This is the season for comfort food! And what's more comforting than a big bowl of stuffing? This vegan stuffing recipe is hearty, flavorful, and will have everyone at the table coming back for seconds (and thirds!)
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Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or just looking to add a Meatless Monday dish to your rotation, this recipe is sure to please. Plus, it's easy to make and can easily be scaled up or down depending on how many people you're feeding. Don't forget to check out the vegan turkey roast as well!
💭 Why you'll love this vegan stuffing
- Packed with flavor: This recipe is an umami explosion thanks to shiitake mushrooms, as well as savory herbs like sage and thyme. Pecans and apples give it both a great depth of flavor and great texture!
- Easy to make: All you need to do is mix the ingredients together, transfer to a baking dish and bake! No complicated steps or hard-to-find ingredients here. Plus, you can easily make stale bread at home, even if you don't have some on hand.
- Great side dish (or main course!) This stuffing is hearty enough to serve as a main course, but also makes a great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It also goes well with just about everything— from roasted Brussels sprouts to mashed potatoes to cranberry sauce. Trust us, this stuffing will be a hit no matter how you serve it!
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make this recipe, you'll need: olive oil, carrot, onion, celery, shiitake mushrooms, sage, thyme, apples, garlic, vegetable broth, white bread, pecans, parsley, salt and pepper.
Notes and Variations
- Choice of bread: Rustic, day-old bread typically makes the best choice. You can also use sourdough, a couple of baguettes or even cornbread instead (or gluten-free bread if you want to go that route).
- Go nut-free: I use pecans to give a bit of sweet, nutty flavor and texture. But you can leave these out, or swap with sunflower seeds if you want!
- Use of binder: I use vegetable broth as the binder because it really brings out the flavor of the mushrooms. But you can also use a flax egg if you want.
📖 How to make the best vegan stuffing
Seriously, this recipe couldn't be easier! Typically, I prepare the bread the night before - cube the bread and place it in a large bowl to dry out overnight. But if you forgot, don't sweat! You can just cube the bread and throw it in the oven at 350°F for 5 - 10 minutes.
When you're ready to make the stuffing, preheat the oven to 350ºF or 175ºC. Toast your pecans if you haven't done so already (2 to 3 minutes in a large skillet on medium heat, shaking the pan frequently to avoid burning).
Place a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat, and olive oil, followed by carrots, onions, celery and shiitake mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining olive oil, apple cubes, garlic, sage, thyme, a good pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, and pour the vegetable broth. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Add the bread cubes and roasted pecans evenly, cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
After 20 minutes, carefully remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes to brown and crisp. Serve as a side or you know, actually use as stuffing! (If you haven't already checked out my amazing vegan turkey roast, please do!)
👩🏽🍳Five Tips For The Best Vegan Stuffing!
Get this vegan stuffing right, and you've got a delicious, savory side dish that's sure to please vegans and meat-eaters alike. With these top tips, you can make a vegan stuffing recipe that's so good, nobody will even miss the turkey!
- Use plenty of seasoning: Stuffing is all about the seasoning! Don't be afraid to really go for it with the salt, pepper, and herbs. Sage and thyme are classics, but feel free to get creative and use whatever you like best. You can check out these classic thyme substitutes for other options too!.
- Choose the right bread: You want to use a hearty bread for your stuffing so that it doesn't turn into mush when it's baked. Rustic French, sourdough or whole grain bread works well here. Avoid store-bought bread crumbs - they'll make your stuffing too dense.
- Don't skip the apples! Green apples are tart and provide texture and sweetness to your stuffing without making it too sugary.
- Make sure your stuffing is moist but not wet before baking it: The best way to do this is to add liquid gradually until the mixture is moistened but not soggy. If your stuffing is too dry, it will be crumbly and dry when baked. If it's too wet, it will turn into mush.
- Bake the stuffing in a cast iron skillet casserole dish so that the top gets nice and crispy. Stuffing is best when it's crispy on top but moist in the middle - baking it in a skillet or casserole dish ensures that you can achieve this perfectly every time.
If you're making your vegan stuffing and have questions on how to troubleshoot, check out the FAQs below.
Add a tiny bit more broth before reheating to prevent drying out! Place stuffing in a microwave-safe dish and cover. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after each minute to make sure the stuffing heats evenly.
Standard stuffing mixes often have chicken broth as an ingredient. However, Whole Foods, Pepperidge Farm, and Aldi all have vegan stuffing mixes that taste quite delicious!
You can use a thermometer if you want to be really sure (about 165ºF). Alternatively, you can see that the bread is browned and the mushrooms and apples are cooked through.
Hey, it happens to the best of us! But don't worry. Place the stuffing on a baking sheet, break it up, and spread it out as much as you can. Then bake until dried. You can also use an air fryer and do the same thing!
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
You can make this dish ahead of time and freeze it, or you can reheat leftovers and enjoy them all over again.
There are a few different ways to store vegan stuffing:
- If you're storing vegan stuffing in the fridge, be sure to put it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to four days this way.
- If you plan on freezing it, the best way to do so is to portion it out into individual serving sizes. That way, when you're ready to eat it, you can simply pop a serving in the microwave and enjoy.
Reheating vegan stuffing is easy. Place the right amount in a microwave-safe dish and heat for two minutes, or until piping hot. You can also reheat vegan stuffing in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and place your leftovers on a baking sheet. Heat for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
If you're looking for more delicious meat-free Thanksgiving recipes, don't forget to check out these amazing recipes:
- ULTIMATE Vegan Turkey Roast
- Dinner Rolls (vegetarian or vegan!)
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (with notes to make it vegan)
- Classic Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Lemon Kale Salad
- Cranberry Sauce (Three Ways!)
If you like this recipe, check out my other amazing holiday recipes:
Did you make this recipe?! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please leave a comment and a star rating and let me know how it went! We love hearing from you, thank you so much
Vegan Stuffing / Dressing
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 carrot, small, diced
- 1 onion, small, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped or dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, replace with dried if needed
- 1 green apple, medium, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup vegetable broth, plus an extra ½ cup
- 1 lb white bread, cubed and dried overnight
- ½ cup pecans, toasted
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- Prepare the bread a night before preparing this dish. Cut your bread into cubes and place it in a large bowl to dry out to turn it into stale bread (*See notes on how to make it quicker if you can't wait).
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 175ºC.
- If you haven’t toasted your pecans, do so by placing them in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to avoid burning. It’s ready once a roasted fragrance invades the kitchen. Reserve.
- Place a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, carrots, onions, celery and shiitake mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining olive oil, apple cubes, garlic, sage, thyme, a good pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes, and pour the vegetable broth. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Add the bread cubes and roasted pecans evenly, cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- After 20 minutes, carefully remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes to brown and crisp.
- Remove and let it cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
- Make your own stale bread quickly: Pop in the oven at 350ºF or 175ºC for 5-8 minutes to harden a bit and remove before it gets too dry. You still want the bread cubes to be soft on the inside.
- Use the right skillet or pan: You can use a large cast iron skillet (like I did) or a regular skillet, and then transfer stuffing to an 8x11 baking dish.
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