Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, this gluten free stuffing is the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table!
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Growing up, I never really cared for stuffing, probably because almost every stuffing I ever had was "laced" with onions and peppers. Since I LOATHE onions and peppers, I never bothered with it. But it sure did smell good. I think that was to do with the sage and poultry seasoning. When I think of Thanksgiving, one of the most recognizable scents to me is sage.
As my taste buds changed when I became an adult, I decided to try my hand at making stuffing. Of course, mine would be different. It wouldn't be loaded with all those gross vegetables that I don't like. It was gonna be my way or the highway. Lol! You know what's funny? Everyone really liked it! Even those people who normally like lots of onions and carrots and celery in their stuffing. They weren't even missing them. That just goes to show that not everything is better with that stuff added to it. Sometimes less is better.
When I eventually was diagnosed with celiac, after the devastation wore off, I decided to try making stuffing again. I made my own bread, cubed it up, and did all the usual stuff. It was really great, but it was so much work that I vowed I'd buy bread next time and make the stuffing from that. But then I got smart. Every time I made any bread throughout the year, especially lean breads (without a lot of enrichments), I would store away a few pieces (or rolls) in the freezer. Come Thanksgiving, all I had to was cut up those pieces of bread or rolls and toast them. Easy peasy!
here's what you'll need for a classic stuffing recipe
As I mentioned above, I tend to like my stuffing simple with no added "junk." So this is a base recipe that you can customize to suit your needs. It starts with just a few ingredients:
- Gluten free bread cubes -- over the years, I've changed what type of bread I use for the bread cubes. Sometimes I'll just buy a loaf or two of store bought bread (Udi's or Canyon Bakehouse), but I've gotten smart and have been stashing away pieces or individual rolls every time I make fresh gluten free bread (in my freezer). By the time Thanksgiving comes around, I'm all set with my own, yummy bread!
- Fresh sage -- I normally use dried sage (and a lot of it), but I recently started using fresh sage when I can find it. Use whatever you can get your hands on, but make sure to use at least some sage in your stuffing.
- Chicken stock -- you can use chicken broth or even use vegetable broth/stock. See below for a vegan alternative to this stuffing recipe.
toast the bread cubes
Whether using homemade stale bread or store bought gluten free bread, you'll need to cut the bread into cubes about ½ inch in diameter. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Place the bread cubes in a single layer amongst two parchment-lined baking sheets and toast them for one hour.
Once cooled, store the toasted bread cubes in a ziptop bag or airtight container and keep them at room temperature until you're ready to make your stuffing. This step can be done a day ahead, two days ahead, two weeks ahead, or even months ahead!
make the base gluten free stuffing recipe
Once you have toasted the bread cubes (the day of or days in advance), melt butter in a large Dutch oven or 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add the fresh herbs and dried, as well as the salt and pepper. Add one box of the chicken broth (or stock) and the bread cubes. Stir to moisten all of the bread cubes and let this sit for a few minutes to allow the liquid to soak into the dried bread. You may need to add more chicken stock after the first box has been fully absorbed. I always buy two boxes and inevitably end up needing 1 ½.
Scoop all of the stuffing mixture into a large baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is crunchy and lightly browned. If you don't like the crunchy bits on top, you can cover the stuffing with foil while it bakes.
- To make this stuffing vegan, make sure the bread is made with vegan protein powder, such as soy, hemp, etc. (or use gluten free and vegan store bought bread, such as Substitute vegan butter for regular butter and melt it in saucepan and add the herbs and spices. Use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth and proceed as usual.
- To add aromatics to your stuffing, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add finely diced carrots, celery, and onions and sweat until they're soft. Add this vegetable mixture to the butter/broth mixture before adding the bread cubes.
- For sausage stuffing, add fully cooked sausage crumbles to the butter/chicken stock mixture and proceed as usual.
- For muffins, use a large cookie scoop (affiliate link) and scoop individual servings into a greased muffin pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top. This is my family's favorite way to eat stuffing!
gluten free stuffing faq's
Yes, you absolutely can! Buy two loaves of gluten free bread and cut them into cubes and toast them. You may need to add more chicken broth/stock.
In addition to making and toasting the bread cubes in advance, you can also make the stuffing itself (or stuffing muffins) well in advance and store it in the freezer. The muffins work best for this because they are perfect for wrapping individually and freezing, but you can also wrap a baking dish with plastic wrap followed by foil and freeze the entire thing. Thaw completely before baking.
That would work great, too! Crumble or cube gluten free cornbread and proceed with the recipe as instructed. You may need to add more chicken stock.
more gluten free thanksgiving recipes to try
- Hawaiian rolls
- Pie crust chips and pumpkin dip
- Homemade cranberry curd
- Scalloped potatoes
- Sweet potato biscuits
- Sweet potato souffle
- Amazing apple pie
- Best ever pecan pie
- Green beans with Dijon cream sauce
- Make ahead turkey gravy
- Pumpkin dinner rolls
- Incredible pumpkin pie
- Apple crumb pie
- Apple dumplings
- French silk pie
- Chocolate chess pie
- The best sweet potato pie
- Triple layer coconut cream pie
Add these gluten free stuffin' muffins to your Thanksgiving table this year and get rave reviews!
Easy Gluten Free Stuffing (And Stuffing Muffins)
- 6 cups (approx 264g) gluten free bread cubes (from store bought bread or homemade)
- 1-2 32-ounce boxes chicken stock or broth
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113 g) butter
- 3 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried sage)
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 250° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut bread into cubes and disperse evenly in a single layer onto both prepared baking sheets. Bake for one hour. Cool completely. At this point, the bread cubes can be stored in a ziptop baggie or airtight container at room temperature for a few hours, a few days, or even frozen for a few months.
- In a Dutch oven or large (4 quart) saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add fresh herbs, dried herbs, and spices, as well as chicken stock/broth and heat until the butter is completely melted and the mixture begins to boil.
- Add the bread cubes to the saucepan and stir until all the bread is coated. Remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to soak up all the liquid. Check the consistency. For a wetter/more moist texture, add more chicken stock to preference.
- For traditional stuffing, scoop stuffing into greased large baking dish. Cover with foil if desiring a moister stuffing (or leave uncovered for a crunchy topped stuffing). For stuffing muffins, using a large cookie scoop, scoop stuffing into greased muffin pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and crunchy on the outside, while still soft and moist on the inside. Serve immediately.
Inspired by Rachael Ray's Apple and Onion Stuffin' Muffins