The BEST Vegan and Gluten Free Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

Vegan and Gluten Free Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe on– How about a stellar savory vegan gluten-free Thanksgiving stuffing recipe? –

I’m so excited that it’s that time of year again, where I get to make my favorite Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. For most children, their favorite holiday is Halloween or Christmas – but I was the weird kid that loved Thanksgiving. As soon as people started setting out pumpkins and bowls of candy, I looked forward to the end of November, visions of turkey legs and sweet potato pie spinning a savory web in my head. How could I not love Thanksgiving? It lacks the drama of Christmas and the sugar hangover of Halloween. Besides the stress of screwing up the turkey, Thanksgiving is pure and simple in its scope: be grateful for what you’ve got… and eat until you’re stuffed.

Stuffing is by far my most coveted Thanksgiving dish. Every year my cousin Lizzy and I would wolf down spoonful after heaping spoonful of my grandma’s stuffing, filling up to the point that we barely had room for pie. I remember that stuffing so fondly that I still get hungry when I think about it, so you can imagine my heartbreak when I learned, years later, that my grandma’s famous stuffing was actually Stovetop, a prefab grocery store brand. As one who eschews processed and prepared foods, I set about recreating a stuffing recipe that I could make from scratch, one that would make use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. And since I’ve got a wicked sweet tooth, I wanted to take full advantage of the bounty of sweet autumn fruit that’s available this time of year.

My Favorite Vegan, Gluten-Free Stuffing Recipe

This recipe can easily be converted for vegan folks by using veggie stock, or for those following a gluten free diet by using an appropriate loaf of bread. Gluten free folks are in luck, because for stuffing, heavier breads work better than lighter varieties since they hold their own against an onslaught of soaking and stirring. So if you’ve got a loaf of adobe-like tapioca bread that’s been collecting dust in your cupboard, this is the perfect use for it!

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Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe with Autumn Fruit and Nuts
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe can easily be converted for vegan folks by using veggie stock, or for those following a gluten free diet by using an appropriate loaf of bread. Gluten free folks are in luck, because for stuffing, heavier breads work better than lighter varieties since they hold their own against an onslaught of soaking and stirring. So if you’ve got a loaf of adobe-like tapioca bread that’s been collecting dust in your cupboard, this is the perfect use for it!
  • 1 loaf of dense, heavy bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (should yield about 5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium-sized sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • One 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups stock (vegetable, chicken or turkey)
  • 4 fuyu persimmons, chopped coarsely
  • 2 sweet red apples, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. Spread bread cubes evenly on a large cookie sheet. Toast until until the bread cubes have browned gently, about 20 minutes, using a spatula to flip the cubes halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Raise oven heat to 375°F (190°C).
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium flame. Add pecans and toast for 4 minutes, agitating every 30 seconds to allow for even toasting and to prevent burning. Pecans are done when they have turned a darker shade of brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until they are translucent and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, sage and rosemary, stirring constantly for 30 seconds, then add celery, sauteing for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add salt, pepper and bread cubes and mix well. Drizzle in stock and remaining olive oil, mixing gently until bread cubes are coated. Remove from heat and allow to soak for 5 minutes, mixing every few minutes to allow for even absorption.
  6. Without smashing the bread cubes, gently fold in persimmons, apples and toasted pecans. Season to taste with a bit more salt and pepper, then pour the whole thing into a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.


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  1. Persimmons in stuffing? Who would have thought? This sounds like a really yummy recipe. Who needs anything else besides dessert? :)

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Ha, totally! It can be made sweeter with more fruits, or less with with fewer fruits. I personally like mine sweeter. 😉

  2. Pure2raw Twins says:

    Thanks for the recipe is sounds great! Love how there is a mix of apples, permissions and sage and rosemary!! Now that is flavors I just love :)

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      That’s great. :) It’s really a great flavor combo, but you can experiment with others and see what you come up with.

  3. Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free says:

    Made from scratch and with fresh, seasonal ingredients? Full of sweet autumn fruit? With gluten free and vegan potential? Totally awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

    Met you and heard you speak at blogher ’10 in SF. Loved your session!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Thanks, Ellen! This is indeed a fabulous recipe – if you make it, please report back and let me know what you think!

  4. Casey@Good. Food. Stories. says:

    Having a nut-allergic husband means my stuffing needs to stay pecan-free, but I love the idea of adding ginger and apples. This is very similar to the stuff I make… would the family throw forks at me if I modified it?

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      I hope not. 😉 You could use something else crunchy-like… though I’d have to think on what. I’ll get back to you!

  5. MyKidsEatSquid says:

    Lately, I’ve given up on stuffing after two attempts at cornmeal & sausage stuffing that left me underwhelmed. I’ll have to give this a try though–I love an excuse to use nuts in savory dishes. I’m wondering about the apples–you wouldn’t go for tart, Granny Smith ones? Is that just too overwhelming for the other flavors?

  6. Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart says:

    Printing, printing, printing right now. Thanks!

  7. You have pecans in the ingredient list but say to mix in walnuts. Does it call for both or are they interchangeable?

  8. might leave out the persimmons (though that’s a fine idea) as we like a more savory stuffing — hadn’t thought of adding ginger, look forward to trying that out.

    how about a vegetarian gravy to go along?

  9. Great post! I

  10. Thanks for this recipe, Stephanie! I used to love stuffing before I went veggie, and I’m delighted to discover that it’s possible to make it without meat products.

  11. Ruth Pennebaker says:

    Love the recipe — and I agree with you about Thanksgiving. It’s the best holiday of the year, with less stress and pressure and more food.

  12. MarthaAndMe says:

    Oh I love stuffing! This sounds really good.

  13. Alisa Bowman says:

    I honestly didn’t know this was possible. Talk about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gluten.

  14. I am SO happy to find this recipe here! I want to do a vegetarian holiday, but a vegan stuffing that sounds this good is def welcome at the table.

  15. Kris Bordessa says:

    I just made a batch of gluten-free cornbread and it occurred to me that I could use the leftovers for stuffing. Except, oh yeah. I have teenagers. There will be no leftovers. This looks great!

  16. sarah henry says:

    Great, alternative choice, Steph. Sounds tasty and I can think of a ton of folks to share it with.

  17. Alexis Salerno says:

    Love the idea of persimmons in stuffing. Might have to try that next year.

  18. As for drinks you can enjoy tea, coffee, spirits, whiskey, or wine.
    The taste buds of these kids have become very sophisticated so
    that school dining halls go to the extent of hiring chefs, dieticians and nutritionists to ensure not only to
    ensure the safety of the foods they serve but meet these students fancies as well.

  19. what is persimmon

  20. thank you very much Stephanie

  21. Steve Lassoff says:

    This sounds delicious. We shared it in a blog here: We are building a community of vegans and would love for you to hop over and leave a recipe.


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