Main-Dish Vegan Stuffing
Get traditional Thanksgiving flavor from this rich stuffing that’s just healthy enough to ward off the post-feast coma. See notes for a fat-free, Nutritarian version. I cut it into 8 big servings, but you could cut it into 12 or 16.
Servings Prep Time
8servings 1hour
Cook Time Passive Time
45minutes 5minutes
Servings Prep Time
8servings 1hour
Cook Time Passive Time
45minutes 5minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 250°F. Butter a 9″x13″ casserole and set out a rimmed cookie sheet. Cut and tear bread into 3/4″ pieces and put them on the cookie sheet. Starting with a whole loaf, I was able to cut five slices, then across the slices, and then flip each half of long cubes crust-side up and cut three more slices. At this point, I had to tear the remaining bread by hand. Still, this was so much faster than removing the crust and then tearing each piece by hand like we did when I was growing up. You will need a long, sharp serrated knife to do this, though. Bake for 20 minutes until dry.
  2. Melt vegan butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in vegetables as you chop them. Cook until tender and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  3. Make flaxseed eggs by heating 1/4 cup water and ground flaxseed in the microwave for 30 seconds. (I put them in a microwave-safe Pyrex measuring cup.) You can also just pour hot water over flaxseed and stir. Put flaxseed eggs, remaining water, 1/2 cup cooked vegetable mixture, and salt in a blender. Blend into a smooth broth.
  4. When bread cubes are dried, put them in a big bowl. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour cooked vegetables over bread cubes and toss. Use a spatula to get every drop of flavor out of the skillet. Pour blended broth over bread cubes and toss. Add chickpeas and toss. Plop stuffing into the buttered casserole, spread so it is even, and pat down gently to help it stick together. Think “tucking it in for the night” not “closing a full suitcase.” Cover casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until slightly crispy and browned on top. Cool for at least five minutes.
  5. To serve Thanksgiving Stuffing, cut into rectangles. Leave it in the casserole or put in a serving platter. Top with mushroom gravy if desired. (Oh, yes!) Keeps well for 5 days refrigerated or 3 months frozen.
Recipe Notes
  • Fat-free Nutritarian version: skip the butter, use an extra half-cup of parsnip, and sauté vegetables in a tablespoon or two of water. Use 3/4 cups of cooked vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of water to make the broth. Otherwise, follow the recipe as written.
  • Other optional ingredients: ground flaxseed helps the stuffing slices hold together, but skipping it won’t change the taste. Salt amplifies flavor but some people are on low-salt diets. Swap out the chickpeas for two chopped Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages or another slice of bread if you like.
  • Gravy head-start: a chopped medium red onion yields about 2 cups when finely chopped. I save the rest for the gravy.
  • Make-ahead tip 1: you could dry bread a day or two and store it in a tightly-sealed container. Many recipes call for using day-old bread or leaving bread out uncovered overnight, but this Serious Eats post by Niki Achitoff-Gray converted me to oven-dried bread. I toast mine at a lower temperature for less time to get bread that is dry but not hard.
  • Make-ahead tip 2: you could get the stuffing ready to go in the oven, cover it, and refrigerate it overnight. Let it come to room temperature for up to four hours before baking or bake cold stuffing for an extra five minutes.
  • Make-ahead tip 3: baked stuffing should freeze well. If you are cooking for a small group that doesn’t want a lot of left-overs, consider freezing half the stuffing to have on hand for a feast in December.