Cornbread-Pecan Dressing Muffins 

By: The Local Palate
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Reprinted with permission from Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield. Copyright © 2015. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Photo courtesy of Andrew Thomas Lee.

Atlanta chef Steven Satterfield takes us into his traditional Southern Thanksgiving day kitchen where cornbread muffins take priority over mashed potatoes and stuffing on his family menu. These cornbread muffins are loaded with flavorful dried sour cherries and crunchy pecans, bringing a sweeter element to the mouthwatering muffin. Eaten before dinner or after for a savory dessert, these muffins are versatile and loved by many.

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Serves 12

    For the skillet cornbread:
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups fine cornmeal
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • For the muffins:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing tins
  • 8 cups Skillet Cornbread, crumbled
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped dried sour cherries
  • ¾ cup chopped pecan pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1¾ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper

Make the skillet cornbread:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon butter. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, salt, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk eggs until lightly beaten and then whisk in buttermilk. Add wet ingredients to dry. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and whisk into mixture. Pour batter into skillet and bake until set, 15-20 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Make the muffins:

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with butter; set aside. Crumble cornbread into medium-fine pieces, put into a large bowl. Add cherries and pecans and set aside
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion, celery, shallot, sage, and thyme. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add stock. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Pour vegetable mixture over cornbread. Mix to combine; let cool slightly. Stir in eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Using your hands or a large spoon, place a heaping mound of cornbread mixture in each muffin cup. Gently press and pat each mound into a domed shape. (Keep in mind that this batter does not rise.) Bake until set, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool. Remove from muffin tins. To reheat, wrap each muffin individually in aluminum foil and return to oven until hot.
  • Recipe By
    Adapted from Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield (Harper Wave). Copyright © 2015.
  • Contributing City

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