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Flavorful Gluten Free Apple Stuffing is loaded with crispy bacon, salty cheddar cheese, and sweet apples for crunch. It’s so delicious it’ll make you forget about box mixes or your plain old versions. Easily made in advance, this will be your new favorite Thanksgiving stuffing recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Bacon Apple Stuffing Recipe
Every holiday turkey needs a good stuffing recipe to go along with it, and this is one of my favorites. Here’s why you’ll love this flavorful and filling apple stuffing:
- So flavorful. I love all of the flavors in this stuffing, from the sharp bite of the cheddar to the sweet apples to the salty bacon to the earthy sage!
- Gluten-free. As mentioned, all you need to make gluten-free stuffing is a box of gluten-free stuffing mix. All of the rest of the ingredients are already naturally gluten-free.
- Perfect for Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for the best gluten free stuffing to serve for Thanksgiving dinner, look no further! This apple stuffing goes wonderfully with roast turkey and all of your favorite sides.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a rundown of all the ingredients in this gluten free apple stuffing recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.
- Gluten-Free Stuffing Mix: You can use your preferred brand, just make sure it’s plain.
- Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter but you can use salted butter if needed.
- Onion: Use a sweet onion, like a yellow or white onion.
- Salt and Pepper
- Apples: Use a firm cooking apple like Granny Smith.
- Sage: Fresh sage is best here, but if needed you can use dried sage.
- Chicken Stock: Or you can use vegetable stock.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: For me, the sharper the cheddar, the better! But choose your level of sharpness for this recipe depending on your tastes.
- Sage or Parsley: Optional, for garnish.
How to Make Gluten Free Apple Stuffing
You can see my method for making this stuffing below. For detailed instructions, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a baking dish.
- Cook the bacon. Cook the bacon until crispy then drain on a paper towel.
- Cook the onion and apples. Add the butter to the skillet with the remaining bacon grease. Cook the onion with salt and pepper until soft. Cook the apples in the skillet and add the sage.
- Combine the ingredients. Place the stuffing mix in a large mixing bowl, and add the onion-apple mixture and bacon. Add the stock and the egg, then mix in the cubed cheddar.
- Arrange. Place the stuffing in the baking dish and sprinkle cheese evenly over the top.
- Bake. Cover and bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes then uncover and bake until the top is lightly browned.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips that will help you make the perfect gluten free apple stuffing:
- Make it dairy-free. Substitute olive oil for the butter if you wish to make a dairy-free version of this stuffing, and omit the cheddar cheese or use a non-dairy cheddar cheese.
- Try a different cheese. Cheddar and apples are a perfect pairing! However, other flavorful cheeses will work in this recipe. You could try pepper Jack or Gruyere cheese in place of the cheddar.
- Go vegetarian. Bacon is a major ingredient in this stuffing, but if you want to try a vegetarian version it will be just as good! You can either skip the bacon altogether or use a vegetarian bacon substitute. And make sure to use vegetable broth rather than chicken broth.
- Prepare the stuffing in advance. This recipe takes very well to being prepared the day before you serve it, making it helpful during the Thanksgiving rush.
Make It A Meal
Stuffing is the clear choice for a Thanksgiving dinner! But you’ll want to round out the table with more classic side dishes. Here are some suggestions for how to serve gluten free apple stuffing:
- Turkey. This is the ideal pairing with apple stuffing! Follow my Herb Roasted Turkey recipe to make your perfect holiday turkey.
- With gravy. Make a creamy batch of gluten free gravy to pour over your apple stuffing! Try my flavorful Apple Cider Gravy recipe for a treat. My Gluten Free Turkey Gravy is also lovely.
- Vegetable casseroles. Casseroles are perfect on the Thanksgiving table along with stuffing. My Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, or Corn Pudding Casserole are nice choices.
- Salad. Make a light meal of leftover stuffing and a big salad! Try my Winter Salad or Easy Greek Salad recipes for a serving of fresh vegetables.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Stuffing makes great leftovers! Here’s how to store and rewarm it:
- Fridge – Place leftover stuffing in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat – To reheat apple stuffing, you can place it in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and reheat it in the oven at 350°F until it’s heated through and slightly crisp. The foil will help keep the stuffing from drying out as it reheats.
Gluten Free Apple Stuffing
- 6 cups plain Gluten-Free Stuffing Mix (about 10-12 ounces)
- 4 ounces bacon (about 4-5 slices)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ large sweet onion, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 medium apples peeled and chopped into about 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces), cut into about 1/4-inch cubes
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces), shredded
- Sage or parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a 2-quart baking dish with oil or cooking spray.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan to cool and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
- Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pan, and add the butter.
- Once the butter has melted, add the onion, salt, and pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften, scraping up any of the bits that may remain from cooking the bacon.
- Add the apples, and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the sage, turn off the heat, and set aside (can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator).
- Empty the bag(s) of stuffing mix to a large mixing bowl, and add the onion-apple mixture. Crumble in the reserved bacon. Stir to incorporate.
- Add the chicken or vegetable stock, then stir in the egg.
- Gently stir in the cubed cheddar cheese, and transfer the stuffing to the baking dish, pressing it down slightly.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the stuffing.
- Cover with a lid or tented aluminum foil and bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until heated through, and the stuffing and cheese has browned.