Gluten-free stuffing and other creative sides

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“I really think wild rice is underrated,” says Andy Baraghani, who recommends this gluten-free option for stuffing. Photo by Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott.

Stuffing appears to be the must-have side. Co-host Andy Baraghani prefers making his version with a wholewheat sourdough with a deep dark crust and a tang. “You really want irregular pieces, not cubes, so they get nice and craggily with more surface area to brown,” he recommends. He caramelizes onion, celery, and garlic in a combination of olive oil and butter for flavor. Sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and celery leaves with lots of black pepper are added to the aromatics and bread and cooked in a baking pan which creates a context in texture, a spongy interior with a crusty top. 

Host Evan Kleiman insisted on a salad as a child every year and shares her version of her mother’s garlicky dressing. 

Forte Dressing


  • Garlic to taste (I use 1 clove for every two people)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Using a garlic press, puree the garlic into the salad bowl.  Add a bit of salt and mix together with the garlic using the back of a wooden spoon. 
  2. Add oil, then vinegar (use a 2/3 oil to 1/3 vinegar mix).  I use the wooden spoon to measure.  2 spoonfuls of oil and 1 spoonful of vinegar. Add black pepper and a handful of grated cheese.  Stir.

**Note: Don’t apologize to anyone for your garlic breath.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Serves: 8

This savory wild rice dish is the ultimate gluten-free stuffing and doubles as a holiday-appropriate grain salad with lots of fresh herbs. Cook the grains in well-salted water for much longer than you'd think; until the rice is splitting open, it's not done.


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups wild rice
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, tough outer layer removed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 12 oz. mushrooms (such as maitake, chanterelle, and/or oyster), torn or cut into large pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. chopped thyme
  • ⅓ cup sliced chives


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 6–8 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  2. Cook wild rice in a large pot of boiling salted water until most of the grains have split and all are tender, 40–50 minutes; drain and rinse under cold running water. Shake off as much water as possible and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, orange juice, and honey in a large bowl to combine. Add garlic and let sit for 10 minutes to infuse. Fish out garlic; discard. Add rice and toss to coat.
  4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook leeks, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, 8–10 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl with rice; toss to coat.
  5. Wipe out the skillet and heat another 1/4 cup oil over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. Arrange mushrooms in a skillet in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, toss, and continue to cook, tossing often and reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until golden brown all over, about 3 minutes longer. Mix in thyme and immediately transfer to a bowl with rice. Add pecans and chives and drizzle with more oil; toss once more.

*Cooks' Note*

Do Ahead: Rice can be cooked 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Dressing can be made 3 hours ahead; store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Andy Baraghani goes beyond Thanksgiving with his favorite everyday recipes in “The Cook You Want to Be.” Photo courtesy of Lorena Jones Books.