Thanksgiving “Stuffing” Poppers

Thanksgiving Stuffing Poppers
Thanksgiving “Stuffing” Poppers – the stuffing alternative
Stuffing was definitely one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. It was probably my early gluten intolerance rearing its ugly head! I love all the flavors associated with stuffing. Between pouring warm gravy over it and combining it with a special cranberry dish, it was a little bite of heaven that was never made at any other time of year. When you think of it, why are cranberries relegated only to Thanksgiving? They are rich in vitamin C, very low calorie and have immune boosting effects. I wanted to find a healthy recipe that would stand in for a classic but have none of the unhealthy aspects of stuffing. This recipe is a little fussy but I think you’ll love the flavors of Thanksgiving contained in every bite. Carrots, celery, and onion with sage, thyme and parsley were definitely the foundation of my mother’s stuffing. Of course I love the idea of eliminating the bread crumbs and substituting… you’ll never guess – garbanzo beans! The beans are of course very healthy plus they provide protein, but they lend a starch-like effect without being a grain. Please let me know how you enjoy these poppers – little bites of Thanksgiving stuffing that will leave you feeling healthy and satisfied. Grateful acknowledgement to for the original recipe.
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Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer


  • 2 boxes or cans organic garbanzo beans – rinsed, drained and dried on a paper towel – the drying is important. Just do it first while you’re chopping the veggies and they’ll be ready to go.
  • 1 small organic yellow onion peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic smashed and peels removed
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped organic carrot
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped organic celery
  • ½ cup flat leaf organic parsley
  • scant ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari – gluten-free of course!
  • 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
  • Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Gluten-free Panko bread crumbs or nutritional yeast for coating the poppers

Ingredients for Cranberry Dipping Sauce:

  • 1, 8 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup organic orange juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
  • ½ cup date sugar
  • ¼ cup Grand Marnier optional


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place all of the ingredients for the poppers in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Alternate between the machine running constantly and pulsing, stopping to scrape the sides, until the mixture is all uniform in size. You want the consistency to be a little chunky; if you over-process it will get too wet and won’t hold together.
  • Use a tablespoon measure to scoop up a small amount of the mixture. Roll it in between the palm of your hands to make a compact, round ball. Roll in bread crumbs or yeast to coat.
  • Line them up on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place in oven for 10-15 minutes. Halfway through flip over the poppers so they brown evenly.

For the dipping sauce

  • Place all of the ingredients into a large heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft. This takes about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes.
  • Allow the cranberry sauce to cool, then blend with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth. This makes about 2 cups of cranberry sauce.
  • Serve poppers warm or at room temperature with dipping sauce. The dipping sauce is delicious and you’ll likely find other uses for it.


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IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Author of the books:
“The Gluten Effect”
"Hiatal Hernia Syndrome",
and of the e-book “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”
Keyword finger foods, vegetables
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