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Gluten-Free Stuffing With Apples, Sausage, Pine Nuts, and a Secret

Allergy Free Thanksgiving Series

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 uses my Gluten-Free Cornbread recipe.

But 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 Stuffing Recipe with Apples and Sausage

Gluten-Free Cornbread 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
  • 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 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.


PART 1: The Menu and The Plan of The Ultimate Thanksgiving Series

PART 2: Cranberry Citrus Cider Sauce AND Green Bean and Shallot Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette.

PART 3: The Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe for the stuffing (with the Variation to make the Savory Cornbread Rosemary Muffins to go with the meal) and Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes.

PART 4: The Gluten-free Cornbread and Crusty Bread Stuffing with Apples, Sausage, Pine Nuts, Golden Raisins, and…Pumpkin Puree.

PART 5: Cider Glazed Brined Turkey with Apple Brandy Gravy

PART 6: Toffee Pecan Caramel Apple Streusel (Gluten-free and Egg-free already, but ways to make this baby Dairy-free and Nut-free as well) and Crustless Pumpkin Streusel Pie.

PART 7: The MASTER Shopping List

PART 8: The Recap, with links to everything.

Gluten Free Stuffing

  1. On December 14, 2010 Anne said

    #10 b/c it looks great and has a lot of detail!

  2. On July 16, 2011 Jan Sugat said

    I made this for Thanksgiving 2010. My guests told me to ditch the gluten-full stuffing and only make this in ’11. I substituted dried cherries for the raisins. I had gluten-free corn bread and white bread from the store. It was totally delish.

  3. On August 21, 2011 Tukrey Fryer said

    Great post thank you for it cheers

  4. On December 28, 2011 paddy kamen said

    Thank you so very much for this totally amazing recipe. We used it at Thanksgiving and again just last weekend for Christmas. At Thanksgiving I made both our traditional bread stuffing for my son who was very attached to it, plus your GF recipe. For Christmas I just made yours and my son was very happy with it, as was everyone else at the table. I can’t thank you enough!!

    • On December 28, 2011 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Oh Paddy! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know that your family enjoyed the stuffing. That makes me more happy than you can know! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

      By the way, I was just checking out your website. It is fascinating. I love it!

  5. On November 15, 2012 Jeannie Wilson said

    Lovie, thank you for the credit you gave me, but I want you to know how proud I am of what you have and are accomplishing. You are an amazing daughter. oxoxox Mommacitta

  6. On November 23, 2013 Linda said

    Can I use dried sage and rosemary? I really don’t have the money to buy if fresh for just this recipe. Do you know about how much dried it would equal. I don’t even know how big a leaf of sage or rosemary is to match it up to the jar amount. I’m looking forward t making this for Thanksgiving this year, 2013 since I’ve got others coming now that have Celiac Disease too.

    • On November 24, 2013 Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Linda, You can absolutely use dried herbs in this recipe. I would probably go with about 2 teaspoons of each and you should be good to go. 🙂 Good luck with the recipe! I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. On November 25, 2013 Linda said

    Thanks. It sounds great and I’m going on yours and others comments as to how good it is as I serve it to all my in-laws… I’m sure it will be great. Thanks for responding. That helps me out tremendously! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. On November 20, 2014 Little Momma said

    We are getting so excited to start our travel to be with you all. This will be a perfect Thanksgiving. Thanks for all the credit in the post, but I like to think of it as a collaboration. See you soon. Hugs and Loves.

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