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Cornbread Dressing with Spam and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Caroline Choe

Chef notes

There have been many a stuffing and dressing that has made its way to my Friendsgivings and Thanksgivings, but this is one that folks always remember as the sleeper hit. One year when I couldn't find the sausages I needed because they'd ran out at the supermarket, I turned to Spam — and it was absolutely delicious. I grew up with Spam as a staple in my home, but as I got older, it dropped off my radar until college friends from Hawaii made it their mission to remind me of the joys of eating it. The crisped-up, salty Spam combined with the sweetness from the corn and tanginess of the sun-dried tomatoes makes it one for the books.


  • 12 ounces low-sodium Spam, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup cut sweet corn, frozen or cut from cob
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups day-old cornbread, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley



Preheat oven to 350 F.


In a small bowl, coat your cubed Spam lightly with the cornstarch. Set aside.


Set a large skillet or deep saucepan over medium heat and lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Once the oil is heated after about a minute, carefully cook the coated Spam, tossing it occasionally with a wooden spatula and allowing it to crisp on the outside.


Once the Spam is browned, remove from the pan and transfer into a bowl and set aside.


Add in the chopped onion, garlic, carrot and celery to the pan and allow them to cook together, until the vegetables are golden-brown and the onions translucent.


Then, add in the corn and sundried tomatoes. Season the vegetables with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper and cook until the corn is tender.


Gradually pour in your stock while scraping up some of the brown bits that might deglaze at the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking for another minute.


Add in your cornbread to the vegetables. Season with smoked paprika, thyme, sage and parsley, and return the cooked Spam back to the pan. Toss until everything is well-combined, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.


Carefully put all cornbread dressing into a greased baking dish and put into the oven to bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown. Serve hot.