How To Do A Paleo Thanksgiving

From Danielle Walker. 

These days, everyone at least knows someone who has Celiac or eats gluten-free or paleo for one reason or another. One of the things I’m asked frequently is how to accommodate a holiday guest who has special dietary needs. One of the worst things for a cook is to have to prepare two versions of the same dish, so I created my cookbook Thankful, full of over twenty-five paleo Thanksgiving recipes to set the host’s mind at ease and provide delicious recipes that the entire table can enjoy, regardless of their eating lifestyle. Special classic dishes like pecan and pumpkin pies, green bean casserole, and stuffing cannot be missed, so I’ve recreated them in a gluten-free and dairy-free fashion that does not lack in flavor or texture in the least bit! Whether you’re looking to make your holiday feast a bit healthier this season, or are hosting guests with allergies, I think you will really enjoy these recipes! – Danielle Walker

Stuffing Filled Turkey Breast

From Danielle Walker

paleo thanksgiving recipes

Yields: 6 servings Cook time: 1 hour 25 minutes

A chestnut bread stuffing is rolled up tightly in a turkey breast, and served with pan gravy and cranberry compote (page 26). Throw all of the stuffing vegetables into a food processor for a faster prep time!


4 cups grain-free bread cubes, 1-inch size

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or ghee, divided

1 (4-pound) boneless turkey breast

½ yellow onion, peeled and halved

1 large celery stalk, halved

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled

2 sprigs thyme

2 sage leaves

1 sprig rosemary

1 sprig parsley

1 cup whole jarred chestnuts

2 large eggs, whisked

½ cup unsalted turkey or chicken stock

1 ½ teaspoon sea salt

¾ teaspoon black pepper

For the pan gravy

½ yellow onion, peeled

½ unpeeled garlic head

2 cups turkey or chicken stock, divided

½ cup cashews, soaked for at least 2hours


1. Preheat oven to 375 degree°F. Toss the bread in 2 tablespoons of melted butter and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Toast the bread cubes for 15 minutes, stirring once for even browning. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Place the onion, celery, garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley, and chestnuts in a food processor. Pulse 6 to 8 times, until everything is finely chopped. Pour the mixture into the pan and saute for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in bread cubes, eggs, turkey stock, salt and pepper.

5. Place the turkey breast on the cutting board with skin side down. Pound it with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin to create an even surface. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing on top and roll the turkey up like a jellyroll. Wrap kitchen twine around breast and tie tightly.

6. Place turkey in a roasting pan with the half yellow onion, garlic head, and 1 cup turkey stock. Drizzle with remaining melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Roast until internal temperature of the turkey breast is 165°F, about 1 hour. Baste twice during the cooking.

7. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and tent with foil. Rest for 15 minutes then snip off kitchen twine and slice the turkey. Arrange decoratively on a platter.

8. Make the gravy – Place the roasted oven half in a blender and squeeze the garlic cloves out of the skins into the blender. While the pan is still hot, whisk in the remaining cup of stock to release any browned bits from the bottom. Pour the liquid through a strainer into the blender. Drain the cashews and add half of them to the blender. Blend until very smooth. Add remaining cashews if gravy is not thick enough, or a little extra stock if too thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the stuffing up to 2 days in advance. The uncooked, rolled turkey can be stored tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

SCD and Paleo Cranberry Sauce

From Danielle Walker

Cranberry Sauce


1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries

1 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon orange zest


Mix all of the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries begin to break, or for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let it sit until it reaches room temperatures. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Serve with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Leeks, and Pomegranate Seeds

From Danielle Walker

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 8 minutes Yield: 6 servings

Shaving Brussels sprouts makes them tender and lends a great texture to a dish. I like to combine them with bacon, leeks, and pomegranate seeds for a savory side dish that surprises with its pop of tang.


2 pounds Brussels sprouts

5 slices bacon, chopped

1 leek, sliced, white part only

1 clove garlic, minced

2/3 cup chicken broth

¾ teaspoon sea salt

Pinch cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds


Shred the Brussels sprouts using the grater attachment on a food processor or a mandolin.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet or stockpot set over medium-high heat until crisp.

Remove the bacon from the pan, and set aside, leaving the grease in the pan.

Add the Brussels sprouts, leek, and garlic to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Cover and  steam for 5 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are bright green and tender. Return the bacon to the pan.

Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve warm.

Roasted-Garlic Mashed Faux-tatoes

From Danielle Walker

Roasted-Garlic Mashed Faux-tatoes

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes Yield: 4 servings

While the flavor of licorice is a characteristic of raw fennel, roasting the bulbs brings out a subtler, savory taste. In this dish roasted fennel and garlic are puréed with celeriac, or celery root, to mimic the texture of mashed potatoes, but with a third of the carbohydrates. This is a great alternative for those who don’t like cauliflower, which is the most frequent substitute for mashed potatoes.


4 fennel bulbs, stalks and leaves removed

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided

3 celeriac, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)

3 tablespoons ghee

½ cup unsweetened almond milk


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Cut the fennel into quarters and place it in an oven-safe dish with the garlic. Drizzle olive oil over it and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Cover and place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes.

Bring in a large stockpot of water to a boil and boil the celeriac until soft, about 12 minutes. Drain and add to a food processor.

Add the roasted garlic and fennel mixture, ghee, almond milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining pepper to the food processor and process until smooth.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage

From Daniele Walker

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Yield: 6 servings

Roasted vegetables and robust browned sausage radiate an incomparable depth of flavor throughout every spoonful of this soup, turning it into a hearty meal that will warm you from the inside out on a cold evening.


3-4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded

2 large carrots, peeled

1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided

½ pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon allspice

1 bay leaf

Garnish: toasted hazelnut pieces and fresh sage leaves


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the squash, carrots, and onion into 1-inch chunks.

Toss the vegetable chunks and garlic in the olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Place the vegetables in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, stirring once.

Cook the sausage in a stockpot over medium heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and place them in a blender.

Add half of the broth and purée until smooth.

Add the purée and the remainder of the broth to the pot with the sausage, stirring to combine.

Season with the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, bay leaf, and the remaining salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot, garnished with fresh sage and toasted hazelnut pieces.

Apple Sausage Stuffing

From Danielle Walker

Apple Sausage Stuffing

Prep time: 45 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes Servings: 10-12


2 loaves grain-free bread


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 celery stalks (leaves included), chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 sprigs parsley, chopped

1 sprig rosemary, chopped

2 sprigs thyme, chopped

2 sage leaves, chopped

1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 medium Fuji apple, chopped with skin on

6 cups bread cubes (See Danielle’s Grain-Free White Bread Recipe)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup dry vermouth, optional

1-1/4 cups turkey stock or chicken broth

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

7 tablespoons ghee or grass-fed butter, melted


Follow the recipe for Danielle’s grain-free White Bread recipe.

Once the loaves have cooled, slice them in half lengthwise to make two thin loaves, then into 1-inch cubes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat with 5 tablespoons melted ghee. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 30 minutes turning occasionally until cubes are golden brown and slightly dry.

Meanwhile, sauté the celery, onions, garlic, sausage, apples, herbs and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 15 minutes. Add the vermouth and bring to a boil.

Toss the bread cubes with the sausage mixture, eggs, salt and pepper, and turkey stock.

Transfer stuffing to a greased baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee on top. Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes until top is golden.

Make Ahead Tip

Prepare the loaves of bread up to 5 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also sauté the sausage mixture the night before Thanksgiving and then put it all together right before baking.


Store leftover stuffing in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven, with 2 tablespoons ghee sprinkled on top and baked at 350 until warmed through. If stuffing dries out, add a tablespoon or two of broth and mix to rehydrate. Nut-Free Tip – replace sunflower butter for the nut butters and the baking soda for 3 teaspoons baking powder.

Read Danielle Walker’s full guide to the paleo diet or check out our guide to the gluten-free diet.