Thanksgiving Stuffing

Stuffing is one of those side dishes that’s laden with calories, salt, and fat. The good news is that it’s really easy to lighten up by using a flavorful broth instead of butter and plenty of fresh or dried herbs and other ingredients, like fresh or dried fruit. Bread stuffing should always be cooked until it reaches 165F on a digital thermometer. To prevent food-borne illness, it’s best to cook the stuffing separate from the turkey. Try out one of these stuffings this year for something different.


  • 4 cups whole wheat bread cubes, left out for a day to dry out
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chopped fuji or pink lady apples, chopped
  • 2 tbs. fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with canola oil cooking spray and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and shallots and a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and saute until soft. Remove from the pan to a large bowl.
  3. To the bowl add the apple, sage and bread cubes and toss to coat. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add the chicken broth to moisten everything.
  4. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the stuffing mixture to the casserole dish and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook until a digital thermometer reads 150F. Remove the lid or foil and cook until 165F is reached and the top gets golden. Remove from oven and serve.

8 servings; Per serving: 424 calories; 8.1 (g) fat; 12.7 (g) protein; 75.5 (g) carbs




  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbs. minced fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk mixed with 1 tbs. vinegar
  • 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 (8 oz.) can cream-style corn
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Coat a 8-inch baking dish with cooing spray and set aside.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir in sage.
  3. In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, and corn. Stir liquids into dry ingredients until just moistened. Pour into the baking dish and place in oven. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. When cool, cut into cubes and spread out on a baking sheet to dry out.


  • 2 chicken and apple sausages, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Fuji, Cortland, or jonagold apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tbs. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium high heat until hot. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add apples, golden raisins, garlic, and sage; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F, Coat a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Add the cornbread to the apple mixture and toss to mix. Drizzle cider  and the remaining 1/2 cup broth over the mixture and toss until evenly moistened. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at until heated through, 35 to 45 minutes. For a crisp top, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes.

8 servings; Per serving: 280 calories; 4.1 (g) fat; 53.6 (g) carbs; 9.5 (g) protein



Say good-bye to bread stuffing and hello to wild rice, mushroom, and cherry stuffing! The combination of the nuttiness of the wild rice with the earthiness of the mushrooms, and the sweet-tart flavor of the cherries will have everyone asking for more! Plus, this alternative can be made gluten-free!

  • 1 cup wild rice or farro
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, including shitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  1. Heat 2 1/2 cups broth in a large saucepan until it reaches a boil. Add the rice. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer and cover the pan. Cook about 20 minutes and then add the dried cherries to the pan. Cook an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
  2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with canola oil cooking spray and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion, shallot, and garlic, a pinch a sea salt and ground black pepper, and saute until they become lightly golden. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid and that liquid has evaporated. Add the thyme and parsley and remove from the pan to a bowl. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed.

6 servings; Per serving: 177 calories; 0.1 (g) fat; 37.3 (g) carbs; 6 (g) protein


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