Vegan, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving: Lentil Stuffing Muffins

Lentil Stuffing Muffins - the perfect Thanksgiving menu or side that is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

Traditional stuffing just got kicked up a nutritional notch with this recipe for lentil stuffing muffins! These muffins are hearty enough to claim a spot as the “main” on your Thanksgiving menu and light enough to play a supporting role if you’re going the traditional route. Either way, this recipe for lentil stuffing muffins will be sure to please the vegan, gluten-free and meat eaters around the table!

Lentil Stuffing Muffins - the perfect Thanksgiving menu or side that is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

Before November even hits, it’s likely that most of us are planning our Thanksgiving menus. Whether you’re planning a menu for four or 40, it can be hard to please everyone’s taste buds and dietary preferences.

One of the things I love most about entertaining during the holidays is experimenting in the kitchen to give traditional holiday foods a fresh and nutritious twist. The first item on my “must make over” list this year – stuffing.

Lentil Stuffing Muffins - the perfect Thanksgiving menu or side that is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

This recipe is easy to make, heartier than traditional stuffing (so it could pass as a main dish) and has a fresh twist so that even those who aren’t stuffing fans (like myself) might give it a try.

How is this accomplished? Lentils are added for extra protein and fiber, dried cranberries for a little sweetness and walnuts for a nutty, hearty texture. Oh, and fresh herbs always make everything tastier with minimal effort.

These lentil stuffing muffins have been given two thumbs up by plant and meat eaters alike which means everyone gets to go home happy and satisfied. Win!

Lentil Stuffing Muffins - the perfect Thanksgiving menu or side that is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

The nutritional stars of this lentil stuffing muffin recipe include:

  • Lentils which are packed with protein (9 grams in 1/2 cup) and 8 grams of fiber which increases satiety, as well as iron to boost energy!
  • Walnuts which provide a healthy dose of good-for-you fats and antioxidants that promote brain health and help prevent heart disease and cancer.

A few cooking tips before getting started:

To prevent an overly-mushy texture, make sure the bread cubes are dry and toasted so that they retain their shape. When it comes time to combine everything together, fold the ingredients in with a spatula to avoid over-mixing.

Since there’s no oil or butter in this recipe, give your muffin tins an extra coating of cooking spray for good measure to prevent sticking!

Lentil Stuffing Muffins - the perfect Thanksgiving menu or side that is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

If you make these lentil stuffing cups (or any other FitLiving Eats recipe) leave a comment below and don’t forget to tag #fitlivingeats on the ‘gram 🙂

Looking for more fall recipes? Check out this Pumpkin Hummus Crostini recipe and No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bites!

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Lentil Stuffing Muffins - the perfect Thanksgiving menu or side that is vegan and gluten-free friendly!

Lentil Stuffing Muffins (Thanksgiving Dish)

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 muffins 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Oven & Stove
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Traditional stuffing just got kicked up a nutritional notch with this recipe for lentil stuffing muffins! These muffins are hearty enough to claim a spot as the “main” on your Thanksgiving menu and light enough to play a supporting role if you’re going the traditional route.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup dry green lentils
  • 6 small baguettes, cut into 1/2” cubes (about 4 cups total)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or more if needed)
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (sage, rosemary and thyme would be delicious!)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. To make the flax egg, whisk the ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside (you are looking for a gummy texture after the mixture has sat for about 10 minutes).
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Spread the cubed pieces of bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes to allow the bread to dry out and crisp up a bit.
  4. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in cold water then add to a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Once the bread is toasted, remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Place the cubed, toasted bread in a large mixing bowl and pour the vegetable broth on top. Set aside to allow the bread to soak up the liquid.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, pinch of salt and black pepper; saute for another minute.
  8. Add the onion and celery mix to the soaked bread along with the lentils, flax egg, chopped herbs, cranberries and walnuts. Add another pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix with a spoon. The mixture should resemble the consistency similar to that of meatloaf. If it’s too dry, add more vegetable broth; if it’s too wet, add more bread.
  9. Spoon into individual muffin pans that have been coated with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Top with gravy (optional) and enjoy!

-Carly Paige

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Simply Swapped Everyday

Simply Swapped Everyday is your guide to elevating the everyday through mindful methods, ingredient swaps and over 75 plant-powered recipes. Cooking healthy foods at home has never been easier or more delicious!

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4 Responses

    1. Hi Julia, yes! It is super easy to make! I made it in a recent cooking class with 12 people and they all made it in a breeze!

Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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