Holiday meals seem to have become synonymous with several bites. Those bites include (but are certainly not limited to): desserts, roasted turkey, and the ever-popular stuffing. Sometimes referred to as dressing, depending on where you reside, this bready bout of goodness is a side dish, a meat filler, and one way to personalize your family plates in ways that become a quick secret passed on through generations (we add pears, cranberries, and pecans to ours!).
The downside to this carb-loaded fun is the guilt that can arise when you are making it and then, subsequently, indulging in it. So, we wondered, are there healthier stuffing recipes out there that are not only delicious but pack a nutritional punch? Can they inevitably nix the shame that comes with seconds? We went on the hunt and we have your answer.
There are and we’re featuring our top three finds!
Below, you’ll find 3 slightly-healthier stuffing recipes that anyone can enjoy. They are family-friendly, fit a variety of lifestyle diets, and will not take up all your caloric intake for the day.
Best Paleo Stuffing
First up is the “best paleo stuffing” from 40 Aprons. Paleo diets typically include as much raw foods as possible as well as lean proteins like chicken and fish. It also excludes the “new” foods like dairy and legumes. And this stuffing rolls right along with those Paleo restrictions, including nixing the grains.
So, since stuffing’s main ingredients are usually some type of bread – what’s happening here? Well, this delicious concoction imitates that same comforting texturing by adding in mushrooms, apples, and almond flour too. Don’t worry though, there are some seasonings and extra additions such as cranberries and celery that are on the ingredient list as well. Jump on over and snag the recipe to try before the family comes over.
“The best paleo stuffing recipe! Perfect for Thanksgiving or as a healthy grain-free side dish for roast chicken. Made with simple ingredients, you’ll be shocked at how much it tastes like “real stuffing”… but better!” – Cheryl Malik
Nutritional Info: Calories 269 | Calories from Fat 171 | Fat 19g 29% | Carbohydrates 18g 6% | Fiber 5g 21% | Protein 9g 18%
Find this recipe here: 40 Aprons
Healthier Apple Sausage Stuffing
Throw in a few extra ingredients to really make your stuffing shine. And while you are at it, you can mix things up enough to create a “healthier” version. That’s what Erin did with this apple and sausage dish.
The thick chunks of apples and sausage make this less of a bready stuffing and more of an indulgent and satisfying treat. Less bread equates with less useless carbs and although apples include natural carbohydrates …. they’re the good kind! This is a great way to use your harvested apples and sneak some extra nutrients into a dish that the kiddos already love.
“The best parts of Thanksgiving are all the classic side dishes! Serve this homemade healthier apple sausage stuffing and feel free to indulge in family-favorite comfort food.” – Erin from Erin Lives Whole
Nutritional Info: Calories 264
Find this recipe here: Erin Lives Whole
Whole Grain Classic Homemade Stuffing
And we leave you with a classic, homemade stuffing recipe – with a small, healthier twist. It is made with whole grains! This is a recipe that prides itself on keeping tradition and comfort intact but without all the excess butter and white bread.
Olive oil replaced all of the butter and artisan whole grain bread kicked out those white cubes. They also add in a range of other ingredients to add extra flavor including leeks, celery, and onion. It’s also an incredibly easy recipe to follow even for novices in the kitchen or at least novices to the holiday family meal!
“This classic homemade stuffing recipe is a healthy take on the traditional. Featuring whole grain bread and olive oil, it’s even more delicious!” – Sonja and Alex Overhiser from A Couple Cooks
Nutritional Info: Calories 198 | Fat 6.2g 8% | Carbohydrates 30.3g 11% | Fiber 6.8g 24% | Protein .8g 2%
Find this recipe here: A Couple Cooks