Introducing: The Paleo Table {Thanksgiving edition}


Hey there everyone, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Amber Karnes and I hail from Norfolk, Virginia, where you can find me on my computer designing and building websites (like this here website you’re reading right now) or in my kitchen cooking simple, fresh, Paleo meals (and trying to coerce my husband into trying new foods). I’m thrilled to announce a new regular feature on the Robb Wolf site: The Paleo Table. Each week, I hope to convey my enthusiasm about the challenge of keeping things exciting in all our Paleo kitchens across the world. What can you expect from The Paleo Table each week? Original recipes, roundups of great links to Paleo foodstuffs around the Web, kitchen tips and techniques, crazy food-making adventures in my own kitchen and more. So, with that said, onward!

Bread, grain-free paleo stuffing with sweet potatoes

Thanksgiving is only days away

I love Thanksgiving. A grand excuse to spend the day in the kitchen creating delicious food for the people I love is a holiday I can get behind. Thankfully, staying Paleo at Thanksgiving is easy enough. Most of the dishes traditionally served are naturally Paleo with a few easy modifications. The big culprits to watch out for? Bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes (maybe) and desserts.

Bread: just skip the dinner rolls. Most of the time, these are an afterthought anyhow. Who wants to eat a store-bought, over-processed gluten bomb when there are countless other great dishes to fill your belly? Don’t even bring them to the table. And if you’re at a relative’s house just stick the package of rolls under a nearby throw pillow. No one will even miss them.

Stuffing: this one can be a little more tricky. Everyone wants stuffing. Or is it dressing? I grew up in south Georgia and it was only ever called stuffing in my house, although not once was it actually stuffed inside anything. I love the idea of stuffing inside the turkey, soaking up all that juicy goodness, but if we’re not using bread or grains of some kind, that technique is hard to do justice. So we’ll stick with the stuffing-on-the-side concept of my youth. A super yummy grain-free, dairy-free recipe is below!

Mashed potatoes: if you’re avoiding nightshades or just trying to keep it low-carb/dairy-free, mashed potatoes can be a booger. I’d like to propose an alternative: mashed sweet potatoes! Yams and sweet potatoes are another traditional thanksgiving food (although in my youth they were always smothered with corn syrup and toasted marshmallows), and one that can be made into a delicious Paleo-friendly dish. Bake (or microwave) sweet potatoes, peel and mash them, mix with coconut oil or grass-fed butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a touch of maple syrup and you have one delicious side dish (or main dish, if you’re visiting my plate).

Desserts: if you enjoy pumpkin pie for dessert at Thanksgiving, you’re in luck. It’s super easy to make a really satisfying Paleo version. Sarah from Everyday Paleo has a great recipe plus a demo video on her version of pumpkin pie. I made something similar recently and for the crust, used almond flour and coconut oil. Yummmm. My husband couldn’t even tell it wasn’t a graham cracker crust.

A delicious, foolproof Paleo Thanksgiving

I’ve taken the traditional Thanksgiving menu from my youth and made a few tweaks. Here are some great, tried and true recipes from around the Web.

Gluten free, grain free, dairy free paleo stuffing

Savory Sweet Potato Stuffing

Serves: 8
Time: about 2 hours (40 minutes hands-on time)

This has all the savory depth of flavor you’d expect from a traditional bread stuffing, and you’ll recognize familiar fall flavors in there, but get ready for some unexpected notes: the burst of sweetness from the raisins and the crunch from the pecans.


  • 4-5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 oz. country style (not in a casing) pork sausage
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. On a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Stick the baking sheet in the oven and roast potatoes until just tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the sausage and cook through until thoroughly browned. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl along with the roast sweet potatoes and let everything cool for 10 minutes or so. Turn oven down to 375.
  4. Add the beaten eggs, sweet potatoes, broth, pecans, raisins and sage to the veggie mixture and combine well. Use olive oil to grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Share your menu

Are you staying Paleo or grain-free this Thanksgiving? Have a favorite recipe to share? We’d love to hear what you’re serving on Thursday. Please tell us in the comments!

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  1. AndreAnna from Life as A Plate
    November 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    This sweet potato recipe looks perfect for an amazing Thanksgiving meal that everyone can enjoy!

    I am totally gluten/grain-free and this will be my first Thanksgiving as such, so I have developed a few recipes that will let me have my “stuffing” and eat it too!!

    Here’s one for totally a href=””>Grain-Free StoveTop Style Stuffing that yes, actually tastes like stuffing!

    And for those of us that tolerate and eat diary, I have a Goat Cheese Pumpkin Cheesecake that puts a twist on traditional pumpkin pie, made with an entirely grain-free Pecan and Hazelnut crust!

    Thank you so much for the recipe and doing this round-up. I can’t wait to see more recipes!!

    Life as a Plate

    • Amber Karnes
      November 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

      That stuffing looks awesome! I had thought about doing a stuffing with paleo “bread” but was afraid it might disintegrate. You pulled it off though!

  2. Jason
    November 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    two words….TURDUCKEN MEATLOAF!

    • Amber Karnes
      November 22, 2010 at 8:22 am

      I could get behind this. Haha

  3. Jamie Guined
    November 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    What an exciting and awesome addition to the site! We will be celebrating with our First Annual Paleo Thanksgiving this year as well! Recipes posted later.


  4. Robb Wolf
    November 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm


  5. Squatchy
    November 20, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I was actually playing with the idea of making a turducken. Went and got a turkey and a duck today that I was already planning on making, but we also have a chicken thawing in the fridge right now too, and another in the freezer…..hmmmmm. I could do a turducken with layers of bacon in between the chicken duck and turkey, or just stuff the chicken with bacon(turduckenon? bacturducken? turduckbacken?). Maybe chop up some bacon with shredded coconut and cauliflower for a stuffing for the layers? Or just a turducken with cauliflower/mushroom stuffing layers (my mom doesn’t eat bacon so this might be the most viable). Too many delicious possibilities!

  6. nom nom paleo
    November 21, 2010 at 3:54 am

    I love this new feature on your blog! Luckily, I’m not hosting on turkey day this year but I will be bringing some roasted broccoli and bacon ( to the in-laws.

    • Amber Karnes
      November 22, 2010 at 8:23 am

      Mmmmm love broccoli & bacon!

  7. Carol B.
    November 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I created this recipe last year – it is super easy and tasty…we made it last night and folks devoured it!

    Paleo Pumpkin Pie:
    1 1/2 C. pecans, slightly toasted and chopped finely – this will be the crust…
    2 C. 100% pumpkin
    1/2 C. coconut milk (full fat)
    1/4 C. raw honey
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
    2 TBSP. coconut oil

    Melt the coconut oil and mix into the chopped pecans. Press this mixture into a pie dish for the crust. Mix all other ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl. Pour over pecan crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the pie mixture is firm. Top with toasted pecans. You can whip a can of coconut milk for a topping, too.

  8. AndreAnna from Life as A Plate
    November 21, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I just noticed that my link to the StoveTop Style Paleo/Primal Stuffing was broken! Sorry.

    Jason, that meatloaf sounds amazing!

  9. Patty
    November 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Happy to see the new weekly feature, and all of the food looks great. I think I could eat that stuffing every week of the year!

    I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year either, but I always make the cranberry relish. And this year it will be sugar free:

    nom nom, that broccoli looks great and Squatchy, you need to get yourself a blog! :-)

    • Amber Karnes
      November 22, 2010 at 8:23 am

      That looks great. I may have to make that to take to my mom’s house on Thursday.

  10. Josh
    November 22, 2010 at 6:18 am

    great ideas for Thanksgiving, Thank you for the recipes

  11. Zack Finer
    November 22, 2010 at 7:06 am has a TON of grain free baking/cooking and specials for the holidays. She is a big fan of the agave, but you can sub it with coconut nectar or just cut it completely.

    • Amber Karnes
      November 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

      I love her site! Definitely some baking awesomeness there.

  12. Tom R.
    November 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

    First, I want to say that Amber is everyting awesome. Her customer service for those of us who don’t know what to do on a Tuesday if the podcasts don’t download correctly, is unmatched.

    Second, thanks for the recipes. This is a great idea.

    • Amber Karnes
      November 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks for the props! Hopefully the podcast is behaving for everyone now!

  13. Victoria
    November 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I was going to do a Chestnut and Sausage stuffing, but the sweet potato one you posted looks awesome… might be time for a change of plans!

    • Victoria
      November 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Update- made the stuffing (with a handful of dried cherries instead of raisins and walnuts instead of Pecans), and it was FANTASTIC! Actually- I had some reheated with a fried egg for breakfast this morning… excellent!

  14. Kevin Costello
    November 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Amber – Your Paleo dressing & mashed potato alternatives look awesome – are you saying that yams/sweet potatoes are NOT nightshades??

    • Robb Wolf
      November 24, 2010 at 8:53 am

      avoid the skins, and no, not night shades.

      • Raydene
        November 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm

        This is the first time I have heard to avoid the skins. Why avoid the skins?

  15. Jessica
    November 26, 2010 at 11:04 am

    This stuffing was amazing…didn’t miss bread stuffing at all!

  16. Tara Tooley
    November 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Oh My Gosh – that stuffing was INCREDIBLE.

    We had a hilarious family feud over it. Our college daughter was helping me with the shopping list for the “stuffing”, took one look at it and said “that’s not stuffing – that is a sweet potato casserole. Nearly stomping her pretty little feet in a 19 year old tantrum… “I WANT REAL STUFFING”.

    Well, well, well…. mommy relented and made both. She proceeded to text the entire family claiming to have single-handedly “saving Thanksgiving for all, from a casserole posing as stuffing”.

    The “Savory Sweet Potato Stuffing” was the biggest HIT of the meal. Even our ‘non-paleo’ grandma had seconds and thought it had bread in it.

    To save her pride, the 19 year old ‘preferred’ the bread laden Pepperidge Farms Sutffing mix, but ate more of the scrumpteous paleo version.

    Needless to say…. we had Pepperidge Farms left overs – the Paloe Version was gobbled up.

    It was great FUN for all. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Robb Wolf
      November 29, 2010 at 8:59 am

      We had a little fun with stuffing at our gig too. And gravy. People get very…wrapped into tradition.

  17. Tara Tooley
    November 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm


    You probably already do this for breakfast in separate parts. Combine it for a wonderful Casserole. I guess you could call it Quiche to sound more gourmet.

    1-2 Shredded Sweet Potatoes
    Coat with Olive Oil and Salt – bake til Tender

    1 Pound Breakfast Sausage fried til crisp

    Put above ingredients in bottom of greased casserole dish

    6 Eggs Blended til frothy – pour over Sausage and Sweet Potatoes (best if eggs just barely cover sweet potatoes and sausage)

    Bake at 350 till done. About 30 minutes.

    The frothy top of the eggs is almost like there is cheese on top after baking. Can be served with pure maple syrup, but doesn’t need it.

    I’m a little confused about Sweet Potatoes and Yams. I’m pretty sure I meant Red Yams when I said Sweet Potatoes. Would likely be good with either.

  18. Florence
    May 1, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Loved the Sweet Potato Recipe! I will have to try this one out the next time we are having people over who appreciate the wonderful orange gems! I like your site!

  19. Kirsten
    November 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I made this last Sunday just for my husband and I. My husband is not doing the paleo thing. We both loved it! When I told him there was no bread in it, he said he would not have known if I didn’t tell him. And he insists that this go on the regular rotation. Best part was that there were leftovers for a couple days :) Thank you for sharing this!!

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  21. Tara Tooley
    November 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    This is such an awesome post, I’ll bet people would appreciate you re-posting it.

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    November 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm

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  23. Jennifer
    November 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you. Made this stuffing for Thanksgiving 2011 and loved it. Will definitely make it again!

  24. Stephanie
    November 25, 2011 at 11:31 am

    This stuffing is fantastic! It was a hit at Thanksgiving…there was not a crumb left. Everyone enjoyed it- Paleo or not! I did sub cranberries for the raisins based on my personal preferences. It is hard to detect that there is no bread in it. Thank you!,

  25. Brittany S.
    November 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I’m planning on making the Savory Sweet Potato Stuffing for a big family gathering and I’m not sure of the best way to prepare it so it’ll keep for a day. Can I cook it for the initial 20 minutes and then brown it later? I’m afraid of over cooking it and drying it out.

  26. Tucker
    November 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Making this tonight!

  27. paleo recipe youtube
    May 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    GEEZ I extremely love paleo diet… I’ve been on it for 3,2.5,5,4 months (&|and) have noticed such huge positive changes…. I strongly recommend this to ANYBODY! I started the diet off by watching this youtube vid for oustanding recipes!!! watch the video

  28. Emily
    January 25, 2014 at 10:23 am

    This stuffing is INCREDIBLE. It was the hit of the Thanksgiving table this year, so much so that they requested I make it for Christmas too. I loved pouring cranberry sauce and gravy on top.

    Though its perfect as-is, I later adapted it for the autoimmune protocol by removing the egg, replacing the nuts with cooked crumbled bacon, and switching out wine for apple cider. I’ve been eating it for breakfast all week. So so so so good.

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