Wild Rice Stuffing with Cherries & Roasted Hazelnuts (Gluten Free)

Healthy Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe

Hey You! 

This year, we're all about celebrating the holidays in a way that feels indulgent and nourishing. We want to savor family traditions and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed. 

Food is delicious and deserves to be enjoyed! At the same time, you are strong & beautiful and deserve to feel your absolute best.  

Eat With Zest is about choosing both, loving your food and love your life. Let's shoot for the stars!  

We'll be posting a series of nourishing, scrumptious recipes throughout the holiday season to accomplish just that. (Check out last week's Chili Mashed Sweet Potatoes!)

We also give you simple action steps you can take to transform your mindset by setting your holiday intention and to maintain a healthy weight

This recipe is hands down the easiest stuffing I've ever made, and probably the most flavorful. The base is quinoa & wild rice, so it's naturally gluten free (a plus for those like myself dealing with Celiac Disease and SIBO).

This recipe calls for chicken sausage, but I have made it sans chicken for a plant-based version and it's equally delish. Make it work for you! 

Hope you love it!

Love & Zest,


P.S. We are always looking for new ideas- share your favorite Thanksgiving recipes with us! 

Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing with Cherries & Roasted Hazelnuts


  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked (I used tri-color quinoa from Trader Joe's) 
  • 4 cups wild rice, cooked 
  • 2 lb Italian chicken sausage, no casing
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 large shallots, chopped (~1 cup)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Cook quinoa* & wild rice** separately, preferably adding slightly less water than usual for al-dente grains. (For more flavor, use veg stock instead of water when cooking). Once cooked, combine grains in a large bowl. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil gets hot, add shallots + a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until tender, ~3 minutes, then toss in the garlic. Continue to cook until fragrant, ~a minute, then add celery. Keep cooking until celery begins to soften, another ~2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add ground chicken sausage, breaking up clumps as it cooks. Allow chicken to lightly brown (~5 minutes), stirring frequently. You may need to turn heat to high to brown the meat. 
  5. Add rosemary & sage to the skillet. Stir together for ~1-2 min, remove from heat, then toss in the thyme. 
  6. Combine sausage & herbs and all of the remaining olive oil with the rice & quinoa in large bowl. Mix well. 
  7. Stir in chopped cherries & hazelnuts. Taste for salt; add more salt along with black pepper as desired.
  8. Cover and warm in the oven minutes before serving.  

* Guide to cooking quinoa

** Guide to cooking wild rice

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Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Gluten Free Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing Recipe