Paleo Turkey Tagine Stuffing

I’m in the mood for a new stuffing this holiday. Something with rich exotic spices! And crunchy textures. This Paleo stuffing is based on a Moroccan stew, slow-cooked in a Tagine clay-pot. That’s similar to baking inside a bird, right? This turkey stuffing is nothing like my mom’s. It is gluten-free and grain-free, made with pure unrefined ingredients from Nature – onions, celery, squash, mushrooms, and toasted almonds, plus an enticing blend of Moroccan spices.

The spice paste has a deep, mellow flavor, tantalizingly sexy, and a bit sweet! It is similar to a traditional harissa sauce, however it is Nightshade-free, so it contains no peppers, tomato, paprika, etc. (Nightshades cause digestive problems for some people – see my post Beware of Nightshades.) A mortar and pestle is ideal for the spice paste, or use a large wooden spoon handle in a bowl to crush them. For a subtle Moroccan sweetness with no effect on your blood sugar, try one of the zero-sugar sweeteners suggested.

You can put this stuffing inside the bird, or bake it in a separate dish, or both. I like it best baked inside the turkey, so the the exotic spices can mix with the turkey flavors. This recipe makes about 12 cups of stuffing – enough for a 12 to 14 pound turkey, plus about 4 cups extra to bake in a dish on the side.

Tagine Moroccan Slow-cooker

Paleo Turkey Tagine Stuffing


    For the Onions:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 onions, sliced in thin half-moons
  • For the Spice Paste:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil,
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, chopped fine (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole caraway seeds (optional if you like caraway)
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener such as Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 1/2 teaspoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 2 teaspoons raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
  • For the Vegetables:
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (crimini, shitake, button, or your favorite)
  • 1 cup black olives, sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 leaves kale, chopped coarsely
  • 4 cups cooked squash (lightly steamed or bake it) and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup almonds, soaked if possible, and toasted. (See All About Nuts.)
  • 1 cup stock
  • 1/2 bunch parsley or cilantro, chopped


    For the Onions:
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.
  2. For the Spice Paste:
  3. Put all spice paste ingredients into a mortar and pestle or a small bowl. Pound or grind until it is as smooth as possible, then add it to the onion mixture and stir in.
  4. For the Vegetables:
  5. Add vegetables one at a time, sautéing briefly until they are softened. Remember, this will be baked so it doesn’t have to be completely soft. Add celery, mushrooms, olives, green onions and kale one at a time.
  6. Add squash and 1 cup broth as needed. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a very low simmer, cover, and allow vegetables to soften for about 10 minutes. Do not overcook.
  7. Add almonds, chopped parsley or cilantro, and stir in gently. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. If you're baking a turkey, spoon the hot stuffing into the cavity of the bird and bake. Otherwise put the stuffing in a covered casserole dish, and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!


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