Skip to Content

Forbidden Rice Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms and Delicata Squash

Thanksgiving rice, bejeweled with mushrooms, delicata squash and sausage, stands in for the classic bready stovetop stuffing recipe. Did we mention it’s gluten-free?


Dish of black forbidden rice stuffing with delicata squash

A Gluten-Free Stuffing Your Whole Family Will Love

The midnight-sky color and contrasting textures of this squash and mushroom stuffing are striking against a backdrop of conventional Thanksgiving standbys. Even so, its flavor makes a natural pairing for turkey and all the trimmings. Nutty black rice mingles with roasted delicata squash, golden mushrooms and sausage for a rice dressing that is just as rich and savory as any classic stuffing recipe. Did we mention it’s gluten-free and made on the stovetop? That’s right. You can save precious Thanksgiving oven space for the star of the show: the turkey.

forbidden rice, black rice
slices of roasted delicata squash on a baking sheet

But Wait—is it Rice Stuffing? Or Dressing?

We cook this forbidden rice mushroom on the stovetop and therefore outside the bird, which might have purests arging that this is technically a dressing recipe. While it’s true that *technically* this is a dressing, because it’s not ‘stuffed” inside the bird, to us the word “stuffing is so synonymous with Thanksgiving that it’s the one we like to use. Anyway, whatever you want to call it, all you need to know is that the word ‘gluten-free’ will be forgotten as your guests clamor for the recipe.

a large pan of forbidden rice Thanksgiving Turkey dressing made with delicata squash and sausage

What is Forbidden Rice?

Forbidden rice is a non-glutinous heirloom rice grain colored a deep, dark purple with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. And it’s not just another pretty face—it has more fiber and protein than brown rice, too! We love that it cooks quickly and love how dramatic it looks on the table. Thanksgiving Day is not the day for shrinking violet side dishes.

Dish of black forbidden rice stuffing with delicata squash

Let’s Make Thanksgiving Rice Dressing

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can roast the squash and brown the mushrooms a day or two ahead so all you have to do is make the rice. When it comes to one of the biggest cooking days of the year, being prepared is the name of the game.

  1. Start with squash—slice, season & roast!
  2. And next, the mushrooms. Just a quick sauté mushrooms.
  3. Brown the sausage. Drain off excess grease.
  4. Sauté the shallots, celery, and garlic and stir in the sausage, rice and liquid for about 40 minutes—just the right amount of time to take a break and “sample” the pumpkin pie.
  5. Ring the dinner bell! The rice stuffing recipe is ready. Place in a serving dish and layer with mushrooms and squash on top.
a plate of rice stuffing next to a pan of roasted squash Thanksgiving stuffing.

Tools You’ll Need

Other Showstopping Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Rice stuffing for Thanksgiving is only one part of the delicious puzzle. Round out your turkey with side dishes that you would be proud to serve any time of the year.

a plate of rice stuffing next to a pan of roasted squash Thanksgiving stuffing.

Sausage-Rice Stuffing: Second Helpings Encouraged

It’s a quite feat to please the gluten-free eaters, the picky eaters and the kiddos at the same time but you’ll find this recipe does just that. Snap a photo of this rice and mushroom stuffing and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Forbidden Rice Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms and Delicata Squash

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  50 min
  • Calories: 487


  • 2 medium delicata squash, sliced in 1-inch rings, seeded
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, ground
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 4 cups black (forbidden) rice
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 lb chanterelles
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place the delicata squash rings on a baking sheet and brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Roast for 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. While squash is roasting, in a large sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and celery and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 3 minutes longer.
  3. In a separate pan, brown the sausage. Drain off excess grease.
  4. Add browned sausage, thyme, rice, stock and water to the pan with the shallot mixture.
  5. Turn heat up to medium-high and wait for stock to boil. As soon as the stock begins to boil turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender and all liquid is absorbed.
  6. While the rice is cooking, in a small sauce pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  7. Once the rice is done move to a serving dish and layer in the mushrooms and squash.
  8. Garnish with flat leaf parsley and serve immediately.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories487
  • Protein18 g
  • Carbohydrates62 g
  • Total Fat18 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol32 mg
  • sodium949 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Forbidden Rice Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms and Delicata Squash

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Anne Cavanaugh

    Can you suggest substitutes for the delicata squash and the chanterelle mushrooms?

    I'm nit sure if you are trying to avoid squash and mushrooms all together, but if you aren't, you could substitute with another type of squash (1 inch cubed) or another mushroom sliced. If you are trying to avoid all together you can just leave them out. But you would be missing out on a lot of what makes this dish so wonderful.

  • Alisa Leahy

    My daughter served this with dinner for Christmas. She introduced me to your recipes this fall, they are wonderful! This dish was excellent!!! I used your recipe for turkey gravy at Thanksgiving-best I’ve ever made. Keep up the great work!

    Thank you so much Alisa!

  • jenn

    This was incredibly delicious!

    Thanks Jenn!