Thanksgiving Dinner with Gluten Free Quinoa Stuffing

A delicious and flavorful, protein-rich stuffing for those looking for something out of the ordinary. Our Quinoa Stuffing is tossed with apples, pecans, bacon and sausage for a hearty side that is also gluten-free.

Quinoa Stuffing | 2 Cookin Mamas A gluten-free option for Thanksgiving Stuffing. A mixture of quinoa, apples, cranberries and sausage make a fantastic addition to any dinner. #recipe

Our family loves Thanksgiving and all the traditional foods that go along with it. I know that if I didn’t make one of the dishes the hubby and kids were expecting I would hear about it no end. Yummy things like dressing (or as some people call it stuffing), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole or green bean casserole. So, it is that time of year again, here’s to all the comfort foods and the joy they bring to family gatherings. Oh, and if you get nervous about getting everything to the table on time, check out our handy dandy Thanksgiving Day Planner with a minute by minute schedule to make it easy as pie.

Quinoa Stuffing main | 2CookinMamas

This year, with my daughter coming for the big day, I wanted to make something a bit different, healthier and also gluten-free. There are a million and one recipes out there for Thanksgiving side dishes but I knew I wanted to make the stuffing with a base of quinoa, one of my favorite go-to protein rich sides but also wanted to add some seasonal flair to it. I tossed in apples, cranberries and pecans then brought the flavor up a notch with bacon and sausage.
Quinoa stuffing mixture

Just take a look at that yummy mixture! And believe me, this is a side dish that you can serve all winter long, it’s that good!

Unstuffing Turkey

This stuffing can be cooked outside the turkey as well but why do that when you have a built in oven in the turkey. And all that flavor from the turkey juices just makes it that much tastier. Hope you enjoy and have a safe & happy Thanksgiving!

Quinoa Stuffing

A delicious and flavorful, protein-rich stuffing for those looking for a gluten-free option.

30 minPrep Time

30 minTotal Time

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks organic celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 unpeeled organic apple, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. Italian sausage (turkey sausage could also be used)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (see below)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Seasonings (you can sub 3-4 teaspoons poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper for the spices below)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme (1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary (or 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook quinoa in 2 cups chicken broth until done, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place bacon in a large skillet and cook until browned. Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain.
  3. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions, celery and garlic in bacon drippings for 5 minutes. Add butter, cranberries, apple, sausage and seasonings and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring to break up sausage or until sausage is cooked through.
  4. Stir in cooked quinoa, toasted pecans, parsley and crumbled bacon. You can either stuff the turkey (or roasting chicken) at this stage or place the stuffing in refrigerator overnight and stuff turkey just prior to cooking.
  5. Makes enough to stuff a 10-12 lb. turkey.


To toast pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts on cookie sheet in single layer and bake 5-7 minutes.

354 cal
18 g
35 g
12 g

Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info



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