5 Healthy Stuffing Recipes for Turkey Day

Try one of these five healthy stuffing recipes on Thanksgiving.

One Thanksgiving day meal packs in well over 1,000 calories. If you're concerned about cutting back here and there, or if you simply want to change things up a bit this year, here are five healthy stuffing recipes that will satisfy you while fulfilling your nutritional needs.

RELATED: Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving 

1. Brown Rice and Wild Rice Stuffing with Chestnuts and Dried Fruits

Brown Rice and Wild Rice Stuffing with Chestnuts and Dried Fruits

Photo: thehealthyfoodie.com

Serves 8 (of 1 cup, 250 calories)


  • ½ cup wild rice
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 2-3 cups water
  • ¼-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 200g roasted and peeled chestnuts (around 20 chestnuts)
  • ½ cup (12) dried prunes, chopped
  • ½ cup (15) dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 navel orange
  • 2 small red applies, diced
  • 1 large pear, diced
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground pepper


  1. Add wild rice, 2 cups of water and ¼ tsp of salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed, around 20-25 minutes.
  2. Add brown rice, 1/2 tsp salt and three extra cups of water. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to simmer until water is absorbed, around 30-35 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and allow rice to rest for 15 minutes. Add all the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Let it cool to room temperature then store in fridge for at least 4 hours.
  5. Prepare in advance, stuff your bird or bake it separately for 50 minutes at 375 F.

Source: thehealthyfoodie.com 

2. Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato & Hazelnuts

Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato & Hazelnuts

Photo: @MarlaMeridith.com

Serves 8


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into small wedges
  • 2 large (Granny Smith or other) apples, cut into ½ pieces
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 3 pinches of ground cinnamon
  • 3 pinches of ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • fresh or dried cranberries (garnish) 


  1. Rinse quinoa. Combine with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Coat apples with lemon juice. Toss sweet potatoes and apples, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and half the maple syrup. Roast for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Combine the quinoa with the roasted mixture and the remainder of the maple syrup in a large bowl. Mix in thyme and hazelnuts.

Source: familyfreshcooking.com

RELATED: 5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Sweet Potatoes

3. Grain-Free Stuffing with Apples

Grain-Free Stuffing with Apples

Photo: mommypotamus.com


  • 3 ½ cups onion, diced
  • 2/12 cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup apple, cored and diced
  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp marjoram
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 eggs, whisked 


  1. Add coconut oil to saucepan, cook over low heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, apple and herbs. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the almond flour with the dates and the saucepan mixture. Add the lightly beaten eggs to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Add mixture to a greased medium-sized baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees F.

Source: mommypotamus.com

4. Red Rice and Quinoa Stuffing with Mushrooms and Kale

Red Rice and Quinoa Stuffing with Mushrooms and Kale

Serves 12 to 14, 150 calories.


  • 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and washed
  • 1 ½ cups red rice
  • ½ cup blonde quinoa
  • 4 ½ cups water, chicken or vegetable stock
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/4 pound cremini or white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme


  1. Bring large pot of water to boil, add salt to taste, and add the kale. Blanch for 4 minutes and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain, squeeze out water and chop into medium pieces. Transfer to a dry bowl.
  2. Place red rice and 3 cups of stock or water in medium saucepan, and the rest of the water with the quinoa in a smaller pot. Bring both to a boil. For rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 to 50 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed. For quinoa, simmer for 15 minutes, drain any excess water. Let both sit for 15 minutes, then transfer to a bowl with kale.
  3. While grains simmer, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and stir for about 3 minutes, until onion begins to soften. Add celery, cook another few minutes. Stir in garlic and continue to stir for another 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from heat, transfer to the bowl with the kale and grains.
  4. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the rest of the olive oil. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook while stirring and shaking pan until they are lightly seared. Add the wine, salt and pepper to taste and cook/stir until the liquid has evaporated. Then add in the grains and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Transfer to a lightly oiled baking dish, cover with foil. Warm in oven  for 20 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

Source: New York Times 

5. Poblano Cornbread Stuffing

Poblano Cornbread Stuffing

Photo: LoveandLemons.com

Serves 4-6.


  • 1 batch of cornbread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ¼-1/3 cup poblanos or jalapenos, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup white wine (or 1 tbsp white wine vinegar)
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup dried curants
  • ½ cup thinly sliced kale
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup melted butter (or vegan earth balance butter)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose gluten free blend flour (or regular all-purpose)
  • ½ cup almond flour (or whole wheat flor)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Cornbread: Whisk together the dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl whisk the wet ingredients. Using a large spoon, mix them together and pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Bake approximately 25 minutes.
  3. For stuffing: heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add carrots, celery, salt and pepper, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Add poblanos, garlic, sage, oregano, and cook a few minutes more.
  4. Deglaze pan with the white wine. Add the corn, scallions, currants, and kale and cook for another few minutes until kale wilts down. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Whisk together almond milk, melted butter and maple syrup. Set aside.
  6. Place crumbled cornbread in a large bowl and add the cooked veggies from the pan. Toss together. Pour almond mixture on top and toss again. Mix in cilantro.
  7. Pour into a greased 11x9 pan and bake approximately 15-20 minutes.

Source: loveandlemons.com

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock