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Gluten-Free Sage Dressing


Thanksgiving, Gluten-Free, Sage Dressing, Recipe

This recipe hails from my Grandma Schmidt in Austin, Minnesota.   It is one of my favorite family recipes. I have very fond memories of making this dressing every Thanksgiving with my dad.  Traditionally, we always stuffed the bird which apparently is not a very safe way of cooking it…but it always came out very moist.  We also used to bake the dressing, which is equally as good just a bit more toasty, but that is not a bad thing…perfect for piling the gravy on!

For the past few years I have been hosting my own Thanksgiving and inviting all my friends who like to taste test for me.  The more people I invited, the smaller my one oven became! Inspired by Stephanie O’Dea and her Year of Slow Cooking Blog, I thought…why not?  So last year, I made EVERYTHING (mashed potatoes, sage dressing, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, candied yams) but the turkey in a Crock-Pot (separate Crock-Pots) and it worked out GREAT!  I cooked all day the day before; making all of the sides, then put each one in a Crock-Pot (the night time temperature was in the low 30’s, so I left all of the Crock-Pots on the patio table overnight…but made sure to retrieve them by 7 am to start warming in the heating vessel…if you live in a warmer climate, DO NOT do this!).  For the first time I can remember, I was actually able to watch football and hang out with my friends while everything was warming up in the slowcookers and the turkey was roasting in the oven.

Oh yeah, I even won a contest for this recipe over at The Savvy Celiac! 😀

Gluten-Free Sage Dressing

printable recipe


2 Loaves of Ener-G Light Tapioca Loaf, dried out (I toast mine in a 250° F. oven for approximately 45 minutes)

2 cups diced Celery

1 1/2 cups diced Onion

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/2 cup Butter (or dairy-free alternative)

1 1/2 Tbs. Rubbed Sage (more or less, to taste)

1 quart Gluten-Free Chicken Broth or Stock (I use Kitchen Basics)


1). Dry out bread (growing up we would lay the fresh bread on cookie sheets and allow to air dry over several days. Now, I use a faster method and put the bread on cookie sheets and stick them in the oven at 250° F. for about an hour or so, flipping and rotating the bread every 15 minutes.  The bread is ready when it’s hard but not burned.

2). Break up bread into small pieces.

3). Saute celery and onion in olive oil and butter until tender.

4). Add rubbed sage to the celery, onion and butter mixture, stir to incorporate (this is when Emeril would say, “I wish you had smell-a-vision”…or in this case, “smell-a-puter!” Okay, I think I need some sleep.)

5). Add sauteed vegetables and sage to bread pieces; mix well.

6). Turn into a well greased 2 qt. baking dish (or slowcooker).

7). Add some chicken broth to slightly moisten…this has always been an “eyeball it” thing for me so I do not have an exact measurement for you.  When I bake the dressing in the oven, I add about a cup of chicken broth since it is a dry method of cooking.  When we used to “stuff the bird,” we would not use any broth because the turkey juices drip into the dressing.  For the slowcooker method, you need to add the moisture so you don’t break your slowcooker.  For 2 loaves of Ener-G bread, I start with about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken or turkey broth and add more as needed.

8). Dot with butter.

9). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes OR if using a slowcooker, set to low for 3 – 4 hours, stirring occasionally and adding additional chicken or turkey broth as needed.  Depending on how much bread you use, it may need to cook a little longer.  Once the dressing is ready, switch over to the warm setting until serving time.

 Thanksgiving, Gluten-Free, Sage Dressing, Recipe

Thanksgiving, Gluten-Free, Sage Dressing, RecipeThanksgiving, Gluten-Free, Sage Dressing, RecipeThanksgiving, Gluten-Free, Sage Dressing, Recipe

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  1. This looks awesome. I will try this for Thanksgiving this year. It looks like you have a white gravy with it. I have only made that once. How did you do the gravy?
    Thanks for posting.

    • The gravy is really only white by default. It is not a "cream" gravy. I use Tom Sawyer's GF All-Purpose flour for my gravy because I can just add the flour directly to the turkey/chicken drippings without having to make a slurry first, like you would have to do if you were using a starch like cornstarch, tapioca starch, arrowroot. The problem though is that it does not have tremendous browning power. I only do it this way because it is how I grew up making gravy with my dad, we we're never "translucent" gravy people…heck, we never even skimmed the fat out of the drippings. Unhealthy for sure…but it tastes soooo good! I only make it once a year so I rationalize the lack of healthfulness that way. 🙂 It has been dubbed "Liquid Gold" by those have had it and I have had to come up with a way to make a large volume of it so we are not rationing by the tablespoonful. LOL! I will post my gravy making process soon, if not this week (I have a Clone Trooper Helmet Birthday cake to finish by Saturday) then I will post it next week. Thank you for your comment, and please let me know what you think of the dressing!


  2. Suz Reagan says

    It looks awesome. Great job and congrats on the award!

  3. Nancy Wemple says

    Hi Heidi,
    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your website, and all your yummy recipes. Keep up the great work. Nancy

  4. Nancy Wemple says

    Hi Heidi,
    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your website, and all your yummy recipes. Keep up the great work. Nancy

  5. Brilliant, Heidi! I did not think about doing the stuffing in the crock pot as well. Since I do just happen to have more than one crock pot, I may do the stuffing AND the mashed potatoes in them. I do most of my cooking the day before as well. The only thing I really do on the big day is the Turkey and rolls or cornbread to eat with the meal. Everything else is either done ahead or brought by others!! I think that is why I enjoy the day so much!! This recipe looks so yummy, btw!!


    • Kim,

      You are too kind (really…I cringe looking at these old pictures, LOL!). The stuffing worked great in the crockpot, you just need to be careful and watch it (and add more broth, etc. if needed).

      I have 7 crockpots thanks to Stephanie, she got me hooked on them a few years ago and the Trio is awesome for the holidays! :0)

      Lucky me though, I need one less pot now…was just dx'd with class 3 corn allergy, WOOT!

      Or, maybe I can find a corn-free cornbread dressing recipe instead, LOL! 😉

  6. I love it! Whenever we actually get to host our own thanksgiving I'm SO trying that technique with the crockpots!! I also like my stuffing made with dry store-bought gluten free bread! That's one thing it works great for! I like to use food for life brown rice bread, it does the same thing, soaks up the liquids, but doesn't taste gritty! 🙂 Even hubs said it was his fav Thanksgiivng side dish! 🙂

    • Thanks Carrie!

      And THANK YOU for saying you prefer the old school GF "bubble breads" (referring to the funny Ener-G packaging) in your stuffing too! People look at me like I'm crazy for saying that, LOL! 😀

  7. I just realized that I accidentally bought the wrong bread…just regular tapioca and not light. I have never had either of these and was wondering if you thought the regular tapioca would work equally well or if I needed to return it for the other one? Is there a big difference? Have you ever made it with this one? Just wondering…

    • Hi Becci!

      I think the dressing will be fine with the regular Tapioca bread (I haven't personally tried it), but if I recall correctly, the only real difference was the size of the bread. The Light Tapioca bread is about twice as thick as the regular Tapioca bread. If you go ahead and use the regular, will you please come back and let me know how it turns out? 😀

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Well….I decided to do a test run tonight with one loaf of the regular tapioca so we will see. It's in the oven now. I usually use the Canyon Bakehouse White Bread which I like very much for dressing but when I saw your recipe I thought I would try it. I have to make sure it works though because I do gluten free catering and a fail on Thanksgiving would be BAD! I will let you know later how it tastes….thanks!!


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