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Roast Turkey at Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the stuffing, gluten-free, of course! In fact, I reckon this cornbread sausage stuffing is the best part of the whole Christmas dinner, but so is the gravy, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce and the medley of vegetables….

Where did I source the recipe?

When I first started making Christmas dinners, my cookery bible was The Silver Palate, a great New York cookbook that published the perfect recipe for cornbread sausage stuffing. 25 years later, I still make their stuffing recipe every Christmas but using gluten-free ingredients and some extra seasoning.

Essential ingredients needed for this recipe:

Besides the usual ingredients of butter, dried herbs, salt & pepper, the essential ingredients needed may seem like a long list, but this cornbread stuffing needs these quintessential ingredients to make the very best stuffing that you will never forget!

  • yellow onions
  • red apples – a few good varieties are gala, fuji or pink lady.
  • dried cranberries
  • gluten-free sausages or sausage meat: choose a breakfast or Cumberland sausage variety and remove the meat from the sausage casings if you are unable to find loose sausage meat. Alternatively, if you have a meat mincer attachment on your benchtop stand mixer, grind equal amounts of pork shoulder and belly into a coarse blend.
  • store-bought or homemade gluten-free cornbread muffins

A close up of several cornbread muffins stacked up on a plate

  • heaps of fresh thyme, sage & parsley
  • pecan nuts
Ingredients needed to make the gluten-free cornbread sausage stuffing
Some Tips
  • I use a big wok to cook down the onions and caramelise the apples. Don’t reduce the cooking time. It needs this time to cook down the onions and caramelise the apples beautifully.
  • Once the sausage is no longer pink, the stuffing is ready. Don’t overcook it. Remember it will cook more in the oven.
  • Try to make the stuffing one day before actually stuffing your turkey as the flavours will develop more and it is one less thing to do on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Day.
  • Alternatively, you could make it in advance and freeze it until you need it.
  • Bake the cornbread and sandwich bread in advance. Break them into pieces and freeze them until needed.
  • Should you have leftover stuffing after stuffing your turkey, make a side dish: Add a lightly beaten egg to the stuffing, mix well and fill a heatproof dish, pressing down with the back of a spoon. Add several butter pieces on top. Cover with foil and place in a Bain Marie (larger tray of hot water). Bake this dish for 30 minutes at 180°C/350°F.
A tray of gluten-free cornbread sausage stuffing in a bain marie tray ready to be baked with some butter pieces on top

Gluten-Free Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
Thanksgiving and Christmas meals would not be complete without this festive stuffing made with gluten-free cornbread, gluten-free bread, caramelised onions & apples, sausage meat, pecans and tons of fresh & dried herbs.
While preparing the stuffing, the smell is incredible and tempting to nibble at, perfect to set you in a festive mood!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Soaking Cranberries 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Festive, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Christmas, Thanksgiving
Servings 12 servings


Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing

  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 150 ml whisky, rum or apple juice to soak the dried cranberries in for 30 minutes
  • 60 g butter
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil optional
  • 3 yellow onions, chopped finely
  • 3 red apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 500 g gluten-free sausages or sausage meat, crumbled Remove the sausage skin and discard
  • 400 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free cornbread muffins, crumbled coarsely
  • 60 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free white sandwich bread, crumbled (about 2-3 slices)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, stripped from the stem
  • 3 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 100 g pecans, halved
  • 1 tsp salt (add less if your sausages are salty)
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

As a side dish

  • 1 egg
  • olive oil, to grease the oven dish
  • 50 g butter, cut into medium pieces



  • Plan ahead by baking the homemade gluten-free cornbread muffins earlier and soaking the dried cranberries in the whisky, rum or apple juice for 30 mins.
    A close up of several cornbread muffins stacked up on a plate
  • Gather, measure and chop all the ingredients listed.
    Ingredients needed to make the gluten-free cornbread sausage stuffing
  • Melt half the butter gently and fry the onions on medium-low heat. Cover with a lid for 20 mins, stirring from time to time. If using a heavy-bottom or cast iron pan, set the heat to medium.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and add the remainder of the butter and the apple chunks. Allow the apples to caramelise stirring often for 10 mins without the lid on.
  • Add the sausage meat to the pan and stir constantly for 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking. Should the mixture appear too dry, add the olive oil.
  • Drain the dried cranberries from the soaking liquid and add them to the pan together with the cornbread, sandwich bread, fresh & dried herbs, spices and pecans. Add some or all of the soaking liquid to the stuffing if it appears too dry. This adds extra flavour to the stuffing as the cranberry liquid is absorbed by the cornbread and other ingredients.
    A close up photo of the complete gluten-free cornbread sausage stuffing
  • Add the salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper and continue cooking over medium heat for 5 mins, stirring often.
    The gluten-free cornbread sausage stuffing complete after frying, ready to be used as stuffing
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool down before stuffing the turkey. Chill or freeze any leftover stuffing in sealed containers, or make a side dish as instructed below.

As a side dish

  • If serving it separately as a side dish, add a lightly beaten egg to the stuffing, mix well and the stuffing to a greased shallow oven dish.
  • Press down the stuffing with the back of a spoon and top the stuffing with several pieces of butter and place the oven dish in a larger tray.
  • Pour some boiling water into the larger tray until it reaches halfway up the sides of the oven dish. Cover the oven dish with some foil and bake for 30 mins at 180°C/350°F.
    A tray of gluten-free cornbread sausage stuffing in a bain marie tray ready to be baked with some butter pieces on top


  • Keeps for 3 days chilled
  • Suitable to freeze for 6 month
If using dried herbs rather than fresh herbs, halve the quantities needed in the recipe.
Keyword gluten-free cornbread muffins, gluten-free cornbread stuffing, gluten-free stuffing, gluten-free turkey stuffing
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