Remember the delicious bread stuffing that accompanied the ham or turkey at a big family dinner? You probably recall how well the stuffing went with the corn, potatoes and meat that you served your table full of friends and relatives.
In my family, no Thanksgiving dinner would be quite complete without a side of stuffing.
Traditional Thanksgiving stuffing is usually made of bread crumbs or chunks, spices, nuts and dried cranberries.How can you make stuffing without gluten?
Obviously, wheat is an important staple in this dish since the pieces of bread are what give it the full, “stuffing” consistency. Additionally, the other ingredients such as the spices and the nuts are added in order to complement the bread crumbs.
By now, you’re probably thinking that, for the above reasons, stuffing is one of the dishes that are entirely eliminated from the gluten-free diet. However, this is not the case at all. I’ve always made a delicious gluten-free stuffing by baking gluten-free cornbread, crumbling it up and using the crumbled pieces to make stuffing.
There are also many great recipes for gluten-free stuffing on the internet. I have included one of these recipes in this article to get you started. This particular stuffing is delicious, savory and completely grain-free!
Melissa’s Savory Gluten-free/ Grain-Free Stuffing
Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 35 minutes.
Yields: 4-6 servings.
- 5 pearl onions, peeled and cut in half
- 4 small shallots, peeled and cut in half
- 1 large bulb fennel (white part only) cut in half, then cut lengthwise into ¼ inch strips
- 1 stalk of celery, cut in half lengthwise and chopped (I used three medium stalks with leaves)
- ¼ cup of organic extra virgin olive oil
- ¾-1 cup of gluten-free chicken broth (add more, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture becomes too dry)
- ½ teaspoon of rubbed sage (I used 1 teaspoon of gluten-free poultry seasoning blend)
- ½ cup of chopped walnuts (I used ¾ cup of pan-roasted walnuts)
- 8 ounces of button mushrooms, quartered
- Unrefined sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh fennel leaves
- Cook’s note: For a meatier version, add 1 cup of gluten-free Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage chopped in rounds
- 1 tablespoon of good quality cooking sherry (optional)
- Heat oil in a deep saute pan. Add onions, shallots, fennel and celery. Stir to coat vegetables in oil. Brown slightly on medium heat for several minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover pan. Simmer ingredients for 20 minutes. Add sage and salt and pepper to taste. Add walnuts, cover and continue to cook mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, gluten-free sausage (optional) and sherry (optional), cover and cook on medium for an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. When mushrooms are cooked and walnuts slightly softened the stuffing is done. If there is excess liquid, cook uncovered to reduce, but leave some liquid for reheating.
- Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve warm or refrigerate and reheat when ready to serve. When serving, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and fennel leaves.
Recipe courtesy About.com
I have also discovered a few pre-made mixes for gluten-free stuffing for those days when you just don’t have time to make it from scratch. The ones I have found are Aleia’s Gluten-Free Savory Stuffing Mix and Williams-Sonoma Heirloom Herbed Quinoa & Red Rice Stuffing. Give one of these mixes a try when you need a great side-dish in a hurry!
Now, you can enjoy authentic-tasting stuffing without suffering any of the side-effects that are caused by eating traditional wheat-based stuffing. You can serve a great gluten-free stuffing either made from scratch from a recipe such as the one above or, if you’re short of time, one made from a gluten-free mix. Relish the taste of savory stuffing in a totally gluten-free way!
Image courtesy mroach