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Butternut Squash Stuffing


As someone who was recently diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and has spent the last almost thirty years of my life without any dietary restrictions, you can imagine how hard it is now to suddenly become ill to foods I had been enjoying my whole life. My journey to wellness lead me to create each and every one of these recipes featured on Damngoodthyme.

I certainly am not stopping my journey anytime soon, especially this thanksgiving. Being gluten-free and dairy free now for three years, I was determined to make the best stuffing to enjoy with my family. As part of my five days of Paleo Thanksgiving Series, I created the ultimate Butternut Squash stuffing.

This wholesome dish is a celebration itself featuring the earthy sweetness of the butternut squash complimented by the crispness of apples and tart pop of cranberries- all while adhering to the principles of the Paleo lifestyle.

Table of Contents


1 large butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about 6 cups
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil, for roasting
sea salt and black pepper
2 olive oil, more as needed
1 small onion chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
1 lb pork sausage no sugar added, for Whole30
1 large apple or 2 small, cored and chopped
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh rosemary minced***
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves ***
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves minced***
3/4 cup dried cranberries fruit sweetened for Whole30
1 egg whisked (optional**)
Fresh parsley minced, for garnish

Optional Add ins: Dried Cranberries, Pecans

Ingredient Substitutions:

Butternut Squash: This can easily be substituted with sweet potatoes, acorn squash, or delicta squash
Olive oil: The olive oil is used to roast the butternut squash, and can be substituted with avocado oil.
Pork Sausage: Can be substituted with ground chicken or beef sausage, however, pork gives the dish the most flavor.
Egg: The egg acts to bind the stuffing together, you can certainly leave the egg out of the recipe, however, the stuffing will not have the same consistency.

How to Make the Butternut Squash Stuffing:

1.Prepare to Roast the Butternut Squash :Preheat your oven to 425° F. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise, remove the seeds, and then cut into cubes. Toss the butternut cubes with the 1 1/2 Tbsp oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2. Roast the Butternut Squash: Roast in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring or turning once for even browning. Squash should be soft and toasty brown before removing.
3. Chop Vegetables :While the squash is roasting, dice the onion, clean and cut the celery stalks, core and chop the apples.


4. Cook the Vegetables: Heat a large skillet med to med-hi heat and add the 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil.  Once heated, add chopped onion and celery and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until softened.


5. Add the Ground Sausage to the Skillet: Add the ground sausage to the skillet and use a wooden spoon to break up lumps and stir as it cooks. Cook the sausage with the onions and celery until browned, then lower the heat to medium.


6. Add Apples and Herbs: Add the chopped apples and herbs (or poultry seasoning) and cook for a minute or two until just softened, then add salt. Lower the heat and stir to combine all flavors. Simmer for 2 more minutes, remove from heat and set aside.


7. Combine the Butternut Squash Mixture with the Apples and Herbs : Once the butternut squash is roasted (it should be light brown and crisp on the outside) add it to the sausage mixture along with the dried cranberries and toss to combine. If you want your stuffing to "stick" add the whisked egg** to the mixture and toss/mix to incorporate. Bake the Stuffing in the Oven: Lower the oven heat to 375° F. If you used an ovenproof skillet, you can bake right in the skillet. If your skillet is not ovenproof, transfer the stuffing mixture to a large baking dish and spread out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes if you used the egg, and 15-20 without the egg.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

8. Add Toppings, Plate the Stuffing and Serve: The top should be toasty. Garnish with fresh parsley, pecans and dried cranberries if desired. Enjoy!!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Frequently Asked Questions:

What ingredients can I substitute?
Though the recipe will have a bit of a different taste, the butternut squash can be substituted for sweet potatoes, acorn squash, or delicta squash. The cooking oil can be swapped out for ghee, or avocado oil if preferred. Additionally, the pork sausage can be substituted with chicken or beef sausage, if preferred.
How can I make this Paleo Stuffing AIP Compliant?
To make the stuffing AIP compliant, you will want to ensure that there are no additives in the sausage you are using. Also, to keep the recipe AIP Compliant, skip the egg, and pecan topping. Also ensure that the only herbs you are using are the ones listed in the recipe (i.e. do not use and already mixed poultry seasoning).

Storage Instructions:

Preparing in advance: Though this dish comes together in just 45 minutes, to get a head start, prep the veggies the day before. To ensure that you are efficiently prepping on Thanksgiving, opt to complete steps 1-6 earlier in the day, and then finish cooking the stuffing in the oven 15-20 minutes before guests arrive.

Freezer Storage:
1. Cooling: Allow the stuffing to cool completely to room temperature before freezing.
2. Portioning: Divide the stuffing into smaller portions as this allows for faster and more even freezing.
3. Airtight packaging: Place the portions of stuffing in airtight freezer bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
4. Labeling: Clearly label the packaging with the date of freezing and any reheating instructions.
5. Freeze: Store the stuffing in the freezer
6. Consume Within: For the best quality, consume within 1-2 months.

Refrigerator Storage:
1. Cooling: Allow the stuffing to cool completely to room temperature before refrigerating. Do not leave it at room temperature for more than two hours to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
2. Airtight Container: Place the portions of stuffing in airtight containers or seal it tightly with plastic wrap.
4. Labeling: Clearly label the packaging wit the date of preparation to help you keep track of freshness.
5. Refrigerate: Store the stuffing in the refrigerator.
6. Consume Within: For the best quality, consume within 3-4 days for optimal freshness and safety.

Recommended Dishes:

  • Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

  • Pumpkin Donut Holes

Butternut Squash Stuffing Recipe

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Hi, I'm Amanda, founder of Damngoodthyme. I'm so glad to have you here!

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