The holiday season (Christmas and Thanksgiving) is all about spending time with family & friends, sharing presents, and most importantly, enjoying scrumptious meals together.
But have you recently turned vegan and aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to prepare a tasty meal without turkey or other non-vegan ingredients?
If you said yes, we got you covered.
While being vegan isn’t easy for sure, that never means you have limited options when it comes to cooking delicious meals.
All you need is some creativity, and you can prepare dishes that are equally or even tastier than the non-vegan ones.
This blog has a fantastic vegan stuffing recipe that you can use to prepare a tasty vegan stuffing for this Holiday season.
The recipe is so amazing that your family & friends won’t even notice that there’s no turkey or meat in it. So, read in full.
What is Stuffing?
Stuffing, dressing, or filling is basically an edible mixture made using herbs, butter, eggs, chicken, or other ingredients used to fill cavities for preparing other food items.
For instance, you can stuff bagels, bread, sandwiches, fish, or even turkey.
What is Vegan Stuffing?
Vegan stuffing, as the name tells, makes use of everything vegan, i.e., no meat, or dairy products, just plant-based ingredients.
The recipe that we’ve listed below uses bread and herbs.
The goodness of the bread and herbs, combined with the stuffing, will be as good as cooking the stuffing inside a turkey.
Bread is probably the essential component of vegan stuffing, along with added herbs and some sauteed vegetables.
However, you’re open to using other vegan ingredients as well.
How Can You Make the Best Vegan Stuffing?
For the best vegan stuffing, make sure you keep in mind two important things: –
- Lots of Herbs and Spices– Your vegan stuffing has to be well-seasoned, flavourful, and full of delicious herbs because it’s the damn season.
- Great Bread – You can go for any bread, a gluten-free sourdough or crusty bread, but make sure it is of the best quality.
Flavor For Your Vegan Stuffing
Obviously, this recipe, being vegan, can not have meat in it, so what can add the rich flavor to your vegan stuffing?
Mushrooms contribute to the creamy and rich umami flavor of vegan stuffing.
It is very similar to the flavor of ground meat.
For your mushrooms to take on a complex and delicious flavor, it is essential to evaporate the moisture from them.
While this process requires some effort and time, the results are always worth it.
Aroma To Your Vegan Stuffing
You can bring the same delicious aroma that comes from your regular stuffing in this vegan alternative.
Just add some onion, parsley, garlic, and celery into the mixture while cooking, and that’s where the magic happens.
The Stock For Your Stuffing
The rich poultry stock is what everybody uses for their traditional holiday stuffing.
But for our vegan stuffing, we will go for the delicious vegan vegetable stock.
You have two options for that.
Either make one at home or go for the store-bought stock.
But let us tell you that the store-bought stocks rarely have any deep flavors and cannot match the deliciousness of the homemade stock.
So, the choice is yours.
Here’s a simple vegetable stock recipe for you, though:
You will need: –
- 1-ounce dried mushrooms
- 1 large carrot
- 1 medium onion
- ]3 stalks of celery
- 1 tsp. coriander and fennel seed
- 1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- 3 cloves smashed garlic
- 2-3 green leeks
- 1 piece kombu
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs of thyme and parsley
Here’s what you need to do:
- Dice all the veggies into small pieces and combine them in a large stockpot. Add water in it up to 1-1/2 inches.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Cook on simmer for about 40 minutes until all the vegetables have become tender and soaked in all the flavors.
- Remove the mushrooms for further use. Strain all the solids and set the stock aside.
- Allow the stock to cool down for some time and store it in the refrigerator. You can store the stock for a week.
Texture To Your Vegan Stuffing
With an excellent stock, mushrooms and sage, crisped bake top, and crunchy vegetables, you have everything except for one ingredient to make this vegan stuffing amazing.
And that are nuts, walnuts, or pecans that will absorb the beautiful flavor of the ingredients and add a nice and meaty texture to your stuffing.
Vegan Stuffing Recipe for the Holiday Season
Ingredients For the Vegan Stuffing:
- ½ cup olive oil (about 120 ml)
- 1-pound (450 grams) mushrooms You can opt for cremini, button, or wild mushrooms like oyster, chestnut, or shiitake mushroom. Chop them roughly.
- 6 ounces pecan halves, toasted (170grams)
- 2 ½ (about 1.1 kg). Remove the crusts from the bread a cut them into 3- 4inch pieces
- 1 large onion, finely chopped(275 grams)
- ½ cup fresh sage leaves, minced (15 grams). You can also about a tablespoon of dried sage.
- 1 large leek (about 225 grams, 1 cup only). Use only the white part.
- 4 large ribs of celery (340 grams), chop them nicely
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable Stock (nearly 960ml) (Refer to ‘The Stock’)
- 2 cloves garlic. You can either mince or grate them.
- ½ a cup or 57 grams of fresh parsley leaves, minced
- Start with preparing the bread. Cut the bread into small pieces or cubes. You can even cut it roughly for the rustic appearance of your stuffing.
- Now preheat the oven to 275F. Toast the bread pieces in the oven for 25-45 minutes until crispy. The exact time will depend on the type of bread you are using.
- Place half the mushroom in a bowl of whatever food processor you have. Pulse until the mushrooms are roughly chopped. Keep the chopped mushrooms in a big bowl and repeat the process with the remaining mushrooms.
- Next, place the pecan halves in the food processor and set the chopped ingredients aside. Do not wipe the mushroom bowl before you put the pecan halves.
- Take a stock pot and heat oil on medium oil until the oil gets completely heated. Add the mushrooms, and stir continuously for 8-10 minutes until all the moisture has evaporated.
- Now, add half of the sage and cook for some more five minutes till the mushrooms get a beautiful brown color. Further, add onion, garlic, leek, celery, and the remaining sage. Stir frequently till all the vegetables are cooked nicely. It will take about ten minutes.
- Put in the stock, chopped pecans, and half of the parsley, and wait till the entire mixture boils up.
- Now add the bread and pecan mixture to the veggie mixture. Stir very softly until the entire thing is evenly mixed. Add your spices and season the mixture with salt and pepper as per your taste.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Make sure it is greased evenly and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake it for 30 minutes until the mixture is hot throughout.
- Remove the aluminum foil from the baking tray. Let the stuffing cool for about 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top and serve.
What If You Do Not Want Mushroom in Your Vegan Stuffing?
Not liking mushrooms is entirely acceptable in this recipe. So, here are some alternatives: –
- Apples or Cranberries – A sweeter vegan stuffing. Nobody hates that. It is delicious. You can opt for apples, dried cranberries for a sweeter version of your stuffing, or fresh cranberries to add a bit of tanginess along with the sweet flavor.
- Diced Peers and Roasted Chestnuts – This would definitely be a unique twist to your vegan stuffing. Chestnuts and peers bring a distinct flavor to your stuffing and enhance the taste of your dish.
- Tofu or Eggplant – You can also opt for basic alternatives to mushrooms such as eggplant, tofu, or even caramelized onions. Whatever suits your taste.
How To Store The Remaining Stuffing?
You can easily store the leftover vegan stuffing in the refrigerator for three to four days.
However, use an air-tight container to store the leftovers.
If you plan to make the stuffing ahead of time, do not bake it beforehand.
It is better to bake it on the day of the occasion.
Freezing the leftovers will increase the shelf life of the vegan stuffing for up to 2-5 months.
- Do Not Add Too Much Broth or Stock– Adding too much stock to your stuffing will make your bread extremely mushy which might spoil the texture. And you do not want your bread to be all moist. Therefore, if you see some liquid at the bottom of your stuffing, add some bread cubes until it is all soaked up.
- Rub The Spices Between Your Hands – It will help release the essential oils from the spices that’ll enhance the flavor of the stuffing and make it even more fragrant.
- Use Fresh Spices – It is better to go for freshly fried spices. Dried spices stored for more than six months will lose much of their flavor. So, if you have some old dried spices, it is time to add some ones to your pantry.
Always remember, being vegan is hard, but it’s equally fun.
You just need to let some of your creative juices flow, and you can prepare an equally tasty alternative to any non-vegan dish of your choice.
However, for now, you can follow this vegan stuffing recipe and make this holiday season more memorable for your friends and family.
Believe us; there’ll be only compliments on the table when you serve foods stuffed with our vegan stuffing.
Also, we’ll keep coming up with new delicious vegan recipes to keep the spirit of veganism alive. So, keep coming back for more.