Looking for a Whole30fied version of Thanksgiving stuffing? Look no further than this grain-free adaptation of an all-American Turkey Day classic. This dish integrates the classic flavors found in a traditional stuffing without any gluten or dairy. In other words, the heaping pile of this stuffing on your Thanksgiving plate won't leave you with the strong urge to take nap. I can't speak for what else is on your plate though.
This dish is so tasty, it'll have the cauliflower rice skeptics around your table going back for seconds. It matches the flavors found in traditional stuffing perfectly, so opting for a spoonful of this over the traditional stuffing won't leave you unsatisfied (and that's certainly something to be thankful for).
Before creating this recipe, I'd reach for a box of gluten-free stuffing to serve on the big day, but not anymore. Although certified gluten-free, many of the boxed gluten-free stuffings still contain a mile-long list of ingredients I can't pronounce. On the other hand, this recipe is loaded with recognizable real food ingredients. Serving this dish is a great way to trick the grain eaters around your table into eating a hearty serving of vegetables (and even a little bit of fruit)!
So what's in it exactly? To be honest, a little bit of everything.
Cauliflower Rice: In a world where cauliflower has miraculously replaced all of the starchy foods we once loved, it should come as no surprise that in this dish it serves as the bread. While you can absolutely rice your own head of cauliflower, I opted for the frozen stuff for no other reason other than convenience. The clean up after ricing a head of cauliflower is one that I'd rather not have to deal with. I'm still finding bits of cauliflower around my kitchen from a head I riced 2 years ago.
Okay, that's obviously an exaggeration, but you get my point. Work smarter, not harder.
Ghee: In most recipes, ghee and cooking oil can be used interchangeably but in this, ghee is a necessity. It adds a delicious, buttery flavor to each bite.
Italian Pork Sausage: I've had quite a few helpings of stuffings in my 30 years of being, but the stuffings that I've enjoyed the most involve sausage. This recipe calls for ground Italian sausage, but you can just as easily remove the casings from Italian sausage links and use that.
Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic, Celery, Apple and Carrots: Need I say more? Each of these ingredients play a role in making this dish taste as good as traditional stuffing.
Parsley, Salt, Pepper, Sage, Rosemary, and Red Pepper Flakes: this mixture of herbs and spices just screams Thanksgiving.
Bone Broth: Since you're already serving your guests one of the healthiest side dishes ever created, you might as well add a bit of healing bone broth into the mix as well!
Dates & Walnuts (Optional): because why not? The dates add a subtle sweetness to the dish and the walnuts add a bit of crunch.
Using just one-pan (super easy clean up) you can have this dish ready in about 40 minutes. While relatively time-consuming, trust me when I say IT'S TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Keep reading for the detailed instructions on how to make this yummy stuffing.
- This is one of those recipes that is a heck of a lot easier if you prep all of the ingredients beforehand. I recommend doing all of the slicing, dicing and chopping before anything else and setting everything aside until ready to be used. That being said, go ahead and slice the mushrooms, chop the yellow onion, mince the garlic, slice the celery, dice the apple and chop the parsley. For the carrots, I recommend just buying a bag of matchsticks to save yourself a little bit of time and energy. Work smarter not harder, remember?
- Next, cook the frozen cauliflower rice according to the package directions. As long as the end result is thawed/heated through cauliflower rice, you're good to go.
- Let's get cooking. In a large, non-stick skillet heat the ghee until hot but not smoking. Add the ground Italian sausage. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until it's browned evenly and cooked through. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside, but do not wipe out the skillet!
- If the skillet is dry, add another tablespoon of ghee. Then, add the mushrooms, onion and garlic to the skillet. Cook until everything begins to soften (5 to 7 minutes), scraping up any browned bits from the bottom along the way! There's quite a bit of flavor in those bits!
- To the same skillet, stir in the celery, apple, carrots, parsley and the remaining dried herbs and spices. Add the bone broth to the skillet and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the broth has evaporated (about 10 minutes).
- Return the cooked cauliflower rice and the cooked sausage to the skillet. Stir everything together very well. Remove the skillet from the heat once everything is well-combined and heated through.
- If using, stir in the dates and walnuts. Transfer to a serving dish and dig in!
This recipe was written to feed a crowd. Feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts if you're serving more or less people.
This dish holds up really well, so don't be afraid to make it a day or so ahead of time! I've been eating bowls of this stuffing for the last week (like I said, this recipe yields ALOT). With each day that's passed, the flavors have had more time to mingle. I swear it just keeps getting better and better.
Keto/Lower Carb Option:
This dish is already SIGNIFICANTLY lower in carbs than traditonal stuffing, but you can cut even more of the carbs from this dish by omitting the apples and dates. The stuffing won't have the subtle sweet component but it will be delicious nonetheless.
I know, I know -animal products aren't for everyone, so this dish can easily be adapted into a Vegan dish and be just as scrumptious (I've never in my life used that word, but it seemed fitting). Below is a list of what you'll need to swap/omit to make this dish Vegan-friendly.
- Ghee ---> Vegan Butter Substitute
- Pork Sausage ---> Either omit it completely, or use a Vegan sausage substitute (I know they're out there).
- Bone Broth ---> Vegetable Broth
I would absolutely love to know if you add this dish to your Thanksgiving table! Let me know all about it in the comments or snap a photo and post it on Instagram! Don't forget to tag me (@paleoishkrista) and use the hashtag #paleoishkristaeats! I honestly mean it when I say I LOVE SEEING YOUR RECREATIONS! Gobble till ya wobble my friends!
Pin now! Gobble later!
Cauliflower Rice Stuffing with Sausage (Paleo & Whole30)
- 36 ounces frozen cauliflower rice most bags of frozen cauliflower rice are 12 ounces each
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1 pound ground Italian pork sausage
- 1 cup portabella mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic minced
- 1 cup celery sliced
- ½ cup red apple diced
- ½ cup matchstick carrots
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup bone broth chicken, beef or turkey
- ¼ cup pitted-dates sliced (optional)
- ¼ cup walnut peices (optional)
- Chop all fresh ingredients according to the directions above. Set aside until ready to use.
- Cook cauliflower rice according to package directions. The cauliflower rice should be defrosted and heated through. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a large non-stick skillet, over medium-heat, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee until hot but not smoking. Add ground Italian pork sausage. Cook sausage crumbles until they're browned and cooked through (8 to 10 minutes). Remove from the skillet and set aside. Do not wipe out the skillet.
- If dry, add another tablespoon of ghee to the skillet. Heat over medium-heat until hot but not smoking. Add portabella mushrooms, yellow onion and fresh garlic to the skillet. Cook until the mushrooms, onion and garlic begin to soften (5 to 7 minutes) while scraping up any browned sausage bits from the bottom.
- To the same skillet, stir in the celery, red apple, matchstick carrots and the herbs and spices (parsley, salt, pepper, ground sage, dried rosemary and red pepper flakes). Add bone broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until most of the bone broth has evaporated.
- Return the cooked cauliflower rice and sausage to the skillet. Stir everything together well. Remove from the heat once the "stuffing" is heated through.
- If using, stir in the dates and walnuts. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy!