When I was a kid, stuffing (also called dressing) was one of my favorite dishes on the holiday table. Whether it was a big pan of sausage and sage stuffing next to slices of Thanksgiving turkey or a simple bowl of Stouffer’s Stove Top, stuffing had plenty of dedicated space on my plate cozied up alongside a heap of mashed potatoes.
Stuffing still gets a place of honor on my holiday table. Vegan mushroom stuffing is one of my favorite variations thanks to the depth of earthy flavor and variation in texture. As an added bonus, it will easily please vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike.
What Makes This Stuffing Special
Loaded with classic stuffing aromatics—onion, celery, garlic, and herbs—it gets the majority of its flavor and texture from a mix of mushrooms. They are sautéed first to release excess water before being combined with the other ingredients like walnuts, which add a meaty texture to the final product.
A high-quality (better yet, homemade) vegetable stock keeps the stuffing moist while it bakes. But one of the coolest tricks to this vegan stuffing comes in the form of a flax egg.
What Is a Flax Egg?
A flax egg is a vegan egg replacement made from ground flax seeds and water. It’s commonly used in vegan baking as a binder; in this recipe it helps keep the stuffing from falling apart all over your plate.
If you don’t have access to flax seeds or ground flax meal, you can certainly leave out the flax egg. That being said, I highly recommend following the recipe as written for a moist stuffing with a well-bound scoop.
This recipe is highly adaptable. Here are some suggestions for substitutions:
- I call for mixed mushrooms in the recipe, meaning a mix of your favorites (think button, cremini, portobello, chanterelle, oyster, maitake, beech, or shitake). If you’d prefer to use one type, I recommend button or cremini.
- Instead of yellow onion, you could use white or red onion or even shallots.
- I like the convenience of dried herbs for this recipe, but you could also use fresh herbs. If you don’t like sage or thyme, try swapping one for finely chopped rosemary instead.
- The bread is the biggest component of any stuffing, and I like to use a loaf of crusty and chewy not-too-sour sourdough. You could also use a large baguette, a hearty whole-grain bread, or a softer French loaf.
Tips for Making Vegan Stuffing
Make sure your bread is stale so it can absorb all of the stock and hard-earned stuffing flavor. If you have the time, cube or tear your bread onto a sheet pan a day or two before you plan to make stuffing to ensure proper staleness.
If you need to make stuffing right this minute, don’t fret. Cube or tear your bread onto a sheet pan and toast in a 350ºF for 15 to 20 minutes to draw out the moisture.
The mix of mushrooms gives the stuffing varied texture and flavor, but make sure you prepare each mushroom variety properly. For instance, the stems of shiitake and large portobello mushrooms are tough and should be trimmed away, same with the thick base of beech and oyster mushrooms.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
If you want to make this recipe a day in advance, prepare the stuffing but don’t bake it. Transfer to a 9x13-inch pan, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let the stuffing rest on the counter for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour, then bake as instructed.
If (and that’s a big if) you have any leftover stuffing, let it cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container or zip-top bag. It’ll keep in the fridge for about 4 days in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop, adding a little extra stock if it’s too dry, or in the microwave until heated through.
You can also freeze leftover stuffing in a freezer bag for up to 3 months, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing. Defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.
Vegan Thanksgiving Sides
Vegan Mushroom Stuffing
The amount of salt needed will vary depending on how salty your vegetable stock is. Since there are no raw eggs in this stuffing, season it to taste before baking.
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
5 tablespoons room temperature water
6 tablespoons vegan margarine, divided, plus more for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dried sage or 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped sage leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
4 cups vegetable stock
4 ounces toasted, finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup fresh, finely chopped parsley, divided
2 1/2 pounds (40 ounces) stale sourdough bread, cubed or torn into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease the inside of a 9x13-inch pan with margarine.
Make the flax egg:
In a small bowl, add the ground flaxseed and room temperature water. Mix together and set aside.
Sauté the vegetables:
Add 4 tablespoons of margarine and the olive oil to a large Dutch oven or stock pot set over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and sauté until most of the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
Add the onion, scallions, celery, garlic, sage, and thyme and let cook, stirring often, until the celery has softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Assemble the stuffing:
Add the vegetable stock, walnuts, and half of the chopped parsley and stir. Once the stock is boiling, remove from the heat. Add the bread, flax egg, and stock to the vegetable mixture and gently fold everything together until well combined. Taste, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
If your Dutch oven or stock pot isn’t large enough, transfer everything to the largest bowl you have to bring it all together.
Bake the stuffing:
Transfer the stuffing to the greased pan and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of margarine. Cover with foil and bake until heated through and the bread has absorbed the liquid, about 35 minutes.
Remove the foil and turn up the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake, uncovered, for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is well browned and crisp.
Let the stuffing rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Top with remaining parsley.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 26g||33%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||19%|
|Total Carbohydrate 85g||31%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||24%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 12mg||60%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|