This savory Vegan Stuffing Recipe (dressing recipe) is a popular side dish at our Thanksgiving dinners. It's made with only a few simple ingredients, and takes under 20 minutes to get into the oven. Plus there's a few secrets that make this vegan stuffing recipe better than the rest . . .
The glorious aroma of celery, onions, and garlic cooking in a pool of butter is the first tell that there's a holiday meal in the making - talk about a feast for the senses!
For this recipe, I kept the traditional herby flavors of the Pennsylvania Dutch stuffing of my childhood; but this a lighter vegan version and no turkey! Each savory bite is a delectable combination of crispy golden morsels and soft, buttery bits. It isn't soggy though - the big chunks of crusty bread keep it from getting that way.
Along with slices of juicy vegan turkey and creamy mashed potatoes smothered in vegan gravy, there's no dish that screams Thanksgiving (and Christmas) like traditional bread stuffing (dressing)! While this moist and delicious version is perfect for your vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free guests, absolutely everyone will line up for seconds!
Ingredients & Notes
Just like everyone else, my family adores stuffing for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner! Especially this version which has a couple secret ingredients that make it THE BEST tasting vegan stuffing ever! Let's get into the details:
- Bread: You will use about 1 ½ loaves of bread. I like a combination of a crusty bread like ciabatta and French bread baguette in this recipe. Sourdough bread would also work well. To make your stuffing gluten-free, sub in gluten-free bread cubes. *Replace some of the bread with vegan cornbread if desired.
- Onions, celery, garlic: Sautéed in vegan butter to bring out all the savory flavors.
- Dairy-free butter: Butter (lots of it) adds flavor, richness, and crispy crunchy edges.
- Broth: Bland broth, bland dressing. The vegetable stock and vegan butter moisten the dressing and help hold it together. My favorite, high quality, super flavorful broth is Better than Bouillon organic vegetable base.
- Sage & onion seasoning: Secret ingredient number one for the most incredible tasting vegan Thanksgiving stuffing! It's a modern twist on your grandmother's poultry seasoning from back in the day.
- Fresh herbs: Rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and sage are popular savory herbs for vegan bread stuffing.
- Mushroom crisps: Secret ingredient number two is crispy, salty mushroom bits. I sauté them in butter and salt then sprinkled over the stuffing before baking. Talk about a texture and flavor explosion!
How to Make Easy Bread Stuffing
This vegan Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is easy to make from scratch and it comes together in just a few simple steps. Here's a quick overview:
- A day or two in advance, cut the bread into bite size cubes. Arrange on large baking sheets and leave on the counter uncovered until dry like croutons. Shake or give a stir once or twice.
- Sauté the veggies: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high. Add the onions, celery, garlic, until softened (~8-10 minutes). Stir in the sage and onion seasoning, minced parsley, salt and pepper, and 2 cups of vegetable stock. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste: more sage and onion seasoning, salt and pepper, etc. Bring up to bubbling then remove from heat.
- Crispy mushroom bits: These are optional, but highly recommended! In a separate frying pan, fry the diced mushrooms in a tablespoons of butter with a good pinch of salt until they release their water and start to caramelize (~5-7 minutes).
- Now mix everything together: Transfer the dried bread cubes to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the sautéed onion-celery mixture and toss until well combined. Slowly ladle in more broth, tossing as you go until the dressing is moist but there's no pools of broth in the bowl. Taste the bread and adjust the seasoning again if necessary.
- Time to bake!: Pile the veggie bread dressing mixture into a buttered 9x11" baking dish. Add dots of butter to the top then sprinkle with the fried mushrooms and more chopped parsley. Bake uncovered until wonderfully golden and slightly crisp on top but still soft and savory in the center. The dressing will set as it cools.
BEST Vegan Stuffing Recipe Tips!
- How to dry bread for stuffing: This recipe turns out best when you use 'day-old' or dry bread cubes. You can always buy bread cubes in the bakery aisle at the grocery store, but it's easy to make your own at home. Tear/cut the bread into cubes and leave uncovered on a large baking sheet for 1-3 days until dry. Give them a shake or stir once or twice. They can be dried several weeks in advance then store in a plastic bag or large container in the freezer or pantry until ready to use.
- What's the best bread for Thanksgiving stuffing?: I recommend a sturdy, crusty bread that will hold up to the vegetable stock and butter: ie. ciabatta, sourdough, French baguette. Use a couple types of bread for flavor and texture variety.
- Million Dollar Texture Tip: Some families enjoy a light and airy bread dressing while others prefer firm, scoopable stuffing. This recipe is moist, but not soggy with a crisp, chewy top. Add additional broth for a moister stuffing; add less broth and/or bake longer for a drier stuffing. You can always add more broth as the stuffing is cooking, but you can't take it out! I typically use 3 cups of broth, but make 4 cups (freeze any leftovers). The type and quantity of bread you use will impact how much broth you need.
- Customize to your taste: This classic bread stuffing is outstanding as written; however, there's lots of room to put your fingerprints on this recipe. Swap some of the bread cubes for cornbread, add vegan sausage, chestnuts, cranberries or whatever other add ins inspire you.
Make Ahead & Storage
To save time on the big day: Make some of the components a day or two ahead, ie. dry the bread, mix the sage & onion seasoning, sauté the veggies, fry mushrooms then store separately. The day of simply put the bread dressing together as written and bake in the oven. The texture is best served hot the day it's made!
To keep homemade stuffing warm: Loosely cover and place in a 200ºF oven (if room permits). Or reheat at 350º F until warmed through and lightly crisp on top (add a little extra vegetable broth if needed).
Storage: Store any leftover stuffing in a container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. Leftovers are delicious on a vegan turkey sandwich!
More Favorite Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
If you're looking for more vegan holiday recipes to serve, here's a few of our traditional family favorites:
- Vegan Sausage Rolls
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Crunch Salad (Pomegranate Balsamic)
- Vegan Turkey
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- Brussels Sprouts (2 ways!) with Nana's Sauce
- Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce (low sugar)
- Vegan Shepherd's Pie
- EASY Dinner Rolls (beginner recipe)
Did you make my EASY Savory Vegan Stuffing recipe? Please leave a review and ⭐️ rating below. Thank you so much for sharing with family and friends. I love seeing your photos, please tag me on Instagram!
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Easy Vegan Stuffing Recipe (Dressing Recipe)
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- 10-12 cups dry bread cubes (1 ½ - 2 loaves crusty bread)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups sweet onion, diced
- ¾ cup celery, diced (~4 stalks)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons sage and onion seasoning
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- parsley, rosemary, oregano, chopped
- ½ - 1 cup chopped mushrooms (~6-8)
- One - three days in advance: Cut or tear the bread into cubes, spread on a baking sheet or two and let dry (uncovered) on the counter until completely dry like croutons. I like a combination of crusty ciabatta bread and French bread baguette.
- The day of: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9x11" baking dish. Mix up sage and onion seasoning.
- Transfer the dry bread cubes to a large mixing bowl.
- Melt the non-dairy butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then add the onions, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until softened (~8-10 minutes).
- Stir in 2 tablespoons sage and onion seasoning. Add 2 cups veggie stock and let it come up to bubbling. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference (more sage and onion seasoning, salt, pepper, etc). Pour over the bread cubes and stir/toss to combine completely.
- Slowly ladle in more vegetable broth tossing together until the stuffing has the moisture level you want (wet - no dry patches). The amount of broth you'l need will depend on how dense the bread is and how moist you like your dressing. Once you’ve got the moisture right, give it a taste, adjust seasoning if needed then add any chopped fresh herbs.
- Transfer to a large buttered baking dish, dot the top of the stuffing with butter then sprinkle the mushrooms and additional fresh herbs over top. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes or until the surface is golden and crispy. Add more broth as needed and add a tinfoil tent if the stuffing is getting too dark.
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