Fed & Fit

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing

For many, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season. For me, it marks the beginning of my countdown to glass bottle Coca-Cola’s, snickerdoodles, giggly spiked eggnog late-night poker, really fun parties, the best quality time with family, and an excuse to wear more sparkly jewelry than normal {which is usually quite a lot}.

Thanksgiving sets the tone for the rest of the chilly months. Thanksgiving tells us to gather with loved ones, eat delicious food, and reflect on our blessings. When the “what are you thankful for” baton comes to me during our turkey dinner each year, I almost want to cry. I’m so overwhelmed by what I’m thankful for that I don’t know where to start.

I’m thankful that I’ve found the love of my life, the way Gus puts his hand on my shoulder and gives me a hug, my awe-inspiring family, the roof over my head, my favorite warm fuzzy blanket, coffee, butter, and each of you who visit and support this blog. I am so thankful for you. Thank you for inviting me into your home and kitchen. You’re in my heart and the front line in my mission to feed and heal the world.

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing | Fed+Fit-71

Stuffing is everything. Everything! It’s the one dish that makes this particular turkey dinner in November a Thanksgiving dinner. Even though the crumbly bready side plays just a supporting role, it’s still the first dish we sample and the one we dream about. Right? I know you’re with me.

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing | Fed+Fit

It’s hard to beat traditional stuffing. It’s simple to make, feeds a lot of people, and tastes like childhood. All that being said, this new stuffing recipe won’t disappoint. There’s a little more work involved but I PROMISE you won’t regret it. This dish can be the missing link in your Paleo-friendly Thanksgiving plate!

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing | Fed+Fit-2

We’re going to use oven-crisped sweet potato croutons, browned Italian sausage {because that’s the way I like my stuffing}, lots of garlic-infused grass-fed butter, onions and celery {classic, right?}, and then some super fresh and super delicious cranberries! The cranberries in this stuffing really brighten each bite.

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing | Fed+Fit-4

If you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year or you’re bringing something for a potluck, I give you my word that you will be hailed king {or queen} of Thanksgiving sides with this dish. It’ll be the favorite. I promise. 2nd place might go to this Paleo Green Bean Casserole. 3rd place will probably go to Joy the Baker’s Sweet Potato Pie. Either way, people will be happy …and thankful …for you …and that you brought this healthier delicious stuffing recipe into their lives.

Know also that this recipe is great for making ahead and freezing! I’ve got one of these stashed in my freezer right now ready for next week.

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Let’s make stuffing!

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

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Next, grab some freshly cleaned sweet potatoes. I used about 6 pounds, which I’m expecting to feed about 12 people. This recipe easily halves if you want to make less.

If you cleaned your sweet potatoes well and don’t have an aversion to eating their skin, we can start chopping! Otherwise, peel the potatoes and then proceed.

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Because we’re looking to get relatively consistent cubes {aka. croutons} of sweet potatoes, I’m going to walk you through the steps I found to be the most simple for cutting them up. Start by cutting off both ends.

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Then cut your potato in half.

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Then cut that half, in half.

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Then lay one of those halves down and cut about ½“ slices.

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Flip half of those slices up on one end and cut down through them.

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Finally, cut small cubes from those pieces!

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Until you’ve gone through them all.

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That’s a lot of sweet potato goodness right there! This might seem like a lot of work, but when you’ve got a good playlist going and a glass of sparkling water over ice, it’ll fly by.

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Now it’s my favorite time. Butter time! Have you seen these big hunks of 8 oz. of Kerrygold’s grass-fed butter?? I literally gasped when I saw them at the grocery store. It’s the equivalent of 2 sticks of butter and will make this stuffing taste incredible.

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We’re going to use half now and half later. Remember not to fear the butter …or any healthy fat, for that matter. Grass-fed butter can offer us a lot of really great health benefits and is WAY less damaging than any margarine or other fat-free butter substitute you can find.

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Put 4 oz. {or 1 stick of butter} into a glass jar and melt it in the microwave.

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Look at that golden goodness. It melts down to about ½ a cup.

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Pour it over your sweet potato cubes.

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Give it a good stir, making sure that each sweet potato piece gets a good coating.

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Pour the sweet potato croutons onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. I had to use about 4 baking sheets for this number of sweet potatoes.

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Spread them out so that you’ve got about 1 layer thick.

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Then, sprinkle with some kosher or sea salt.

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Got ‘em well dusted? Good! They’re ready for the oven. Bake them at 350 F for 30 minutes, give them a stir and then bake them for another 25 minutes. Leave them in longer if they’re still soft but don’t let them burn {like I did}.

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While the taters are roasting, we can move onto the sausage. I grabbed this awesome mild Italian sausage from Whole Foods. You’ll need 2 pounds of meat for this recipe.

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Pinch the Italian sausage out of its casing into a frying pan over medium/high heat.

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Discard the casings and start breaking up the sausage with a spoon.

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Keep breaking it up! You want to end up with small pieces of sausage.

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When it’s crispy, brown, and smells amazing, it’s finished.

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Pour the sausage into a colander to drain and then set it aside.

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It’s my favorite time again! Butter time! Grab the other stick {or 4 oz.} of butter and put it into a pot over medium heat.

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Hello love of my life. I love garlic. Why is it that lots of people love garlic but nobody loves a garlic lover? Not that I’m not loved, I’m just not loved as much when I’ve loved too much garlic. Does the same apply to onions? Maybe people just don’t like second hand food. This got a little weird. Back to cooking.

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Peel and smash five cloves of garlic then add them to the melting butter.

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Got ‘em in there? Stir it up and let these flavors come together for about 5 minutes. We’re not actually going to eat this garlic. We’re just using it to flavor our butter.

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When it’s got a nice golden brown color and you can really smell the garlic, it’s time to pull them out!

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Remove the garlic and discard. Or eat. Whatever. I’ll still love you, you garlic lover.

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Onions are next! We’re going to need one large onion. I’m also going to walk you through an easy way to chop up this onion. If this is old news, feel free to skip ahead.

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First, cut off the non-hairy side of the onion. Then peel the onion but leave the hairy end attached.

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Cut that piece in half through the hairy end. The hairy end will actually help hold the rest of the onion together while we do our dicing. The non-hairy end won’t hold anything together.

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Flip one of those halves down and cut strips almost to, but not through the end.

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Cut one or two horizontal slices through the half.

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Then run your knife over the top so you get these nice pieces!

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When you get close to the end and it’s starting to tip over, save your fingers and just lay it face down for the rest of your chopping.

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Done!

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Add the onions to your now garlic infused grass-fed melted butter magic.

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Give them a stir and marvel at that amazing color and flavor.

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Time for the celery! I love celery. My high school biology teacher taught me the difference between turgid and flaccid with a couple pieces of new and older celery. Thanks to Mrs. Ramos, I’ll never forget those definitions. Nor will I ever be able to look at celery without assessing its turgor pressure and therefore, freshness. Nerd-alert! Thanks for being my friend.

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Cut the ends of the celery off.

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Then cut the long piece into two long halves. Chop those halves into small, adorable pieces!

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Done?

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Add them to the pot of softening onions.

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Give it a good stir.

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Add ½ tsp of kosher salt and stir it again.

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This is my secret make-it-taste-like-childhood-stuffing weapon. Italian seasoning! The bread croutons we usually buy for stuffing are typically flavored with Italian seasoning.

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Add 1 Tbl of the goodness to the onion and celery mixture.

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Let it simmer for about 5 minutes on medium/low until the onions are translucent and the celery is softened a bit.

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We’ve finished all the components and it’s time to assemble! Pour the roasted sweet potato croutons into a big bowl.

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Add the perfectly crisped Italian sausage bits.

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Add the buttery goodness onions and celery. Make sure you get all that butter in there!

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Finally, the star of the show. Allow me to introduce you to the fruit of the season. The one and only, cranberry. Oh goodness how I love cranberries. Stay tuned because next week I’ll share my very own recipe for all natural, all delicious, and all super easy cranberry sauce.

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Add 12 oz. {about 2 cups} of fresh cranberries to the bowl.

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Got it all in there?

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I hope you’re marveling at all your hard work right now. These flavors are going to come together and make Thanksgiving magic happen.

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Fold all the ingredients together. I don’t recommend you give it an aggressive stir because we want the sweet potato croutons to maintain their shape.

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Pour the mixture into a large baking dish.

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Pat it down so that you have an even layer.

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Cover with foil and then stick it in the oven at 350 F for 20 minutes! After those 20 minutes are up, remove the foil and finish baking for another 10 minutes.

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Done!

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Bam! Isn’t it gorgeous?? It’s even tastier than it looks.

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You, your family, your extended family, your office potluck participants, and your friends are all going to just love this dish.

Wishing you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Print Print

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing

Yield: 12

Total Time: ~2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 6 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into ½“ cubes
  • 8 oz. {2 sticks} grass-fed butter or extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lb. mild Italian sausage
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 head of celery, diced
  • 1 Tbl Italian seasoning
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • curly parsley for garnish {optional}

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt half the butter and pour over the cubed sweet potatoes. Lay the sweet potato cubes on the baking sheets in a single layer. Dust with half the kosher salt. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, stir, then bake for an additional 25 minutes. Add or subtract baking time in order to get slightly crisped, but not burnt sweet potato croutons.
  2. In a large frying pan, break up and brown the Italian sausage. When it’s brown and crispy, drain in a colander and then set aside.
  3. Add the other half of the butter {4 oz.} to a large sauce pan over low/medium heat. Add the cloves of garlic and let it simmer and infuse for about 5 minutes. When the garlic starts to brown, remove and discard. Add the diced onions and stir. Add the diced celery, ½ tsp of the kosher salt, and the Italian seasoning. Stir and let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  4. Pour the finished sweet potato croutons, Italian sausage, and cooked onion, celery, and garlic mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the raw cranberries and fold until evenly combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil then bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
  6. Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy!

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing | Fed+Fit

   

31 Responses to “Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing”

  1. #
    1
    cathyoposted November 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    This looks fantastic! I might just have to give this a try!

    • fedandfit replied: — November 24th, 2013 @ 9:17 am

      That’s great! I’d love to know how you like it :)

  2. #
    2
    Vickieposted November 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    This is a beauty to behold! The colors are amazing! I WILL be making this but not being a fan of Italian sausage I’ll just stick with regular ole sausage and also using my handy dandy Vidalia Onion Chopper, it makes the most perfect little squares in no time at all, either large or small and no, I am not an onion chopper saleswoman, just really like mine as it cuts time and everything is just the same as long as I cut the slabs the same thickness. Thanks so much for this post, done so well and I like your humor!

    • fedandfit replied: — November 24th, 2013 @ 9:19 am

      Thanks, Vickie! It sounds like I need an onion chopper :)

  3. #
    3
    Vickieposted November 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Oh and I forgot to add, love your pan!

    • fedandfit replied: — November 24th, 2013 @ 9:20 am

      Thank you! It actually belonged to my Grandmother – really puts me in the Thanksgiving mood :)

  4. #
    4
    Ms Mercuryposted November 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Looks and smells wonderful (just projecting about the aroma). I am planning to make all the ingredients on Wednesday, putting in fridge, then Thursday take out til room temp and assembling them and putting in oven for baking.

    Question: Any suggestion on how to handle the sourness of the cranberries. I only use fresh cranberries once a year, but they are always he most sour produce ever. Do they get sweeter when they are baked? I usually use sugar and/or applesauce to sweeten fresh cranberry sauce, but since they are whole, I’m wondering how to tame them down.

    Thanks.

    • fedandfit replied: — November 25th, 2013 @ 9:13 am

      Sounds like a great plan! The mild sweetness of the cranberries absolutely comes out while baking – but it doesn’t change that they’re still a tart fruit. They’re easy to avoid while you’re eating the stuffing because they’re still whole. I recommend giving them a go and then just pick ‘em out if you find them too tart. You might surprise yourself and love the taste too! Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving.

  5. #
    5
    CaliGirlposted November 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Presentation is beautiful but I would love to be able to print just the recipe and instructions. Do you have this recipe somewhere else that I can print from?

    • fedandfit replied: — November 25th, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

      Great question! At the bottom of the post {just above the very last picture}, I’ve provided a summarized list of ingredients and instructions. For the time being, the only option is to copy and paste that text into a Word document for printing. I’m working on a website redesign right now {will go live late December} and will have a printer-friendly recipe button available on all future posts.

  6. #
    6
    coriposted November 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I found this recipe via Just Eat real food. I made this as a side dish for our Sunday dinner last evening. I halved the recipe as there was just my husband & I. It is every bit as delicious as Promised. I will be making this again in our future. I can with confidence recommend this recipe. I only had frozen whole organic cranberry’s. they worked well in the recipe. I can say that the cranberries do get sweeter as they bake in this dish and are a lovely addition. Along with the chopped fresh parsley just before serving. I actually used a combination of butter and coconut oil for roasting & sautéing the vegetables.

    Thank you very much for sharing this!

    • fedandfit replied: — November 27th, 2013 @ 10:07 am

      Thank you for your feedback, Cori! I’m so thrilled that you and your husband liked it. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  7. #
    7
    Jeremy Goldstrichposted November 27, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Could you use this inside the bird ?

    • fedandfit replied: — November 27th, 2013 @ 10:13 am

      Hi Jeremy! I haven’t tried cooking it in the bird, so I can’t speak to how well it would turn out. It’s worth an experiment if you’re wanting to give it a try! I’d love to know how it comes out. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. #
    8
    Teresaposted November 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Oh my, I am making this right now for tomorrow’s dinner and snap! It is delicious. Turning out perfectly. Thank you soooo much for sharing.

    • fedandfit replied: — November 29th, 2013 @ 10:07 am

      My pleasure, Teresa!

  9. #
    9
    Dollieposted November 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

    This is a new family favorite! Love your step by step directions-thanks for sharing

    • fedandfit replied: — November 29th, 2013 @ 9:55 am

      Oh I’m so thrilled that you liked it, Dollie! It’s my pleasure.

  10. #
    10
    Dianeposted November 29, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner and yes, it was a hit! Loved the flavor combinations. And thank you for including pictures of how to properly chop the sweet potatoes and the onion (still cried, though).

  11. #
    11
    Maria Floresposted September 20, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Can I substitute coconut butter for the butter used in recipe? Thank you.

    • Cassy replied: — October 2nd, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

      Hi Maria! You mean, can you substitute butter for the coconut oil? If that’s your question, then yes. Absolutely.

  12. #
    12
    Maria+Floresposted September 20, 2014 at 1:23 am

    I guess my question is has anyone tried it with the extra virgin cocunut oil, and how did it taste.

  13. #
    13
    Bladeposted November 15, 2014 at 12:45 am

    My wife loves sweet potato, me, not so much. That gosh awful mashed with marshmallow casserole ruined me. But I have tried, and liked, roasted wedges. This is something I’ll have to try for T-Day this year. Have you tried any other seasonings than Italian? Herbs de Provence, or fresh thyme or marjoram? Also wonder if a little heat, say a fresh jalapeno or some red pepper flakes might me nice. Oh it’s so much fun to experiment. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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