PART 4 of The Ultimate Thanksgiving Prep Series: Gluten-Free Stuffing with Apples, Sausage, Pine Nuts, and…a special twist.
It is the age-old question. It comes up every year. Some say what you call it is based on what region of the country you are from. Others say it has everything to do with whether or not that mixture is stuck inside a turkey’s bum.
I am not going to beat this topic with my wooden spoon.
Stuffing? Dressing? Call it what you like.
So, just for the record…I call it stuffing. And…I grew up on the West Coast. Oh….And I do not stuff it inside my bird. Got it?
The recipe I am sharing with you today evolved eight years ago when my Mom and I were on a quest to make a stuffing dish that would shine next to our Cider Glazed Brined Turkey and Apple Brandy Gravy (recipe coming in my next post of this series).
It was my first year to tackle the holiday by myself (okay, my Mom had my back the entire time…but, I like to remember it as my day to shine). I wanted everything to be spectacular. After all, I had some big shoes to fill (alright, her feet are smaller than mine, but her talent and energy make those little size 6’s seem like clown shoes).
That year we created the perfect base for this stuffing recipe that has evolved only slightly over the years. And it is with great pride that, today I present you with what will most likely be our Family Stuffing Recipe that will be handed down to the generations that will follow my mother and I.
This stuffing creation contains a mix of both my Gluten-Free Cornbread recipe and The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef’s Crusty Bread Recipe from their new cookbook. The combination of these two make this dish unbelievable (although, I will insert here, that I have also made this with Udi’s Gluten-Free Multi-grain Sandwich bread, when short on time to make my own, with amazing results as well).
On top of that magical bread combo, there is also a secret ingredient in this recipe. This ingredient, when mixed with the other delectable flavors called for, knocks this one out of the park.
No more teasing.
The ingredient is…Pumpkin Puree. Yes. Really.
Do not leave it out. You will be sad. And I like you all too much to know that you will be sad on Thanksgiving.
And I have proof that even an official pumpkin hater loves this ingredient in his stuffing (even if he does not know it is in there). But you have to read my guest post over at Glugle, Gluten-Free to see how I have even managed to trick good ole’ Uncle Norm. All of these years and he still has had no idea that pureed pumpkin is such a key in this recipe.
Well, until he reads this post.
Gluten-Free Cornbread and Crusty Bread Stuffing
With Apples, Sausage, and Pumpkin
Can easily be made to be Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, and Egg-Free
- 1 batch Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 slices from Gluten-Free Crusty Bread Boule (or 6 slices Udi’s Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 ½ pounds Crumbled Sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed (omit for Vegetarian Version)
- 1 ½ cups celery, diced (about 2-3 stalks)-cut to be same size as onions and apples
- 1 large onion, diced-cut to be same size as celery and apples
- 3 large apples, cored, peeled, and diced (I like to use a mix of different apples)-cut to be same size as onions and celery
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-8 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup pine nuts (For Nut-Free version, omit entirely or use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds instead)
- 2 cups Free-Range Chicken Broth, or Vegetable Broth (preferably organic)
- 6 Tablespoons butter, melted (For Dairy-Free version: use 6 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick, melted)
- 1 large egg (For Egg-Free version: omit entirely – pumpkin puree will help in the binding)
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (either from fresh pumpkin or canned puree, preferably organic)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place cubed cornbread and crusty bread cubes on large baking sheet. Place in pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes until bread begins to feel slightly stale. Then place in large bowl and set aside.
2. In large skillet, cook sausage until begins to lose pink color. Add diced celery and onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 5 minutes more, until sausage is cooked through. Add diced apples, sage, and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes more.
3. Add sausage mixture to bowl with cornbread and bread. Add pine nuts (if using) and golden raisins. Season with salt and pepper to taste, about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons of each. Can be made up to this point the day ahead and covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Now raise oven temperature to 375 degrees. When ready to bake stuffing (for me, this is when the turkey comes out of the oven and is resting), whisk together, in medium bowl, melted butter, chicken broth, pumpkin puree, and egg until smooth and well-blended. Pour evenly over sausage and cornbread mixture, using best judgement as you pour. If it looks like too much liquid, do not pour all of it in. Gently mix all together.
5. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish. This makes a lot of stuffing. You can use two 9 x 11 baking pans or one larger 11 x 13 inch baking pan. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes longer. Serve and enjoy.
THE ULTIMATE THANKSGIVING PREP SERIES:
PART 4: The Gluten-free Cornbread and Crusty Bread Stuffing with Apples, Sausage, Pine Nuts, Golden Raisins, and…Pumpkin Puree.
PART 7: The MASTER Shopping List
PART 8: The Recap, with links to everything.