My dear sister-in-law has Celiac disease, which means she gets ill at even a hint of gluten. This means any wheat based product is off limits. I came up with this gluten-free stuffing recipe for her holiday visit. We had it with our roasted goose, which we got from Moose Manor Farms (see our articles Getting a gander at Christmas and Roasted goose).
During my sister-in-law’s previous visits I just avoided recipes that contained wheat. I made pumpkin pie with a nut crust, but I avoided cookies, cakes, pies and stuffing. As she spent a week with us at Christmas last year and we were planning on having other guests for Christmas dinner, I decided to do a bit more research and see where I could modify my traditional holiday stuffing recipe. I also resurrected a flourless chocolate cake recipe I hadn’t made in years, long before I knew to be aware of gluten.
Life is definitely better today than it was five years ago for those requiring a gluten-free diet. King Arthur’s flour has a variety of gluten-free mixes that are very good. I tried their ginger bread cookie mix and their sugar cookie mix. They were great, you could not tell they were gluten free. I also found that Trader Joe’s has gluten free stuffing mix. I didn’t use their spice combination but I did use their croutons. With gluten free croutons, I could now go forward with my traditional holiday stuffing. Below is the recipe I’ve been making for decades. It is similar to my mother’s recipe, although I have made changes over the years with the addition of toasted pecans and sausage.
If you are going to make gluten-free stuffing, be mindful of the ingredients in the sausage you buy, as some have gluten in them. Jones sausage is certified gluten free. Also, if you are on a strict gluten free diet, be mindful that some soy and Worcestershire sauce have gluten. This was a surprise to me.
You can also make this recipe vegetarian or vegan with slight modifications. For vegetarians just eliminate the sausage and substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth. For vegan sauté the veggies in olive oil instead of butter.
Yield 12 Servings
- 2 boxes of Trader Joe’s Gluten free stuffing, or about 10 to 12 cups of croutons
- 2 cups yellow onion chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cup celery chopped
- Jones 12 ounce sausage roll
- 2 Granny Smith Apples cored and chopped
- 3⁄4 cup of raisins
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 to 2 1⁄2 cups of good quality chicken stock, low sodium preferred
- 1 tablespoon of dried sage or two tablespoons of fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons of dried poultry seasoning
- Pepper to taste
- With the butter, sausage, and broth, you should not need any additional salt
- This recipe can be made the day ahead. You can then reheat it the day of your feast.
- Chop the celery and onions, and sauté them with 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 of the sausage roll, along with half stick of butter. I have used sage flavored sausage most often but have had good results with plain sausage as well. The Jones sausage is certified gluten free.
- Add the chopped apple and raisins, and sauté for a minute or two. You don’t want to overcook the apples, as they can rather quickly become a sauce.
- During this time, lightly toast a quarter cup of pecans in a dry frying pan. You can also use pre-toasted pecans as well.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sausage mixture and pecans with the croutons. Slowly pour the two cups of broth so the bread mixture is moistened evenly. You want the stuffing moist while the croutons still hold their shape. Depending on the brand of croutons you use, you may need to add more stock and melted butter. You don’t want soggy stuffing.
- Place mixture in a buttered casserole dish or baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil to bake another 10 minutes to brown.
If you have a small group for dinner (four or five people), and you want something quick and easy, and you aren’t having to be gluten free, just modify Stove Top Stuffing. It is not the same as using quality broth and a variety of fresh ingredients but it is good. Take an onion and a stalk of celery chopped. Sauté them in a sauce pan with some chopped links of breakfast-sausage or a quarter of a roll of sausage. Once the sausage is cooked and the onions are translucent, add water according to the package directions and a handful of raisins. Bring the water to boil and add your stuffing mix. You’ll have stuffing in under 30 minutes.