Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful with fresh sage. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian, let alone gluten-free.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This is the gluten-free stuffing recipe that I bring to our festive table every year. My mother-in-law is vegetarian so when Luke and I first started hosting Christmas at our house I put aside my trusted sausagemeat recipe and set about creating a new family favourite that everyone could enjoy.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

I actually prefer this Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing to my sausage version as there is always so much meat on the festive table from the turkey to the ham to the pigs in blankets. The addition of a herby hearty nut stuffing is exactly the right accompaniment to the rest of the meal.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

Chestnuts

For this recipe use whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts to make the stuffing which are so easy to use and are widely available at this time of year. They are also delicious directly from the packet and have a wonderful earthy flavour with a crumbly creamy texture. The chestnuts pair exceedingly well with the rustic notes of the fresh sage and the sweet onions.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

How do you make it?

  1. First caramelise the onions at the beginning of the recipe – this is necessary to add the soft sweetness to the stuffing.
  2. Then you mix the onions with the crumbled chestnuts, fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs and fresh sage.
  3. Stir in a bit of seasoning, an egg to bind and a splash of double cream for moisture and there you have it.

Can you make it ahead?

You can prepare the stuffing a day or two in advance and pack it into an ovenproof dish to keep in the fridge ready for the oven. I don’t cook my stuffing in the bird cavity. Does anyone still do this anymore? But it’s lovely baked in a separate dish to create a crisp topping with the soft stuffing beneath.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

When should you put the stuffing in the oven?

On the big day, after the turkey has been taken out of the oven, this nut stuffing goes in. It only needs to bake for 20 minutes so doesn’t clog up precious oven space for any length of time.

Stuffing Balls

You could alternatively roll the stuffing into balls and bake on a baking tray lined with baking parchment which also works really well as the surface of the balls get quite crunchy, a perfect contrast to the squishy insides.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing is like a very low key nut roast and it is certainly meaty enough in texture to be a pretty decent offering for your vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Served alongside some powerhouse vegetable sides like the cauliflower cheese, which I also make every year, you can ensure everyone is going to be pretty well served at your festivities.

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  • Whole Chestnuts
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Sage Chestnut Stuffing

Other side dishes you’ll love on your festive table!

I urge you to give this Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing a try, it is so easy and delicious. If you do make this Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful with fresh sage. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 127kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions peeled and diced
  • 30 g unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon
  • 180 g whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts
  • 15 g fresh sage leaves removed
  • 150 g gluten-free sourdough or the best gluten-free bread you can find
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the onions in a saucepan along 30g butter and cook very gently for 30-40 minutes until the onions have caramelized.
  • Tip the onions in a large mixing bowl then set aside whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Place the saucepan back on the heat and add the extra teaspoon of butter to melt. Drop the fresh sage into the saucepan and fry gently until starting to colour then remove and finely chop. Add to the onions.
  • Break up the gluten-free sourdough and place in a food processor along with the chestnuts. Pulse briefly until they are roughly chopped. Then tip into the onions along with the beaten egg, double cream and seasoning.
  • Press the stuffing into an ovenware dish and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
  • Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180°C/170°C fan/gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.

Notes

  • You can make the stuffing up to 2 days ahead and keep in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • Alternatively you can roll the stuffing into balls and bake on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn’t have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesy and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board with plates

Is there any more comforting and homely supper than cauliflower cheese?

This gluten-free version is incredibly quick and uses only cornflour and milk instead of the roux. Absolutely perfect as a smash and grab dinner for the family. It has even passed the Luke test who can be pretty severe in his judgment of gluten-free alternatives.

It is so much easier actually than making a roux as all you need to do is whisk together the cornflour and milk for a few seconds in a cold saucepan then once it’s smooth place on the heat and bring to a gentle simmer. The sauce will thicken and at this point you stir in the cheese so it becomes a gorgeously creamy and velvety sauce.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

Cheese

The secret to any decent cheese sauce I think is to use a mix of cheeses, here we use:

  • Mature cheddar for flavour
  • Red Leicester for sweetness and colour

You could use all cheddar or all red Leicester. I have also been known to swap the whole amount for gruyère which has a lovely nuttiness.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

Now, using just cornflour and milk rather than a roux can lead to a rather bland sauce that doesn’t have the richness of the original. However, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to make sure that our version is as good as, nay surpasses, the roux version. These extra ingredients are no bother and really kick our sauce up a notch.

Dijon Mustard

The true trick when making a cheese sauce is to add a dollop of Dijon mustard to the proceedings which really brings out the cheesiness.

Roasted Garlic

I love to add roasted garlic into the sauce which sounds like a bit of a faff but really all you need to do is pop the garlic cloves in the oven on a baking tray with a splash of olive oil and they roast for 10 minutes as the cauliflower is put on to boil. They add a mellow flavour which gives the sauce depth.

However, if you simply cannot bear this one extra step then a ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder is also acceptable.

Crème fraiche

Since we’re not making a traditional roux we lose a little bit of the creaminess to our sauce. We can easily sort that out though with a final stir of crème fraiche in at the end. It adds richness to the sauce and the tanginess really compliments the cheese. It is an optional step but one I rarely skip.

Crunchy topping

As well as the mound of extra cheese I will insist you grate over the top of the assembled dish you will also need a little bit of crunch. You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs but what works really well are ground almonds. They crisp up beautifully and add a final touch of nuttiness to the finished dish.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

How do you serve Cauliflower Cheese?

  • Cauliflower Cheese makes a great vegetable side dish to your Sunday Roast.
  • Delicious with gammon or pork chops as a midweek meal.
  • Or as very simple supper with a hunk of toasted gluten-free bread.

Can it be made ahead?

Yes – assemble the dish in the ovenproof dish right up until you add the grated cheese and ground almonds. Leave to cool and then you can keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Then sprinkle on the cheese and almonds before placing in the oven. Increase the oven time by 5-10 minutes since you are cooking it from chilled.

Can it be frozen?

Yes – Although you should mix the par-boiled cauliflower into the cheese sauce and then freeze in a tight-fitting container. It can keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost completely overnight before pouring into the ovenproof dish and then sprinkling over the cheese and ground almonds. Increase the oven time by 5-10 minutes.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

Would you like more vegetable side dishes?

Carrot and Swede Mash
Braised Red Cabbage
Cheesy Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin

Or perhaps more accompaniments to your Sunday Lunch table?

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
Gluten-Free Gravy
Gluten-Free Stuffing

If you make this Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board
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5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn't have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesey and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 326kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 100 g red Leicester grated (+25g for grating on top)
  • 50 g mature cheddar grated (+25g for grating on the top)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted and mashed*
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 15 g ground almonds

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / Gas mark 5.
  • Separate the florets of the cauliflower then place in a large pan of boiling water. Bring up to a gentle simmer, then cook for 10 minutes. Drain and place the florets in an ovenproof dish.
  • In a medium sized saucepan whisk the cornflour into the whole milk then once smooth switch on the heat and bring to a low boil.
  • Sprinkle in the cheese and stir in until melted in.
  • Add the mustard, pepper, garlic cloves and crème fraiche and stir in until it becomes a thick smooth sauce.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower florets then sprinkle on the extra cheese and the ground almonds.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes when the cheese should be bubbling and the almond breadcrumbs turning golden.

Notes

*I break the cauliflower into large florets which requires par-boiling for this length of time. It produces a softer cauliflower. If you prefer a firmer cauliflower with bite then just par-boil for 5 minutes.
*Roast the garlic by placing the whole cloves in their skins on a baking tray with a splash of olive oil in the pre-heated oven for the 10 minutes whilst the cauliflower is par-boiling. Remove from the oven, peel from their skins and mash the creamy insides.
You can swap the roasted garlic for ¼ teaspoon garlic granules.
Making Ahead - It can be made ahead by assembling the dish in the ovenproof dish right up until you add the grated cheese and ground almonds. Leave to cool and then you can keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Then sprinkle on the cheese and almonds before placing in the oven. Increase the oven time by 5-10 minutes since you are cooking it from chilled.
Freezing - you should mix the par-boiled cauliflower into the cheese sauce and then freeze in a tightfitting container. It can keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost completely overnight before pouring into the ovenproof dish and then sprinkling over the cheese and ground almonds. Increase the oven time by 5-10 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 69.8mg | Calcium: 434mg | Iron: 0.9mg

This recipe was updated in September 2020 to clarify the method, adding more helpful information and editing my lengthy waffle which was no longer relevant to the recipe.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

This is an excellent standby week night meal which takes moments to prepare. The vegetables don’t even need peeling, just minimal chopping and then 30-40 minutes roasting in the oven.

Aubergines and courgettes are often misunderstood vegetables as they seem difficult to cook correctly. Sometimes with watery or oily results.

However this recipe is so easy and absolutely foolproof that aubergines and courgettes will become your absolute go-to veg choice when you are looking for a quick meal.

courgette and aubergine3

Why this recipe works so brilliantly

  • Minimal prep time so ideal if you need a hands off dinner.
  • The sumac, fresh herbs and lemon balance out the richness of the roasted vegetables.
  • You can make ahead as this dish is just as good eaten at room temperature.
  • Roasted Aubergine and Courgette can accompany a variety of different meals.

If you need more veggie side dishes then why not try:

English Mint Potato Salad
Garlicky Slow Braised Tomato and Aubergine
The Best Homemade Coleslaw

courgette and aubergine

Do you need to salt aubergines?

Yes and no. Years ago aubergines were much more bitter so they required salting to make them more palatable. The bitterness has been bred out of them now though so there is no more need to salt for that purpose. However, aubergines do soak up a lot of oil when cooking so salting them prior to cooking helps the aubergine to absorb less oil.

I’m happy to report though that there is no need to salt the aubergines in this recipe. We are looking for speed here.

TIP:  If you feel the end result is too oily then you can pat the vegetables dry with clean kitchen paper before tossing with the herbs and lemon.

What is Sumac?

Sumac is popular in middle eastern cooking. It has a tart lemony flavour. Lovely sprinkled over salads, grilled meats or vegetables.

Here it adds a tanginess to the roasted vegetables, cutting through the richness of the olive oil.

How to Roast Aubergine and Courgette

There is minimal prep involved here.

  1. Cut each vegetable into 8 wedges, by slicing in half width ways, then cutting the halves length ways twice.
  2. Toss in the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes (depending on how large your vegetables were to begin with).
  4. Finally toss with the fresh herbs and lemon.

Roasted aubergine and courgette2

What to serve with Roasted Aubergine and Courgette

  • Lamb Kebabs
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Toss through with pasta for a vegan main dish
  • Serve drizzled with garlicky yoghurt
  • Take to a pot luck for a healthy veggie option

If you make this Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 210kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 courgettes
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 g mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g coriander leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • Wedge of lemon

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  • Prepare the courgette and aubergine by slicing off the stems. Cut each one in half width ways. Halve each again lengthways and then cut into 16 wedges in total.
  • Place the wedges on a baking tray then toss with the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes, checking halfway through to give a good mix around.
  • Once the aubergine and courgette are soft, lightly browned and slightly crispy at the corners then remove from the oven.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh herbs, mixing together with a squeeze of lemon.

Notes

  • Cut aubergine browns quickly so don’t leave it hanging around the kitchen after you have turned it into wedges.
  • You can enjoy this dish hot from the oven or cooled and served at room temperature.
  • Lovely served with grilled lamb or chicken or tossed through pasta for a vegan option.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2014, but was updated in August of 2019 to make the recipe instructions clearer as well as nutritional information and expert tips.