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Grain-Free Stuffing (Low-Carb, Low-Fat)

When it comes to our Thanksgiving dinner, the bowl of stuffing on the table is more important than the turkey.

This year, we’ll be serving this grain-free stuffing. Rather than relying on almond flour to create a mock-bread stuffing, this version relies solely on fresh vegetables and herbs! Dry roasted parsnips act as the bread-like cubes, keeping this recipe lower in carbohydrates and fat than traditional recipes, which often call for a loaf of dry bread and a stick of butter. The result is a looser and lighter stuffing, with all the flavor of the original, but with far less fat and calories.

It’s the type of stuffing that won’t leave you feeling “stuffed!”

Grain-Free Stuffing (Low-Carb, Low-Fat)
serves 4-6

Adapted from Doris Choi’s Mushroom Sage Loaf

Ingredients:

4 cups parsnip, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pat butter, or coconut oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from 4-6 sprigs)
2 sprigs fresh sage (10-12 leaves), chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Arrange the 4 cups of chopped parsnips into a single layer on one of the lined baking sheets, and arrange the chopped carrots and onion into a single layer on the other lined baking sheet.

Roast both pans of vegetables at 400F for about 30 minutes, or until tender.

Using a spatula, stir the vegetables half-way through the roasting time, to make sure that they don’t burn. If you find the onions cooking faster than the carrots and parsnips, remove them earlier.

While the vegetables are roasting, melt the pat of butter or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic for 5 minutes, then add in the mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes, until tender.

When the trays of roasted vegetables are ready, transfer the roasted parsnips, carrots, onions and sauteed mushroom mixture to a large food processor. Add in the fresh thyme, chopped sage and salt and pepper, to taste. (I used about a teaspoon of fine sea salt, to make it taste similar to the boxed stuff.)

Using the food processor, you’ll want to quickly “pulse” the vegetable mixture, so that it combines, but still has a chunky texture.

Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve warm!

Just like with traditional stuffing, you can easily adapt this recipe to suit your own tastes. If your family loves fruit or meat in their stuffing, go ahead and add it in! Growing up, my family always added sausage, chopped apples and walnuts. Cranberries or raisins would also be delicious!

For food combining purposes, this stuffing recipe can be considered a neutral dish, pairing well with a Thanksgiving turkey or a vegetarian entree. Since the parsnips may be too starchy for some diets or sensitive stomachs, you could easily substitute roasted cauliflower for the parsnips, if necessary. (This would also be a good option for those of you following the SCD or GAPS diet!)

4.3 from 3 reviews
Grain-Free Stuffing (Low-Carb, Low-Fat)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Rather than relying on almond flour to create a mock-bread stuffing, this version relies solely on fresh vegetables and herbs! Dry roasted parsnips act as the bread-like cubes, keeping this recipe lower in carbohydrates and fat than traditional recipes, which often call for a loaf of dry bread and a stick of butter. The result is a looser and lighter stuffing, with all the flavor of the original, but with far less fat and calories.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups parsnip, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pat butter, or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from 4-6 sprigs)
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage (10-12 leaves), chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  2. Arrange the 4 cups of chopped parsnips into a single layer on one of the lined baking sheets, and arrange the chopped carrots and onion into a single layer on the other lined baking sheet. Roast both pans of vegetables at 400F for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Using a spatula, stir the vegetables half-way through the roasting time, to make sure that they don't burn. If you find the onions cooking faster than the carrots and parsnips, remove them earlier.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, melt the pat of butter or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic for 5 minutes, then add in the mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes, until tender.
  5. When the trays of roasted vegetables are ready, transfer the roasted parsnips, carrots, onions and sauteed mushroom mixture to a large food processor. Add in the fresh thyme, chopped sage and salt and pepper, to taste. (I used about a teaspoon of fine sea salt, to make it taste similar to the boxed stuff.)
  6. Using the food processor, you'll want to quickly "pulse" the vegetable mixture, so that it combines, but still has a chunky texture.
  7. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve warm!
Notes
Just like with traditional stuffing, you can easily adapt this recipe to suit your own tastes. If your family loves fruit or meat in their stuffing, go ahead and add it in! Growing up, my family always added sausage, chopped apples and walnuts. Cranberries or raisins would also be delicious! For food combining purposes, this stuffing recipe can be considered a neutral dish, pairing well with a Thanksgiving turkey or a vegetarian entree. Since the parsnips may be too starchy for some diets or sensitive stomachs, you could easily substitute roasted cauliflower for the parsnips, if necessary. (This would also be a good option for those of you following the SCD or GAPS diet!)

Hope you enjoy it!

Reader Feedback: What are your favorite stuffing ingredients?

36 comments to Grain-Free Stuffing (Low-Carb, Low-Fat)

  • Sam

    A) This looks crazy delicious! I know what I’m bringing to family dinner :)
    B) I really think that parsnips were neutral – is that not so??

    • I think parsnips fall into a gray area, when it comes to food combining. I consider them starchy only because they are illegal on the SCD diet, which bans starches, but allows other root vegetables like carrots and beets. I feel like I remember Natalia saying something about how she wouldn’t sit down to a plate of baked parsnips and then eat an omelet, because it would be a bad combination… but my memory could be fuzzy.

      That being said, I would probably consider this stuffing “neutral” for my own purposes!

  • i love this! i always end up with a plate of mostly meat at thanksgiving so i’m def going to have to make this :) i actually really love the texture of cooked celery in stuffing. soft..but still a bit of chew..much better tasting than the raw stuff to me!

  • You are a genius!!! I LOVE Doris’s Mushroom loaf and always want to make it on the holidays but Britney hates mushrooms so I never want to bother just for myself. This is perfect. Also, like Sam mentioned, I’ve always known parsnips to be in the “neutral” category!

    • This is definitely worth making for yourself! Though, Austin actually likes this version now, so I have to share. :(

      See my response above to Sam about the combining of parsnips!

      • So, I was randomly looking through my notes from Natalia’s advanced training on a different matter, when a note about parsnips caught my eye! According to my notes, Natalia mentioned that sweet potatoes and parsnips are both neutral when consumed raw. I assume she means that they’re both starchy then, when cooked?

        However, I baked my leftover stuffing with an egg mixed in to hold it together more like traditional stuffing, and it digested just fine. So, I’m updating this recipe to fall into the “neutral” category. It’ll make for an easier Thanksgiving. :)

        • sam

          hey megan! great recipe- i’m looking to make it tomorrow to bring to thanksgiving!

          if i wanted to bake it to hold together, what is the egg-based mixture i would use?! thanks!!

          • I just beat two eggs, and added them to the pre-cooked stuffing. (I cooked the stuffing the night before, so mine was cold from the fridge.) Mix really well, so that the eggs are fully incorporated into the mixture. I baked mine for 30 minutes at 350F, but you may need less time if your stuffing is already warm. Also, you may not need two eggs. I think next time I’ll try it with one, to see how it holds together. Definitely an experiment, but my husband loved it with the two eggs added, too!

  • Doris

    This is great! Originally my loaf was a plant based stuffing. I added the zucchini and tomato paste to the leftovers and turned it into a loaf…I love your step by step pics, makes everything so easy to follow. Books are coming, been a bad shipping week!

  • What a great idea! Parsnips intimidate me… but maybe I’ll try this! It’s sure festive looking :-)

  • Laura

    Hi Megan
    I think I could eat this stuf alone.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love Laura

  • Donna

    Sheer brilliance….This is THE ONE I will place on the Thanksgiving table…I was searching for HOURS…and for a paleo palate with insulin surge concerns..this recipe totally NAILS it!..For a lower glycemic factor and a fabulous stuffing flavor, I’m going to use celery root cube instead of the parsnips…perhaps adding in chopped celery stalks as well…Thank you so much for your perfectly timed offering.

    Your site is superlative..I just happened onto it…and it will be a REFERENCE for me in the future. Thank you for your generous sharing of creative, healthy and delicious recipes.

  • @MarlenaTorres

    Hey Megan, have you had this reheated? If so, how does it hold up? I’m using a few if your recipes for Thanksgiving! All of your recipes (especially these past few weeks) are really inspiring me!
    Thanks :)

    • I usually eat my leftovers cold, but I did reheat one batch and it turned out well– I actually added a beaten egg to the cold leftovers (baked at 350F for 30 minutes), to see if it would stick together more like traditional stuffing, and it worked great for a flesh-based dinner. I haven’t tried re-heating it as is, but I assume it would work just as well! Hope you enjoy it! :)

      • @MarlenaTorres

        Thanks :)! I like the egg idea

      • Laura

        What effect did the egg have on it? Did it make it ‘eggy’ as if you we’re eating scrambled eggshell bits? I am interested in the egg addition, but don’t want an eggy stuffing.

        • Laura

          Egg bits, not eggshell bits :/

        • I beat the two eggs first, then mixed them throughout the pre-cooked stuffing (cooked the night before), so they were fully incorporated in the mixture. Baked for 30 minutes at 350F, it held together really well– there weren’t any bits of egg, like say in a fried rice dish, but I could definitely tell there were eggs holding it together. Next time, I think I’ll try just using one egg, to see if that makes the egg less noticeable.

          That being said, my husband loved it that way, and he doesn’t really like egg-based dishes, so maybe I’m being too picky! ;)

  • [...] Detoxinista~Grain Free Stuffing [...]

  • Alicia

    Made this last night but pulsed it a little too long in the food processor…oops! The flavor was still good though :)

  • Robin

    Thank you! I added celery and celery salt so it would taste more like my mom’s traditional stuffing. Delicious!

  • great idea! i LOVE my mom’s cornbread stuffing, but had to stop eating it many years ago when i turned vegetarian/mostly vegan. i assume this doesn’t have that type of taste, right? also, i HATE mushrooms. any idea what i could use as a replacement?

  • Jenny

    Can you put this into the bird itself, to roast along with it and develop that amazing turkey stuffing flavor?

  • Donna

    Could I possibly incorporate the beaten egg during the actual, first baking the recipe…without having to pre-bake the stuffing first, then re-baking?…Sheer laziness considerations here!..Always looking to “skip” a step if at all possible!…This looks like gluten-free perfection for this Thanksgiving’s table!

  • Penny OLeary

    I made this stuffing for Thanksgiving 2012 and will be making it again this year. The taste was so great and it didn’t weigh us down. I’m also going to make one of your desserts.

    Thanks for your recipes and for your website!

    xoxoxox

  • Toni Ochs

    Any suggestions for recipes on oxalate, salycilate and amine free (Or even low)?

  • […] Grain-free stuffing- Who says you need bread to make stuffing? There are lots of grain-free stuffings to choose from these days, but this year I chose a grain- free version, and it just might be my favorite yet. It’s light but still hearty enough to fill the role of standard American stuffing. The fresh herbs are really the key to delivering the fall flavors that you’d expect in a stuffing. […]

  • […] Grain-free stuffing- Who says you need bread to make stuffing? There are lots of grain-free stuffings to choose from these days, but this year I chose a grain- free version, and it just might be my favorite yet. It’s light but still hearty enough to fill the role of standard American stuffing. The fresh herbs are really the key to delivering the fall flavors that you’d expect in a stuffing. […]

  • Krisztina

    Super delicious! Thanks so much for sharing! I made it for Thanksgiving, added celery , every one loved it!!

  • […] Grain-free Stuffing: Your dining guests will feel less bloated with this recipe that takes the bread out of the stuffing. Parsnips and mushrooms make this something you’ll bring back every year! […]

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