Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (2024)

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This gluten-free, vegan Quinoa Stuffing recipe is healthier than traditional Thanksgiving stuffing and just as delicious, thanks to fresh herbs, sweet potato, and crunchy pecans.

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (1)

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One thing I am thankful for every year at Thanksgiving, in addition to my family and friends, is the abundance of healthy food at our table.

Every year, I like to bring some healthier options to lighten up the traditional Thanksgiving classics like mashed potatoes and pie. I always bring this nutty quinoa stuffing. If you have any vegan, gluten-free or vegetarian eaters at your holiday table, they're going to love this dish. And if not, they'll still love it just as much!

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (2)


This quinoa stuffing gets tons of seasonal flavor from some important ingredients, including:

  • Quinoa. Use any variety you like. I like the flavors of tri-color quinoa.
  • Vegetable broth
  • Sweet potato. Butternut squash also works
  • Shallot.You could also use diced onion or garlic.
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs. I usethyme, rosemary, and sage.
  • Cinnamonfor a bit of warmth.
  • Chili pepper flakes. This is optional if you like some spice
  • Pecans. You can use any nut you like. Walnuts or hazelnuts are also delicious.

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (3)

Fresh vs. Dried Spices for Stuffing

I like using these dried, hearty spices in my stuffing recipe because you can add them to the oven and not worry about them getting burned. Simply Organic makes my favorite spices. To finish the dish, that's when I'll use fresh herbs to highlight their delicate flavors, aromas, and textures.

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (4)

Stuffing Mix-Ins

If you'd like to amp up the flavors and textures in this dish, try adding some simple mix-ins like:

  • Diced apples. I recommend a sturdy tart apple like Granny Smith.
  • Dried fruit. Dried cranberries, dates or golden raisins are great.
  • Fresh or frozen cranberries. Add them to the roasting pan with the squash.
  • Diced celery for added crunch.
  • Vegetarian sausage for protein.
  • Pepitas

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (5)

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Stuffing

For all you gluten-free eaters out there, this recipe is the perfect substitute for the classic Thanksgiving stuffing. It's light, flavorful, and packed with all the standard ingredients. But, you won't find any bread here. It's simply my dear friend quinoa.

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (6)

Make-Ahead Stuffing

There's a lot to do on Thanksgiving day, so make things a bit easier for yourself by prepping this dish ahead of time. You can assemble the entire dish (leave out the nuts) up to two days ahead of time. Keep the stuffing in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to serve. You can add the nuts at the last minute to keep them crunchy. Serve this dish cold or at room temperature.

More Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes For Your Menu

  • Green Bean & Almond Quinoa Salad
  • Fall Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash and Apples
  • Roasted Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad
  • Simple Fall Salad with Roasted Acorn Squash + Pomegranates
  • Kale + Shredded Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad

If you make this Quinoa Stuffing Recipe, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing

5 from 23 votes

This healthy gluten-free quinoa stuffing is loaded with butternut squash, pecans, dried cranberries and tons of fresh and dried herbs for a better-for-you Thanksgiving side dish.

yield: 10 Servings

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (7)

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Prep: 10 minutes minutes

Cook: 30 minutes minutes

Total: 40 minutes minutes



  • Add quinoa and broth to a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until all the broth as been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

    Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (8)

  • While the quinoa is cooking, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

  • Toss your diced sweet potatoes (or squash), shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Add spices, salt and pepper, then drizzle with oil and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 15 - 20 minutes, flipping half way through.

    Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (9)

  • Assemble stuffing by combining cooked quinoa, potatoes and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Stir together and add apple cider vinegar, rosemary and thyme. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (10)

  • Serve cold or reheat slightly.

    Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (11)


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 502mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 11640IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2.9mg

cuisine: American

course: Side Dish


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Be sure to share a comment and rating to let us know!

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (12)

Filed Under:

  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Recipes
  • Sides
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
Healthy Quinoa Stuffing Recipe (Gluten-Free & Vegan) - Simply Quinoa (2024)


How do you make quinoa taste good? ›

If you're serving it as a simple side, season it first. At the very least, toss it with salt, pepper, lemon or lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. To kick it up another notch, stir in chopped herbs, minced garlic, toasted nuts, or crumbled feta cheese, or use it in one of the quinoa recipes below!

How much quinoa per person? ›

How to cook quinoa perfectly every time. You'll need about 50g of quinoa per person (make sure to rinse it first) and chicken or vegetable stock. We can't emphasise using stock enough. It really makes a difference to the flavour, yet is subtle enough not to distract from your final dish.

Can you eat quinoa flakes raw? ›

Organic Quinoa Flakes are made from white quinoa that has been rolled and flattened. After this process, the quinoa flakes can be eaten just like the puffed quinoa without any need for cooking.

How is quinoa made? ›

Quinoa seems like it should be a grain, but it's actually a dried seed. The quinoa plant is native to South America, and the seeds from it are harvested, dried, and then cooked by people like you and me!

What does quinoa do to your body? ›

The fiber in quinoa can also help with cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Quinoa is rich in antioxidants, which can prevent damage to your heart and other organs. A diet high in antioxidants has been linked with a decreased risk of heart disease.

Is quinoa healthier than rice? ›

Quinoa is rich in both fiber and protein, contains a much higher amount of other nutrients, and has a similar fluffy texture to the rice. A cup of quinoa contains twice more protein and about 5 g more fiber than white rice. Quinoa contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than white rice.

Is 1 cup of quinoa too much? ›

You can eat one-two cups of cooked quinoa in a day. You should avoid eating it if you experience stomachache, itchiness or vomiting after consuming it. A study by Harvard Public School of Health has reported that eating a bowl of quinoa daily is healthy and without any side effects.

How many cups of quinoa should you eat a day? ›

Quinoa can be consumed anytime – at breakfast, lunch or dinner. But it is best to eat healthy food like quinoa before going to bed. It induces sleep, because it relaxes the muscles, due to its high magnesium and protein content. “One can eat one-two cups of cooked quinoa in a day.

What color quinoa is best? ›

White, red, or black? They're pretty much all the same nutritionally—so go with what tastes best to you, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, owner of Nutrition Starring You, LCC. White quinoa is the least bitter of the three, while red and black have a chewier texture that holds up better in cold dishes like salads.

Why does my stomach hurt after quinoa? ›

But for some people, eating quinoa may cause stomachaches, itchy skin, hives, and other common symptoms of food allergies. The seed and its coating contain the compound saponin, which could cause these symptoms. If you're allergic to quinoa or sensitive to saponin, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on tasty recipes.

What happens if you don't wash quinoa before eating? ›

It wasn't a huge difference in texture, but definitely noticeable. Rinsing quinoa definitely starts to hydrate the seeds. Flavor – In terms of flavor, the unrinsed quinoa definitely had a nuttier, earthier flavor, but I didn't find it bitter at all. The rinsed quinoa was definitely milder and the flavors more muted.

Is oatmeal or quinoa better for you? ›

Oats contain macronutrients such as total carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, total fat, proteins, saturated fats, iron, zinc, potassium, etc. Though both kinds of cereals are rich in nutrients, Quinoa is considered to be the healthier of the two.

What is the healthiest way to eat quinoa? ›

Toss it in salads.

Quinoa is a complete source of protein and makes a great addition to a healthy salad. The combination of fiber, protein and healthy fats can turn a light side salad into a robust entrée.

What kind of quinoa is best? ›

If you've never eaten quinoa, Foroutan suggests trying white quinoa first because it has the mildest taste. Or you might look for a blend of red, black, and white quinoa to get as many antioxidants as possible; levels of these beneficial ingredients vary according to the color of the seeds (red has the highest levels).

What makes quinoa a super food? ›

Nicknamed a “superfood,” quinoa is a complete source of protein, which means it contains all nine amino acids, and it's also a great source of fiber (it contains more than any other grain) and heart-healthy fats.

How do you make quinoa not taste bad? ›

Rinse the Quinoa:Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer. This helps remove the natural bitter coating called saponin. Combine Quinoa and Liquid:In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water or vegetable broth. If you like, add a pinch of salt for seasoning.

How do you get the bitter taste out of cooked quinoa? ›

Saponin is also what tastes bitter: rinse away the saponin means rinsing away the bitterness. Clear-running water is an indication that the saponin coating each grain has been fully rinsed away. You can also taste a raw grain or two to make sure you've reached a zero-level bitterness.

How do I make sure my quinoa isn't bitter? ›

Unless you prefer the more pronounced, earthier taste of the seed, I recommend giving it a quick rinse under cool running water, which gets rid of its natural coating that can cause a bitter taste. Even if the box says it is pre-washed, I find it doesn't hurt to give the quinoa another rinse.

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