Who needs sausage and turkey? This flavorful vegan stuffing is made with simple, everyday ingredients cooked to perfection; and will make a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table!
Now, most of the time when you see a vegetarian stuffing recipe it’s made with mushrooms, but as you may well know, I’m not a fungus fan. (Although, I did recently eat ‘shroomy chili without realizing it. Still prefer my own mushroom-free vegan chili recipe though!)
Thankfully, mushrooms are not necessary at all to build umami in your vegan stuffing! Nicely caramelizing the vegetables, using a quality vegetable broth, and blooming a few nontraditional spices will add great flavor. Lastly, my secret (as it often is) is to add a small dash of soy sauce, which is one of the most umami vegan foods there is!
For a little bit of textural contrast, I adore chopped, roasted chestnuts mixed into my vegan stuffing. They have a hint of natural sweetness and a surprisingly meaty texture. If you can’t easily get chestnuts in your area or at the time of year that you’re making this, try mixing in some chopped walnuts instead.
The rest of the ingredients in this meatless stuffing are pretty traditional: cubed old bread, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, fresh sage, and white wine to add body of flavor. Use your favorite vegetable broth, mix it all up in a casserole dish, and bake it to roasted golden perfection!
You can see in the photos here that I get the carrots and onion nice and caramelized before adding the garlic and spices. That Maillard reaction makes all the difference to adding robust flavor in the absence of traditional meat ingredients like sausage or chicken broth.
I have a feeling that your vegan stuffing would be the perfect accompaniment to a plate full of tofu roast, walnut lentil loaf, vegan mashed potatoes and vegan gravy. But hey, I ate nothing but a giant bowl of this vegetarian stuffing for breakfast this morning and that was pretty great, too. It’s your life!
Homestyle Vegan Stuffing
Stuffing goes meatless! This comforting vegan stuffing is made with deft seasoning, caramelized vegetables, and olive oil, cooked to golden perfection. Please the vegetarians at your holiday table without having to make a trip to a specialty store!
- 8 cups cubed day-old bread (about 1 baguette)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage packed
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted chestnuts (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread out the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake them for 15-20 minutes to dry them out, stirring once partway through. Take them out if they begin to brown. You can skip this step if your bread is already very dry and stale.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion, carrot, and celery, with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and starting to lightly caramelize, 7-10 minutes.
Add the garlic and chopped sage, stir, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the fresh thyme, poultry seasoning, paprika, pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt, and stir well. Cook for another 30-60 seconds, until aromatic.
Add the white wine and stir well, scraping around the bottom of the pan if needed to loosen any browned vegetable bits. Bring to a simmer and add the soy sauce and maple syrup, stirring well. Turn off the heat.
Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking dish. Add the dried bread cubes to a mixing bowl along with the chopped chestnuts and fresh parsley. Add the mixture from the skillet to the bowl and fold together to combine. While slowly stirring, pour 1 cup of the vegetable broth into the bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of broth into the bread mixture and stir to combine. The bread cubes should be nice and moist at this point; if not, add a little bit more liquid. You want the bread to be evenly moistened but not to see excess liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Taste a piece of bread for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to the mixture as needed.
Spread out the bread mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking dish, and lightly drizzle more olive oil over the top. Cover the dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 25 minutes, or until firm and golden brown on top.
TYPE OF BREAD: Use something crusty with a little bit of flavor, like a baguette, sourdough loaf, or similar. If your bread is genuinely super stale, you can skip the first step of toasting it in the oven.
TIP: Measure out the seasoning ingredients in advance. Things will move quickly once you start to add the spices and herbs!
MAKE AHEAD: You can do the following steps in advance: make the skillet vegetable mixture; and dry out the bread cubes. Store the mixture from the skillet in a separate container, and you can even store the bread cubes, chestnuts and parsley mixed together in the greased baking dish. The day you want to serve this vegan stuffing, stir the skillet mixture and vegetable broth into the bread mixture and then bake it.
MAPLE SYRUP: I think a faint hint of sweetness really brings all of these flavors together! Even better, if you happen to have it on hand, a dash of hickory syrup is amazing in this stuffing.
Adapted from Delish Knowledge.