How to Make Vegetarian Stuffing
Even Vegan Dressing Can Taste Very Authentic
Is stuffing vegetarian? Yes, I have been asked that question. I guess it's natural. It's a thought that may flash through a non-vegetarian's mind if they're not quite a do-it-yourself type and they're picking up Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner tidbits at the local Safeway. (Ah, and I also remember the Kentucky kin expressing with some surprise, "But there's no meat in it, just a little broth.") The best response to the stuffing question is generally an offer to make it.
Classic stuffing is not vegetarian, but it becomes vegetarian with a few simple tweaks. Most vegetarian stuffing recipes are actually vegan. (Exceptions are those that call for cream of mushroom soup or ask you to fry the vegetables in butter -- the latter type of recipe, though, can very easily be adjusted.)
Many vegan stuffing recipes call for vegetable broth. I make mine with Vegan Frontier "chicken" broth powder -- it's a taste that will fool your non-vegetarian friends. On this page, I'll share a recipe and a few tips for adjusting it to suit your tastes or make it even simpler. I will also link to some more vegan and vegetarian dressing recipes from around the web.
This is my twist on the old classic. It uses four veggies: onions, celery, mushrooms, and parsley. You can toss in a few fresh sage leaves for more flavor.
- 1 lb cubed firm whole grain bread
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 T poultry seasoning
- 1 - 2 T cooking oil
- 2 - 3 cups Frontier "chicken broth"
- Chopped sage leaves (optional)
- Dash of fresh ground pepper
- Sautee onions and celery until onions are transluscent. Add a dash of pepper and stir in the poultry seasoning as they're frying. Toss the mushrooms and sage in toward the end.
- Remove from heat and add bread crumbs. Start with 2 cups of broth and more if needed. Various factors, including how moist or dry your bread is, will determine how much liquid you need. You don't want it mushy, but you do want it moist.
- Spoon the concoction into a casserole dish and cover.
- Place in an oven preheated to 350 and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes.
- You may want to wait and add the parsley when the dressing is almost baked -- it's a matter of taste. (Most people toss it all together, but I like those fresh green sprigs.)
Making Stuffing on the Stovetop: 2013
Secret Ingredient: Vegan Broth
A savory and quite chicken-less broth... This stuff will fool people. You may find Frontier chicken-less broth powder in the bin of you local food co-op or whole foods store. You can also order it online.
I noticed that all the reviewers gave it either five stars or one star! One of the two reviewers noted simply that it was very high in sodium. Yes, but it's par for the course for bullion -- and canned soup/ broth that's not made from bullion. A bowl of soup has a big chunk of one's daily sodium allotment. It's one reason that I don't eat a lot of ready made soup -- but do use a little both in recipes.
For lower sodium stuffing, replace the poultry seasoning with sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Variations on Vegan Stuffing
Simplifying the recipe... or changing the texture
The above recipe can easily be altered. Like to cheat just a little here and there? You can try frozen chopped onions. VIP frozen seasoning blend can, in a pinch, substitute. It adds one or two nontraditional ingredients -- and a bit of color -- but you won't stray very far from the classic version.
If you prefer a drier, crispier stuffing, you can bake it a bit longer -- 20 minutes is on the low end of the scale. Some people like open muffin tins and a more browned dressing. Conversely, you can choose not to bake, but to cook it on the stove top. (I am more of a stove top person myself).
Vegetarian Chestnut Sausage Stuffing
Here is a step by step guide to making vegan stuffing. The ingredient list is similar to mine, but there a few additions, including chestnuts and vegan sausage. The video is eight minutes long and answers a few basic questions (like what consistency should the concoction be).
You can see how the vegan sausage goes from refrigerated loaf to dressing-ready.
Where to Buy Vegan Sausage - ... Or how to acquire it
Some of these gourmet recipes call for vegan sausage. Where to buy? Check the Field Roast link to see if there's a location near you. You might also want to see what Vegan Dad is cooking up... especially if there are no stores near you.
Field Roast Vegan Sage "Sausage" - Flavors meld well with dressing.
Image by the author
More Vegan Stuffing Recipes
Here are a variety of vegan recipes, from traditional savory flavors to slightly sweet dishes that bring in unexpected harvest treats. Some combine unusual ingredients.
- Vegan stuffing with nuts and raisins
This recipe adds raisins and two kinds of nuts. Apples are optional.
- Basic vegan stuffing recipe
This ingredient list is fairly similar to the one I use. It omits the mushrooms and calls for vegetable broth instead of vegan chicken broth.
- Three fancy vegan stuffing recipes
Here are three varied, and fairly exotic, vegan stuffing recipes. One calls for apple, sage... and apple sage vegan sausage. Another adds butternut squash, tangerine juice and pecans.
- Sourdough stuffing with pine nuts and raisins
Another rather exotic recipe, this calls for pine nuts and a bit of juice.
- Moist stuffing with apples and vegan sausage
This is another take on the sage-apple-sausage theme. It bakes only 20 minutes so it's moister than some.
- Apple Sage Stuffing
Here come the apples again! There's nutmeg in this. The other spices are what I think of as traditional ones: sage, thyme, pepper.
Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe
- Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe with Cream of Mushroom Soup
Basic vegetarian stuffing recipe with a choice of add-in ingredients.
Video: Ingredients for Vegan Stuffing
There are many variations on vegan stuffing. Here is an introduction to some of the ingredients you can choose from.
- Thansgiving dinner