With Thanksgiving and the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about healthier versions of traditional holiday fare.

One of my absolute favorite parts of a big holiday meal is the stuffing. Mmm… It’s such a treat and just soooo yummy. But what to do if you’re not able to tolerate gluten, or any grains for that matter?

Enter Chef James‘ Breadless Stuffing. It’s completely grain-free, you’ll sneak some more vegetables into your meal, and it’s so yummy you won’t even notice you’re not eating the more traditional stuffing. It’s also vegetarian (and can easily be made vegan by substituting coconut oil for the butter), and if cooked separately from the meats, is a great – and hearty – side dish for the veggies among us.

This and many other delicious gluten-free recipes can be found in our cookbook, The Naked Foods Cookbook.

Breadless Stuffing

(gluten free | grain-free | vegetarian | vegan option)

Yield: 4-5 Cups


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter 
  • 1/2 head chopped cauliflower (approximately 3 cups)
  • 1 onion, small diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks, small diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, small diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (like this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (like this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (buy here)
  • 1 cup green lentils (buy here)
  • 1 bay leaf (buy here)
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans (ideally pre-soaked and dehydrated or slow roasted) (buy here)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit (your pick: cherries, cranberries, apricots, or a combination thereof)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (buy here)


Preheat oven to 375°F. If your kitchen is cool and the butter or ghee is solid, put it in the oven in a heat-resistant mixing bowl while the oven is heating to melt.

Rough chop the cauliflower, and then put it in a food processor. Pulse several times to break down the cauliflower into fine pieces (only pulse several times as we still want some larger chunks). Prepare the other vegetables.

In a mixing bowl, toss cauliflower, onion, garlic cloves, celery, and carrots with ghee or butter, sea salt, pepper, and paprika. Coat well with the oil. Spread mixture out on an oven tray, and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and slightly browned.

While cauliflower is roasting, cook the lentils. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils, bay leaf, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, still covered, for 30-45 minutes, until lentils are cooked through. If water remains, drain it. Remove bay leaf and discard. Lentils should still hold their shape. If they’re too soft, they will be mushy.

When cooked, remove the veggies from the oven. In a large mixing bowl, mix the veggies, cooked lentils, pecan, and dried fruit. Use as you would normal stuffing.

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