5 Gluten-Free Alternatives to Bread Stuffing for Thanksgiving

updated Oct 26, 2022
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wild rice pilaf with butternut squash, cranberries and pecans
Credit: Joe Lingeman

A bread stuffing (or dressing) is such a must-have Thanksgiving side dish that it’s probably hard for those staying away from gluten to give it up. And while you can definitely substitute gluten-free bread into your favorite stuffing recipe, consider a break from tradition and trying something new instead.

Here are five gluten-free alternatives to stuffing that are fun and interesting — you just might find a recipe that’s so delicious you would make it again the rest of the year!

Credit: Maria Siriano

Cornbread

A cornbread stuffing is a classic Southern dish, and as long as you start with gluten-free cornbread, this stuffing will look, taste, and smell just like its bread counterpart. The crispy bits of cornbread add a sweet touch, and you can pair it with fruit, nuts, mushrooms, or rich sausage.

Credit: Emily Ho

Quinoa

Turning quinoa into a tasty Thanksgiving side dish isn’t that hard — just combine it with some pureed winter squash to hold it together and you’ve got a stuffing-like dish that is fragrant with Thanksgiving flavors.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Wild Rice

Wild rice is such a classic fall and winter ingredient that it’s a natural on the Thanksgiving table. The nutty rice goes really well with dried fruits and nuts and it has a pleasant, chewy texture.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Sticky Rice

Some Chinese restaurants stuff cooked sticky rice into a whole chicken before they cook it so that the dressing absorbs all those delicious chicken juices. Make your own sticky rice dressing with Chinese sausages, mushrooms, and tamari as a perfect match for roast turkey.

Credit: Diana Yen

Beef & Potatoes

For a unique stuffing alternative, try this Cuban version with sofrito, picadillo, and seasoned potatoes. Inspired by papas rellenas (meat-stuffed potato balls), this hearty recipe is sure to be a memorable dish with guests.