Gluten-Free Microbiome Friendly Stuffing with Apple Fennel and Fresh Herbs

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than a savory stuffing dish. While traditional stuffings are carb heavy and definitely not on the microbiome menu we decided that we ought to be able to eat well and feel great too. Our microbiome diet chef, Carole took on the challenge of creating a delicious stuffing that’s good for hosts and guests dedicated to healing their gut, supporting their microbiome and just plain being healthy.

This recipe can be pre-prepared with store-bought gluten-free bread or alternatively with wild rice and quinoa. They both taste great and can be cooked in the turkey or as a casserole.

Recipe serves 8

For the store-bought gluten-free bread version:


1 gluten free sliced white bread, roughly torn into 1” pieces.

1⁄2 cup of olive oil (more if needed)

3 cups roughly chopped onion

2 cups roughly chopped fennel stalks

3 peeled carrots, roughly chopped

3 trimmed large celery stalks, roughly chopped

1 pound white button mushrooms, washed, trimmed and thickly sliced

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 eggs

2 medium apples, peeled and cut into1” chunks

2 cups turkey or chicken stock

1 turkey liver, removed from the bird, sautéed for 5 minutes and cut into 1/2” pieces (optional)

For the wild rice and quinoa version:


2 cups uncooked wild rice

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup raw walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

All of the ingredients used in the gluten-free bread stuffing excluding the bread, eggs and liver.

2 1⁄2 cups additional turkey or chicken stock

Herb Garnish for use with both stuffings:


1⁄2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs: tarragon, thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, and 3 fennel sprays, chopped

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (optional)

Gluten-Free Bread Stuffing Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place the torn bread pieces, in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the pieces over and bake for 15 minutes until very dry.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions, fennel, carrots and celery in it until softened. Add the mushrooms, apple, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Place the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add the vegetable, herb mixture and mix well. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the stock. Pour it on the stuffing and mix.
  7. Add the optional chopped sautéed turkey liver.
  8. Either transfer the stuffing into a 4 quart shallow casserole or into the turkey immediately before roasting. Be sure not to stuff the bird before you are ready to place it in the oven.
  9. For casserole baking, tightly cover with foil and bake 30-35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until the bread is golden and crisp on top.
  10. For serving, mix in half of the chopped herb garnish and sprinkle the top with the remaining chopped herbs and pomegranate seeds.

Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions, fennel, carrots and celery in it until softened. Add the mushrooms, apple, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. When the mixture has softened, add the 2 cups of stock plus the 2 cups of additional turkey or chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the wild rice and lower the heat to medium low. Cook until wild rice has softened, 35-45 minutes.
  4. Add the quinoa and remaining 1⁄2 cup of the stock and cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
  5. Remove from the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Either stuff the bird as per bread stuffing instructions or place in a shallow casserole and bake for 15 minutes. If the wild rice is crunchy add 1/8 cup more stock.
  7. To serve, mix in the nuts and half of the chopped fresh herbs and sprinkle on remaining herbs and pomegranate seeds.

If you’re interested in Dr. Kellman’s Microbiome Diet and Function Medicine in NYC, give us a call today!


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