This gluten-free stuffing is super moist with a crispy top and is the perfect traditional side for a holiday meal. It bakes on its own in the oven and can easily be made days ahead. Vegetarian and dairy-free options are included in the recipe.
Moist Gluten-Free Stuffing
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 at least 20 minutes before putting it in the baking dish. This will assure 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.
Another key to wonderful flavor in stuffing is the liquid used. A few weeks before the winter holiday season, I make a big pot of turkey broth or 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.
Starting in the fall, inexpensive turkey parts (wings, necks, backs) show up in the grocery stores. These parts are perfect making a stock. Add some herbs, celery, carrot and onion, you’ll have a flavorful rich stock to use in your gravy and stuffing.
Gluten-Free Stuffing 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, hot dog and hamburger buns and baguettes have a nice crust and are thicker than sliced bread so they work well for stuffing. I particularly love Against the Grain Gourmet baguettes. Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Honey White 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 slices, place the slices directly on the oven racks and toast each side for 5-10 minutes at 300ºF. Cut into squares right out of the oven and let cool.
For bagels, buns or baguettes, cut into cubes and spread out on sheet pans and bake at 400ºF for about 10 minutes. They should be golden brown but still a little bit soft in the middle.
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:
- Vegetarian 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
- Dairy-Free stuffing – Use a vegan butter substitute like Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks. An unsalted one is best. Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free breads are dairy-free.
Moist Gluten-Free Stuffing
- 2 cups minced onion about 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 cups finely chopped celery
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 cups toasted bread cubes*
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- 2½ – 3 cups low-sodium chicken vegetarian broth, turkey stock
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. When the butter starts to bubble add the celery and onion.
- Cook over low-medium heat, tossing often, for 7-8 minutes until the celery and onion are translucent. The key here is to soften the onion and celery not let them brown.
- Stir in the sage and thyme and cook for one more minute.
- Remove the mixture from the pan and transfer to a bowl to let it cool slightly. Be sure to scrape out all the butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and broth together. Mix in the the bread cubes and stir for a minute. This will assure that all the cubes have been coated.
- Add the celery/onion mixture, salt and pepper. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. If your bread cubes are dry like croutons, you may need to soak them a little longer to allow them to soften.
- The bread cubes should be moistened almost all the way through. If they are still very dry and hard add another ¼ cup broth and stir.
- Pour the stuffing into a 9″ x 13″ roasting pan and bake for 45 minutes.