Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on November 17, 2010


Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday of the year! I feel so sorry for people who don’t live in countries where Thanksgiving is celebrated. It is a holiday that revolves around cooking, eating and spending time with loved ones. And seriously, how does it get any better than that?

For years I continued to make certain things the way I always had, with gluten-filled ingredients, because I thought that not everyone would appreciate a gluten-free Thanksgiving. Then I wised up and realized that if I liked something, chances are that others would too. And besides when I go to the trouble to prepare a gorgeous meal, who can complain? So, my house – no gluten! Not even on Thanksgiving. And you know what? It was not as hard as I imagined it would be to make all my favorites gluten-free with no sacrifice on taste.

Interestingly enough, my gluten-eating guests consistently comment that after my Thanksgiving meal they don’t feel bloated and uncomfortable after eating my gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner. Hmm, maybe there is something to this gluten-free diet after all :)

The photo above is from the set of Daytime where I shared some tips for a gluten-free Thanksgiving and made my Gluten Free Cornbread Sausage Stuffing. After the cameras stopped rolling my awesome hosts Dave and Cyndi could not get enough of it!

Here are few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes and tips on how to convert your family favorites to gluten-free and all the recipes are adaptable for dairy-free as well.

Let’s talk turkey: Not all turkeys are gluten-free even though they should be! Sometimes, especially with the self basting type, wheat flour is injected into the turkey so make sure you READ THE LABEL and get our self a great, gluten-free turkey. My favorite is Plainville Farms as they are fresh, are given no antibiotics or growth hormones, humanely raised and fed a vegetarian diet which ensures great taste.

Gravy: Making gluten-free gravy is ridiculously simple! Here’s how you do it:

Gluten-free Gravy, Béchamel, and Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients

Gluten-free Gravy

2¼ cups gluten-free chicken stock (or you can use turkey drippings plus chicken stock to equal 2 cups)
2 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter, non-dairy butter substitute like Earth Balance or turkey fat
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Giblets from the turkey which have been cooked and finely diced – optional
2 tablespoon heavy cream – optional

Gluten-free Béchamel (White Sauce)

2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 cups milk – use divided
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large white onions – chopped
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream

Cornbread

2 large eggs
1½ cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups Kinnikinnick gluten free cornbread mix
2 tablespoons sugar

Stuffing

Dried cornbread crumbles from above recipe
1 pound country sausage
1 medium bunch celery, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3 small leeks, cleaned and sliced
¾ cup unsalted butter or Earth Balance
2 large eggs, beaten
1½ tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 – 2 cups gluten-free chicken stock

Directions

Gluten-free Gravy

Mix ¼ cup chicken stock with the cornstarch or arrowroot and set aside.

In a large skillet cook the onions with butter, Earth Balance or turkey fat over medium-low heat until they are very soft and lightly browned. Add the remaining chicken stock, salt pepper and poultry seasoning. Increase heat and bring to a mild boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring back to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 – 2 minutes or until thick. Add the cream and giblets if desired stir well and taste for seasoning. Add a little more salt, pepper and or poultry seasoning if needed. Serve warm.

Makes about 3 cups of gravy.

White Sauce: Again, making a gluten-free white sauce (or more technically Béchamel Sauce) is crazy easy! White sauce is a base for things like creamed spinach and a host of other dishes. I use it as a base for my Gluten-free Spinach Gratin which is FABULOUS and can be found here. If you are dairy free, substitute the butter for Earth Balance and the milk and cream for coconut milk or dairy free milk of your choice, the coconut milk will give it a thicker consistency but may have slight coconut taste which you can counter act with seasoning.

Gluten-free Béchamel (White Sauce)

Mix the cornstarch or arrowroot with ¼ cup milk and set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent and very soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 more minutes. Add rest of milk and heavy cream to onion mixture and cook until just boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch and milk mixture, bring back to a boil and cook, stirring for 1 – 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning is needed.

And now for my personal favorite part of the meal – the stuffing!

Gluten Free Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8 inch square baking dish with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk all ingredients in a large mixing bowl just until combined. A few lumps are ok. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cornbread cool and then crumble onto a baking dish and let dry out over night.

Place cornbread crumbles in a large mixing bowl. Cook the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked. Pour off the fat and add ½ cup of butter or Earth Balance. Add the chopped celery, onions and leeks. Cook until the vegetables are translucent but not too browned, about 10 minutes. Add the sausage/vegetable mixture into the bowl with the cornbread crumbles along with the melted butter and add the eggs, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add just enough chicken stock make the mixture moist but not mushy.

Stuff the cavity of the turkey with some of the stuffing being careful not to overfill. Place the rest of the stuffing into a butter casserole dish. Pour about ¼ cup more stock over the top of the stuffing and dot the top with the remaining butter that has been cut into small pieces. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Servings

This gluten free recipe makes enough to stuff a 20 pound turkey with an extra casserole.

I wish you all a very happy, safe and gluten-free Thanksgiving!

Ready for dessert?

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“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

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Categories:    Holidays
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)

    oh my – what a wonderful spread of tasty delights!! Thankyou for the recipes too!

  • Sherron

    One of these days I will convince my extended family that what I eat tastes good and is worth eating. Until then, my husband and children will be the only family lucky enough to enjoy a gluten and dairy free dinner.

  • Jas.

    oh wow this is amazing! We don't celebrate thanksgiving here in australia but christmas and boxing day are all about food, drinking and family n friends!

  • Toni

    Love the cornbread stuffing recipe! You're such a fantastic resource of great ideas – and the best part is that the food is delicious! Because, after all, if it doesn't taste good, who could you convince to eat it?

  • MICHAEL

    OMG!!! I'm coming to eat with you guys at Thanksgiving. Really!!Michael

  • Anonymous

    Loved it, Carol! Thank you for your hard work and for making great recipes… love your blog!

  • The InTolerant Chef

    What a lovely tradditon to have a day of thanksgiving, and the food is an extra bonus!

  • Anonymous

    Oh yum! that cornbread stuffing! Can't wait to try it.

  • sarah k

    Yumm….can't wait to eat all of this in just a few days!!!!

  • WizzyTheStick

    I know you probably didn't mean anything by it but please don't feel sorry for countries where Thanksgiving isn't celebrated:-) We do have our own November holidays like Divali which is also a time of cooking and sharing and being with family. Thanks for the tip on the injection of wheat into turkeys – I had no idea and will be reading my labels carefully.

  • gfe–gluten free easily

    I'm like you, Carol … I absolutely love Thanksgiving! It's got all the important stuff as you said. :-) I'm so glad you are spreading the joy of eating gluten free for Thanksgiving. And, you look so lovely with the beautiful spread of food in front of you! Thanks for sharing your recipes. :-)Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hugs,Shirley

  • Theresa

    Oh Carol, you rock! Watching that video and imagining the smell of the turkey and stuffing makes me wish we celebrated Thanksgiving where I live! I'll have to do a roast chicken sometime to make up for it :)

  • Lexie | Lexie’s Kitchen

    YUM! I was captivated and now I want some of that there stuffin'! You are a natural in front of the camera. Personable, informative, real!

  • Tasty Eats At Home

    Great post Carol! Our Thanksgiving is usually all gluten-free as well. It's psuedo pot-luck, so the visiting gluten-eaters might bring something with gluten in it, but I make gluten-free and dairy-free stuffing, gravy, pies, rolls, casseroles, etc. No one complains, and this year, they even took home all my leftovers! :)

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  • megan

    I cannot find gluten free cornbread so I use my own recipe BUT do I just need to make 1 Or a double batch??

    It is a 8x8in pan of cornbread.

    Thank you for the amazing recipes!!

    • Carol Kicinski

      I would double it unless you have a small bird. The more stuffing the better, right?

  • calgaryjill

    My fave thickening agent is sweet rice flour. Cornstarch thickened sauces just don’t hold up after a day or two in the fridge in my home.

  • CarolKicinski

    I have also taken to using sweet rice flour as my go to thickening ingredient. I used to use cornstarch as it is so easy to find but nowadays, its pretty easy to find sweet rice flour as well. Thanks for the comment!

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