A delicious and flavorful, protein-rich stuffing for those looking for something out of the ordinary. Our Gluten free Quinoa Stuffing is tossed with apples, pecans, bacon and sausage for a hearty side to your Thanksgiving dinner.
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.
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.
Just take a look at that yummy mixture!
You can stuff it in a turkey as I did a few seasons ago or throw it in a baking dish. This year I opted to use a baking dish because some of the family still wants the traditional dressing so this way I got both bases covered.
Your guests won’t believe how close to dressing this dish tastes. It has all the fresh herbs you add to a bread stuffing without all the calories and gluten. Believe me, this is so good you’ll want to serve it all winter long!
I serve mine with turkey or a roasted chicken. Add a veggie on the side and you have a delicious and healthy dinner. Oh, and don’t forget the gravy, it puts this stuffing over the top. Now take a bite and enjoy!
Have a safe & happy Thanksgiving!
- 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 or 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
Cook quinoa in 2 cups chicken broth until done, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Place bacon in a large skillet and cook until browned. Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain.
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.
Stir in cooked quinoa, toasted pecans, parsley and crumbled bacon.
You have 2 options here: 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 or
Place stuffing in a nonstick sprayed baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes alongside turkey.
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.