Transformative Sticky Rice Stuffing: A Thanksgiving Star (With Gluten-Free Alternatives)

July 18, 2023

Sticky Rice Stuffing is forecasted to be the showstopper this Thanksgiving. The recipe is tailored for daring holiday cooks keen on breaking away from the traditional bread stuffing or dressing, making sticky rice stuffing their standout dish of the year.

The game-changer is baking the stuffing in the oven for about 15 minutes. When this stuffing is baked, it develops a delightful crispiness on the top and bottom while maintaining a gooey center.

An Exceptional Gluten-Free Stuffing Choice

As the base is rice, this stuffing can be easily modified to be entirely gluten-free. I’ve incorporated some notes in the ingredients list about minor adjustments you can make, such as opting for gluten-free soy sauce, using molasses instead of dark soy sauce, and selecting a meat alternative for lop cheung (which contains soy sauce).

If you prefer a fully vegetarian version, simply exclude the meat component and replace it with roasted & chopped chestnuts, toasted pecans, or toasted pine nuts. Mushroom or vegetable stock can substitute chicken stock.

This sticky rice stuffing will unquestionably grace my menu this year, and I doubt anyone will long for the bread! Be sure to explore our extensive Holiday Season Recipe collection for more wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday recipes.


  • 2 cups of sweet rice (also known as sticky rice)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 2 links of Chinese sausage (lop cheung, sliced; bacon or any other gluten-free sausage can be used as a substitute)
  • 8 ounces of fresh shiitake mushrooms (thinly sliced, or re-constituted dried shiitake mushrooms as a substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (or gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce (or 1 teaspoon molasses, for a gluten-free alternative)
  • 1 cup of low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 thinly sliced scallions


  1. Cook the sweet (sticky) rice. The safest method is to soak it overnight (or at least for 6 hours), and then steam it for 40 minutes. If your rice cooker has a sweet rice function, you can also use that method.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Over medium-high heat, heat a large cast iron skillet and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, introduce the onions and sliced Chinese sausage. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Incorporate the mushrooms and cook until they caramelize.
  3. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, chicken stock, and scallions to the mix. Stir until the rice is uniformly brown.
  4. Distribute the stuffing evenly in the pan, and move it to the oven. Roast the stuffing for 15 minutes until it’s crisp on the top and bottom. Serve immediately!

This sticky rice stuffing is more than a unique Thanksgiving alternative. It’s a chance to explore and celebrate different culinary traditions while keeping everyone at the table in mind. The adaptability of this recipe caters to gluten-free and vegetarian guests, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a delicious stuffing.

Sticky rice is a staple in many Asian cultures, and incorporating it into Thanksgiving stuffing is a beautiful fusion of East and West, a celebration of the multicultural fabric that enriches our society. Furthermore, sticky rice has a low glycemic index, which means it raises your blood sugar more slowly than other types of rice.

Adding this recipe to your holiday menu opens an opportunity for conversation about food diversity and inclusion, making your Thanksgiving meal not just a feast for the palate, but for the mind as well.

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