A delicious and flavorful, protein-rich stuffing for those looking for a gluten-free option for Thanksgiving.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keywords cranberries, fall recipe, gluten free, quinoa, recipe, stuffing, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 349 kcal
Author Linda Warren


  • 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


  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.
  4. Add butter, cranberries, apple, sausage and seasonings and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring to break up sausage or until sausage is cooked through.

  5. Stir in cooked quinoa, toasted pecans, parsley and crumbled bacon.
  6. 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
  7. Place stuffing in a nonstick sprayed baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes alongside turkey.
  8. Makes enough to stuff a 10-12 lb. turkey.

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 349 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 664mg28%
Potassium 377mg11%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 300IU6%
Vitamin C 11.1mg13%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.