Gluten-free stuffing recipe – made using just 5 ingredients and it’s even air fryer-friendly too. It’s not only wheat-free and Coeliac-friendly as always, but also easily made dairy-free, vegan or low FODMAP too with one simple swap.
Gluten-free stuffing recipe, anyone? Whether you make this recipe into crispy stuffing balls or simply use it to stuff a turkey (or a chicken), it won’t let you down. Plus, nobody would ever know it’s totally gluten-free, only required 5 ingredients and only took you 5 minutes of actual effort to make!
When eating out, a gluten-free roast dinner can often look very different than most people would expect. It could either look like a plate fit for kings and queens, or more often than not, it looks way worse than even one of those frozen chicken dinners from the supermarket.
How it that possible? Because the restaurant/pub will either be super prepared and have gluten-free alternatives to Yorkshire puddings, gravy, stuffing balls and/or bread sauce (very rare) or they’ll simply just subtract all of those things from our plates. Even the frozen chicken dinners have gravy and a stuffing ball!
That basically leaves us with a plate of vegetables and some meat if we’re lucky. And yes, I have experienced this many times – I’ve even been offered tomato soup to pour over my roast instead of gravy as that’s all I could offer. In case you were wondering, I accepted their offer of tomato soup as gravy and it was probably the biggest regret of my life. Needless to say, I haven’t eaten tomato soup ever since!
But when creating a gluten-free roast dinner at home, that’s where you can ensure that your plate is packed full of gluten-free Yorkshire puddings, tons of gravy, bread sauce (in my gluten-free Christmas recipe book on page 118) and of course, gluten-free stuffing. So here’s what you’ll need to bring stuffing back to your plates and ensure it stays there for good:
Gluten-free Stuffing Balls Recipe: What you’ll need…
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs: I use supermarket gluten-free breadcrumbs and I stress that you use the same too because, in case you didn’t know, they aren’t ever made from an actual loaf of bread! Because of this, the results of using ready-made breadcrumbs vs using breadcrumbs made from a loaf of bread can be disastrous unless you prepare them first as explained here. I buy the gluten-free breadcrumbs I use in this recipe from Asda – they can be a little tricky to find these days!
- Dried chives and sage: These are my dried herbs of choice, but in reality, any combination of dried green herbs will work in the same amounts.
- Gluten-free plain flour or cornflour: This just helps to bind everything together so either one will work just fine. You’ll find gluten-free plain flour down the free from aisle and cornflour nearby all the evil wheat flour.
- Butter: We’ll be melting this by add it to boiling water so cold butter straight out of the fridge is fine, as well as salted or unsalted butter.
So what does my gluten-free stuffing taste like? With a bold sage and sweet-onion flavour thanks to the chives, a crispy exterior (if you choose to bake them as balls) with a light, soft middle, these are the stuffing balls I need on my plate forevermore!
If you choose to use it as stuffing, it’ll be an asset to whatever bird you’re stuffing and as a bonus, it’ll also be infused with tons of extra flavour from the meat juices. Even gluten eaters will be asking for seconds as there’s no reason anyone should ever notice the difference in terms of visuals, taste or texture.
Best of all, this recipe is suitable for everyone. And I actually mean that unlike when supermarkets/restaurants say their food is suitable for everyone yet later we find out that translates this: their food is suitable everyone but us!
Yep, just by swapping the butter to a dairy-free margarine, this recipe can then be simultaneously gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan. Or by using low FODMAP breadcrumbs (linked in FAQ section), it can be low FODMAP too. Yet if you taste it… it just tastes like awesome stuffing – I promise.
Gluten-free Stuffing Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.
Can I make your gluten-free stuffing recipe dairy-free?
Yep – just use a dairy-free margarine instead of butter. That’s it!
Can I make your gluten-free stuffing recipe veggie or vegan?
It is suitable for vegetarians already! See the simple dairy-free advice above to make it vegan.
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
It can be! Just ensure that your gluten-free breadcrumbs don’t contain any high FODMAP ingredients and you’re good to go. The ones I used from Asda aren’t low FODMAP (they contain gram flour), but these from Ocado are actually labelled as FODMAP friendly on the front.
Is stuffing gluten-free?
Unless stated as gluten-free, packet stuffing that you buy in supermarkets, find in pre-prepared products or get served in restaurants usually contain gluten. This is because stuffing usually contains either breadcrumbs or flour as its base.
Exceptions to this include some high quality supermarket pork-based stuffing products, which is essentially just seasoned sausage meat – sometimes they’ll use rice flour as rusk which is very kind. Pork-based stuffing isn’t necessarily always gluten-free either, but is more likely to be gluten-free than the latter breadcrumb/flour based stuffing.
Can I make this using fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs?
I wouldn’t recommend it as bread that’s been blitzed in a food processor is very, very, very different in consistency, hydration level and texture when compared to what I’m strictly recommending you use: supermarket ready-made gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Fresh or stale gluten-free bread can work if you’ve prepared them as described here first – this process makes them much closer to the supermarket equivalent. So just to reiterate: please don’t just use blitzed gluten-free bread for this recipe – when hydrated with boiling water, it’ll literally turn into mush and be far too wet to stuff a chicken or turkey with, let alone roll into balls or ever become crispy!
Where can I find gluten-free breadcrumbs?
There’s no denying that they are becoming harder and harder to find these days. I used to buy mine in Tesco but I haven’t seen them in there for months and months now. I’ve actually given up on buying them from Tesco now!
So instead, I buy mine from Asda where they’re usually plentiful in stock. Failing finding them, you can always make your own gluten-free breadrumbs in 15-20 minutes as described here.
My stuffing mixture is very runny and wet after resting – what happened?
The main cause of this is using fresh gluten-free bread to make breadcrumbs without preparing them at all as described here. Preparing them in this way first will make them become far closer to supermarket ready-made gluten-free breadcrumbs, as I recommend you use in the recipe below.
Supermarket ready-made gluten-free breadcrumbs are very hard and don’t absorb a lot of water, whereas unprepared fresh bread (that’s been blitzed into crumbs) is literally like a sponge. It’ll suck up all the water, fully hydrate and almost dissolve into mush – useful when making bread sauce, but not for this recipe!
Can I make gluten-free stuffing balls using this recipe in the air fryer?
Yes – see the recipe card below for air fryer timings and cooking method.
Gluten-free Stuffing Recipe: Tips for perfection
- Use gluten free breadcrumbs like these. Do NOT use fresh gluten free bread for your breadcrumbs unless you’ve prepared them as described here first. I’ve tried making this recipe using fresh bread blitzed into breadcrumbs and it did not work at all!
- I recommend using dried herbs (not fresh) for two reasons. Firstly, it’s quicker, easier and you’ll have loads leftover to make this again in the future. Secondly, fresh herbs hold a lot more moisture and won’t work as well if you want to roll these into balls.
- Don’t add any salt to the dry mixture. Gluten-free breadcrumbs always seem to have salt in them, so adding any extra can make this too salty. If serving with gravy, you certainly won’t need any extra salt here either!
- After adding the water and waiting 5 minutes, the stuffing should form a familiar, stuffing-like thick mixture. If it doesn’t and you used supermarket ready-made gluten-free breadcrumbs, simply add more breadcrumbs and allow the mixture to rest a few more minutes – this will thicken it up.
Gluten-free Stuffing Recipe
- 140 g store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs don’t use fresh bread, buy them in a packet!
- 3 tbsp dried chives
- 3 tbsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp gluten-free plain flour or cornflour
- 265 ml boiling water
- 30 g butter, cut into small cubes use a dairy-free alternative to make it dairy-free and vegan
- Start by mixing together the breadcrumbs, chives, sage and flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Add your boiling water and butter to the bowl. Mix thoroughly and allow to rest for 5 minutes or until it becomes a thick, workable paste. If it's not thick enough, add a tbsp more breadcrumbs, mix in and allow to rest, adding more if it's still not thick enough.
- At this point you can now use the mixture to stuff a turkey or a chicken. Follow the steps below to create stuffing balls in the oven or air fryer out of the leftovers.Alternatively, if you won't be stuffing a turkey or chicken, just make stuffing balls with the full amount in either the oven or air fryer instead, following the step below.
To cook stuffing balls in the oven
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C/200C fan.
- Roll the mixture into 12 balls and place onto an oiled baking tray.
- Pop them into the oven for 25 minutes or until they’re nice and golden on the outside.
To cook stuffing balls in an air fryer
- Roll the mixture into 12 balls.
- Heat or preheat the air fryer to 180C. Lightly spray the base of your air fryer crisping tray or basket with vegetable oil.
- Place as many stuffing balls as will fit into the air fryer and air fry for 14-16 minutes, turning over after 10 minutes, until golden brown on the outside and not wet in the middle (poke them with a skewer to check).
Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free stuffing recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out with your roast so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
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