Thanksgiving Stuffing

Let’s recap the weekend. It was really fun. Friday night I went to bed at 9 after I rolled out on lacrosse ball on my living room floor while watching Keeping up with the Kardashians. Thrilling, I tell you. But it was needed. I had to get up extra early on Saturday morning to get my butt to MBS CrossFit for their Turkey Challenge. Super fun competition in a super awesome gym. No seriously, it’s in an airplane hanger. How freakin cool is that? Well, it was a really wonderful day. Colorado CrossFit athletes are pretty damn awesome. I got to see so many great athletes, some really good looking people, AND readers of my blog. So cool. Finding out people have actually tried some of MY recipes really means the world to me. Ok, now I’m just being emotional. I hate emotions.

But the real excitement of the day (other than eating a bag of dark chocolate almonds and a pint of coconut milk ice cream after the competition) were the half naked men. That’s the best part of CrossFit, right? Extremely good looking people taking off their clothes while lifting heavy objects and throwin down. Right. Good looking people should just never wear shirts. Just kidding…kind of. You know what good looking people should definitely not wear though? Five fingers. Oh sh*t, I just offended the hell out of some people reading this. CrossFitters love five fingers. They think they become incredibly quick, more nimble, and one with the earth. In my opinion, your shoes make me uncomfortable. Seeing a good looking guy with a fit bod then seeing his wiggly little toes in those shoes really makes me nervous. Legit nervous. I wore toe socks on Christmas day when I was 6 and found them in my stocking. It was cute then, and funny. It’s not cute now. I don’t care if your feet issues went away when you got them, you still look like a creeper. Get some minimal shoes that don’t put your toes on display like a porn star. That last sentence made sense in my brain.

Moving on. Holy sh*t, I’m full. I just ate a lot. Far too much. I guess that’s what Thanksgiving is all about though, right? I know, that’s wrong. Thanksgiving is all about pumpkin pie. But I had to come up with Thanksgiving recipes so I could fit in with all the other paleo bloggers out there. BUT, if you are looking for some fancy turkey recipes, don’t think you’re going to find them here. I honestly don’t give a sh*t about turkey. Thanksgiving, to me, is all about the comfort food. The side dishes. And the dessert. So that’s what you will be getting in the next 3 days. Two sides and one dessert.


Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing


  • 1lb ground pork sausage
  • 5 pieces of bacon, diced
  • 5 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 yellow sweet potato (is that a yam? or a sweet potato? whatever.)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 container of mushrooms, diced
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil, throw diced sweet potatoes/yams on it, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, then set aside.
  2. While those cook, pull out a large skillet, place it under medium-high heat and place chopped bacon in it to begin to cook down. When some of the fat has seeped out and bacon has begun to cook, add your chopped apples, celery, and onions.
  3. When onions begin to become translucent, add ground pork and mushrooms and your white wine vinegar. Let that cook down until pork is almost completely cooked through. You will be placing it in the oven so you want it pretty close to done. (If you’re not sure how long that will be, use your eyes. Pink meat is not what we want here people.) Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Once the sausage is all done, add mixture to a bowl to cool. Now beat your eggs, add to your sausage mixture, and add your chicken broth, along with your sweet potatoes, pecans, and dried cranberries. Mix well.
  5. You can now either use a 9×13 baking dish to place your stuffing in OR place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Either way will work.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until everything is a bit browned.
  7. Eat it up!!!! OMG OMG, its so good. Laura gave it a 9.

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The pictures don’t do it justice. So good. Just ate it for breakfast.

Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


101 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Stuffing”

  1. This is printing out right now to get posted at my box. We're in the middle of a paleo/Zone challenge (I know, mean to do over the holidays) and people have been asking how to do Thanksgiving healthily. Thanks for giving me an answer I can give them! I'm not very smart but I know where the smart people blog 🙂

    Glad I had the chance to tell you in person that I appreciate your blog (while you waited your turn in line for the bathroom – I thought I heard sobbing from in there. Now I know it was you getting all emotional. Don't go getting all emotional again now. I hate that!)

  2. LOVE the pornstar reference…so funny and totally how I feel! Five fingers weird me out…at first it took me a minute to figure out what you were talking about bc I try to avoid everythign and anything to do with that fad…those toe socks…I owned one pair and it was just weird separating all of your toes..eeeek! Glad you enjoyed the cross fit challenge! I looooovee airport hangers!

  3. Nice! Right in time for the holiday! I was just looking for something to meet that craving and this will most likely, no, definitely be made soon!

  4. Damn Juli this recipe sounds delish! I'm not a big fan of hot fruit, sorry grandma, but the rest of this is right up my alley, or down it, whatever your preference. Like the rest of your friendly blog followers, this is going in my stomach soon. Thanks.

  5. Aaron, it was so nice getting to officially meet you even though I've seen you around the CF scene many times. Thank you so much for all your comments and support!

    Glad you understood the porn comment Ellexo!!

    Try it out Jason. Hot fruit and all. Just do it.

    So I just smile–try it out!!! And let me know what you think!

  6. Juli, I dont even remember how I found your blog/this recipe but I'm really glad I did. This was my contribution to the family Tgiving dinner and was definitely the most popular. I however am not so popular right now because I finished off the leftovers for breakfast…screw them, it was worth it!

  7. Jimmy!! Thanks so much for checking out my blog and HUGE thank you for actually trying a recipe!! Glad it was a hit 🙂

  8. It was a Paleomg weekend for me. Made the Delicata Chicken testerday (I expressed my adoration for you about that one on that page 🙂 ) and today I made this one. We have to come up with another name for this though. It's potentially a meal unto itself (I did eat it with leftovers from yesterday) and 'stuffing' implies a side dish. No body puts Baby in the corner!

  9. Don’t you have any concerns about eating pork? I do….has so much junk in it. I like it, and this stuffing dish would BE my calorie allotment, unless I was able to contain it to a tablespoon! Anyway, we have up pork a few years ago, after reading The Maker’s Diet.

  10. Thanks so much for this gorgeous recipe! It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, and i texted the ingredients in to my husband, and we made it less than an hour later – delicious! AND it fed my whole family (i have eight children!) with leftovers – it’s all gone today, and we will be making it again for sure :)… Thanks for making a paleo Thanksgiving even more special 🙂

  11. I totally made it this past weekend too! Yum!! I am supposedly not supposed to have eggs due to a slow reaction allergy I have to them. How might I be able to filter through some of these delicious recipes that don’t have eggs in them? I still ate this though and felt fine. Yipeee! And it was very tasty 🙂

  12. wowoooowwww!!! best stuffing i ever had, hands down!!! just ate it again for breakfast!!! it was a hit at dinner!! i think ill be making this year round! thanks guys

  13. So so yum! I made it with yam instead of yellow sweet potato. I may double the yam (or do 1 of each) next time. Also, I didn’t love the bacon, but I think it’s cuz I didn’t cook it long enough – it never got charred and crispy. I’m thinking of contributing this to my (non-paleo) family thanksgiving dinner! Thanks!!!

  14. I absolutely agree with you about the 5 fingers. Can’t stand them. Want to stomp on peoples feet and ask them why? Why wear shoes that are so “close” to being barefoot when you could just, you know, go BAREFOOT!?

  15. I sooo want to make this for our Paleo Thanksgiving this year, but I’m allergic to mushrooms (weird, I know). Is there a good sub for them, or should I just leave them out?

    1. This all sounds amazing, but I hate mushrooms…my chef husband says to sub peeled, cubed eggplant. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Super excited about trying this for our Thanksgiving! Got some non-Paleo eaters we’re sure to impress. Any chance this can be pre made and then just heat through or just buck up and cook it the day of Thanksgiving?

  17. Found this recipe on Pinterest (weird, huh?…recipes on Pinterest???) Anywho, I am definitely making this for my dear family on Thanksgiving. Thanks for the super original recipe that I can feel proud to share with the ones I love most!

    1. I just saw your other reply – 4-5 servings.

      Also, I am thinking about baking the stuffing IN the cavity of halved squash. Thought? DO YOu think that will work? THANKS!!!

  18. so chose this over someother recipes that seemed a little over the top on some other paleo sites and I am oh so happy i did! My dad and I are both allergic to so many things that Paleo seems to be the only way of cooking that works for us, we found your blog not to long ago and LOVE the recipes on here! tonight was a practice run for thanksgiving thursday and wow are we excited. we used walnuts instead of pecans since my dad can’t have them, but soooooooooo delicious

  19. You’re probably not going to answer this today, which you shouldn’t. Because you should be doing something fun and family-ish instead of answering blog questions but I’m going to ask anyway. My pork is no good. Can I make this without or should I just give up?

  20. I just Meade this for Thanksgiving, it replaced regular bread stuffing. I loved it! I can’ t have nuts so just left them out. It was still fantastic!

  21. This stuffing came out tasting amazing! Not your typical sliceable dish in case that’s what you were looking for. More like “Thanksgiving Hash”. Its amazing the next morning with eggs. Just heat some of the stuffing in a skillet, make a well in the center and crack an egg into it. Cover it for a few minutes to let it cook. Its amazing!

  22. I made this for thanksgiving and it was such a hit! I can’t stop eating it! I did add carrots and garlic to the recipe though just for the heck of it. And named it meat lovers stuffing for the benefit of my family, who think if it’s paleo I’m trying to put them on a diet. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog.

    1. Oh phew! I’m so glad someone added some garlic and carrots… I was just getting all my veggies ready and I was thinking… Hmm…weird. NO GARLIC?!?!? and what about carrots? Not used to using celery but no carrots. Think I’ll follow in your footsteps 🙂

  23. Made this for thanksgiving this year. I loved it! Thank you for helping to make my thanksgiving manageable as I had to take much of my own food, so I could eat something at this “traditional table.”

  24. Epic win!!!! I ran the sweet potato through the food processor and sauteed it in bacon fat for a few minutes, rather than dicing and baking. Another fantastic recipe – thanks 🙂

  25. Juli,
    Back to pick up this recipe again. We had it for Thanksgiving and it was so wonderful we ALL loved it. My granddaughter is alergic to pork and eggs so we made it with turkey saugage and bacon and without the eggs and it was SPECTACULAR!
    Today, I’m going to bake it in acorn squash halves. But I’m going for the pork since it’s just my husband and me.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  26. I’m new to Paleo and have been craving stuffing since Nov. 1st.
    This was amazing. I will not be missing bread stuffing at all.
    ….Can you add all your recipes to MyFitnessPal? Pretty please.

  27. Sharon Redig Madison

    Susan, I’m allergic to eggs, so I’m going to make it without. I don’t think it will need them. When baking, I use applesauce to substitute.

  28. christina barrett

    What would be an acceptable substitution for the sweet potatoes? Acorn squash? Or, carrots?? Using sweet potatoe in another recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks!

  29. Can I stuff a turkey with this and if so, would you suggest preparing it any differently since it will be slow cooked inside the turkey? Thanks!

  30. OK, couple of things:

    I find it very hard to believe that you are a bad dancer.

    Also, this recipe wins because bacon.

    Also also wik, do you think that this recipe will hold up well with another meat choice instead of sausage? Say Salmon, fer instance?

  31. Julie, Thank you so much for this blog and all your great recipes. I, in a moment of total last minute Turkey Day anxiety, was looking for a gluten free alternative to Stuffing. Of course I am doing this at work. WELL, I found your wonderful blog and laughed so hard the guy in the office next to me came to see what was so funny. Thanks for the giggles. I can’t wait to try this stuffing recipe!!

  32. First off, let me say that I discovered this last Thanksgiving and have made it about 5 times since. It is just delightful and goes great with turkey! Also is a great main course. I did double the sweet potatoe, but other than that, kept it the same. This has become part of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions! Enjoy!

  33. This was SO delicious. Made it today for Thanksgiving and even my bread-loving relatives loved it. I didn’t have pork sausage, so I used chopped Aidell’s chicken sausage instead. Thanks, Juli! Your recipes are always great.

  34. Thanks for this recipe. I brought this to a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner and it was a hit! I’ll definitely make this again (with a note to self – buy shelled pecans next time). Also lovin’ your blog.

  35. This is my first Thanksgiving since I started eating paleo, and I was so worried about missing out on things like rolls and stuffing. This stuffing ROCKS!!! Even my parents, who look at me funny when I tell them about the “strange” stuff I eat gave it a big thumbs up. I did use an orange sweet potato and I only had apple cider vinegar on hand, but OMG! I am making more tonight… (with a touch of fresh sage)

  36. I made a hybrid version of this and your other stuffing recipes. Both were awesome. I doubled it and served a non-paleo version alongside the good stuff for bread-loving family. Also ate for breakfast this am. Cold. yumbo.

    A = The sausage “base” of sausage, celery, onion, fresh mushrooms and a little chopped apple.

    B1 = Roasted root vegetables – yam, squash, carrot and rutabaga.

    B2 (for bread-loving family) Batch of cornbread, crumbled.

    C = Roasted, chopped pecans and dried cranberries

    Combine ABC and using chicken broth, moisten to taste, then place in a baking pan and heat, uncovered at 375 about 20 mins.

  37. Hi, this looks delicious! Could you recommend a replacement for the apple in this stuffing? Apple = death for me lol but I need a wheat-free stuffing for this weekend. I’m thinking zucchini but if you have a better idea I’d be glad to hear it!

    Cheers, Nat.

  38. This was very tasty, especially when it sat for a while and all the flavors mixed. In fact, my hubby wanted me to make it again for Christmas! Thanks!

  39. I made this for Christmas, so good! My mother in law who is in no way paleo loved it and asked for the recipe. This will be a staple for Christmas or thanksgiving meals. Thanks!

  40. is there a specific kind of apple you recommend using? I have granny smiths and I have royal gala in my kitchen right now. those are two very very different types of apples so I wonder which I should use? the granny smith are very “tart”.

  41. This is a oh-so-yummy fantastic and forgiving recipe! Our family of 4 gobbled up the whole thing as a main course. I also made it using leftover goose…crazy good. This will be a holiday staple for us. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  42. WoW!!!! this was delicious!!! my hard to please husband who has a hard time eating paleo says he didn’t miss the bread and I could make this for thanksgiving for sure. I served mine with pan roasted pork chops. Thanks again Julie

  43. I made this once as written and it was basically the best food in history. Now I have to make a version without any dried fruit. Have you/anyone tried without the cranberries? How is it?

  44. Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!! We have been making this every Thanksgiving since you posted it and we are seriously IN LOVE!!!! Ridiculous. ReeDICulous!!!! 🙂

  45. This is my favorite food. Ever. I would choose this over cheesecake. I make this once a week and just made it last night as a shephard’s pie (mashed the sweet potato) and it’s heaven on earth.

    Bless you, sweet lady. This is a seriously life changing website.

  46. This was VERY disappointing! It was inedible. Glad I had a back up. I really don’t understand the raves–it sounded good, bu after making it I can’t imagine it tasting good–greasy, mushy, and the vinegar?

  47. This was basically one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Everything about the dish works. It was A M A Z I N G! The leftovers were just as good as when it came out of the oven. I love love love this dish. I want to make it everyday. Seriously. I think I could eat this everyday.

  48. For those of you asking about making this ahead, I have made this for Thanksgiving every year since Juli posted it (yes, I’m obsessed), and it really is better if baked the day-of Thanksgiving. However, I think I’ve come up with a way to pre-make some of the elements the day before, then finish it in the oven on Thanksgiving. The day before, I roast the sweet potatoes and make the pork mixture (complete with the onions, celery, mushrooms, and vinegar). I store the sweet potatoes and the pork mixture separately, in the fridge, overnight. I chop the pecans and measure out the cranberries, and put them in jars for easy use the next day. A couple of hours before dinner, I beat the eggs and add them to the pork mixture, then add the chicken broth, cranberries, pecans, and sweet potatoes, and bake. It crisps up and warms through nicely in time for dinner. Make this! You will not be sorry!

  49. There are sooooo many paleo stuffing recipes out there – it’s overwhelming. I decided to make this one as part of my weekly meal prep leading up to Thanksgiving since I wanted to try it, but wasn’t sure if my guests would appreciate stuffing without any bread or bread substitute.

    OMG – I am now debating making more just for Thanksgiving. I am seriously blown away by how good this is! I thought it would just be a root veggie hash… but it tastes EXACTLY like stuffing! I did add some sage, thyme, and rosemary and delicata squash, but I followed the rest of the recipe exactly.

    Last year I made a paleo stuffing that required making almond/coconut flour bread and it was meh. This is seriously so much better. If you’re on the fence… MAKE IT!

  50. Juli! I have literally made this every year since you published it and yup – still bomb. The only changes I have ever made are no celery (not a fan) and fresh rosemary. Always such a hit!! I didn’t host this year so (greedily) I made it for myself tonight and I’m so excited to eat it all week. Heh. 😀

  51. Have been making this for years now and it’s become a favorite! Who would’ve thought I’d be a convert from good old cornbread based dressing! Yes, we call it dressing because we it’s not stuffed the bird! 😝
    I add carrots and some fresh thyme as well, yum!!
    It’s also awesome as leftovers, so be sure to make a big batch!
    Thanks so much for this recipe!

  52. Just want to say I’ve been making this recipe every year for several years and even though my brain remembers I love it even more than traditional bread stuffing, it isn’t til I take a bite that I really REALLY remember how amazing it is. This year I remembered to half the recipe though, cooking for 2 the full batch is way too big! I don’t follow a paleo diet per se but my ex introduced me to this recipe when he was, and as a lifelong stuffing fan, this took it to the next level. I’ve introduced it to many non-paleo folks who have been amazed at how good it is as well. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  53. First time making this and LOVED it! I ended up only using bacon…we thought we had sausage and the store was closed by the time we realized we didn’t…so we used more bacon instead and it was AMAZING! I made a very large batch and am so happy to have leftovers!!! Will definitely make this again soon and will include sausage this time!

  54. This is my tried and true Thanksgiving recipe that I make every year. I still laugh at the photo you posted of it Juli. You’ve come a long way in your photography girl. Some of your oldest recipes are still my favorite though! Thank you!

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