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overhead view of white oval serving dish with quinoa yam stuffing on burlap mat on white background. small pumpkins in upper left and white napkin on right

Quinoa Yam "Stuffing" (No Bread)

Author: Janet Harlow
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
This quinoa yam stuffing is a healthier alternative to bread stuffing. It's gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins


  • 1 lb yams
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth, stock or vegetable broth (for vegetarian/vegan, I love Imagine No Chicken Broth)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 Tbsp butter or vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt or 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • pepper
  • fresh parsley, thyme and or sage


  • See notes below for vegan/vegetarian main dish options.
  • Dice the yam into 1/2 inch cubes. Mince the onion and celery. Remove the stalks from the kale and chop into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a medium-sized pot melt the butter or butter substitute. Add the onion and celery and cook over medium-high heat until softened. You’re not looking to brown them, just soften. So if they start to brown, lower the heat.
  • Add the quinoa and stir well. Give the pot a shake to spread the quinoa out. Heat it about 3 minutes stirring every 15 seconds to toast it. This will bring out the nutty flavor of the quinoa.
  • Add the water, broth, salt and a couple pinches of pepper and turn up the heat. When it comes to a boil, cover the pot and turn the flame down as low as it will go. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, heat a large skillet over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add a light coating of vegetable oil. Add the yams, turn the heat to medium and cook, tossing every couple of minutes for 12-15 minutes or until they are cooked through.
  • When the timer sounds, check the quinoa. Use a fork to push the quinoa aside to see if there is any liquid left on the bottom. If there is still some liquid, continue cooking until it is absorbed.
  • Then stir in the kale, sage and thyme, cover the pot and let sit (off the heat) for 5 minutes. This will wilt the kale nicely. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. Stir in the yams or plate the quinoa mixture and frame with the yams for a pretty presentation.
  • Top with fresh herbs.


For a vegan or vegetarian main dish sautee 1 cup cooked mushrooms with the celery and onion and/or add 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed. Top with 1/4 c chopped walnuts.
Did you make this recipe?Let me know how it was! Tag @chefjanetk on Instagram.