In my family stuffing is called “dressing” and not really stuffed into the bird at all, rather baked separately in a covered casserole dish. I almost always add sausage to my dressing as it lends tremendous flavor and moisture. This recipe, inspired by the flavors of Tuscany, makes use of Rudi’s new pre-packed gluten free stuffing mix. To make the whole thing from scratch, cube a loaf of gluten-free bread and let it dry out over night (I’d recommend trying gluten-free foccia bread).
Recipe card & instructions updated 3/15/22.Jump to Recipe
A Gluten Free Stuffing for a Gluten Free Thanksgiving
It’s November! It’s NOVEMBER! And that means Thanksgiving is just around the corner. My first gluten-free Thanksgiving was just two years ago. I’m never one to mess with tradition…and traditional holiday recipes especially. But having no choice, I had to tweak just about every single Thanksgiving recipe to make it gluten-free. Happily, my family was (and continues to be) extremely supportive–new cutting boards were purchased, foods were prepared carefully to avoid cross-contamination, and much research and trial-and-error went into our first GF holiday.
I was nervous…really nervous about how everything would turn out. I mean, I was the kid who cried if something didn’t taste exactly the same as it did the year before. But you know what? Those fears were unfounded. Almost everything was just as good as in years past. Some things were even better (like this cranberry pecan frangipane tart). Last Thanksgiving, we did an even better job, having another year of gluten-free baking under our belts. It gets easier, friends. It really does!
Luckily, some companies are making it even easier to have a gluten-free holiday–like Rudi’s. This year they have come out with a truly yummy stuffing mix that I had the opportunity to test drive…test bake?…in my kitchen last week. It’s really awesome, guys, and super easy to jazz up, if that’s your sort of thing. My usual Thanksgiving dressing (that’s what we call it in our family) always includes a little sausage, some fruit, and some nuts. Using that formula, I created what I think is a really fantastic Tuscan-style dressing with fennel, spicy Italian sausage, and roasted hazelnuts.
Looking for more recipes to make sure you have the perfect gluten free Thanksgiving? I’ve got you covered:
- An Easy and Impressive Salad for Thanksgiving
- A Great Cranberry and Gin Cocktail
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Butter Pie
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Tuscan Style Dressing w/ Sausage, Fennel, & Hazelnuts
- ½ cup hazelnuts
- 1 pound link spicy Italian sausage
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 stalks of celery diced
- 1 fennel bulb green top cut off and reserved, stem end cut off and discarded, and the rest diced
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fennel frond the green top part
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 package gluten-free stuffing mix I use Rudi's
- 2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour into a clean dish towel. Rub nuts with the towel until the skins peel off. Chop nuts in half and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over a medium flame. Remove sausage from casing and break apart with a spatula. Cook sausage until brown and crumbly and pour into the bowl with the nuts.
- Return pan to stove and add butter. When butter has melted add onions, celery and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Pour into the bowl with the sausage and nuts.
- Add the parsley, chopped fennel frond, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and stuffing mix and toss to combine. Gently toss stuffing mixture with the stock and place in a well-greased covered casserole dish (2 quart) and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Take stuffing from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you are ready to bake it. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake stuffing, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove cover from stuffing and bake 15 minutes more, until golden brown on top. Serve immediately.
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