Gluten-free stuffing is my favorite thing on the Thanksgiving table. If there were just turkey, gluten-free gravy and stuffing, I would be happy. No need for all the other dishes. So I always make plenty of it for 2nd helpings and leftovers. For a slightly sweeter stuffing, be sure to check out my recipe for gluten-free cornbread stuffing – my personal favorite.
I find most everyone else’s stuffing to be dry. Stuffing is really meant to be a bread pudding which should be moist and rich. Eggs, butter and and plenty of flavorful turkey broth or stock make this gluten-free stuffing perfect, even without gravy. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes before putting it in the baking dish to be sure that the bread absorbs all of the liquid.
I’m a purist when it comes to Thanksgiving. So I flavor my stuffing with the traditional Thanksgiving flavors of onion, celery, sage and thyme. If you like rosemary, that can make a nice addition also but it is a strong flavor, so just go easy on it. See below for some other variations.
A few weeks before the winter holiday season, I make a big pot of turkey stock. It’s not so easy to find it ready-made and, of the ones I have tried, I have not been satisfied with the flavor. With some inexpensive turkey parts (wings, necks, backs) and some herbs, celery, carrot and onion, you’ll have a flavorful rich stock to use in your gravy and stuffing.
Gluten-Free Bread Cubes
It’s getting easier to find ready-made gluten-free bread cubes for stuffing but I still prefer to make my own. The ready-made ones are very dry – more like croutons – and I like to leave a little moisture in the bread. For stuffing, I use a combination of gluten-free breads. Gluten-free bagels and baguettes are a good thick bread. I particularly love Against the Grain Gourment baguettes. Rudi’s gluten-free bread is another one I use. It’s on the sweeter side and I like the sweet bread with the savory flavors of stuffing.
To toast the bread, put bread slices directly on the oven racks and toast each side for 5-10 minutes at 300ºF. For bagels or baguettes, cut into cubes and spread out on sheet pans and bake at 350º for about 15 minutes. They should be golden brown but still a little bit soft in the middle. Cut whole bread into squares right out of the oven and let cool.
Tip for Make Ahead Stuffing
This gluten-free stuffing can be prepared and baked a day or two ahead and re-heated on the day of your meal. I suggest removing it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before heating. This way it will heat up faster in the oven and won’t dry out. Cover the pan with tin foil for the first 20 minutes in the oven then remove to let the top get a nice crust.
Gluten-Free Stuffing – Variations:
- vegan stuffing – use oil or a vegan butter substitute in place of the butter and vegan broth. I highly recommend Imagine Low-Sodium “No Chicken” Broth. It has the best flavor of any vegan broth. Vegan butter substitutes are usually salted. so you may want to reduce the salt called for in the recipe by 1/4.
- add 1 cup cooked, crumbled sausage
- add 1 cup diced apples plus 1/2 chopped walnuts sautéed in butter