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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 November 15, 2010 Cindy Winther said

    I am truly grateful for continued good health and the health of my children and grandchildren.

  2. On November 15, 2010 susan said

    I am giving thanks this year because my son who had been in the Navy will finally be at our table for Thanksgiving…with his new wife!

  3. On November 15, 2010 Nancy said

    Looking good, Kim! I love that secret ingredient…never would have thought of it. Photo is spectacular.

  4. On November 15, 2010 April Harris said

    This sounds like a wonderful stuffing recipe. I love secret ingredients – especially when they are pumpkin!

    This holiday season I am giving thanks for my lovely family, both the wonderful members of it who I can enjoy the holidays with today, and for the lovely memories of those who are no longer with us. I wish they were still here, but I’m grateful to have such a rich treasure trove of fun times to look back on.

  5. On November 15, 2010 Carolyn Hernandez said

    I will be giving thanks for this blog and several others that I have recently found that will allow me to make a wonderful meal for my family that my son can eat and will show others that allergy free food can be tasty!

  6. On November 15, 2010 Candy said

    Thankful for many things, but this year in particular that I discovered it was a gluten sensitivity that was causing so many vague symptoms – skin, joints, etc. And I’m grateful for sites like yours who have allowed me to not have to give up my favorite food – bread!

  7. On November 15, 2010 Jeanine said

    I would be very thankful to win this cookbook, does that count?? 😉

    Seriously, I am extremely thankful for the family that I have, the amazing husband that I have, and my 2 beautiful, healthy, energetic kids. It really is a wonderful life!

  8. On November 15, 2010 Bridget said

    Oh, I am actually sooo thankful for the the fact that we have to eat allergy free! In the grand scheme of life…..this makes us healthier… bring it on!!!!!

  9. On November 15, 2010 Celiacs in the House said

    I was going to skip the stuffing this year, but you have convinced me that I have to try your recipe. You want me to be happy on Thanksgiving, right?

  10. On November 15, 2010 Keri said

    I am thankful to have found a job I love after two years of unemployment (during which time I was diagnosed with celiac disease). But more importantly I am thankful for my family and friends who supported me through those tough times!

  11. On November 15, 2010 Hiromi said

    I’m so happy I found your blog. I had figured I would eat around what I can’t eat this year, but I am going to try your recipe for stuffing and everything else on your menu. I hope I can find sorghum flour and cornmeal in London. It may have to be polenta.

  12. On November 15, 2010 glutenfreeforgood said

    Pumpkin purée? That is brilliant. Adds sweetness, taste and moisture. The gluten-free cornbread recipe is a winner as well. This looks wonderful, Kim. And, AS ALWAYS, your photos and blogger-girl design elements are so gorgeous. You definitely know how to do this cooking and blogging thing. Can’t wait to try this secret ingredient stuffing mix. Or is it dressing?


  13. On November 15, 2010 KarenM said

    I am truly thankful for health and also for wonderful food sensitive folks who post their amazing recipes to share. Thanks!

  14. On November 15, 2010 Jeri said

    While I have been dealing with a laundry list of health issues this year, being diagnosed with Celiac threw me for a loop. I’m still adjusting and aren’t really feeling any different at this time but am hopeful. This will be my first gf Thanksgiving am thankful for the daily care and provisions that God has provided.

  15. On November 15, 2010 Liz said

    I am thankful for many things, but this year I am especailly grateful for falling in love for the first time with a wonderful man – he was definitely worth waiting for 🙂

  16. On November 15, 2010 Maggie said

    We love cornbread but I’ve never used it in stuffing (though we’ve always called it dressing!). I would love to try it! I love your emile henri plate – I have the same one 🙂 I think this would also work so well in a squash! What a treat that would be!

  17. On November 15, 2010 Karri McConnell said

    The recipe sounds delicious. I’m glad that you promote natural gluten free recipes but agree that there is a time for bread and stuffing at Thanksgiving is the time and place for it to surface. I give thanks to my God for my salvation and praise HIm with the fruit of my lips that He delivered me through faith in the Gospel of Jesus. By His Love, great mercy and grace I’m healed.

  18. On November 15, 2010 nicola @ gfreemom said

    This looks amazing!!!!!

  19. On November 15, 2010 Ariana Anderson-The said

    I am truly grateful for my family and my religion.

  20. On November 15, 2010 jackhonky said

    I’ve actually always thought that it was called “stuffing” if it was stuffed in the bird, and “dressing” when it was baked along side the bird, and meant to accompany or dress the bird on the serving platter.

    And pumpkin puree in the stuffing? OMG, how interesting! It must give both moisture and a subtle autumnal sweetness to the stuffing. Fascinating!

    As for what i’m thankful for? I’m thankful for my partner who has continued to support me as I explore things outside of a normal 9-5 job. I’m thankful I started blogging this year, which made me realize that I wanted to quit my job in the first place. I’m thankful for my circle of friends and family who are ever expanding as I discover more and more people on blogs, twitter and real life. But most of all, I’m thankful that my mom’s health continues to be good.

  21. On November 16, 2010 Dan said

    This looks really excellent and tasty, very different from a traditional (i.e., boring) stuffing. Great stuff! What type of gluten-free sausages did you use for this?

  22. On November 16, 2010 carrie GLG said

    Looks great Kim! You are just super on top of things! 🙂 Your menu looks amazing!! These posts are wonderful!

  23. On November 16, 2010 Neva said

    Truly thankful that all of my family will be around the table for a great meal. Thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe, will be trying this one right away. The last few stuffing recipes I have made are not great.

  24. On November 16, 2010 Staci A said

    The stuffing sounds so yummy! This year, I’m so thankful for the time I get to spend with my family and knowing just how much we care about each other.

  25. On November 16, 2010 Chaya said

    This looks delicious. Thanks for linking it to My Meatless Mondays. I would love to have this for dinner, some day soon.

  26. On November 16, 2010 Chaya said

    Hi, I would love if you would link this to my new Linky. Cooking Fun – Apples. Each week, there will be a new focus, a new food. Apples is up as well as Beans. This would be great for apples, if you would like to do it.

  27. On November 16, 2010 Jessica said

    This sounds so good! I just got some Himalayan pink salt, HimalaSalt, from Sustainable Sourcing and I think I’ll try it out in this recipe at Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing!

  28. On November 16, 2010 Wenderly said

    Gorgeous photos & recipes! *LOVE* can’t wait to try the stuffing!

  29. On November 16, 2010 Ari said

    I’m thankful for being able to fly home to see my family!

  30. On November 16, 2010 Ellen said

    i’m so thankful to have my health back since going GF!

  31. On November 16, 2010 Samantha said

    I am giving Thanks this year for my own recent discovery of gluten intolerance. It has been a blessing in my life not because of the improvement in my health but because I am now better able to understand what life is like for 8 year old child. She has had a severe allergy to dairy since birth and just last year after suffering for six years with unknown health issues-she was dx’d with Eosinophilic Esophagitis and multiple food allergies. She is currently off of 15 foods including all of the top 8 and meats. I have such a greater understanding of what her life is like and the challenges she will face as she grows up in a world where food is such a central focus of our lives. I am so grateful every day that she is not on this journey alone.

  32. On November 16, 2010 Ruth said

    Ladies..trying so hard to understand this illness,trying to help others along the way to ease their suffering, all the while trying to gauge my own bout with food allergies and gluten intolerances. Diagnosed with Celiac/Gluten Intolerance/IBS, Painful bladder/Cystitis/ICS, and now currently being tested for Mastocytosis (Boston) in hopes that I understand the depths of this disease. Thankful for being strong willed, patient,and will perservere through anything/ anywhere graciously in return for answer and good health.
    All of must stick together and pass the hope to others who are not as lucky as we are.
    Have a bountiful holiday filled with friends, loving family, mouth watering foods and the support of all of us who share this affliction…. together we can beat it and give hope to future generations…hugs and love …continue sharing the optimism! Thanks Angels!

  33. On November 17, 2010 InTolerantChef said

    I am truly thankful that my husbands recent accident- he amputated the top joint of his finger – wasn’t worse and that the surgen could stick it back on! That is a HUGE BLESSING!

  34. On November 17, 2010 Erica said

    I am so very grateful for my family and friends… it is the people in my life that make it shine!

    Can’t wait to try this stuffing- my kids will devour it!

  35. On November 17, 2010 Sara said

    I am thankful to be having a super small Thanksgiving this year – just my husband, my two children, and myself. Last year, we ran around to a total of four Thanksgiving feasts, which was difficult for me (the Celiac of the bunch) to know what was safe to eat. We are celebrating in our new home, which we are also extremely grateful for. Thanks for posting this great recipe!

  36. On November 17, 2010 Christa said

    I am grateful for so many things right now…especially my family. The past two years have been difficult for us, and I am so blessed to have family members who love and support me. I am grateful for the energy to get out of bed in the morning and take care of my family…last year I was sick and it was hard to do that. I am grateful for the love of God that makes those difficult times bearable and even turns them into something good.

  37. On November 17, 2010 Saundra said

    Wow! So excited to find and try this stuffing recipe — as well as your other Thanksgiving ideas. I usually skip the stuffing, but this year I can have some too. Thanks so much for sharing. I would LOVE to win this cookbook.

  38. On November 17, 2010 Saundra said

    Do you have a print recipe button on your website? I can’t seem to find one — and wondered if I’m missing it. Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes you share.

    • On November 20, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hi Suandra, I just wanted to let you know that i have added the Print This Recipe feature on the Thanksgiving Series. I am also in the process of having a Print button put on for every recipe on my blog. And thank you so much for your kind comments. They really mean a lot. 😉 The shopping list is up now as well with all of the recipes rounded up in one place (with print links as well). Happy Thanksgiving!

  39. On November 18, 2010 Mary said

    What I’m giving thanks for? Blogs like yours, for one thing. I’m new to the gluten-free world… cooking a gluten-free Thanksgiving is do-able thanks to blogs like yours (and cookbooks like the one you’re giving away too!).
    Of course, I’m thankful for my family and friends, and the fact that we are healthy and learning how to stay that way. 🙂


  40. On November 18, 2010 Christy said

    We make very similar stuffing – but I didn’t know the secret ingredient – I can’t wait to try it – I love making stuffing for the holidays. I am glad to see raisins in this, because to me it is a vital ingredient! Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul hop!

  41. On November 18, 2010 Sue said

    Love the idea of that secret ingredient 🙂 We don’t do Thanksgiving here in New Zealand, but if we did I would definitely be trying that stuffing (yes, we call it stuffing here)

  42. On November 19, 2010 BT said

    I am giving thanks for the authenticity of family when you cut through the BS and allow everyone to be present, at whatever level they are able and love them up anyway. Love is a choice and I choose to send it out energetically to everyone. Be well

  43. On November 20, 2010 Hellana said

    I made your stuffing as a test for thanksgiving. It was so good that my family ate seconds and thirds!!!!! Usually no one in my family likes stuffing except for me. This is the best stuffing ever!!!!! Thanks for your wonderful recipe.

    • On November 20, 2010 Cook It Allergy Free said

      Hellana, I cannot tell you how much that just made my day! I am so so happy that you loved the stuffing! I hope you family enjoys it just as much on the big day! Thank you for coming back and sharing that with me. 😉

  44. On November 20, 2010 loRi :) said

    This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the stamina to persevere when the odds seem to be against us…and for precious possibilities to make the transition easier…like the chance to win a free cookbook…one that would likely make persevering a lot more fun! 🙂

  45. On November 21, 2010 Stephanie said

    Hmm, I think I might have to adjust my stuffing plans to make this gorgeous recipe…

    I am so thankful this year to have such an amazing husband who loves and supports me 🙂

  46. On November 21, 2010 Mary Stapleton said

    I will be giving thanks this season by being thankful that we finally found out what was wrong with our dear daughter after 2 trips to the hospital, doubled over in pain. Giving thanks to you (and others) for delicious gluten free recipes. Also I am giving thanks , by giving back to the Salvation Army. As a child we had hard times and if it wasn’t for the SA, we would not have a had a Christmas. So….I will never walk by a Red bucket with out giving back!! Happy Healthy Holidays!!

  47. On November 23, 2010 Gayle Erickson said

    Although this has been a difficult year, there is so much to be grateful for. My father survived a stroke and has only moderate dimentia. My son fell two stories and not only lived, but he is starting to walk again. We have found ways to manage my two-year-old grandson’s asthma and extensive list of food allergies and changed all of our diets to healthier foods in the process.

    Thank you for sharing recipes that will help all of us be able to celebrate Thanksgiving by sharing the same allergy-sensitive, yet delicious food.

  48. On November 24, 2010 Meg said

    I am thankful for my family… my kitchen… and this wonderful recipe!

  49. On November 28, 2010 Hiromi said

    I did Thanksgiving last night in London as it is hard to do it on Thursday since no one has off. I had 13 for dinner and I made your stuffing and a variation of your turkey. I am a die hard turkey bag fan so I didn’t do the basting, but did the cavity filling. Everything came out superb and even though I made stuffing with and without gluten, the gluten free one is almost gone. Thank you for a great recipe, now a family tradition.

  50. On December 14, 2010 Ruthie said

    My vote is for #10 b/c my sweet nephew can also eat it, since he has an intolerance to gluten like his mom!!

  51. On December 14, 2010 Anne said

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

  52. 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.

  53. On August 21, 2011 Tukrey Fryer said

    Great post thank you for it cheers

  54. 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!

  55. 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

  56. 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!

  57. 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!

  58. 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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