Savory Gluten-Free Stuffing is packed with whole-food ingredients like roasted fall veggies, tender chunks of apple, browned sage sausage, and a variety of fresh herbs and spices. It’s simple, plain, and wonderfully delicious.
As the parents of 2 little boys, Joe and I have succumbed to the fact that our children need and demand constant attention. We pour milk, change diapers, make dinner, drive trucks, shoot basketball, apply band-aids, read books, locate shoes, kiss tears, attend practices, cheer at games, give hugs, complete homework… you get the idea. It’s busy. I know that someday they will grow older, and won’t require or desire my undivided attention. It will be wonderful and difficult all at the same time.
I have come to the realization that in this season of life, spending time with my husband is something that I have to actively pursue. For us, this means adding it to our schedule (literally), or it just won’t happen. For the last 2 months we have been having a date night once a week. We hired a steady babysitter, and every Tuesday night we “go out” <— I use the term liberally.
Once we started date night we came to a realization… we share no common interests. He likes outdoor activities, movies, and fancy dinners. I like plays and and gimmicky activities (think haunted houses, Painting With A Twist, the cornier the better). To keep it fun, we rotate planning the date from week to week. So one week I go see a 3D action movie, and the next week Joe ends up enrolled in a gluten-free cooking class. It has been really good for us. Sometimes in the middle of the day-to-day crazy I forget that Joe is more than my co-parenter (<— not sure if that is a thing, but going with it), he is someone who I genuinely enjoy spending time with.
The cooking class is a real thing.. and it happened this week. When I let Joe in on my plans for the evening he could barely contain his excitement?. Last Tuesday, we attended a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Sides Cooking class at a local business called Wild Thyme. It was the first cooking class I have attended, and I LOVED it. We made 8 different Thanksgiving side-dishes, everything from pecan pie to cranberry sauce and didn’t have to wash a single dish! The savory gluten-free stuffing was by far the favorite. It has all the flavors of traditional stuffing and is made entirely from whole-food ingredients. Roasted sweet potatoes and parsnips provide a moist stuffing like consistency (in lieu of bread) while sage pork sausage and tender apple chunks gave the dish an original twist.
FUN FACT.. this dish uses a combination of black pepper and turmeric which has been shown to have all types of health benefits (it is also responsible for the yellowish tint to the stuffing.. just in case you thought I got a little crazy in Photo Shop).
Healthy side dishes like this one just might entice some of your more traditional family members to try something new. I’m not recommending that you replace your grandmother’s stuffing with health food (it’s Thanksgiving for goodness sakes), just that in addition to your classic family recipes you make a conscious effort to incorporate more vegetables and whole-food options to your Thanksgiving table this year. Your family just might enjoy it!
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: This recipe not only can be prepped ahead of time, but should be. It’s not hard to make, but it does require a great deal of chopping. You can prep the veggies up to 3 days before preparing the actual dish. I laid out all the vegetables and slowly peeled and chopped throughout the day, storing each ingredient in individual baggies. When it was time to make the stuffing… there was very little hands on time required.
Make Ahead: The stuffing can be made ahead of time and heated prior to serving. I think it actually tastes better when the flavors have a chance to hang out, mingle, and get to know one another a little better. BUT… and this is a big BUTT… the unusual yellow color of the stuffing (from the turmeric) turns and unappealing shade of brown after being refrigerated. If you are serving guests this dish, and want them to actually try it.. I would recommend serving it fresh.
- 2 large turnips
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 3 large onions
- 5 large ribs of celery
- 1 package of button mushrooms
- 1 apple (I used granny smith)
- 1 lb. of sage chicken sausage (omit if you want dish to be vegan)
- 2-3 TBS of garlic powder (to taste)
- 2-3 tsp of sage powder (to taste)
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
- 1-2 TBS olive oil for cooking
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Peel Turnips and sweet potatoes and dice into ½ inch cubes
- Grease 2 large baking sheets with oil and evenly spread the turnips and sweet potatoes on them (this make take more than 1 baking sheet)
- Sprinkle with some of the garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, turmeric, pepper and salt and toss with your hands.
- Put into oven and bake for about an hour until they are soft and starting to brown... toss a few times throughout cooking process so that they brown evenly.
- While veggies are cooking... in a large skillet, brown the sausage if you are using it.
- Finely dice the onions, and celery and add to the pan once the sausage has cooked. You might need to add a little more oil.
- Dice the mushrooms and peel and dice the apple and add once the onions/celery have started to soften.
- Continue cooking until all are cooked and add more of the above spices to your taste.
- Once turnips and sweet potatoes are done, mix with the sausage/onion/celery/apple/mushroom combination and continue mixing until well incorporated and starting to clump together.
- Transfer to a greased 9x19 inch baking dish and warm in oven is serving immediately or put in fridge covered.
- VERY IMPORTANT- Turmeric will stain your nails a lime green shade?. If you have your fingers looking fancy for the holidays wear gloves when handling!
- I would recommend mixing the spices all together, mixing, and then sprinkling over veggies and mixtures as directed in the recipe. It will save you tons of time. As shown in the pic above, I just stored the stuffing spice mix in a ziplock bag with my prepared veggies.
More Whole-Food Thanksgiving Recipes You Might Like:
Whole-Food Thanksgiving Roundup: The best Whole-Food Thanksgiving Recipes from the bloggers and chefs around the web!
FREE: GRAB N" GO BREAKFAST EBOOK
10 Make-Ahead,Whole Food Breakfast Recipes to help mornings go a little smoother and maybe even get you a little bit of extra sleep!