When I started Whole30 I didn’t think much about the fact that my food reintroduction period would be during Thanksgiving. I didn’t realized that meant I would still need to eat mostly on the Whole30 plan as I reintroduced foods slowly. I wasn’t going to be able to dive mouth first into a plate of a traditional Thanksgiving foods.
My loss is your gain because that prompted me to create some Whole30 versions of my favorite Thanksgiving foods. Today I’m sharing my Whole30 Thanksgiving stuffing. I read no less than 10 Whole30 Thanksgiving stuffing recipes, thought about what made stuffing delicious to me, and created this recipe from that process.
First I had to consider, what makes stuffing, stuffing? Well, the herbs of course! That meant sage, thyme, and rosemary had to feature prominently in my stuffing.
And of course the vegetables in most stuffings – celery, onion, carrot – had to make an appearance.
But what about the rest? How do you make something even resembling stuffing if you can’t use grains? The solution most of the recipes I read didn’t seem to answer this well. Some used cauliflower, some used eggs to bind everything together, and one used a lot of almond flour. I decided to take what seemed like the best ideas from everything I found to make the best version.
(Researching Thanksgiving stuffing recipes for Whole30 is where I learned almond flour is allowed on Whole30 as long as you aren’t using it to make desserts or pasta recreations. It’s ok as a binder which is what it is in this stuffing recipe. Here’s what they say about it: “Yes, you can have almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, cassava flour and other non-grain-based flours, but it’s context-dependent. You can use it in place of breadcrumbs in your meatballs, to dredge a piece of chicken, or to thicken a sauce or stew. You may not use it for Paleo baking—to make muffins, pancakes, bread, cupcakes, cookies, waffles, biscuits, tortillas, pizza crust, or anything of that nature; nor can you have it in pasta or gnocchi recreations. We call those recipes Sex With Your Pants On (SWYPO) foods, and they are expressly off-limits during your Whole30.” One could probably argue that recreating stuffing is a SWYPO food, but since I eat it one month of the year and the almond flour is really only there to bind and thicken… I’m gonna go with it’s cool.)
Whole30 Thanksgiving Stuffing
I don’t want to brag, but I think I succeeded in creating a good stuffing. It was a hit when it debuted at a family dinner and is already requested by both sides for each Thanksgiving dinner we will be attended.
The best part? I really don’t think anyone will miss the grains. You really don’t even notice!
Whole30 Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
To create this recipe you’ll need a cast iron pan or a casserole dish. I used my Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan (seriously this sucker is amazing).
Whole30 Thanksgiving Stuffing Ingredients
- 2 tbsp olive oil, or avocado oil
- 1 medium butternut squash or 2 cups diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 large onion diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 3 carrots peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 3 eggs whisked
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp sage
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Pecan Topping ingredients:
- 1 – 1.5 cups unsalted pecans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp sage
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Whole30 Stuffing Directions
- Preheat over to 400 F.
- Mix squash in 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil sprinkle with sea salt. Line baking sheet with squash.
- Cook butternut squash cubes in over for 30 minutes until soft. Give it a few tosses during cooking.
- Heat olive oil in large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Cook sausage removed from casing if using, then remove from skillet.
- Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and saute until soft, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add cauliflower, herbs, salt and pepper, mix well. Add 1/3 cup water (or compliant chicken broth.) Cook until tender about 10 minutes.
- One the squash is done cooking, turn the temp down to 350F.
- Mix everything together, toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or herbs as needed.
- Stir in almond flour and mix well.
- Stir in eggs and mix well.
- Bake for 25 minutes uncovered at 350 F.
- Prepare the pecan crumble topping. While stuffing cooks, warm pecans in skillet with olive oil and extra herbs.
- Remove the stuffing from the oven and scatter the pecan crumble across the top.
- Bake for 20 more minutes uncovered.
- Serve warm.
Enjoy this on Thanksgiving if you are planning your own paleo or Whole30 Thanksgiving!