Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing

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This cranberry sweet potato stuffing is the perfect Paleo addition to your table this Thanksgiving!

This Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing combines sweet potato croutons, browned Italian sausage, garlic-infused butter, onions and celery, and cranberries to brighten each bite. It is so good you won't even miss the traditional version!

paleo stuffing with sweet potatoes, sausage, and cranberries in a pumpkin-shaped cast iron pot on a marble surface

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.

Why This Is the Best Paleo Stuffing Recipe 

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.

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 paleo sweet potato cranberry stuffing recipe won’t disappoint. Here’s why it’s the best ever: 

  1. Flavor – this stuffing recipe is full of fall staples (think: sweet potatoes, sausage, celery, and fresh cranberries) with the perfect balance of savory and sweet!
  2. Easy to Make – because we’re replacing the bread in traditional stuffing with sweet potato croutons, this recipe doesn’t require making grain-free bread.
  3. Allergen-Friendly – another bonus? This stuffing is totally gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, and nut-free, making it a great dish to be enjoyed by all.

Sweet Potato Stuffing Ingredients

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. Here’s exactly what you’ll need:

  • Sweet Potatoes  – we're swapping the traditional stuffing bread cubes for sweet potatoes here, so you’ll need about 6 pounds of cubed sweet potatoes to start.
  • Butter – you’ll also need 8 ounces (or 2 sticks) of grass-fed butter (extra virgin coconut oil + ghee work here too!),…
  • Italian Sausage – …2 pounds of mild Italian sausage,…
  • Garlic Cloves – …5 cloves of peeled and smashed garlic,…
  • Onion – …1 large diced yellow onion,…
  • Celery – …1 head of diced celery stalks,…
  • Italian Seasoning – …1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning (for that perfect, herb flavor), and…
  • Cranberries – …12 ounces of fresh cranberries (YUM!).
  • Parsley – go ahead and grab some curly parsley for garnish if you’d like! 
diced sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a wooden spatula on top
sausage being browned in a grey pot with a wooden spoon
six cloves of garlic being cooked in melted butter in a grey pot on the stovetop
chopped onions being added to a grey pot filled with butter on a stovetop
chopped celery being added to a grey pot with diced onions
diced onions and celery in a grey pot with seasonings and a wooden spoon

How to Make Paleo Stuffing

Though this stuffing has several steps, it's actually very easy, and really comes down to a little bit of chopping, baking, sauteeing, and then a little bit more baking – see, not hard at all! So, let’s make some paleo stuffing!

  1. Prep – it's prep time! To start, preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Then, cube your sweet potatoes if you haven't already!
  2. Roast the Sweet Potato Cubes – melt half of the butter and pour it over the cubed sweet potatoes. Lay the sweet potato cubes on the baking sheets in a single layer. Dust with half of the kosher salt, and 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.
  3. Brown the Italian Sausage – in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, break up and brown the Italian sausage. When it’s brown and crispy, drain, and set aside.
  4. Brown the Garlic + Onions – add the other half of the butter (4 ounces) to a large skillet 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, then add the diced onions and stir. Add the diced celery, a ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt, and the Italian seasoning, stir, and let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add the Raw Cranberries – pour the finished sweet potato croutons, Italian sausage, and cooked onion, celery, and garlic mixture into a large bowl, then add the raw cranberries and fold until evenly combined.
  6. Bake – 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.
  7. Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy!
stainless steel bowl filled with diced sweet potatoes
cooked onion and celery being added to a stainless steel bowl filled with browned sausage and sweet potatoes
handful of cranberries being added to a stainless steel bowl filled with sweet potatoes, cranberries, sausage, and cooked onion and celery
pan full of paleo stuffing with diced sweet potatoes, celery, onion, sausage, and cranberries

Variations 

Though this recipe is stunning as written, you can totally switch things up to your liking. Here are a few must-try variations:

  • Sub Squash for the Sweet Potatoes – use cubed butternut squash in place of the sweet potatoes! Know that the squash won’t get quite as crispy as the sweet potatoes, but it’ll still be completely delicious.
  • Use Hot Italian Sausage – if you’re looking for a little bit of spice in your stuffing, sub hot Italian sausage in for the mild! 
  • Use Dried Cranberries in Place of Raw – if tart raw cranberries aren’t your thing, use a cup of sweet dried cranberries instead!
  • Add Mushrooms – if you like mushrooms in your stuffing, feel free to add those into the mix too!
  • Add More Vegetables – feel free to add diced carrots or bell pepper to your stuffing! You'll do this at the same time that you add the yellow onion + diced celery to the saute pan. 

sweet potato cranberry paleo stuffing in an orange pumpkin-shaped cast iron pot on top of a white towel with blue stripes on a marble surface

More Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes

Your Thanksgiving guests are going to love this Paleo stuffing dish. Wishing you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

Print

Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing

paleo stuffing with sweet potatoes, sausage, and cranberries in a pumpkin-shaped cast iron pot on a marble surface

This Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing combines sweet potatoes, Italian sausage, garlic butter, onions, celery, and cranberries to brighten each bite.

  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 105 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Holiday
Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) grass-fed butter or extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 head of celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • curly parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  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 ounces) 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 teaspoon 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!

Keywords: holiday, dairy free, paleo, gluten free, nightshade free

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  1. cathyo says:

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

    1. fedandfit says:

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

  2. Vickie says:

    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!

    1. fedandfit says:

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

  3. Vickie says:

    Oh and I forgot to add, love your pan!

    1. fedandfit says:

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

  4. Ms Mercury says:

    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.

    1. fedandfit says:

      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. CaliGirl says:

    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?

    1. fedandfit says:

      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. cori says:

    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!

    1. fedandfit says:

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

  7. Jeremy Goldstrich says:

    Could you use this inside the bird ?

    1. fedandfit says:

      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. Teresa says:

    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.

    1. fedandfit says:

      My pleasure, Teresa!

  9. Dollie says:

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

    1. fedandfit says:

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

  10. Diane says:

    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. Maria Flores says:

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

    1. Cassy says:

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

  12. Maria+Flores says:

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

  13. Blade says:

    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!

    1. Cassy says:

      Fresh thyme may be a great substitute! I also think that some red pepper flakes might be an awesome addition. Hope you enjoy!

  14. Megan says:

    Thank you for this awesome recipe! This was a big hit with my immediate family and so I’m making for Thanksgiving with friends. My picky kids even had seconds! They did pick out the cranberries and I suppose if you want to accommodate pickiness you could substitute dried sweetened cranberries or even raisins. I’m not changing anything thought b/c I loved the tart berries and I think most adults would too. This dish alone is making my Thanksgiving!

    1. Cassy says:

      I’m so glad you liked it so much, Megan!

  15. Karen says:

    making this for the third time. I forgot to buy mild Italian sausage so I used hot. Hope it works! Last time I set some aside w/o the sausage for an AIP friend. It’s even fabulous meat free! Love this recipe!

  16. Lyndsey says:

    So excited to make this tomorrow! Any way I can do the last step the day of thanksgiving ? And cooks everything else the day before ?

    1. Kelly says:

      Hi Lyndsey! Sorry, I just saw this comment. You could definitely do that. Hope it turned out well for you and you had a great Thanksgiving!

  17. Rachel says:

    I don’t usually comment, but I just had to this time. I made this for an almost 100% aip compliant christmas dinner (the exceptions being ghee and black pepper). It was outstanding. My husband, who eats about 50% paleo and 50% SAD, declared more than once that it was better than “regular stuffing”. He had already devoured most of the leftovers. All of the other guests at the table also loved it and the recipe was passed on to a few people. The only changes I made were to use ghee, added mushrooms, and I used pork apple sausage because that’s what I had. Thank you!!

    1. Kelly says:

      So glad you loved it Rachel!! That makes us so happy to be apart of your Christmas in some way, even if it is small. Hope you had a lovely holiday and Happy New Year!!

  18. Kristin says:

    Can you prep/pre-cook the ingredients ahead of time and then bake it off together on Thanksgiving Day?

    1. Cassy says:

      Absolutely!

  19. Alison Lewis McCoy says:

    This is amazingly delicious. My gluten intolerant family loved it and it will become part of our holiday meals from now on.

    1. Cassy says:

      I’m so glad you liked it!

  20. Heather H says:

    Made it with Turkey cranberry sausage, looks beautiful but those cranberries are sooo bitter

  21. judy says:

    I made this today; cut the recipe in 1/2; otherwise followed it exactly. Except we cannot yet get cranberries; so I used dried apricots and it was out of this world. My husband and I ate some of it for lunch. He is diabetic so I was looking for a recipe to go with turkey and/or chicken that he could eat and this is it. Thank you so much. I am looking for the nutrition info on this recipe. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks

  22. Lauren says:

    Hi!! Can you elaborate on freezing instructions?? Do you fully cook it and then freeze? Or after you assemble and then let thaw and bake thanksgiving morning?
    Thank you!! Happy thanksgiving!

  23. […] dish is like Thanksgiving in a spoon! I was inspired by an AIP version of Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing that I’ve been making but wanted a creamier consistency, so I leveraged a few classic […]

  24. […] help address our autoimmune conditions, we came home with a handy packet of food rules and meals. Fed & Fit’s Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing was front and center for a make-ahead go-to breakfast meal. That was our first AIP staple […]

  25. Rizalina says:

    I am still madly in love with this recipe! Thank you for sharing this delicious perfection for the holidays.

    5.0 rating

  26. CGL says:

    I made this two years ago for the alternative to bread stuffing. It’s now on my permanent rotation for holidays.

  27. Denise says:

    Can you use this to stuff your turkey? I can’t stuff the turkey since I have a gluten intolerant guest coming. I want to stuff the bird to help with keeping it moist.

  28. Marcia Schlie says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if you ever made this recipe ahead and froze it.

  29. Cynthia VerDuin says:

    It would be nice if the quantities were specificied in measured amounts.

  30. Heidy says:

    Omg this looks amazing! Can you stuff this inside the turkey?

  31. Denise says:

    I have a vegan daughter, can I omit the sausage or do you have a suggestion for replacing it?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Feel free to omit, Denise!