A Healthy Twist on Holiday Favorites: Stuffing

Oh yum! Stuffing is another favorite dish to have on the table during any holiday meal. I’ll admit that I don’t really enjoy it when it has been actually stuffed into the turkey, but I love scooping heaps of the stuff onto my plate to eat along with all my other delicious sides.

In my efforts to make a healthier Thanksgiving, I searched the internet for a recipe that would not only be healthier for myself and my family, but that would also be lower carb, realizing that this was going to be a bit tricky since stuffing (or dressing as we called it growing up) is made primarily of bread crumbs, which are the opposite of low carb.

I did find one recipe that I was fond of but there were a few things that just weren’t going to work for me. If you are simply looking for a homemade version, check his out at SavoryReviews.com. It will also give you great pictures on how to make your own. Mine is loosely based upon his.

In order to make stuffing low carb, you need to start with a low carb breading. Now I know that a lot of you are gluten free. My family is not, however, I believe that it would be possible to adapt this to be gluten free with little complications. Simply pick a bread that toasts well, or try making an almond meal bread. (I would not recommend using coconut flour.) I found an almond meal bread recipe (that I have not yet tried) that was recommended for stuffing purposes on about.com. It looks like a fairly simple bread to make at home and it is always great to know exactly what went into your product.

Our family uses Pepperidge Farms Carb Style bread. It is NOT THM recommended. But it suits our purposes. I do not like that it contains high fructose corn syrup, as that is an ingredient that I try to avoid, but it is decently priced and serves my family’s needs. If you use the Pepperidge Farms bread it is only 5 net carbs a slice. My recipe makes 4 servings, which makes it perfect as a side dish to any meal, especially your Thanksgiving one.

Skillet Stuffing

serves 4 (approx 1/2 cup)


1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 large stalks celery, chopped

4 slices of low carb bread (or any bread of your choosing)

1/2 cup chicken stock (or broth of any variety)

1 tbsp butter

 pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Spread bread out on a greased cookie sheet. Spray with oil and sprinkle with garlic powder.

3. Toast for about 10 minutes in oven. Flip bread over, spray once again, and sprinkle with more garlic powder.

4. Return to oven for another 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it after 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. You want it to be a nice golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. While the bread cools, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery.

6. Sprinkle onions and celery with seasoning. I did two generous shakes of each seasoning with the exception of salt.

7. Chop up the toasted bread into large bread crumbs. Once the onions and celery are softened, add the bread to the skillet.

8. Slowly add the chicken stock. Mix well.

9. Once the stock is absorbed, cover with a lid, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. This will allow the flavors to mingle and the bread to get nice and soft.


And now for the nutrition show down.  Mine versus the oh so popular red boxed variety.


Calories: 97

Fat: 5

Net Carbs: 6

Protein: 5


Calories: 105

Fat: 4

Net Carbs: 14

Protein: 2

At first glance it may not look that much healthier. But keep in mind that the fats in the homemade version are healthy fats that come primarily from the butter. Also keep in mind that the majority of your ingredients are fresh. If you choose another bread you will have a different result in nutrition information, and may be able to reduce the carb and calorie count even farther. You can reduce the fat count by using a spray oil instead of butter, and a low fat stock (I used 99% fat free but there may be even better options out there).

Do you like to stuff your turkey? Or do you eat it as a side dish like I do?


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