the rolls the day or night before if you can. Although, if you have a late evening holiday dinner, you could very well start this process in the morning, but it could still set you back significantly with timing. Because you are on a GFDF diet, you have to bake everything from scratch. While some of your counterparts are whipping up a box of Stovetop prepacked stuffing within minutes before serving dinner, or have ready made breads available to put this together, this will cost you extra time. The stuffing itself doesn’t take a lot of time and is pretty easy. But you need to make the bread and cornbread. So, here goes:

You will need a package of Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix (or prepare your favorite GFDF dinner rolls). Prepare the rolls using the recipe on the back that says Cinnamon Rolls Recipe but omit the Filling part of the recipe. As such, here is what it looks like:

When proofing the yeast, I recommend pouring the warm water in the bowl first (water should be very warm to the touch but not hot, about 110 degreed Farenheit), then sprinkle the yeast on top. Preheat the oven as suggested, you’ll need the warmth from the oven when you set the rolls on the stovetop to rise before putting inside the oven to bake. Also, you will notice that the recipe calls for 3 1/4 cups of the mix. I measured thinking I would need additional flour from another package. Nope, the entire package fits the recipe.

During rising time, bring a small oven-safe saucepan of water to a boil. When you are ready to bake, put the pan of hot water in the oven with the rolls. The steam will help keep these moist as GF products have a tendency to come out dry.

This is what the finished rolls will look like. They are soft, tender and as one who can eat bread, I seriously cannot tell the difference between these rolls and regular rolls except for a slightly more dense texture. But still, if I had not known I just baked with a GF mix, I would not have known they were GF. When you pull them out of the oven, spread a bit of earth balance buttery spread on top for the golden appearance. Because…

little boy needs a delicious roll treat! Just look at this. And I didn’t intend for the spread to melt into a heart shape but the camera captured it. What a delightful treat for a kid that walks by the bakery section of the grocery store and must ignore it. Okay… the rest of the rolls need to be broken up and spread out on a cookie tray. Depending on when you make them, you can leave them out overnight to go stale or toast them for about 10-20 minutes in a 425 degree oven.

When you are finished, make the cornbread. Now, if I were consistently using Bob’s Red Mill mixes, I would probably start recommending a cornbread one here. However, I have found that the following recipe for cornbread is excellent. Sugar is the optional ingredient. For northern style sweet and softer cornbread (remember, sugar conditions some doughs), add the sugar. For southern style cornbread, omit the sugar. I have made this both with and without sugar – with success and with good reviews that one cannot tell that it is a GFDF cornbread.


1 cup brown rice flour (superfine if you have it, if not regular brown rice flour is fine)

1/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour)

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal (Quaker or generic brand is quite fine)

1 Tbsp double-acting baking powder

1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)

1 eggs

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening, melted

1 cup rice, almond or soy milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit. Grease an 8″ cake pan with some shortening. (You can use muffin or other types of pans if you prefer).

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated, then add the wet ingredients. (I like to whisk the egg in a little bowl before adding it).

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden around the edges, top feels dry and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the cornbread.

When you’ve enjoyed a slice, etc. Crumble the rest into a pan and let stale or toast.


4 stalks celery, coarsely diced

1 med-large yellow onion, diced

32 oz chicken broth (or broth from your turkey cooking in the oven)

2 tsp ground sage

1 tsp thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Hopefully, you are already cooking your turkey at about 375 degrees Farenheit. If not, preheat the oven. In the meantime, saute the celery in a little oil until soft. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add seasonings. In a large bowl, add the toasted bread crumbs, cornbread crumbs, the sauteed celery/onion mixture and pour broth into it. Stir until crumbs are thoroughly moistened. (Since eggs were already used to make the cornbread and yeast bread, I do not add additional eggs. This comes out with a firm cut-able texture on its own. However, you may want to add more eggs if you prefer a more dense custard-like texture.)

Bake for about 30-45 minutes until the top is golden brown, stuffing is firm and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Letter to Family and Friends

Dear Friends and Family,

Please read this letter of explanation about my son’s diet as your understanding will help me ensure that he stays feeling good, growing and thriving. I will be as short and sweet as possible.

One year ago today, I finally had the evidence to conclude that my son’s intense stomach pain, and sometimes vomiting, occurred when he would try to digest wheat/gluten AND dairy. The difficulty was presented with the symptoms continuing at certain times, but not at others. An allergist confirmed that he also developed a severe allergy to dairy. A specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia confirmed that wheat and diary proteins are very similar in molecular structure, which is why when gluten is not tolerated, often diary is also not tolerated.

What I would most want your help with, is understanding that diary allergy is nothing like lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance means that dairy can still be digested but that there is not as much enzyme in the stomach to digest lactose as there used to be. Lactose intolerance can range in severity. I happen to have mild lactose intolerance, meaning I can eat cheese, yogurt, sour cream and other fermented dairy products including a little bit of real milk in my coffee. Ice cream and milk bother me enough to where it’s just not worth having it, or, I pop two lactaid for a rare ice cream treat.

As for my son, he has a total allergy to the following: milk, casein, whey, gluten and wheat. This means that his body will entirely reject the substance. 1/64th of an ounce of any food item that falls into the gluten, wheat, diary, casein, or whey category means that he will have intense nausea that lasts 24 hours or more, where vomiting doesn’t relieve the nauseated feeling. It also causes damage in his intestines that will last for months.

Please, I beg of you, please don’t experiment with my son. Please trust me. I’ve had a few people say “oh, he should be fine with just a little.” Let me tell you that, absolutely, unequivocally, NO he will NOT be okay with just a little, or if the substance is on the outside of a thing you want to serve him. An allergy is the body’s entire rejection of a substance. And believe me, during the phase that I was trying to figure out why my poor kid was so sick, I have already done enough damage. We’ve already visited specialists and it has cost over $1000 in  medical bills to figure it out. Diagnosis: Celiac Disease.

When my son eats wheat, gluten or dairy, the villi in the small intestines get damaged. The villi are needed to draw vitamins and minerals from the food he eats. Once the villi are damaged, it takes 6 months or longer for the body to repair the villi. During that time, the diet has to be free of wheat , gluten and dairy. Any accidental ingestion of said ingredients resets the damage back to square one – plus more villi damaged. This situation can lead to a boy that eats food but becomes severely malnourished. If you don’t believe me, please feel free to speak to doctors you know and/or read information provided in the links on this blog.

The last thing that I would appreciate your understanding on, is that it is not fun for either me or my son to have to live this way and be so diligent about ingredients. It is not fun for me to ask people what ingredients they used. I really hate it. But, I do it for his survival. Any time we go out to eat, about 3/4 to almost all of the menu is unavailable for his consumption. We have to special order and I have to have a dialog with the server about the seriousness of making sure they don’t use butter when grilling his burger, among other things. The kid probably eats way more french fries than he should because that is all they have for him. And I still have to inspect french fries for breading! Luckily, all of the servers we’ve spoken to have been very kind and just as diligent with speaking to their cook and manager about it. But, again, I hate this. It’s kind of embarrassing. It makes me seem like one of those overprotective pain-in-the ass mothers. I am polite as I can be but still, I wish I didn’t have to do this. (Don’t even get me started on the extra cost of special foods. I’m saving that for the article on how to live gluten free and dairy free on a budget).

This is definitely no picnic for my son, either. When my son is invited to a birthday party, he can’t have pizza or cake or ice cream or corn dogs or hot dogs or chocolate or whatever with his friends. So, he feels left out. I pack things for him that he can eat, but still, it’s not the same. Co-workers want to give him candy when he comes by the office, but often, he can’t have any of it. So, my point is this: please don’t take our scrutiny of your food as a personal rejection. I hate being the bad guy, and my son hates both being left out of the fun food and/or suffering a full 24 hours of nausea/vomiting plus malnutrition for 6+ months from as little as 1/64th of an ounce of dairy or gluten protein.

When we visit other homes, I always offer to buy the groceries and cook or go out to eat. Because we know so many generous, loving friends and family, the conversation tends toward the “what can he have?” I hate asking another cook to make concessions for him. That makes cooking for him more of a challenge and less of an enjoyable thing to do. But, if you insist, I want to say “thank you.”  And thank you for reading this. And thank you for keeping his intestines intact and his body feeling good and growing. It really means a lot to us that you want to understand and help.

I decided to create this website to make it easier for you to learn what to purchase and how I normally prepare food for him. It would also be for any other person that wants information, recipes, product lists, product reviews, frugal substitutes for the expensive products and advice on going out to eat. I have learned a lot and I have not seen a website that categorizes both dairy free and gluten free information in the way I would like. We can have soy, eggs, and nuts. I apologize, in advance, but this website will have recipes and tips that include eggs, soy and nuts.

In addition, I do not believe in using non-natural ingredients such as artificial sweetener or MSG. In some products, like sausage, things like nitrates can’t always be avoided. But, as my own personal rule, I will not recommend a recipe that has unnatural ingredients nor will I add them to my own.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for understanding. And my very heartfelt, most appreciative THANK YOU for helping us with this diet.

With Much Love,