Gluten-Free Stuffing with Leeks & Goat Cheese

Savory bread pudding meets classic dressing. This Thanksgiving-ready gluten-free stuffing recipe is rich with the flavors of leeks and shallots, toasted bread, herbs, and celery, all offset by tangy chèvre. Thanks to Vermont Creamery for sponsoring this post. 

Gluten-Free Stuffing being served in a pan

Gluten-Free Stuffing: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Side Dish

For me, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. I was never an avid meat-eater and these days I’m mostly vegetarian. So having killer veggie dishes that even satisfy omnivores is a must at any dinner I host. And Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving are the times when dishes like this healthy gluten-free stuffing truly get to shine.

Stuffing is Jay’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition (mashed potatoes are mine) so I took it upon myself to come up with the ultimate gluten-free stuffing for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. Stuffing is essentially savory bread pudding, but the liquid that binds the bread is stock rather than dairy. Egg is sometimes added to hold things together.

This easy stuffing recipe gets richness from Vermont Creamery cultured butter and fresh goat cheese, loads of flavor from aromatics and herbs deglazed with white wine, and meltingly tender leeks and celery. I tested this recipe four times this past month. It’s hearty enough to work as a main dish on its own, but it also makes a classic Thanksgiving side dish.

Tearing bread cubes for gluten-free stuffing recipe

Homemade Gluten-Free Stuffing: Better than Gluten-Free Stuffing Mix in a Box

I recently did a Thanksgiving photo shoot for a client that included making stuffing from a mix. Having never made stuffing from a box before, I didn’t know what was involved. I had planned to saute some onion and celery, stir it into the stuffing mix, put it in the oven, and bake it. But the day of the shoot came and I read the instructions: “Add boiling water and let sit 5 minutes.” That was it!

While I did appreciate the ease of this stuffing mix for the shoot at hand, homemade stuffing is incredibly easy to make and so much more satisfying. It’s a great use for day old bread, and can easily become gluten-free, vegetarian, and if you like, vegan.

Ingredients for easy gluten-free stuffing recipe from scratch

Winning Ingredients for the Best Stuffing Ever

Here’s what you need to make my most delicious, moist, and savory GF stuffing recipe:

  • Bread (more on this below!)
  • Butter cooks the vegetables and dots the lid of the stuffing for a crispy crust.
  • Leeks, shallot, celery, and garlic form a savory, flavorful base.
  • White wine deglazes the pan after cooking the veggies and adds brightness.
  • Parsley, thyme, and sage add that classic Thanksgiving stuffing flavor.
  • Vegetable stock moistens the bread. I prefer this no-chicken bouillon for its neutral flavor, but you can use any stock you like the taste of or homemade if you’ve got it.
  • Just one egg gently holds the stuffing together. You can add an extra egg in place of 1/4 cup of broth if you want a more cohesive stuffing. Or you can leave the egg off entirely and add an additional 1/4 cup of broth for an egg-free stuffing.
  • Crumbled fresh goat cheese makes this stuffing completely unique. It adds tangy richness and creamy texture that gives the stuffing a savory bread pudding vibe. Vermont Creamery’s award-winning goat cheese has an especially clean, fresh taste that compliments the flavors of this stuffing beautifully.

gluten-free sourdough bread toasting for gluten-free dressing recipe

The Best Bread for Gluten-Free Bread Stuffing

I make my Thanksgiving stuffing using gluten-free sourdough bread from Arise Bakery in Northern California. Their gluten-free sourdough boules make an ideal base for this recipe and can be shipped anywhere in the US. But I’ve also made gluten-free stuffing with a good-quality gluten-free white bread such as Canyon Bakehouse.

Whatever bread you start with, cut off any hard crusts if using a rustic loaf. Tearing the bread into pieces rather than cutting cubes forms craggy edges that crisp up beautifully on top. Dry the bread out in the oven and let it get a little bit toasty before tossing it with the other stuffing ingredients.

Cleaning leeks for healthy gluten-free stuffing recipe

Cooking leeks, shallots, and celery for simple gluten-free stuffing recipe

How to Make Stuffing from Scratch

It’s easy to make a healthy stuffing recipe starting with raw ingredients. After you’ve prepared your bread, sauté leeks, shallots, garlic, and celery in butter until tender. Deglaze with white wine to further tenderize the veggies. Then toss all of this with bread and fresh herbs. Whisk together the egg and veggie stock, then fold this into the bread mixture. Let sit 5 minutes to let the bread absorb some liquid.

Now layer the stuffing into a baking dish with some crumbled goat cheese. Dot the top of the stuffing with more butter – this makes the top divinely crispy and bronzed. Some stuffing recipes call for covering the stuffing and baking it at a low temperature. Then you uncover the stuffing, increase the heat, and bake it until the top is crisp.

I take the easy way in this recipe and simply bake the stuffing uncovered at 350º for about 45 minutes. The bottom layer stays moist and tender, the top pieces crisp up, and the cheese gets melty and gooey.

Break through the crispy, craggy crust of this gluten-free stuffing and you’ll uncover a moist and tender middle loaded with veggies and herbs. The warm scent of white wine and fresh herbs perfumes the dish, bringing you back to Thanksgivings and Friendsgivings past.

How to make gluten-free stuffing for Thanksgiving

Layering gluten-free stuffing ingredients in a pan with goat cheese

GF stuffing recipe, ready to bake

Stuffing vs. Dressing – What’s the Difference?

Stuffing is traditionally used to stuff a turkey, whereas dressing is baked in a dish on its own. However, stuffing was always the term family used, always as a stand-alone dish. Stuffing seems to be the more commonly used term today, probably to differentiate “dressing” from salad dressing. So this gluten-free stuffing recipe is also a gluten-free dressing recipe. But whatever you call it, it’s absolutely delicious.

Homemade stuffing from scratch, fresh from the oven

Serving gluten-free thanksgiving stuffing or dressing

Thanksgiving All Year Round

Stuffing is a dish I have only ever eaten on Thanksgiving and, when I’m lucky enough to score some leftovers, the 1-3 days following. But this gluten-free stuffing recipe makes a decent vegetarian main dish thanks to the addition of creamy goat cheese and lots of veggies. I would gladly eat this any day of the week.

Serve this on Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving alongside all the other traditional dishes. Get the recipes for my gluten-free vegetarian Thanksgiving meal here. Or whip this up for an easy weeknight meal the rest of the year. It’s sure to be a hit any day.

Best gluten-free stuffing recipe with goat cheese

A vegetarian gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner:

*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram,  Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free stuffing recipe, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet  and  #bojongourmet.*

Gluten-Free Stuffing being served
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Gluten-Free Stuffing with Leeks & Goat Cheese

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A cross between savory bread pudding and classic stuffing, this Thanksgiving-ready dressing is rich with the flavors of leeks and shallots, toasted bread, herbs, and celery, all offset by tangy chèvre.
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 side dish servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Vermont Creamery unsalted cultured butter, plus 1 tablespoon for topping, plus a little for the pan
  • 12 ounces (340 g) torn 1-inch gluten-free bread pieces (5 - 6 cups, thick crusts removed if using a rustic loaf)
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large celery rib, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup dry white or rosé wine
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
  • a few turns black pepper
  • 1 ¾ cups cool vegetable broth or bouillon dissolved in boiling water (add ¼ teaspoon salt if using unsalted or low-salt broth)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 - 6 ounces Vermont Creamery fresh goat cheese log, in large crumbles

Instructions

  • Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Lightly rub a 9-inch round baking dish or the equivalent with butter.
  • Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until dry and lightly golden, 20-40 minutes depending on the type of bread used. Soft white bread will toast more quickly than heartier breads with whole grain flours, so keep an eye on it.
  • Place the sliced leeks in a large bowl and cover with cool water. Separate the leek rounds to rinse them of any sandy dirt and let sit for 5 minutes, swirling a few times. Any sand should sink to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. When the butter is hot, lift the leeks from their bowl, shaking off excess water, and add to the skillet. Add the shallot, celery, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5-10 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue cooking until evaporated, 2-4 more minutes.
  • Place the dry bread in a large bowl and add the leek mixture along with the parsley, sage, thyme, and pepper.
  • Whisk the egg and broth together to combine, then pour this over the bread mixture. Toss well to combine, then let sit for 5 minutes to absorb a bit of moisture, tossing a few times.
  • Scoop half of the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the crumbled goat cheese. Top with the remaining bread and liquid, then sprinkle with the remaining goat cheese. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter cut into small pieces.
  • Bake the stuffing until the top is golden and crisp and the center is hot, 40-50 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired and serve warm.

Notes

To feed a crowd: double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13-inch baking pan.
If gluten isn't an issue: use any rustic wheat bread you like, such as a sourdough boule or batard.
Make ahead options: The stuffing can be baked the day before, cooled, covered, and chilled. When ready to serve, uncover the stuffing and heat in a 350º oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes. If the stuffing dries out, sprinkle with a bit more vegetable broth to moisten. Alternatively, prepare the bread and vegetables the day before, then assemble and bake the stuffing the day of serving.
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!

More Hearty GF Vegetarian Dishes:

GF stuffing recipe with leeks and goat cheese in a pan

 

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4 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Stuffing with Leeks & Goat Cheese”

  1. Hello Alanna, Happy Thanksgiving to you and thank you all these wonderful recipes and great info! I am planning to make this stuffng at some point it…it looks delicious and so unique. I love the flavor combinations.
    I wanted to thank you also for the reference to Arise Bakery…I got a bread delivery last week and cannot believe how good the sourdough bread is…how fortunate they deliver to the Northeast :)
    I also ordered chestnut flour from Ladd Hill Orchards and I am planning to make your chestnut brownies tonight!

    1. I’m so glad you’re loving Arise – it’s the best isn’t it?! Please let me know how the brownies turn out – they’re quite a favorite from the book! :)