My Quest For Gluten Free Stuffing

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in November two years ago. My first Thanksgiving was a struggle and stuffing was a dish that eluded me for a number of reasons. It’s not something that I eat on a regular basis so I didn’t feel as much urgency to figure it out. I also had never actually made homemade stuffing when I could have gluten – Stovetop tasted fine to me and Mrs. Cubbison’s was a special treat on holidays.

So two weeks into living life gluten free, I ordered the Gluten Free Pantry’s stuffing mix. While many of their products are fantastic, this stuffing mix was not one that I would recommend to anyone. I feared that I would never find a way to enjoy gluten free stuffing. Well, the next year rolled around and I tried two different recipes. One a “classic” stuffing and a second cornbread stuffing. To my delight and surprise, they both turned out well. This year I decided to try both recipes again. I wasn’t sure if either one had been a fluke, and I felt the pressure of cooking for 15 gluten-eating people weighing down upon me.

With multiple successes under my belt, I now feel confident that these recipes will work for others. Gluten free stuffing can be easy and just as delicious as your pre-Celiac days – and even more so if you were accustomed to the pre-packaged stuffings like me.

Classic Gluten Free Stuffing (adapted from Bobbie's recipe on Delphi Forums)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 large onion chopped
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
¾-1 loaf Ener-G Tapioca Bread
Dried Thyme to taste (about 2 – 3 Tablespoons)
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. cottage cheese

Sauté the onion and mushrooms in the butter in a large saucepan until the onions are translucent. Tear up the slices of tapioca bread into ½ inch to 1 inch squares and stir into the mixture. Add the dried thyme, more than you think you need. Add the salt and pepper. Mix in the cottage cheese, transfer to a casserole dish. Bake covered for 15 min in a 375 degree oven. Remove foil and continue baking for 25-35 minutes.

I doubled this recipe and used a roasting pan from the beginning rather than transfer to a casserole dish this year. Also, do not let the taste of the Ener-G bread scare you off. This bread tastes like cardboard when it’s not in stuffing form. I wouldn’t use it for anything other than a weapon if I had not discovered that it made a beautiful gluten free stuffing.

Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing (adapted from Health Magazine)

1 loaf gluten free corn bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking
2 large chopped onions
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ - 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (I used Pacific Foods Brand)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray

If time allows, leave corn bread out for a day to become stale. If not, bake in a roasting pan for 20 minutes at 300°, shaking pan occasionally.

Toast nuts in a large skillet over medium heat until aromatic (about 5 minutes), shaking pan occasionally; transfer to a bowl. Heat oil in pan; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Add onion and next 5 ingredients to bowl with nuts. Stir the cornbread in last - the gluten free bread tends to crumble easier than regular cornbread. (Make sure that you have enough chicken broth to keep the mixture moist without getting the bread too soggy. Start with one cup in the mixture and pour the rest over the top after it is in the pan.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish lightly with cooking spray. Place corn bread mixture in dish; cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake another 20-30 minutes or until top is lightly browned and stuffing is thoroughly heated.

I used Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse Cornbread to save time on preparing my own. Some of their loaves crumble easily so you may need two to get enough cubes.
Leftovers of the classic stuffing can be stored in the fridge and will stand up to reheating. The cornbread stuffing may or may not – it will depend on the “sturdiness” of the gluten free bread you use. Enjoy!

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