Thanksgiving-In-Your-Mouth Paleo Stuffing

Thanksgiving-In-Your-Mouth Paleo Stuffing Recipe via Worthy Pause

For me, Thanksgiving is all about stuffing + mashed potatoes + gravy.

When I started attending my husband's family's huge Thanksgiving potluck a decade ago, my jaw fell to the floor when I realized there was no stuffing on the table. It's a total FEAST otherwise — multiple turkeys, awesome gravy, sweet potato casseroles, homemade cranberries, pecan pies... everything except the most important dish.

No stuffing?! Obviously that wasn't going to work, so the following year my husband and I volunteered ourselves for stuffing duty and we have been in charge of the most important thing ever since.

Thanksgiving-In-Your-Mouth Paleo Stuffing Recipe via Worthy Pause

We always make a big, bread-y batch of real stuffing (also a delicious mess of sausage-apple perfection), but if you're not able to eat real stuffing or if you just want Thanksgiving meal at a non-Thanksgiving time... then definitely try this. It's great inside a baked acorn squash bowl like in the photos, or on top of a sweet potato, or just shoveled into your mouth.

Thanksgiving-In-Your-Mouth Paleo Stuffing Recipe via Worthy Pause

This stuff(ing) is so, so, so good. It's actually based on something my friend Bethany brought to a paleo meal swap in 2012. And while it takes a little longer to make than most of the usual things on this blog, it's still very easy and well-worth the extra time.

Thanksgiving-In-Your-Mouth Paleo Stuffing Recipe via Worthy Pause

Thanksgiving-In-Your-Mouth Paleo Stuffing

paleo, gluten-free + whole30 approved | serves ~10 as a side; 6 as a meal
based on my pal Bethany's 2012 creation

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • butter, olive oil or ghee, for cooking
  • 1 lb. spicy bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 apples, diced (Honeycrisp are my favorite!)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bag frozen chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • black pepper and salt, to taste
  • optional: sliced toasted almonds for garnish
 

Instructions

  1. Pull out a large Dutch oven and a large pan.
  2. Caramelize the onions in the Dutch oven. I used to do this wrong and it would take me years, but I've finally figured it out (here's a tutorial!). The onions take about 20 minutes and you need to be tending to them, but you can start browning the sausage at the same time.  
  3. Brown the sausage well in the other pan, adding the sage, thyme, tarragon and marjoram. Once the onions are fully caramelized and the sausage is fully browned, transfer the sausage to the Dutch oven and keep there heat on low.
  4. Using the sausage fat (with added oil, butter or ghee if you need it), sauté the apples for about 5 minutes with the pumpkin pie spice and a sprinkle of salt. You don’t want them to be too soft or they won’t hold up to the rest of the process. Add the apples to the big pot with everything else and stir.
  5. Add more olive oil or ghee to your pan and throw in the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until tender and then add them to the big Dutch oven with everything else. (Also, you're finally done with the pan.) 
  6. Add the kale and dried cranberries to the Dutch oven. Mix and heat throughly. 
  7. Do a taste check and add more seasonings as needed.
  8. Sprinkle with toasted almonds (if desired) and serve alongside a Thanksgiving dinner or inside half a roasted acorn squash.

Notes

Thanksgiving-In-Your-Mouth Paleo Stuffing Recipe via Worthy Pause