November 27, 2019


This Healthy Sausage & Herb Stuffing can actually be enjoyed as a balanced meal! I don’t know about you, but my favorite dish at Thanksgiving is the stuffed (aka dressing). I always make the classic, all-the-butter, all-the-sugar dishes at Thanksgiving, because, let’s be real, it’s one day! It’s not going to make or break your healthy lifestyle or fitness journey. On the other hand, I love stuffing so much I could eat it for a meal by itself. That’s the point of this healthy sausage and herb stuffing! It’s low in fat and high in protein, with plenty of volume and veggies added to keep you feeling full (although, a side of steamed veggies alongside would make for a more complete meal). Not to mention, it tastes incredible! All the herby, savory goodness of traditional stuffing, with a fraction of the calories and fat.

Did you know? Enjoying healthier versions of our favorite comfort foods on a regular basis can make pursuing your goals more sustainable and enjoyable. Of course, so can eating the real deal in moderation! Making a healthier version simply allows you to eat more of it 😉


Bread recommendations

The base of this stuffing recipe is gluten-free bread that was left out on the counter for a day. You can use any gluten-free bread, but I like Canyon Bakehouse White and Schar Gluten Free White Bread (not sponsored). At our local Costco, Schar is $7 for two loaves! Both taste just as good un-toasted and don’t fall apart for sandwiches. You can make this Paleo by using a Paleo bread!


Sausage recommendations

For extra protein, I added some lean turkey breakfast sausage in roll form (like Butterball brand). Lean chicken sausage would also work! You can even use vegan breakfast sausage to make this vegan, or Paleo sausage to make this Paleo. I can imagine that even a sweet Italian sausage ground would work well in this recipe.

Whatever sausage you use, try to aim for at least twice as much protein compared to fat, preferably “natural” (free of nitrites and nitrates), and free of antibiotics if you can find it.


Herbs & other ingredients

Next, there’s a good amount of onion and celery, just like my mom makes it. I took the liberty of adding some fresh minced garlic too! You can also use one teaspoon of granulated garlic in place of the four cloves of garlic I used. I also added some fresh sage (highly recommended), dried rosemary (optional), and poultry seasoning (can omit if you double the sage and rosemary). If using fresh rosemary instead of dried, use three times as much; and if using dried sage instead of fresh, use a third of the amount.

A little vegan buttery spread was used to sauté everything together, but you can use ghee for Paleo, or just regular unsalted butter. I also used chicken bone broth for extra protein, but feel free to substitute vegetable broth for vegan. For vegan, you’ll want to substitute the whole egg for an egg alternative like JustEgg 😉


Optional add-ins

Now, my mom always added walnuts instead of cranberries to her stuffing, but the walnuts make this healthy stuffing a bit higher in fat. Of course, you could certainly do both or just walnuts, that’s up to you!

Here’s the printable recipe for this Healthy Sausage & Herb Stuffing! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try it 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving from my kitchen to yours!

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5 from 1 vote

Healthy Sausage & Herb Stuffing (Gluten-Free)

This healthy sausage and herb stuffing has all the savory goodness of the classic, while being gluten-free and balanced enough to make into a meal!
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 298kcal
Author Sarah Wilkins, No Excuses Nutrition


  • 8 slices gluten-free bread* cut into cubes
  • 1 lb. lean chicken or turkey breakfast sausage*
  • 2 tbsp. buttery spread*
  • 1 1/2 cups onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups celery chopped
  • 4 tsp. cloves garlic* minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white cooking wine or more broth
  • 1 cups chicken bone broth*
  • 3 tbsp. dried parsley*
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh sage* optional
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning can omit just double sage and rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary* optional
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt optional
  • 1 large whole egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries optional

*See blog post above for substitutions.


    • Leave bread slices out on the counter overnight to become a little stale. Cut into bite-sized cubes (4 cuts horizontally, 4 cuts vertically) and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
    • Brown sausage in a nonstick skillet, breaking up in a spatula, until cooked through. Add to bowl with bread cubes.
    • Add buttery spread to the same skillet, then sauté onions, celery and garlic together. Add to bowl with bread cubes.
    • Add white wine and simmer until liquid is reduced, then add broth and spices, simmering about 5 minutes until fragrant.
    • Add skillet contents and to the large bowl, then add one beaten egg. Here you can add cranberries and/or walnuts if desired!
    • Empty stuffing (dressing) into a large casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes until golden on top.
    • Serve hot, or divided equally into six meal prep containers. Leftovers will keep in the fridge up to one week.


    Calories (per serving, minus optionals): 298kcal, Fat: 10.5g, Sat fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 30g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 18g, Sodium: 825mg
    Calories (per serving, including optionals): 343kcal, Fat: 13.7g, Sat fat: 2.8g, Carbs: 35g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 18g, Sodium: 1,019mg

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