Simple Alternative Recipes For Thanksgiving Stuffing

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Thanksgiving Day meals have a great deal of tradition infused in their preparation and service. If preparing a turkey or any type of game bird, chances are some type of dressing or stuffing will be included. Stuffing can be cooked within the cavity of the bird and many times extra stuffing is prepared in separate pan especially for vegetarians and vegan diners.

Stuffing or dressing evolved as a Thanksgiving Day meal over the centuries and is part of a great deal of contemporary fare. However, nothing is more traditional in America than stuffing at Thanksgiving. Whether it is Stove Top or a family recipe, the variety of stuffings that are consumed for Thanksgiving are as varied as the nation in which we live. A bread-based stuffing with sage-seasoned vegetables including celery, onions and carrots is the most popular. However, there are a variety of alternatives to stuffing for Thanksgiving, which can start new traditions for this classic, once a year meal that celebrates food, family and friends.

Alternatives for Thanksgiving stuffing recipes can include potatoes, meats and sausages, oysters, tofu, rice, cornbread, fruits, nuts and gluten free ingredients. Deciding upon a stuffing depends upon the guests at your dinner table and your willingness to try something new. Since many people have strict dietary needs, making more than one type of stuffing is not an uncommon Thanksgiving Day practice. As more and more people institute gluten free diets due to Celiac disease and other dietary issues that cannot be ignored, it's important to be aware of alternative recipes and also enjoy them.

Gluten Free Stuffing


5-6 cups cubed and dehydrated food For Life Rice Almond bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups chopped celery or 1-2 tablespoons celery seed

2 cups chopped onions

1 teaspoon salt

1-2 teaspoons cilantro

1-2 teaspoons thyme

1-2 teaspoons sage

1-2 cups gluten-free chicken broth

Black pepper to taste

Prepare 1 to 2 cups gluten-free chicken broth. Prepare Food For Life Rice Almond Bread as follows: cut into ½ cubes and put in food dehydrator for 8 hours or put on cookie sheet and in oven on the lowest temperature for about 2-3 hours. Sauté chopped celery and onions in 2 tablespoons of oil in large frying pan over medium heat until soft. Add spices and pepper as desired to taste. Pour in chicken broth and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir in bread until fully saturated in sauce and seasonings. Place in oven for 40-50 minutes at 400 degrees, cover with foil as needed until done. If you want to cook the stuffing inside the turkey, add only 1 cup of chicken broth.

Ready for Planting Finished Product

Oysters and Mushrooms Stuffing

Prepare to cook with a turkey or other game fowl

Loaf of English muffin bread

1-2 cups of water

8 ounces fresh oysters

2 stalks celery chopped

2 cups mushrooms sliced

1 cup onion chopped

3 tablespoons butter

½ tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Toast English muffin bread and break into pieces in large bowl. Sautee oysters, onions, celery, mushrooms and Old Bay seasoning in butter until onions are clear, and add to bread. Pour cup of water into mix. If bread is not mixing, add more water but only slightly until bread mixes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stuff cavity of turkey or game bird or bake in baking dish covered with foil for one hour at 325 degrees. When basting turkey, basted stuffing too for a crisp result.

Sausage Dressing

1 package cornmeal stuffing

1 pound mild Italian sausage

8 ounce can chicken broth

6 ounces cinnamon applesauce

½ tablespoon thyme

½ tablespoon sage

½ tablespoon celery flakes

½ tablespoon onion flakes

1 teaspoon marjoram

1 teaspoon pepper

Slice sausage into pieces, pan fry and drain. Mix cornmeal stuffing applesauce and chicken broth in a large bowl. Add thyme, sage, marjoram, pepper, celery flakes and onion flakes. Add sausage to mix. Put in baking dish and cover with foil for one hour at 325 degrees. Uncover last two minutes and spread butter on top.

Fruit and nuts stuffing

8 ounces wild rice

8 ounces brown rice

5-6 cups vegetable broth or stock

1 cup toasted and chopped black walnuts

1 cup dried sour cherries

1 cup finely chopped scallions

1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

¼ cup of grape juice

1 teaspoon brandy

Salt and pepper to taste

Place cherries in cooking 1/4 cup of grape juice with teaspoon of brandy to plump.

Combine wild and brown rice in five cups of vegetable broth. Bring to boil, partially cover and reduce heat. Cook for 45 more minutes or until rice is tender. Add one cup of vegetable broth. Stir in walnuts, cherries with juice and scallions. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until thoroughly heated and serve.

Last Updated: December 19, 2011
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About Sabina Dana Plasse Sabina Dana Plasse holds a bachelor's degree in history from Bucknell University, a master's in liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University and a master's in film and video from American University. She is an award-winning writer and editor living in Sun Valley, Idaho. Besides writing on fine arts, lifestyle, home and garden, entertainment, philanthropy and business, she enjoys teaching film and writing screenplays. Sabina has served as the arts and events editor and living writer for the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, a twice weekly national award-winning newspaper serving Idaho's Wood River Valley. Sabina adores mountain town living where she is an active snowboarding, skier, mountain biker, hiker, supporter of the arts and an avid seeker of practical living ideas.  

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