This is really why I love Thanksgiving.
It isn't the turkey...
It's the stuffing.
This is what I looked forward to all year long as a kid. My family only made stuffing on Thanksgiving, so I had one chance the entire year to have some! We made Pepperidge Farms stuffing and I thought it was the best food on the planet. Until I realized I was sensitive to wheat. It wasn't until I became gluten free in 2007 that I learned how to make real stuffing from scratch.
Michael loves stuffing too. And since we could both stand to lose a few pounds, it's a good thing we continue to only make this wonderful dish around the holidays!
I made a test run of a gluten free vegetarian dressing/stuffing recipe earlier this week. We had it with dinner and absolutely loved it! Especially with a savory mushroom gravy, which I'll be posting later this week!
To make GOOD gluten free stuffing, you need a bread that tends to be a bit dry -- but doesn't become MUSHY when wet. Food for Life Brown Rice Bread is what I often keep in the freezer. It's vegan (no eggs), gluten free, and made from whole grains. It's also available locally and the texture is perfect for stuffing. I used vegetable broth as my liquid, although you could equally use water, chicken broth, or turkey stock.
I decided to add nuts to this vegetarian stuffing both for crunch, flavor, and protein. I believe you will truly enjoy this vegetarian stuffing. We certainly did and I will make a large batch to take to our family Thanksgiving dinner next week.
Gluten Free Walnut Stuffing/Dressing
Created by Carrie @ www.gingerlemongirl.com
(Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan)
6-8 cups gluten free bread, cubed (I usually do half cubed/ half "crumbed" -- see notes!)
1-2 tablespoons poultry seasoning (this is very important, especially in a vegetarian stuffing!)
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 - 2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut oil or vegan margarine (I used a combination of both)
Salt & pepper to taste
Place cubed gluten free bread in a LARGE bowl and set aside. Melt 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil or vegan margarine in a large skillet on the stove top. When sizzling, add chopped onions, celery, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. Saute until onions are translucent. Add salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Cook until onions and celery are translucent and softened. Add cooked vegetables and nuts to bread cubes in large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Slowly add 1 cup of vegetable broth or desired liquid to bread cubes. If you like a moist dressing add additional chicken broth until desired consistency is reached. Pour dressing into an oven safe casserole dish or large 9 x 13" baking pan. Drizzle remaining melted coconut oil or vegan margarine evenly over the dressing. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until crispy and brown on top. Serve immediately!
Carrie's Cooking Notes:
- Gluten Free Bread: You can use any type of gluten free bread for this stuffing, you can even use a combination of cornbread & your favorite gluten free yeast bread. If your bread is especially moist, you will need to toast it before cubing it for stuffing. Be aware though, that some types of GF bread can make a very soggy dressing, especially if you are not careful with the liquid. I always opt for less liquid if there is any doubt, but I like a very crisp dressing. ALSO... I take half of my bread cubes and grind them into crumbs in my blender. I think this makes for a better dressing and is more like the "Pepperidge Farms" stuffing I ate as a child! Here are several homemade gluten free bread recipes you can use for your stuffing if you choose to make your bread:
- Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
- Gluten Free Cornbread
- Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
- Gluten Free 5 Flour Bread
- Vegetable Broth: Feel free to use whatever liquid you prefer. Traditionally of course, chicken broth or turkey broth is often used. But water also works just as well, though it does lack in flavor. Use what you have available though, I don't think it will change the overall taste of this dish!
- Walnuts & Sunflower Seeds: I added these for crunch, texture, and of course flavor. Feel free to use the nuts and/or seeds that you prefer and have on hand. Pecans or cashews would also be very tasty and crunchy!