This stuffing is warming and comforting with the sweetness of apple and the deliciously herbal flavor of fresh sage. And because it’s made without gravy or meat, it’s not quite as traditional as a hug from your grandmother. It’s more like a high-five from your crunchy aunt.
Your really cool crunchy aunt.
See, this vegetarian stuffing is welcome at any Thanksgiving table from meat-eating to vegan, because it’s so full of flavor from caramelized onions, apples, celery, and way more fresh sage than you’d probably think to add otherwise. I especially like the fresh crunch the celery adds (I really love celery).
This stuffing makes the house smell deliciously savory with the onions and broth, and all that sage. Even if you’re planning on a traditional turkey dinner and would typically use a stuffing with gravy or meat, consider giving it a try. A little freshness is a great complement to a heavier meal. I’ll admit that even my vegetarian Thanksgiving is going to be heavier than my ordinary dinners. It’s just that time of year.
Best of all, it has only seven ingredients! You can make this recipe gluten free if you need it, because it’s been tried and tested by yours truly using gluten free bread. This is a new-and-improved version of a veggie stuffing I’ve been making for years, and I’d be lying if I said that they day I photographed this particular version for you, Ryan and I didn’t eat the whole thing for dinner without anything else. I’m not ashamed.
If you’re looking for other vegetarian and vegan friendly dishes for your Thanksgiving table, check out my other Thanksgiving and fall recipes!
Almond Maple Roasted Delicata Squash: This one is really simple and makes an easy side dish. The delicata squash caramelizes into deliciously golden-brown chewiness. Adding maple syrup, almond extract, and butter or vegan butter sweetens the deal.
Cranberry Maple Roasted Roots: The earthiness of beets is a powerful flavor that can also be divisive. But instead of masking it in this recipe, I embraced it and added sweet potatoes, tart cranberries, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash: If you’re not having turkey at your table, these stuffed acorn squashes are the perfect alternative. They’re beautiful and make a lovely centerpiece filled with brown rice, kale, and cranberries.
As you can tell, I’m a pretty big fan of the squash + maple combination. The rich flavor of maple is a delicious addition to the sweetness of squash. Both of those ingredients are missing from this stuffing recipe, so give one of these others a try along with it!
Easy, seven-ingredient vegetarian and vegan stuffing for Thanksgiving. Delicious with apples, sage, celery, and onion.
- 5 cups cubed day-old bread, whole wheat or gluten-free
- 1 apple, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth, low sodium preferred
- 1 tablespoon butter, vegan butter, coconut oil, or olive oil (plus more for sautéing)
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water, left to thicken)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped sage leaves
If you're starting with fresh bread, tear or cut into cubes and leave out in a bowl for a few hours or overnight. You want it dry but not hard.
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x9 baking dish.
Sautee diced onion in a skillet with some coconut oil or another fat of your choice (like olive oil or butter). When the onions are translucent, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add celery and apple to onion skillet and stir. Sautee a few more minutes, just until the apple begins to soften slightly (you don't want to cooked, just a little softened).
Add veggies and apple to your bowl of bread cubes and toss to mix. Toss in sage. Melt the butter or vegan butter (or whatever you're using) together with the veggie broth and stir in the flax egg. Pour that mixture over the stuffing and toss.
Place stuffing in the baking dish and cover with foil or a glass lid. Bake covered for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 more minutes to allow it to brown.
If the stuffing is still wet inside at this point, toss it with a silicone spatula and bake for 10 more minutes. If it's finished at this point (moist inside and slightly crispy outside), you're done!