Whether you're planning a special holiday gathering or looking for a tasty side dish, gluten-free turkey stuffing recipes can provide your turkey with just as much flavor as their gluten-containing competitors.
To Stuff or Not to Stuff?
While grandmothers have traditionally stuffed their Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys with their favorite family stuffing recipes for generations, today's chefs often suggest it is better to cook your stuffing in a separate casserole dish. One of the main reasons cited for this change in tradition is that it lessens health risks associated with food poisoning. While the safest way to cook stuffing is in a separate dish, for those die-hard stuffing lovers who want to do it the old-fashioned way, these tips can help reduce the risk of bacteria growth:
- Place stuffing in the turkey loosely just before you put it into the oven.
- Make sure stuffing reaches a temperature of 165 F.
- Remove the stuffing from the bird as soon as you take it from the oven.
Advantages to Cooking Stuffing Separately
Aside from the safety issue, there are other advantages to cooking your turkey stuffing in a separate dish. For starters, a stuffed turkey takes longer to cook. When you're planning a large family gathering around a special meal, oven space is precious. If your turkey takes less time, that means the oven is free for other items that need to be heated or baked. Another benefit related to less time in the oven is that the turkey breast meat stays moister.
If you decide to cook your stuffing in a separate dish, the rule of thumb is to cover it for the first 30-45 minutes of baking. If it appears to be too dry add a little of the juices from the turkey. Uncover the dish for the last 20-30 minutes if you like a nice crusty quality to top your casserole.
Gluten-Free Turkey Stuffing Recipes
When family and friends gather around a big turkey dinner, many look forward to special recipes handed down from one generation to another. For those who develop gluten intolerance, including celiac disease, eating these old favorites is no longer an option. However, gluten-free turkey stuffing recipe alternatives make the transition to a gluten-free holiday or get-together a much easier transition.
The main ingredient in most stuffing recipes is bread. Breads made from wheat, rye or barley contain gluten. While rye bread isn't really used in making turkey stuffing, many breads and pre-made croutons contain wheat. The base ingredient used in gluten-free stuffing will be gluten-free croutons or breadcrumbs, and you'll most likely need to make them yourself.
Making Gluten-free Croutons
Use stale bread coated lightly with oil or your favorite spread. Dice into cubes. Sprinkle with your favorite combination of herbs along with seasoned salt and garlic or onion salt. If you're unsure of what herbs to use start out with try parsley, oregano and basil.
Place croutons on a cookie sheet and bake at 225°F until browned. Stir occasionally to be sure they are lightly browned on all sides. These gluten-free croutons can be used for your stuffing as well as for salads and your favorite soups.
- 16 oz. gluten-free croutons
- 2 tbs. butter
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 c. broth
- 2 tsp. rubbed sage
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter and drizzle over croutons.
- Mix remaining ingredients except for broth.
- Add broth a little at a time until mixture is moist but not mushy.
- Place mixture in casserole dish and bake at 325 for one hour.
Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing
If you come from Southern roots or just love cornbread stuffing, Celiac.com offers a gluten-free recipe option. Gluten-free cornbread croutons must be made as the first step in making this recipe. They are no more difficult to make than regular croutons and once they are done, all you have to do is add: gluten free sausage, celery, and seasonings. If you can no longer enjoy your family's recipe for cornbread stuffing, visit Celiac.com to check out their recipe for gluten-free cornbread croutons. Use such recipes to bring a family favorite back to your holiday table.
Adapt Your Family Recipe
Once you have made gluten-free croutons (or breadcrumbs), it is easier to adapt your own family recipes to a gluten-free version. While bread is often the only ingredient that contains gluten in many stuffing recipes, when adapting a recipe for your gluten-free lifestyle, diligence is important. Every ingredient must be checked for gluten before it is used. it takes a little experimenting to get your stuffing to taste just the way you like, but once your new recipe passes the taste test, you'll be on your way to starting a whole new collection of gluten free Thanksgiving recipes.