Apple-Cranberry Holiday Stuffing

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It has been awhile since I have had a recipe to post on the blog – truth be told I have been so busy cooking for the cookbook photo shoots that I have not had time for developing new recipes. Since the shoots ended a couple of weeks ago, I have been hard at work coming up with new ideas for the holiday season, starting with this holiday stuffing!

This recipe is the perfect addition to any traditional holiday meal. In my last two seasons of eating grain-free, I hosted mostly AIP holiday meals, but I did have someone else bring the conventional stuffing because I didn’t think I could make anything comparable. This year, I finally figured out how to make a delicious stuffing using cauliflower rice as the base. It has fresh green apples and cranberries, along with bacon, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and celery, spiced with cinnamon and rosemary. The texture of this stuffing is great, and it has the perfect blend of sweet holiday spice and tart flavors. It can be served on its own as a side, or used to stuff a turkey or Cornish game hens. This recipe also makes a fair amount, so don’t be afraid to halve it if your crowd isn’t very large.

I will be happily serving this instead of traditional stuffing this year, and I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine does!

Apple-Cranberry Holiday Stuffing
Apple-Cranberry Holiday Stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8 as a side dish
Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 1" squares
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, cut into halves
  • ¾ cup bone broth
  • 4 slices pastured bacon
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon solid cooking fat
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1½ heads of cauliflower, processed in a food processor until it forms "rice" sized granules
  • 1 green apple, cut into 1" squares
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sweet potatoes, cranberries, and bone broth in a large baking dish. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once to ensure even cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon slices in a skillet on medium heat, turning when needed, until they are crispy. When they are finished, remove and let cool, leaving the fat in the pan.
  3. Add the onion and celery, and cook for 8 minutes, or until beginning to brown.
  4. Add the garlic and rosemary, and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove the onion mixture from the pan into a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Add the solid cooking fat and the mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms are browned.
  6. Add the cauliflower "rice", and cook, stirring for five minutes. Set aside.
  7. When the sweet potato mixture is finished cooking, remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 425 degrees. Add the cauliflower mixture, the onion mixture, the apple as well as the cinnamon and sea salt to the sweet potato mixture and stir to combine. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, and serve warm.
Notes
Note: If you are using this to stuff a turkey, skip the last 10 minutes of cooking - it will have plenty of time in the oven with the bird!

 

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a cook and one of the bloggers behind Autoimmune Paleo. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, a guide and recipe book for the autoimmune protocol, and AIP Batch Cook, a video-based batch cooking program. You also can find her on Instagram.

62 comments

  • Liz Hochman says

    HI! GReat recipe. Can’t wait to make it. What do you mean by “riced” cauliflower. And when you say 1.5 heads does that mean 1 cauliflower plus another half.Also, for the cooking fat, what do you recommend for dairy free options?
    Thanks,
    Liz

    • Mickey says

      Liz,
      Thanks for reminding me, I forgot to add the note! It is super simple – just place the cauliflower in a food processor and process until it forms “rice” sized granules. I have to do it in batches since my food processor is so small. The recipe calls for one and a half heads of cauliflower (although if you only have one that will be fine, it just won’t have as much “rice”). For solid cooking fat, coconut oil, duck fat, lard, or tallow are all good options. Good luck!

    • Melody Turner says

      Thanks for asking this!

  • Kaitlyn says

    I will definitely be having this stuffing this Thanksgiving, and I can’t wait! Thanks for solving the stuffing issue. Also, I’m really glad this recipe has bacon :]

  • omg this looks so delicious! im going to try it for sure. we already had thansgiving here in canada…but im trying this for our next wholechicken sunday dinner. I made dressing for everyone thisbyearr but wenr without 8t in my plate. having thia as an option would be great
    I miss dressing the most.

  • Marni says

    This looks amazing. Our Canadian thanksgiving has already passed, however, I will make it for Christmas … and maybe once before. :)

  • Becca says

    Hi Mickey,
    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I love love love your cookbook.
    I live in Australia and we can’t get fresh cranberries here unfortunately.
    I’m wondering. What I could substitute? And also in your ribs recipe in your?
    Cheers
    Becca

    • Mickey says

      Becca,
      That is too bad, Cranberries are so delicious! I would use something slightly sweet and tart, like huckleberries or currants. You could also toss in dried fruit, like raisins. For the ribs recipe, you can use frozen if they are available to you. If not, I would make it with orange juice and zest instead of the cranberries. Good luck!

  • Cait says

    I’m new to the paleo diet, and I’d love to make this stuffing for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner! It’s great that there are so many people coming out with great recipes nowadays for paleo dieter’s. Like you, I have hashi’s and this is what led me to paleo. I’ve known about it for a year or so, but until now haven’t had the courage to sincerely try it. Anyway, I was wondering if you could tell me about your experience with weight? I wasn’t seriously concerned with my weight gain until recently figuring out I’m right imbetween overweight and obese. Hearing the word “obese” sounds scary and makes me feel like I’ve let myself go too far. My goal is to eventually lose weight and I don’t want to gain more (I’m not entirely happy with the way I look), but I’d rather lose it gradually and now I feel pressure from myself and others to drop a bunch of pounds now.

    • Mickey says

      Hi Cait,
      I am not the best person to ask about weight issues – although I am hypothyroid, I never experienced the weight gain that others have. Have you checked out thepaleomom.com and paleoparents.com? Both those ladies have extensive experience with paleo, AIP and weightloss. Their podcast is a goldmine of info in this department. Best of luck to you!

  • Mickylou says

    Would love a printer-friendly version! I don’t see a button for that.

  • Lori Knowles says

    Thanks for posting this!!! This is my first Holiday meal being AIP and I was wondering what I would do for a stuffing alternative! You are a blessing and your book has helped me tremendously.

  • […] our next big holiday–Thanksgiving–I found this apple-cranberry holiday stuffing which sounds amazing, and a grain-free, Karo-free pecan pie, which I can’t wait to try. My […]

  • Melissa says

    Made this already!! Yummy!!

  • […] Apple Cranberry Holiday Stuffing from Autoimmune Paleo […]

  • Kelly says

    Hi Mickey, I’m really excited to make this for my T-day dinner. Do you think I could do some of the steps ahead of time and assemble everything the day of and heat for the final 10 minutes? Or do you not recommend this. Just trying to maximize my time on Thursday. Thanks!

    • Mickey says

      Hi Kelly,
      Yes you can definitely chop everything and “rice” the cauliflower the day before. You should cook it partially ahead of time – the sweet potatoes and cranberries would be ideal. Then I would do everything in the skillet and the final baking just before you serve. If you are really in a pinch you could just cook it all and then heat up, but I think it would taste best if the cauli rice was freshly made. Best of luck to you!

  • Gabi says

    This looks so delicious! I will have to try making this next week. It’s been too long since I’ve had cauliflower…

  • […] Apple Cranberry Holiday Stuffing from Autoimmune Paleo […]

  • Lori says

    Can you use a blender to make the cauli rice? If so, how do you do it and keep the rice texture (without liquifying it). I am new to using a blender and I don’t have a food processor. Thank you for your response.

    • Mickey says

      No, it won’t work in a blender! I would mince it with a knife very finely. It is way more work but you will ruin it in a blender!

  • […] Apple-Cranberry Holiday Stuffing by Autoimmune Paleo […]

  • Joy says

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I am so excited to try it on Thursday . I have a question regarding the bacon. I just made the dish ( I am getting a head start on my cooking for the holiday), the bacon slices that we use, is it for the cooking fat only? Or is the bacon a garnish that we sprinkle on top? Or do we crumble it & mix it in with all the other ingredients? I am very happy about the bacon, just not sure how to use it in the dish. Thanks again for posting, have a great Holiday :-))

    • Mickey says

      The bacon gets crumbled up and sprinkled on top, in addition to using the fat!

      • carrie says

        Do you crumble bacon on top before the final 10 minutes in the oven or after it is completely done cooking? Also, what size baking dish do you use?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Carrie, yes the bacon goes on top, and I use a large 11 x 13 inch dish. Good luck!

          • carrie says

            Thanks for the quick reply, but i was wondering if the bacon goes on top before or after the final 10 minutes in the oven?

          • Mickey Trescott says

            Carrie,
            Add the crumbled bacon to the top at the end!

    • Charlotte says

      Thanks for asking since I was wondering the same thing! Excited to try this!

  • Jenny says

    I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday. It was ok. You must be using tiny heads of cauliflower, because I had a HUGE batch- way more than 6-8 servings as you say. We found the cauliflower overpowering. Worthy of another try, though, with less cauliflower. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Tina says

    Loved this recipe! We had it for Thanksgiving and it was wonderful! Thank you!

  • Carla says

    I just made this for dinner tonight. It was good. I didnt like the cinnamon in it though. So I will leave that out next time. I also had a small head of cauliflower and just used about 3/4 of it.

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  • Debbie says

    Does the bacon go back into the mixture somewhere along the way or is it just for th bacon fat??

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  • Beth says

    Thanks once again for an excellent stuffing recipe that carried me through the holidays. I’ve had to eliminate the bacon and mushrooms and the recipe was still delicious! My family loved it more than the traditional holiday stuffing.

    Happy New Year to you!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Beth,
      Thanks for the feedback! HNY to you as well!

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