Santa Cruz Celiac Support Group

Gluten-free Stuffing Recipe

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes many gluten-related dishes. Here’s a gluten-free stuffing recipe to get you started. The key is to use dried bread cubes to keep the stuffing from turning into mush. Toasting the bread cubes in a pan adds a nice texture to the finished stuffing. The best bread to use will be a coarser, less sweet bread, such as a French bread. Sweeter, soft-textured breads (such as Udie’s) won’t work as well.

To make bread cubes, cut the crust off (if left on, it will burn too easily) several slices of bread, cut the pieces into 1/2-inch cubes, spread in a large baking pan, and dry in a 175-degree oven (or lowest setting) until they are hard and no moisture remains; stir occasionally. Depending on the moisture in the bread, it can take several hours to dry; if you have time, you can take them out when almost done and let sit in a warm spot for a day or so. Test for doneness by eating one; if they are done, they will be hard all the way through and not soft at all.

Besides stuffing, these can be stored in an airtight container and used for croutons or ground in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. A loaf of bread that comes out too dry or too wet will still make good bread cubes.

This recipe is meant to be cooked separately from the turkey, not actually stuffed inside. It gets its turkey flavor from the drippings. I stuff the turkey with herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme), onions, apples, celery, and aromatics (cinnamon sticks). For those sharing Thanksgiving with non-celiacs, separating the turkey from the stuffing is not only a safe cooking practice, it is also a great way to prepare the turkey so that it is gluten-free.

  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup olive (or any other as preferred) oil
  • 8 cups dried GF bread cubes
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon dried, powdered sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried, powdered sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups turkey drippings; use as much drippings as available and use broth (any kind of poultry broth) to make up the remaining amount (broth from the vegetable gravy recipe on this site is perfect for this)
  • ¼ cup milk or milk substitute

This part can be done while turkey is cooking. In a large, heavy pan, sauté onions and celery in 3 tablespoons oil in until softened, then remove from pan and set aside. Wipe pan clean and heat ½ of remaining oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Watching carefully to avoid burning, add bread cubes and toss over medium heat, adding more oil and butter as necessary. When cubes begin to toast, add herbs, spices, and onion/celery mix. Toss well to distribute spices thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside until turkey is done.

As soon as turkey is done, sprinkle in drippings, broth, and milk while tossing (the cubes should be moist but not soggy; use less broth if necessary). Bake, covered, 30 minutes at 350 degrees (this is usually just long enough to make the gravy, carve the turkey, and get everything on the table). If timing is tight, you can omit the drippings and bake ahead of time.