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Making gluten free stuffing

Hosting TG dinner, and my neice and nephew recently diagnosed with celiac. They both LOVe bread stuffing- my neice buys a tapioca bread, and I know I can get gluten free breads at a local health food store, WF or TJ. Can someone recommend a specific bread i can use to make stuffing? I have gluten free chicken stock, and would like to try making it this weekend, to see if it will be ok. Any suggestions are welcome!

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  1. macca, if for any reason you were unable to obtain satisfactory gluten free breads for your stuffing (dressing), would a stuffing made totally of wheat free cornbread be gluten free (most cornbreads I know of contain some wheat flour and most cornbread stuffings I've had also contain some wheat breads)? Don't know if such would be possible, tasty, or gluten free, but just a thought. Or would one of the Irish potato stuffings which capeanne and I recently discussed be a gluten free alternative?

    "I did for a number of years get to enjoy one great dressing at friends in Spanish Fort, AL, which I've never seen anywhere else. Mrs. Lambert, who was originally from up near Birmingham, said she learned it from her Irish mother-in-law. She would boil Irish potatoes and make them into mashed potatoes except would put no milk or cream in them (some butter & a little chicken or turkey broth if needed to moisten them a little). Then she would shred these raw Irish potatoes, rinse & thoroughly ring them out several times (said she was getting the starch out of them) and would then stir the raw shredded potatoes into the cooked mashed potatoes. She would then add onion, celery, giblets, chopped boiled egg, all the traditional things and all the traditional seasonings one would add to regular cornbread dressing to this potato mixture. She would then stir into in this mixture some of the giblet gravy (she usually cooked a hen in addition to the turkey for added broth, giblets, gravies, etc.), place the potato dressing around (not in) the partially done turkey and prepare an extra pan of it, all of which she would then top with a light coating of giblet gravy and cook it in the oven as the turkey finished roasting. She would not serve mashed potatoes with her "turkey dinner" as I was accustomed to having, for in the "dressing" she had both the potatoes and dressing. This really was good but seemed to me that it was an awful lot of work, more so than making regular dressing and mashed potatoes. Maybe that is reason I've never seen or heard of it elsewhere, but it was something really good, interesting, & different."

    Then when capeanne posted her family's Irish Potato stuffing recipe, my statement re never hearing of such otherwise became untrue, plus capeanne's recipe sounds much easier but just as delicious as Mrs. Lambert's.

    "Sure it is totally simple and my Paternal Grandmother started it...we use both Yukons and one large Russet ,boil as usual and coarsely mash. add finely chopped celery and finely chopped onion, S&P and Bells Seasoning .a small amount of half and half for the consistency you desire . In the days that my Grandmother and Parents made them they stuffed the turkey with it ...I have recently made it as a side dish and bake it for the last 45 minutes that the bird is in...we never used exact measurements ...just kinda toss it together til it looks right..if you can get your crowd off mashed potatoes this is a delicious substitute and is killer with turkey gravy !"

    Neither the totally wheat free cornbread stuffing idea nor one of the Irish potato stuffings may be viable alternatives for you, but just a couple of thoughts. Surely is thoughtful of you to be concerned about finding a satisfactory stuffing substitute so that all the family can continue to enjoy your complete Thanksgiving dinner.


    3 Replies
    1. re: foodisgreat

      thanks for the feedback- but it really has to be a bread stuffing! Both kids love bread stuffing, and I want to make as good a meal as possible. Easy to make their gravy with corn starch instead of flour, but the stuffing may be a challenge. I guess I will buy a few loaves of gluten free and test them out!

      1. re: macca

        macca, let us know how you come out with the stuffing made from the gluten free bread. I've had stuffings made from many different types of bread, but all were wheat based. Will be interesting to see how the gluten free bread based stuffing turns out. Hope well. That "dry run" before Thanksgiving is probably good idea. Restaurant in Pensacola, FL, used to serve a delicious gluten free chocolate cake, substituting ground walnuts for flour. Chef/owner developed it because of her husband's gluten allergies.

        1. re: foodisgreat

          Will post back. Am going to try and pick up a few different kinds of bread this weekend, and give it a shot. Hope it turns out ok- My SIL told me not to do anything special, but come on, it is ALL about the food on TG, and I really would like them to enjoy the dinner. I was pleasantly surprised on my last trip to T joes- they had a list about 15 pages long of their gluten free items, and were more than hapopy to help me find what I needed.

    2. For me Thanksgiving is all about the stuffing and I mean bread stuffing. A few years ago we ended up at friend's and she made rice stuffing. My heart sank as she put the bowl on the table. Of course, I did try it and it was fabulous. It had a great italian sausage crumbled throughout and lots of veggies. It really was very good. She said the trick was to substantially undercook the rice so it drew up the juices from the bird and the veg.

      As for gluten free bread, I think I would try a small sample batch just cooked with a small amount of chicken stock in a crock.

      1. A lot of people I know like the WF sourdough bread or sandwich bread. I think the former may work better, but I haven't used either product. We don't typically have stuffing for TG.

        1. Just a thought..not bread stuffing but cornbread. I recently got some coconut flour and have a recipe for cornbread made with coconut flour rather than wheat..................

          4 Replies
          1. re: dockhl

            I think cornbread will be my back up plan- but both of them love the family recipe for stuffing served on TG for longer than they ( and I!) have been alive. Will try with the bread and see what happens. I may be back looking for the cornbread made with coconut! Thanks

            1. re: macca

              I'll try it in the meantime to see if it is any good.

              1. re: dockhl

                We have made GF cornbread stuffing and it works fine, depending on the recipe you use. It does sometime fall apart easily depending on the recipe you use, but a lot of cornbread stuffing does.

                If he likes the tapioca bread (I am assuming it is the EnerG stuff) then he will like the WF loaves. Just use a bread he likes, and it will work. I suggest making a small GF stuffing being careful of cross contamination, and then using regular bread for the rest of the group. It isn't that big of a deal to make both in our experience, as long as you watch the gluten in the broth if you are not making your own.

                1. re: jsaimd

                  thanks. Will certianly be careful of cross contamination- will be easy to do, as I will only have one loaf for the GF stuffing- but we use 10 laoves of bread for the stuffing every year- as I said earlier, my family are really freaks for bread stuffing! And I will use GF broth from TJ for all the my cooking, I think. Will just make it easier.

          2. A great friend recently hosted Canadian Thanksgiving and prepared a separate stuffing for me, the only celiac in attendance. He used the Whole Foods sandwich bread and it fooled the gluten eaters. He used the WF because it was easiest for him to obtain and it worked perfectly in his recipe. I was very very happy. Congrats on cooking GF for people - I know they will appreciate it!

            1 Reply
            1. re: rdnnyc

              Thanks. A trip to WF is in order. Am hesitant to use the GF for all of the stuffing, as it is an unwrittenn rule that you CANNOT change things, or take out things for TG dinner- it is ok to add, but cannot subtrat. The only thing I have been able to remove is canned cranberry sauce. The first year I served homemade I offered both kinds- every one loved the homemade. Even two family members who said they did not like cranberry sauce were converted!

            2. My mother in law's friend makes GF stuffing for her son. I'm not sure of her exact recipe, but she did mention that the GF bread (I think she uses spelt) needs more flavor than regular bread. She uses lots of fresh herbs in her stuffing, and always says it needs more salt and pepper than you would think. Good luck!

              Are you planning on stuffing the turkey or serving it separately? If you are baking it in a casserole dish, be careful that the bread doesn't try out. My MIL's friend finds that it dries out quicker than regular bread.

              5 Replies
              1. re: cheesecake17

                Will not be stuffing the bird with the GF stuffing. As a matter of fact, i cook two birds on TG, and will only stuff one with regular stuffing, and will cook one unstuffed to ensue a gluten free meal for my neice and nephew.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  Spelt isn't gluten free. Spelt is just another kind of wheat.

                  This thread is making me happy. This will be my first turkey day without regular stuffing.

                  1. re: Vetter

                    any ideas- desserts, apps, whatever- please throw them my way. I would like to start a collection of things my neice and nephew can eat- not just for TG, but for any time they come by.

                    1. re: macca

                      I've got lots! I've been fully Gluten Free for 2 years now and I make my own breads, pastas and tons of other goodies too. (Some of which are really simple)
                      Just let us know what you need and I'm sure me as well as others can supply you with tons of recipes, cookbook and recipe websites!

                  2. As a celiac I have had a few gos at Gluten Free stuffing. I always make my own bread but thought I would share a few of the things I've learned along the way.
                    I find the break 'breaks down' more easily then regular bread so putting it into the bird may not be your best bet...at the same time it also needs more flavor.
                    My big tip to people making anything GF who are new to it is to check everything. It may not be labeled but those dry cranberries and nuts may have been dusted in a flour mix at the plant to keep them from sticking! Other culprits people sometimes miss in stuffing are sausage (a lot use breading as a filler) I'm glad that you have a GF stock to work with.
                    I hope you really enjoy your first GF stuffing experience.
                    You're family is very lucky to have you be so accommodating to them! I'm sure it will turn out great!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                      Thanks for the tips. Our stuffind recipe does not include nuts or cranberries, and I think I will be all set with the gluten free broth. My SIL did mention that the GF brea does break down more easitly. Am curious to see how it turns out. Hope to try it this weekend or next. Will postback- everyone has been so helpful.

                    2. Hey, sorry I'm a little late replying to this... However, I have been GF (Gluten-free) for about 8 years and come from a family of Celiacs (8 of us so far in 4 generations). I have done a GF Thanksgiving several times, including feeding it to many non-GFers and kids! The best GF Stuffing recipe is from the Gluten Free Gourmet (revised edition) by Bette Hagman, your local book store is likely to carry it. Big difference with hers is that you add poultry seasoning to the bread itself when you bake it for the stuffing, this makes for a wonderful all the way through flavor. I also bake it in smaller casserole dishes which makes for lots of nice crispy brown crust ;) I use her True Yeast Bread and the stuffing recipe from the same book. I love her series of books, I've found almost all of her recipes to be really good :) I've converted non-GF, picky-eaters, that didn't like stuffing with this recipe!!! Her Dream Pastry mix makes great pie crusts too. As far as gravy, I use Pamela's Bread (not baking) Mix and an equal amount of butter to make a rue, then just make the gravy as normal, this also works to add milk & cheese (for Mac & Cheese to die for) and milk & breakfast sausage for biscuits & gravy! Other random info: Tinkyada Noodles, the BEST, and the only ones I use at this point... I've even made good pasta salad with this and fed it to 4-7 yr olds! Also can get the lasagne noodles from them and make real lasagne. glutenfreeda.com has a lot of easier to make GF recipes and reviews for products. As far as store-bought bread goes, WF is the best I've found. I prefer home-made, but they're the best store bought. There's a great GF Corn Bread recipe on Glutenfreeda, I use Pamela's Bread Mix again, Polenta style corn meal, and let it SIT for 30-60 mins before baking, makes for wonderful, moist, corn bread. Pamela's baking mix will make great & easy pancakes/waffles, and biscuits for gravy. Best pizza crust (easy too) is Chebe bread! I prefer the original, just add italian seasonings if you want it flavored similarly to the Pizza one... The texture's better with the Original... I ramble lmao... Anyways, feel free to message me, anybody, I've got way too much info on this stuff, both the food and medically! ;p


                      1. I just read this recipe the other day for GF stuffing in a slow cooker. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ she used Food of Life brown rice bread from Trader Joes