Healthy Holiday Recipe: Thanksgiving Root Veg Dressing

Unlike traditional dressings which call for a bread or cornbread base, this recipe gets its “breadiness” from chestnuts and walnuts. Olive oil roasted veggies are tossed into the mix along with crunchy pomegranate. Dairy-free, vegetarian, and gluten-free folks can also enjoy this homey dish. 

We recommend making this dish ahead of time. It tastes wonderful cold or at room temp, though it can be easily reheated on the stovetop or microwave (although it may lose some of its crispiness). It even makes for wonderful brunch leftovers, served with a fried egg and some shredded cheese on top. 


1 celeriac, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces 

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces 

1 leek, ends removed, cut into ½-inch pieces, and rinsed thoroughly 

10 cremini and/or white button mushrooms, quartered 

7 ounces (220 g) whole, peeled, ready-to-use chestnuts

1 cup (8 oz / 125 g) raw walnut halves and pieces

Pomegranate seeds from 1 fruit 

¼ cup (1½ oz / 45 g) dried cherries (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two half sheet pans (18” x 13” x 1”/46 cm x 33 cm x 2.5 cm) with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss the diced celeriac with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and a three-finger pinch of salt. Scatter celeriac out onto half of the prepared baking sheet.

Repeat the same process with parsnips and carrots, scattering them onto the other half of the baking sheet.

Before tossing the leaks in olive oil, be sure you have rinsed them very thoroughly, at least three times, until no soil or sediment remains. Toss with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Scatter them onto half of the other baking sheet.

Repeat the same process with the mushrooms, tossing them in ½ tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Scatter on the other half of the second baking sheet.

Roast both baking sheets for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway through cook-time and using tongs or a spatula to flip the veggies. The root veggies will be tender and caramelized brown. The mushrooms will cook down quite a bit. The leeks will appear crisp.

When veggies have finished roasting, remove them from the oven and add them to a large mixing bowl. Toss with chestnuts, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds (and cherries, if using). Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories 170

Protein 4 g

Total fat 10 g

Saturated fat 1 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Carbs 19 g

Fiber 3 g

Total sugars 5 g

Added sugars 0 g

Sodium 125 mg

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