This sweet and savory Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing is made with a simple paleo pumpkin bread, apples, cranberries, onions, celery and traditional fresh herbs for a classic side dish! Gluten free, grain free, dairy free and Paleo but no one will believe it!Phew! It’s finally October, which to me marks a few very important events:
1.) My birthday is at the end of the month. This was much more fun and cool when I was 10.
2.) Halloween is at the end of the month, which means I better have the kids costumed paid for and shipped. Once again, much more fun when I was 10.
3.) It won’t be 90 degrees from here on out. Um…did I just jinx the greater NY area? Hope not.
4.) I can finally plan my Thanksgiving menu without feeling like a freak. Because, really – I think this is the one thing that’s more fun NOW than when I was 10 – being able to actually plans dishes that I will cook and serve for Thanksgiving. Score one point for adulting 🙂Remember my pumpkin bread from about a month ago? The one I turned into a french toast bake? Yup, that’s the one! Well BAM!
Like magic, I combined what you see above (take a look) with what you see below (the pumpkin bread) and an actual Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing made with bread…was born.
Craziness. Why didn’t I think of this last year? The result was really delicious and reminded me a bit of a cornbread stuffing from years ago.
It’s very basic with classic flavors, and contains no meat. Although in the past I’ve been partial to sausage in my stuffing (see butternut sausage stuffing) this meatless pumpkin bread version is a nice change from the heaviness of other Paleo stuffings.
Don’t get me wrong – I definitely think you could add sausage to this stuffing and it would be outstanding. BUT you certainly don’t have to. The flavor, texture, all of it really – is perfect. It’s on the sweeter side, with classic fresh herbs and smells absolutely amazing as it’s baking.
I lightly toasted the cubes of pumpkin bread just as I did with the french toast bake, and the bread really holds up well and adds the perfect amount of sweet, warm spices. And of course – pumpkin! How can you argue with adding more pumpkin to your Thanksgiving menu?
As for the prep – I made this stuffing from start to finish in my large cast iron skillet (aside from toasting the bread cubes on a baking sheet.) If you have one, it’s perfect to be able to cook stovetop and then bake everything right in the skillet.
If you don’t have one though, you can transfer the entire mixture to a well-greased casserole or baking dish, or, you can stuff your turkey and roast as usual. I recommend making the pumpkin bread for this recipe the day before you make the stuffing since it has to be completely cooled prior to using for the stuffing. It also makes this recipe come together fast and hassle free! Okay, it’s go-time!
Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing with Pumpkin Bread
- 1 loaf Simple Paleo Pumpkin Bread, completely cooled
- 1 large apple (I like granny smith or pink lady) diced
- ½ large onion (or 1 small) chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 tbsp (divided) grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil for cooking
- 3 tbsp fresh herb "poultry seasoning" mix of rosemary, sage, and thyme - finely chopped*
- ½ tsp fine grain sea salt (or to taste), divided
- black pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp broth (chicken, turkey, your own bone broth, etc.)
- 1 egg, whisked
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped pecans**
- extra sea salt and pepper to taste
- Cut off the ends of the pumpkin bread loaf, and cut the rest of the loaf into 1 inch cubes.****
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and spread the pumpkin bread cubes out on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast in the preheated oven 5-7 minutes to remove excess moisture from the bread, then remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large oven proof skillet*** over medium heat add 2 tbsp of the cooking fat to the skillet. Once heated, add the chopped onions and cook to soften about 2-3 minutes. Add the celery to the skillet and continue to cook until soft and fragrant. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Add the diced apple to the skillet along with the remaining tbsp cooking fat and the fresh chopped herbs. Cook over medium heat for another 5-10 minutes to blend the flavors. Sprinkle with more sea salt and pepper.
- Add the pumpkin bread cubes to the skillet*** along with the cranberries and pecans, and gently mix/toss to coat. Drizzle the broth over to coat, then gently toss the mixture with the whisked egg (the egg will help the stuffing stick)
- Sprinkle with a bit more salt before baking. If baking separate from the turkey, put the whole skillet*** in the oven and bake at 350 degrees until the egg is set and the stuffing is toasty brown - about 30 minutes.
- You can also stuff the turkey as you would with any other stuffing before roasting. Enjoy!
**Optional, I've been loving the addition of chopped pecans in almost everything!
***If you don't have an oven proof skillet, use any skillet and simply transfer to a baking dish (or stuff the turkey) before baking.
****Prep time includes the time to make the pumpkin bread
Want more Paleo Holiday Recipes? Try one of these!
Paleo Stuffing Around the Web
What’s more fun now than when you were 10?
Do you like cooking for Thanksgiving? Do you have a favorite side dish?
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