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Enjoy this Gluten Free Apple Stuffing for the holidays! Made with tart apples, chicken broth-soaked gluten free bread, and warm herbs, it’s a crowd-pleasing side dish that’s just as satisfying as the classic.
Now, I may not be the world’s biggest stuffing fan, but this Gluten Free Apple Stuffing exceeds all expectations. It’s made with the ingredients you know and love from classic stuffing recipes but features two unique twists: apples and gluten free bread.
This gluten free take on a holiday classic is made with apples, cranberries, fresh herbs, and gluten-free bread soaked in a rich broth. As a result, each bite of savory stuffing is comforting, aromatic, and subtly sweet and tart. It doesn’t matter if you’re gluten free or not - everyone will love it!
- It’s a naturally gluten free side dish that’s also easy to make vegetarian and dairy free.
- Every bite is filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients like apples, cranberries, and fresh herbs.
- It’s the perfect gluten free holiday side dish everyone will love!
For the full ingredients list, scroll down to the recipe card below.
Gluten free bread - Look for a dense loaf of gluten free bread that’s mild in flavor and has minimal holes. Brands like Canyon Bakehouse, Glutino, Schär, and Udi’s are all great choices. We’re making our own toasted bread crumbs, so no need to let the bread sit out overnight or wait for it to turn stale.
Apples – The best apples for Thanksgiving stuffing will be sweet, tart, and firm. I like using gala apples, but fuji, pink lady, golden delicious, and honey crisp work just as well.
Herbs – Fresh parsley, sage, and thyme add herbaceous flavors and aromas that scream Thanksgiving. You can substitute dried herbs in a pinch, but fresh will always give homemade stuffing an elevated flavor.
Chicken broth – The bread absorbs the broth, significantly impacting the final flavor of the stuffing. To make this stuffing vegetarian, substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth.
Step 1: Toast the bread. Cut the loaf of bread into cubes. Spread them out on two baking sheets, then toast in the oven until they’re firm and golden, like croutons.
Step 2: Sauté the vegetables. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the celery and onion until soft. Stir in the fresh herbs.
Step 3: Make the stuffing mixture. Add the toasted bread pieces to a large mixing bowl along with the diced apples, parsley, and cranberries.
Step 4: Add the broth. Pour half of the chicken broth over the sautéed vegetables in the skillet. Bring it to a low boil, then immediately transfer it to the bowl with the bread mixture. Gently stir to combine.
Step 5: Incorporate the eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining broth and eggs together. Pour the mixture over the stuffing and gently stir to combine.
Step 6: Bake the apple stuffing. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a greased baking dish, cover it with foil, and bake. Remove the foil and continue baking until the bread is golden brown on top.
Tips and FAQs
- Stir the dry stuffing mixture gently with the broth and eggs. This prevents the bread from falling apart. It’s okay if some pieces crumble, but the stuffing may become mushy if they’re broken up too much.
- The broth-soaked bread should be soft, not soggy. If it still feels too dry, feel free to add more broth.
- If you already have dry or stale gluten free bread on hand, go ahead and use it instead of a fresh loaf. Skip toasting the bread pieces and soak them directly in the liquid ingredients before baking.
What else can you add to this stuffing?
Stuffing is a magical side dish that’s fun and easy to customize. You can add vegetables, meats, seasonings, or any of the suggestions below to this recipe:
- Vegetables – Boost the vegetable mixture with added diced sweet potato, acorn squash, butternut squash, chopped kale, carrots, cauliflower, or parsnips.
- Sausage – Brown gluten free pork or turkey sausage crumbles separately in a skillet before stirring them in with the stuffing mixture before baking.
- Bacon – Stir in pan-fried bacon or pancetta before baking the stuffing.
- Nuts – Chopped walnuts, pecans, or almond slivers will give the stuffing a nice crunch.
What goes with apple stuffing?
Can you make this ahead of time?
Yes. Assemble the stuffing mixture as normal in the baking dish, then let it cool and keep it in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 hours before baking. You can store it for longer if you want, but the apples will turn brown fairly quickly.
Can I make this stuffing vegan?
To make a gluten free and vegan apple stuffing, saute the celery and onion in olive oil or vegan butter, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and replace the eggs with flax eggs. Make sure the gluten free bread you use is egg and dairy free, then you’re all set!
Refrigerator: Store the leftover stuffing in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: If your fridge is overwhelmed with Thanksgiving leftovers, you can freeze the stuffing for 1 or 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before reheating it in the oven or microwave.
More gluten free side dishes
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Gluten Free Apple Stuffing
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the bread into cubes, then place them on two baking sheets. Toast the bread in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the diced apple, parsley and cranberries to a large mixing bowl.
- Next, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the celery, onion and salt and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Then, add the sage and thyme and sauté for 1 minute.
- By now, the bread should be toasted, so add it to the bowl with the apples and stir to combine.
- Pour 1 cup of chicken broth into the skillet, then bring the mixture to a low boil. Immediately pour it into the bowl with the bread and gently stir to combine.
- In a bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the remaining broth and eggs together, then pour it over the bread mixture and again, gently stir to combine, being careful not to over-mix so the bread doesn't break.
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray, then pour the stuffing mixture into the dish. Cover the dish with foil, then bake the stuffing for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes until the bread is golden brown on top. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!