There are lots of different ways to do stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner. You can use white bread, some kind of fancy bread (like challah or brioche), cornbread, or skip the bread all together and do a sausage based stuffing. You can make it fancy by adding nuts like pecans or chestnuts, or by adding fruit like apples or cranberries. You can add mushrooms or water chestnuts or just keep it simple with onions and celery. You can do the traditional herbs with sage and thyme or jazz it up with a little spice.
In the grain free/real food world, the sausage based stuffings seem to be pretty popular. And although these sound delicious, I’ve always been a fan of the more traditional bread stuffing. However, when you can’t have grains, nuts, seeds, or eggs, even the grain free bread based stuffing recipes aren’t going to cut it. Enter the plantain based stuffing…
Yes, I am fully aware that plantains are not bread. But I certainly didn’t hear any complaints from my bread-loving husband when I served this to him. The starchy, slightly mushy texture and neutral flavor of the plantains mimics bread quite well. Well, as long as you use unripe, green plantains. Ripe plantains will probably lend a plantain-y flavor to your stuffing which could be good but probably wouldn’t be quite as similar to the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing we are going for here.
I went with the traditional stuffing spices and add ins here… celery and onion for the vegetables and sage and thyme for the herbs, plus a little handful of dried cranberries because they’re my fave. But feel free to jazz it up however you like. I know my mom would want to add water chestnuts. She always added them to our bread stuffing growing up because she liked the extra crunch. My husband would probably like a little sausage added to it because that’s what he always had as a kid. But since I’m the one cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, I’m making it how I want it!
When cooking the plantains, you want to make sure they are soft and easily mash-able with a fork. Otherwise the chunks of plantains will be a little hard and dry (trust me, I learned this the hard way). And after mashing the plantains and mixing everything together you want to make sure there is a little extra liquid so it doesn’t dry out in the oven. Depending on how much liquid your plantains absorbed during cooking this could mean pouring off a little cooking liquid or adding a little extra broth. It should look like this…
- 2 cups broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 green plantains
- 1/2 cup palm shortening (or butter or ghee if tolerated)
- 1 yellow onion
- 3-4 stalks celery
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp thyme
- 1½ tsp sage
- ½ cup fruit sweetened dried cranberries (optional)
- Bring broth and water to a boil over medium high heat
- Peel plantains and chop into 1 inch cubes
- Add plantains to broth, making sure they are covered and boil until soft, about 20-25 minutes
- While the plantains are cooking, melt shortening in a skillet over medium heat
- Add onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5-10 minutes, set aside
- When plantains are done cooking, mash the plantains into the broth with a potato masher or fork, leaving some chunks
- Add onion mixture, salt, thyme, and sage and mix until incorporated
- Place in a greased baking dish, cover and bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes
No one should feel deprived or left out during the holidays! So if you or your loved ones suffer from allergies or are on the Autoimmune Protocol (like me!) I hope this stuffing will make you feel like you aren’t missing out on anything.
In vibrant health,