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Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe: Simple Veggie Quinoa

Well, dare I say it? Halloween has passed and now Thanksgiving is on the horizon. It’s pretty much officially “the holidays,” which is a little weird because it’s like 85 degrees in San Diego, but I digress…

I imagine many of you may be putting together your holiday menus now and bookmarking recipes that look like they may be winners, and good news, I’ve got a killer gluten free stuffing recipe for you! Who doesn’t love stuffing with their traditional holiday meals? I’ll tell you who, the calorie counter in the back of your mind that knows the trade off of that bready, buttery, nutty, sausagey, deliciousness is doing nothing good for your waistline. Ug, I hate to be such a buzz-kill, but I have good news too. There are some really simple swaps you can make to any traditional recipe to put calorie counter at ease, boost your health and keep the flavor and tradition in check.

Simple Healthy Swaps for Holiday Stuffing:

  1. Axe the butter and go for olive oil when sautéing your base. It will have the same amount of calories, but heart healthy monounsaturated fats over artery clogging saturated fat.
  2. Amplify your veggies! Cut the breadcrumbs in half and double up the celery, onions, carrots, and apples, any and all of your favorite veggies. Not only does it save you calories, it amplifies your health by boosting phytochemical content.
  3. Look for whole wheat bread crumbs or make your own from high quality bread. Read nutrition labels and know what you’re getting into. Just because it’s brown, does not mean its better for you. Check for fiber and protein content, both will give you better nutrition ROI and be more satisfying.

Last Stuffing Tip: Make your own from scratch! It’s really not that hard and getting outside the box will make you so proud this holiday season, not to mention happier and healthier!

Now if you follow a gluten free menu, you might be fearful you won’t get to enjoy stuffing this year. Fear not, I’ve got your gluten free back! I created this recipe last year and I loved it! When you’re making gluten free stuffing, it’s so easy to swap bread for gluten free bread, but that would be missing the point. Just because a recipe is gluten free, does not automatically mean it’s better for you. But the high quality, optimized ingredients in this recipe are Eat. Drink & be Skinny and Color Yourself Skinny approved!

Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe: Perfect for the holidays (or any day)

Gluten Free Holiday Stuffing


  • 3 minced Garlic Cloves
  • 1 diced Yellow Onion
  • 3 diced Stalks Celery
  • 2 diced Green Apples
  • 2 grated Carrots
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 3/4 cup chopped Walnuts
  • ½ pound diced Mushrooms
  • 2 cups cooked Quinoa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T chopped Fresh Thyme
  • 1 cup cooked, crumbled Gluten Free Sausage (optional) 


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions (Tip: Use extra vegetable stock instead of regular water for richer flavor)
  2. Heat oil in a large pot, and add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add diced onions and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add diced celery and apples, stir to coat vegetables in oil. Brown slightly on medium heat for several minutes, add grated carrots and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer ingredients for 10 minutes.
  4. Add walnuts, mushrooms, quinoa, gluten free sausage (optional) and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium for an additional 10-12 minutes. Since the ingredients are all cooked for the most part, it will be a matter of leaving it on the stove until the desired level of moisture is reached. Simply cook uncovered until the excess liquid is absorbed and if stuffing is on the dry side, cook covered.  The stuffing is done when it looks and tastes the way you want it to.
  5. Season with fresh thyme and serve!

This recipe makes 10 servings that are 3/4 cup each. It has under 150 calories, 4g protein and 3g fiber per serving which makes this a great side or doubled up as a satisfying leftover lunch!

What’s your favorite stuffing recipe for the holidays?

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