Stuffing, also known as dressing, is a traditional menu item for Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s typically high in fat and low in fiber and nutrients. While it’s usually made with stale bread cubes, celery, butter and broth, don’t feel bound by those ingredients.
Post updated 11/24/19
Why not try something new – like a quinoa stuffing? Just use quinoa as the base instead of bread. You can use red quinoa, as I did in this recipe, or white quinoa – it doesn’t matter. Add mushrooms for more depth of flavor, almonds for a bit of crunch, and dried cranberries to provide a subtle sweetness to the dish as well. Toasting the quinoa and almonds prior to cooking adds even more flavor to this delicious quinoa stuffing. For a vegan or vegetarian option, just use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.
Why quinoa? Quinoa is an ancient grain of the Incas that is high in protein and fiber, and is also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. It’s considered a whole grain as well as a complete protein – making it a nice choice for people following a vegan or vegetarian diet. What’s more, it’s also gluten-free and a great option for any guests or family that need to avoid gluten.
If you haven’t tasted quinoa before, this is the perfect recipe in which to try it. And it’s relatively easy to cook – much like cooking rice. So if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional Thanksgiving dressing (stuffing), give it a try! Enjoy!
How to make Quinoa Stuffing
- Gather the ingredients, and toast the quinoa and almonds. Slice and chop veggies and parsley.
- Saute the veggies in olive oil till tender.
- Stir in the quinoa, almonds, dried cranberries, herbs and seasonings.
- Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and simmer all ingredients till done.
- Remove from heat and serve, or chill until needed.
Quinoa Dressing with Mushrooms and Almonds
- deep skillet with lid
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- 1 c. Quinoa, toasted*
- 1/3 c. Slivered almonds, toasted*
- 1 c. Sliced celery
- 2 c. Sliced fresh mushrooms
- ¾ c. Diced onion
- 2 c. Chicken broth, reduced sodium
- 2 T. Olive oil
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c. Dried cranberries (optional)
- ¼ c. finely chopped fresh parsley (may substitute 1 Tbsp. dried parsely)
- 1 tsp. Rubbed sage, ground
- ¼ tsp. White pepper
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt (optional)
- Heat olive oil in deep skillet and saute onion and celery in hot oil till tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook an addtional 3 to 4 minutes until tender.
- Stir in toasted quinoa, toasted almonds, broth, cranberries, parsley, sage, and white pepper.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
- Remove from heat. Taste and add salt if desired. Fluff with fork and serve hot. May be made the day before and then reheated at 350°F until heated through, about 30 minutes.
- *To save time on cooking day, prep the ingredients the day before. This will greatly reduce the amount of time needed to prepare the recipe.
- *Toast quinoa in skillet over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring or shaking occasionally. Remove when fragrant and quinoa starts to "pop".
- *Toast almonds in small skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until almonds are golden brown and fragrant. Watch closely as they can burn easily.