All the sage herbed flavors of Thanksgiving in a real food stuffing for your big meal!
As a kid we grew up on that little red box of stuffing at our huge, extended family meals. I have been told stories of one of my Grandmas using toasted bread to make stuffing a long time ago, but as the times changed and those fancy *very convenient* boxes of faster food became available, it just became the thing to do.
I had never had “traditional” stuffing – I grew upon that stovetop, red box version…
…and I loved it.
There I said it. I seriously loved that totally processed, crazy ingredient list box of stuffing, and when I made the real food switch years ago I set out to learn how to make a stuffing that I could still enjoy at the holidays. I have been making this real food version for over 6 years now – the same age as my oldest daughter.
You see, when I had her everything changed.
Remember those amazing memories I had of my childhood Thanksgiving meals? I wanted her to have that. I wanted her to remember that every year toward the end of November we get to eat the most amazing meal of the year.
Food is meant to be enjoyed my friends! I am not about to take away those comforting, delicious meals that bring joy to our faces, warmth to the belly, and memories that last forever. One of my greatest joys in the last year or so is that my oldest is finally getting it. She remembers Thanksgiving meals from the year before now. She remembers Grandpa carving that huge bird, Grandma stirring that big pot of mashed potatoes, and savoring every last bite of the pumpkin pie. And while I was getting this dish prepared to photograph she practically drooled as I served it remembering she hadn’t had stuffing since last year. THAT, sweet friends, is what I want!
Come November I want my family to start craving that amazing once a year meal that we all get to share!
You really can make Thanksgiving meal staples without processed food. Let’s start with stuffing!
Whether you like to stuff the bird with your stuffing, or like to serve it in a pan, this recipe will work for you! Grab a loaf of your favorite gluten free bread – we splurge on Sami’s bread for our Thanksgiving stuffing. It has the cleanest ingredient list of the gluten free breads that I know of at least in my area. You can also use homemade sourdough, or this gluten free cornbread works great too!
Here are a few of my tips for getting this dish done for Thanksgiving. If your bread is fresh or freshly made, you will need about 24 hours for it to dry out to make it feel like day old bread. I like to tear it up onto a sheet tray and I just leave it out in my bedroom (so that little hands don’t steal pieces!) for a day. If you make the herbed broth beforehand, all you have to do is mix it in with the bread the morning of Thanksgiving! Very quick.
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 stalks of celery, chopped
- 4 TB friendly fat to cook in (butter, coconut oil, lard)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp sage
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp parsley
- Sea salt/pepper to taste
- 1 quart bone broth
- 2 pastured eggs
- 1 loaf (about 12 cups torn up) stale/dried out gluten free bread or sourdough of choice (this gluten free cornbread works well too! Make a double batch if you plan on using it for this recipe)
- Saute the onion and celery in the friendly fat for about 5-7 minutes. Add a few pinches of salt to bring out their juices and sweeten.
- Add the garlic and seasonings and cook for a minute.
- Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning/saltiness and add as needed. It should taste like a salty herbed soup.
- Put the bread, egg, and broth mixture in a large mixing bowl and combine well.
- Pour the bread mixture in the buttered 9x13 baking dish.
- Bake COVERED for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
- Uncover the baking dish and bake another 25-30 minutes.
For more real food dinner ideas you can follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!
More real food recipes you might like:
Keep your eyes out in the next couple weeks for your Thanksgiving Bone Broth Gravy to go with your turkey and mashed potatoes, as well as a great honey sweetened real cranberry sauce!
Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken