Classic bread stuffing made with sourdough baguette, leeks, cranberries, and walnuts. This vegetarian + vegan Thanksgiving stuffing is a great side dish!
This week we had a trial run with our Thanksgiving dinner, and it was delicious! While I don’t do turkey anymore, the sides have always been my favorite part anyway. I picked up a Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Roast, and though I was skeptical, it was actually really tasty. Especially topped with our homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce or Wild Mushroom Gravy.
Though I have an ultimate vegetarian/vegan side dish post coming very soon, Thanksgiving stuffing was always one of my favorites as a kid. I liked it so much I would make the boxed version for myself all season long. Making Thanksgiving stuffing from scratch, though, is really easy and doesn’t require many ingredients.
Fresh leeks, walnuts or pecans, cranberries, and fresh herbs make this stuffing recipe so much better than the boxed version. This classic rustic stuffing is also great with mushrooms, though I don’t use the if serving with mushroom gravy.
How to Prepare Bread for Stuffing
Cutting the bread is the most boring part of making stuffing. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve seen freshly cubed stuffing bread at Whole Foods and some other grocery stores. Otherwise, I like to use two baguettes and cut or tear them into small cubes.
This time I used sourdough baguettes, which is my preference. Next, you’ll want to get your bread cubes nice and toasty and dry, so you end up with delightfully crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside stuffing. I’ve used ciabatta and liked that in the past too.
To make Gluten Free Vegan Stuffing, I would recommend using your favorite gluten free bread. You’ll need about 12 cups of cubes.
Vegan Stuffing Ingredients
This simple stuffing recipe uses just a few classic flavors like leeks (you can sub 1 yellow onion), celery, garlic, thyme, and sage. I often add sliced mushrooms in with this mix, so if you’d like to make vegan stuffing with mushrooms, just ad a container of sliced Baby Bella’s.
How to Make Vegan Stuffing
While the bread is toasting up in the oven, it’s time to sauté the veggies. You can use olive oil, vegan butter, or a combination. Sauté the celery and leeks, and mushrooms if you’d like to add them. Then add in the garlic, herbs, and cranberries for the last minute.
In a large bowl, or right in the casserole dish, toss together the bread cubes, veggies, and stock. I use vegetable stock, which is find to be more flavorful than veggie broth.
Bake the whole thing until it’s nice and crispy on top. Then stir and bake a bit longer. Top with crunchy toasted walnuts or pecans and fresh parsley.
Serve with all your favorite vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving recipes. Vegetarian Mushroom Wellington, Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash, and Farro Risotto would all be great as a main dish. For a non-traditional route, we’ve even done this Best Vegan Lasagna as a Thanksgiving main! Don’t forget dessert! Our Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Mini Vegan Pecan Pies, or Apple Crumble Pie are all great options.
- 2 (10 oz.) sourdough baguettes, pointy ends discarded
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 large stalks celery, sliced crosswise
- 2 trimmed leeks, sliced crosswise into half rounds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted for top
- Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Brush a 9 x 13" casserole dish with olive oil or coat with cooking spray.
- Cut baguettes into 1” cubes. Arrange on a large baking sheet and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil to coat. Toast, stirring halfway through, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes in total.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the celery, leeks, salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cranberries, sage, and thyme, and sauté another minute longer.
- Transfer bread and vegetables to a large bowl. Pour stock over and toss to gently to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Stir, then continue baking another 10 minutes, until the top is crispy.
- Sprinkle with parsley and pecans or walnuts. Serve warm with other favorite side dishes like mashed cauliflower, cranberry orange sauce, or vegan mushroom gravy.
- Mushrooms are a great addition. If you'd like to use them, sauté 10 oz. sliced baby Bella mushrooms in with the leeks until tender.
- Make-Ahead: You can make the stuffing, without baking, up to one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then bake. You may need to add 5-10 minutes additional baking time.
- To make Gluten Free Vegan Stuffing, I recommend using your favorite gluten free bread. You'll need about 12 cups of cubes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Sodium: 628mg Carbohydrates: 28g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g