This is my favorite Vegetarian Holiday Stuffing that I’ve been perfecting for many years. This vegetarian stuffing is rich and moist, it’s full of flavor. The vegetarians at your table will adore you, and the meat eaters won’t even miss the meat!
I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years. About 30 years! Wow. And I’ve been working on the stuffing for a long time! Stuffing has always been my favorite at the holiday table and I really missed it for many years!
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When I first became a vegetarian about 30 years ago I decided that I needed Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to be tasty, just like they were when I ate meat.
So, I set forth to make a great stuffing. And, I think I’ve perfected it!
Moist, full of flavor, even my meat-eating guests don’t realize there’s no meat in it.
Vegetarian stuffing or vegetarian dressing
I’ve seen lots of debates over what to call the bread based side dish. Personally, I was brought up calling it stuffing. My mom always stuffed the turkey with it. But, after I became vegetarian I never really thought about what to call it. So, whether you call it veggie stuffing or veggie dressing, this delicious holiday side dish is a must make and everyone will love it.
Mushrooms make it great
I love mushrooms in stuffing and dressing. That yummy meaty taste. That mushroom flavor. And, the way mushrooms smell when they cook. All amazing! I love them.
But, my husband doesn’t necessarily agree with me. He doesn’t care for the texture of mushrooms, but he doesn’t mind the flavor.
So, I’ve learned that if I chop them up really small he doesn’t even notice them, but they add a great flavor. I chop them in the food processor; it’s really easy to do it that way, and takes almost no time at all.
Chestnuts in the stuffing
I use whole roasted and peeled canned or jarred chestnuts.
Of course, you could roast your own (it’d be fun to do with your kids, and once you had enough to snack on you can throw them in the stuffing), follow these great instructions on how to roast them.
But what if I can’t find chestnuts?
If you can’t find chestnuts, you can simply leave them out of the stuffing.
Last year I had some problems finding jarred or canned chestnuts at the store. There’s enough other stuff going on in the stuffing that the stuffing is still great without them.
Amazon sells them as well. And if you’re planning ahead, you can buy them through Amazon. Here’s an affiliate like for jarred chestnuts.
Use homemade broth if desired
About a day or two before Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner I start making my own homemade broth. It makes it smell like a holiday dinner!
And, it gets me in the holiday spirit. The extra time it takes to make your own broth is so worth it! The food tastes richer and yummier.
And, it helps me to clear out the fridge and the freezer of all those veggie bits, making more room for the prepared dishes (it’s like a win-win!).
Can this be made ahead?
You can make this dressing in advance (remember, this doesn’t have the same safety issues that a poultry stuffing would have).
I usually make it the day before and keep it in the fridge. I also use this same stuffing to stuff the turkey if I’m going to be making a turkey.
My guests say they never realize that the stuffing is vegetarian, so it all works out. And, this way I don’t have to make 2 stuffings (though sometimes I make a double batch of this veggie stuffing).
The bread for the stuffing
I suggest using Mrs. Cubbison’s Dressing in this stuffing. It has seasonings already in it, and I like the odd shapes and the fact that they aren’t perfect little cubes. And, Mrs. Cubbison’s is vegetarian.
I’ve made my stuffing with my homemade bread crumbs, and it turns out great. But, let’s be honest, who has time during the holidays to make everything, including the stuffing mix, from scratch.
If you’d like to read more about the easy way to make your own bread crumbs, take a look here, and you’ll get a great recipe for White Bean Gratin Casserole.
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Other vegetarian recipes you’ll want for the holidays
Thanksgiving is such a delicious family holiday make is special by adding these things to your holiday table. Vegetarian Gravy, Wild Rice Casserole, Creamed Spinach Gratin, and I have a Thanksgiving Recipe Menu if you’d like to look for more holiday recipes!
The Best Holiday Stuffing Recipe
Vegetarian Holiday Stuffing
- 1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup olive oil divided use
- 1 onion chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb mushrooms sliced
- 2/3 cup canned water chestnuts quartered
- 1 cup shelled chestnuts cut in half
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
- 3 cups broth
- 1 (12 ounce) box Mrs. Cubbisons Seasoned Dressing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling to coat pan. Add chopped onion and salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. If onions start to cook too quickly, add about ¼ cup water to slow the cooking and allow carmalization. Remove onions from pan to a large bowl, and set aside.
- Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in the same pan and add in the mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms until they release all of their water and start to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms and either place in the large bowl with the cooked onions, or place the cooked mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, adding finely chopped mushrooms to the bowl after chopping. Stir water chestnuts and chestnuts into the bowl with the veggies.
- In the same pan, melt butter, adding ¼ cup olive oil, and once butter is melted, stir in broth. Heat broth to a low a low boil, and remove from heat. Stir dressing into broth, and mix moist dressing into the bowl with the veggies. Taste dressing for moisture and seasoning. If the dressing seems a bit dry (remember, the dressing will dry out a bit in the oven), add in more broth, mixing to combine. Spoon dressing into large oven-proof casserole dish, and bake for 30-45 minutes, until heated through.
- Serve hot, garnishing with chopped chives, green onions, or fresh thyme leaves if desired.