Thanksgiving stuffing (or dressing) made healthy with Indian-spiced lentils, quinoa, parsnips, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins, and more! A healthful side dish for your holiday gatherings.

This post is sponsored by Pacific Foods.

Indian-Spiced Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing | @PacificFoods #glutenfree #healthy #holiday #sidedish

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I’m sure those of you who are preparing or contributing to a feast this year are already planning your menu, right? Right? Because you’re an all-star planner McPlans-a-lot, and not at all a procrastinator like me? Right? Great! For those who are in need of a healthier stuffing (or “dressing”) recipe and want a change-up from the ush, I’ve got quite the adventurous dish here.

While I’m all about the Wild Rice Stuffing with Butternut Squash, Pears and Pecans I showed you last year, I thought I’d take a different approach this year. As it turns out, quinoa and lentils spiced with cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and fresh ginger makes for a lovely, healthful stuffing. Add a steamed parsnip, some golden raisins, and pine nuts and you’re slated for a crunchy, flavor-infused dish.

Indian-Spiced Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing | @PacificFoods #glutenfree #healthy #holiday #sidedish

Indian-Spiced Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing with parsnips and pine nuts | #thanksgiving #healthy

I made this dish as part of the Thanksgiving feast I prepared a few weekends ago, and loved how it rounded out the meal. Having a nutty, light, yet flavorful legume dish was just the ticket for balancing out the carby kabocha squash mash, and paired nicely with the turkey and green beans.

When I prepare quinoa, rice, risotto, lentils, beans, etc., I like to use a high-quality broth for the steaming process in order to maximize flavor, rather than just using water. When it comes to stuffing, using broth is an absolute MUST. I find using broth for cooking quinoa and lentils effortlessly yields marvelous flavor, so that is what I’ve done here. I cooked the quinoa and the lentils in two separate pots (for optimal texture) in Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Indian-Spiced Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing | @PacificFoods #glutenfree #healthy #holiday #sidedish

Preparing stuffing doesn’t need to be time consuming or complicated, and this recipe follows that manta. While the quinoa and lentils are cooked separately, the actual assembly of the stuffing is simple. One the quinoa and lentils are cooked, you toss them together in a mixing bowl with spices and the remaining ingredients, and that, as they say, is all she wrote.

Cast Your Vote

Are you game for this stuffing? Pretty please, vote for it! Pacific Foods is hosting a friendly competition among bloggers, wherein you can vote for your favorite recipe and also have a chance to win prizes. Head over to Pacific Foods Facebook and Instagram page to cast your vote, and enter for a chance to win!

How to Roast the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey + Tips on throwing an amazing feast @diestelturkey | #diestelturkey #thanksgiving #gobblegobble #healthy

Indian-Spiced Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing | @PacificFoods #glutenfree #healthy #holiday #sidedish

Indian-Spiced Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing

5 from 1 vote
Take your stuffing game to the next level with this lentil quinoa stuffing!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa or quinoa of choice
  • 1 cup French lentils or lentils of choice
  • 1 large parsnip peeled, chopped, and steamed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cardamom optional
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts toasted
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped


  • Cook quinoa and lentils in two separate pots according to package instructions, using bone broth instead of water.
  • While the lentils and quinoa are cooking, boil the chopped parsnip (or sautee, if desired) for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft but still al dente
  • Once both the lentils and quinoa are cooked, add them to a large mixing bowl, along with the steamed parsnip. Add the remaining ingredients for the stuffing and toss well to combine. Taste stuffing for flavor and add sea salt or additional seasoning to taste. Serve alongside your Thanksgiving feast!


Serving: 1grams
Author: Julia
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, easy healthy recipes, gluten free recipes, gut healthy recipes, healthy
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living,, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Love this stuffing Julia! Great flavors and I’m also drooling at those green beans with pom arils. Seriously!!

    1. Thanks so much, Alyssa! It’s definitely been one of my favorite sides lately. It’s so nice participating in this campaign with you! Love your cornbread stuffing, as well! xo

  2. This looks delicious! I love the indian spices and the hearty lentil and quinoa combination- tons of protein and flavor 🙂

    1. So happy you like it, Medha! It’s definitely a fun dish and I love how light and healthful it is compared to traditional stuffing 😉

  3. I wish I could say I have everything planned, but I’m getting there! I love that you made stuffing with lentils and quinoa, and those Indian spices sound delicious! Pacific Foods is my go to store bought stock, but I haven’t tried the bone broth yet. I need to grab some of that!