Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing

#Cranberry #Quinoa #Stuffing #Recipe from #HeidiPowell #HealthyThanksgiving #HealthyRecipes

A holiday favorite of ours is back just in time for Thanksgiving! This perfectly sweet and salty combo will make your taste buds dance…and will save you the calories of traditional Thanksgiving stuffing ☺. Win-win all around!

Bonus for my gluten-free friends – this is one stuffing you can eat! Yup – Chris and I have been making this recipe for years, and regardless of the fact that he is no longer gluten-free (this topic is a blog post, or novel, in and of itself) we STILL make it!

Bon appetite!

Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing
(Quinoa pronounced keen-wah)
Serves 8

What you’ll need:

1 package Pancetta (bacon)
1 container Trader Joe’s Stuffing Starter Mix **
2 cups (dry) quinoa
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

**TJ’s Stuffing Starter mix is about a 14.5 oz container of prechopped onions and celery seasoned with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

How to make it:

1. In a large pan over medium heat, saute the Pancetta and stuffing starter, until veggies are wilted and the Pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer to the rice cooker (or if you want to cook it on the stove top, a large pot)
3. Add the quinoa, broth, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cook on the “brown rice” setting, or until light and fluffy (stove top, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes).
5. Gently stir in the cranberries.


Heidi 🙂



  1. Jen P. - November 23, 2016

    Excited to try for Thanksgiving tomorrow! Thank you!

  2. Monday Monday!! » Route Bliss - May 8, 2014

    […] Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing @ Heidi Powell (gonna have to try this out!) […]

  3. Michelle - December 25, 2013

    Could I use couscous instead of quinoa?

  4. Jeanne Westcott - November 26, 2013

    Im going to try this….I am just now getting into using different things to replace my old family recipes to make them healthier. Although my moms old time german cooking and recipes are awesome, Im in the process of losing weight (my BMI went from 61 to now at 45) so I am going to try this one plus the glueten free is a plus! I just started using quinoa pasta…since I am a pastaholic! lol love it better than normal pasta

  5. Sue - November 26, 2013

    Heidi do you have the nutritional info for this mainly carb count?

  6. Anna - November 25, 2013

    I am interested to read the blog post about Chris not being gluten free anymore (I am not either) and would like to read this, but I am having a hard time finding the post. Thanks!

  7. Rih - November 24, 2013

    If made ahead is this good the next day? Reheated or cold?

  8. Larissa - November 22, 2013

    I made this last week for dinner and added chicken and pecans. It is so good! Thank you for this recipe!

  9. Bridget Tate - November 21, 2013

    Making this tonight. The Stuffing start mix states,
    1.5 diced yellow onion
    4 medium celery stalks
    6 sprigs of parsley
    1 sprig of rosemary
    3 sprigs of thyme
    4 sage leaves!

  10. Karen - November 19, 2013

    This is a fantastic dish!

  11. Helen Lueck - November 11, 2013

    Would this be considered a Carb or non-Carb dish?

  12. Rosie Boulware - November 7, 2013

    Need to know how many calories, fat, & carb in this per serving. Thanks!

  13. Brittany Serra - November 7, 2013

    Thank you! I was looking for something like this!

  14. Carla Bradley - November 7, 2013

    Any suggestions for a substitution for the pancetta if you don’t eat pork?

  15. Cindy Kelley - November 6, 2013

    No Trader Joe’s in this area. Interested in amounts to equal all that is named in the mix.

  16. Kristie - November 5, 2013

    Hi Heidi,

    Do you have any nutritional info for this recipe to make it easy to journal? If not, I can probably just stick the ingredients in MyFitnessPal. Thanks!

  17. Lora - November 5, 2013

    Thank you….Thank you…Thank you!! I cannot wait to try this!!

  18. Karla - November 5, 2013

    Heidi, if I don’t have TJ’s Stuffing Starter mix. Can I change this recipe with another ingredients or mix.

  19. Patti Pacer - November 5, 2013

    Heidi, my son has Celiac’s disease so I am looking for side dishes that he can eat at Thanksgiving. Can you recommend any and also a pumpkin pie recipe. I was thinking of making a pie crust using almond flour. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    • Admin1 - November 5, 2013

      There are lots of options for gluten free products (including pie crust) at most major grocery stores and health food stores. Good luck! 🙂

  20. Heather - November 5, 2013

    I’d love more Thanksgiving recipes so I can transform the dinner this year!

  21. Mary tack - November 5, 2013

    This sounds great!!! Can’t wait to try it!!

  22. Debbie - November 5, 2013

    Sounds and looks amazing! Do you have the nutritional facts for this?

  23. Holly Gratza - November 5, 2013

    It sounds delicious! However, there is no Trader Joe’s by me. 🙁 What could I substitute? Thanks!


  24. Andrea Ferreira - November 5, 2013

    Hi Heidi! I am very interested in making this recipe, however I do not live in an area that has a Trader Joe’s. Any suggestions on what to replace the stuffing starter with?

  25. Connie Miller - November 5, 2013

    Two questions – can you make it without the pancetta and what if we don’t have a trader joe’s to buy the stuffing starter mix? Any substitution?

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