Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms

If you’re avoiding white bread but want to indulge in some stuffing for Thanksgiving, this Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms is lower-glycemic, South Beach Diet friendly, and delicious! Use Holiday Recipes to find more healthier options for Thanksgiving!

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Whole Wheat and Mushroom Stuffing with Sage and Thyme found on

This Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms is another addition to my Thanksgiving Recipes, and it was really delicious. For Thanksgiving I’ll be going to my sister’s Val’s house (mother of the cute kids) and although she’s not a South Beach dieter, she does eat mostly whole grains and low-sugar foods, and I bet this will be a hit there.

In our family we call it stuffing even when it’s not cooked inside the turkey, and last year for Thanksgiving, we tried the Whole Wheat Stuffing with Sage, Italian Sausage, and Pears from the South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook. That’s a delicious recipe if you like the idea of stuffing with sausage and pears, but this year I thought it would be fun to try taking a more traditional stuffing recipe and making it more low-glycemic and South Beach Diet friendly. The recipe that inspired this one was from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining (yes, I’m a bit of a sucker for those holiday cookbooks!)

I’ll be adding this recipe to my post about Carb-Conscious Holiday Recipes, but if you want to adapt your own traditional stuffing recipe  so it’s lower-glycemic or suitable for the South Beach Diet, there are just a few things to keep in mind. First, you need to be sure to use 100% whole wheat bread. Read my post about the right bread for the South Beach Diet to help choose the bread. Second, South Beach would recommend you avoid butter, or just use a tiny bit for flavoring, as I did in this recipe. I used olive oil to saute the mushrooms, onions, and celery, which is considered a “good fat” for South Beach. Third, include plenty of low-glycemic vegetables like onions, celery, and mushrooms in proportion to the bread in the recipe. Fourth, avoid high-sugar flavorings like cranberries, cherries, or raisins, and use reduced chicken stock and plenty of fresh herbs instead for flavor. Stuffing is something I could never pass up on Thanksgiving, but this South Beach Friendly version will taste great next to my turkey.

Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms found on

Start with South Beach Friendly bread, and cut it into small cubes. This is kind of a personal preference, but I cut my bread cubes less than 1/2 inch big. Put the bread on a baking sheet and toast it in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times and watching so it doesn’t get too brown.

I did like the idea of mushrooms in the stuffing, and they’re low on the glycemic index, but I didn’t want big pieces of mushrooms, so I use the food processor to chop them very small. While bread is toasting, cook mushrooms, then onions and celery in a small amount of olive oil, and then put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add the reduced chicken stock which you’ve simmered with the thyme, and gently stir until stuffing ingredients are well combined. Whether to bake your stuffing covered or uncovered is definitely a personal choice, and in my family we have fans of both “wet” and “dry” stuffing. I take a middle ground and bake mine covered half the time, and then uncover for the last 20 minutes.

More Carb-Conscious Ideas for Thanksgiving:

25+ Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb and Gluten-free Holiday Side Dishes, Appetizers and Salads
The Best Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Ten Favorite Low-Carb Green Vegetable Recipes

Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms

This Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms is perfect for Thanksgiving and your guests will love it!


  • 6 cups 100% whole wheat bread cubes (about 1/2 large loaf of bread, cut into cubes)
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped (I used Crimini mushrooms, also called Baby Bella)
  • 1 onion chopped in small dice
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 T olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
  • 2 T fresh sage, chopped small (if you only have dried sage, use 1 T)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock, simmered to reduce to 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme (or use 1 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 1 tsp. Turkey soup base (optional but recommended)
  • 1 T butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut bread into cubes about 1/2 inch square, arrange on cookie sheet and toast in oven about 30 minutes, or until bread is dry and slightly browned. (I did toast my bread that long, although one commenter said hers burned. I stirred the bread cubes quite a few times to get them toasted on all sides. Be sure to watch the bread carefully.)
  3. Place 2 cups chicken stock in small saucepan with Turkey soup base and thyme and let simmer while you chop mushrooms, onions, and celery until reduced to 1 1/2 cups.
  4. Put small amount of olive oil in large non-stick frying pan and saute mushrooms, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are starting to brown.
  5. Put mushrooms into large mixing bowl and add a bit more olive oil to pan, then add onions and celery and saute about 3 minutes, stirring a few times.
  6. Add chopped sage and saute 2-3 minutes more, until vegetables are starting to slightly brown.
  7. Put onion-celery mixture in mixing bowl with mushrooms.
  8. Add bread cubes to mixing bowl.
  9. Season stuffing mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  10. Add the tablespoon of butter to hot stock and stir until melted, then gently stir stock into bread and vegetable mixture. (Depending on how moist you prefer your stuffing, you might not want to use all the stock.)
  11. Put stuffing into metal or crockery baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray and cover with foil.
  12. I baked covered about 20 minutes, then uncovered and baked about 20 minutes more. Whether or not to cover the stuffing is entirely up to you, but I would reduce the cooking time a little if you’re cooking it uncovered.
  13. Serve hot, with plenty of turkey (and probably a bit of gravy, after all it’s Thanksgiving!)


Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms suitable for Phase Two or Three of the South Beach Diet and most other low-glycemic eating plans. This recipe wouldn’t work for stricter low-carb eating plans.

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