Make Vegetarian Stuffing that’s super simple; it’s full of apples, pecans, rosemary and thyme.
Since 2013, this Vegetarian Stuffing has been one of our most popular recipes. Here it is updated to make sure every bite is is moist, but crunchy on the edges.
Stuffing is a perfect dish: Savory and sweet, crunchy and moist, hearty…and in this case healthy.
So why do we make it only once a year?
This recipe will change that.
In the past, I made stuffing infrequently, so I could never remember:
Which makes a more moist stuffing: Bread or cornbread?
Rosemary or thyme or sage?
How much broth? One recipe says 1/2 cup another 1 1/2 cup for the same amount of bread?
Eggs or no eggs? Or if you’re vegan, do flax eggs work? (YES!)
Cover in the oven or not?
So I set out to answer all these questions AND WRITE THEM DOWN for next year…in order to perfect a moist (but crunchy on top) flavorful (not bland) AND healthy vegetarian stuffing.
And because this recipe is chocked full of fruits and aromatic veggies – plus crunchy pecans and meaty mushrooms, it happens to be vegetarian. The BEST #Vegetarian Stuffing + hacks to make sure it's moist in the middle, but crispy around the edges! @TspCurry #HealthyKitchenHacks Click To Tweet
So here are the tips I’ll remember for next year:
- Use BOTH bread and cornbread! Since this is a healthy stuffing recipe, I used whole grain French bread – which could make for a drier stuffing. But cornbread soaks up the broth and eggs and then distributes throughout – so the stuffing is super moist with the sweetness of cornbread. Use whole grain cornmeal (Deanna explains here) in your cornbread recipe (or in a pinch – hey, I know it happens – use a cornbread mix.) You can also use whatever leftover pieces of bread you have, to avoid food waste.
- Rosemary, thyme & fennel seeds. My kids tell me sage “tastes like dirt”, so I use rosemary, thyme plus, because I think the best part of sausage is actually the fennel seeds, I throw those in too. The sweet fennel totally brings together the sweet apples and carrots with the earthy mushrooms.
- Stir 2 beaten eggs into 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth and then toss with bread. Reserve 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth to drizzle on top if dressing seems dry (mine did). Or if you do make-ahead dressing, save pour 1/2 cup of broth over the dressing before baking.
- Cover partially. To get a super-moist dressing (so it doesn’t need drenching in gravy) but still crispy on the edges, bake with a piece of foil (sprayed with cooking spray) that is about 1 inch too small for the baking dish on all sides. Remove it for the last 5 minutes of baking.
For more tips and tricks, watch this video “How to Make Vegetarian Stuffing“.
Super Moist Vegetarian Stuffing
Simple and super-moist stuffing is chocked-full of apples, carrots, pecans, rosemary, thyme, and fennel. Whole grain bread plus cornbread keep it savory and sweet.
- Yield: 12-14 servings
- 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large apple, skin-on, chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 large stalks celery, including leaves, chopped
- 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups low-sodium, fat-free vegetable broth or homemade stock, divided
- 5 cups whole wheat French bread, cut into 3/4-in cubes, toasted
- 5 cups cornbread (cooked until very dry) crumbled
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted, roughly chopped
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil; add onion, apple, carrot, celery and saute until tender – about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in same skillet; add mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, fennel and black pepper. Saute about 8 minutes or until mushrooms have released moisture and are cooked.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and broth. Add bread cubes and cornbread and mix gently to coat. Gently fold in onion mixture, mushroom mixture and pecans. Add 1/2 cup additional broth if stuffing seems dry.
- Pour into cooking-spray coated 9 x 13-inch baking dish, or casserole dish. Place a piece of cooking-spray coated aluminum foil that is just smaller than the baking dish (about 8 x 12-inches) lightly over the stuffing. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until hot. Remove the aluminum foil during the last 5 minutes of baking to crisp the top of the stuffing.
Do you make stuffing more than once a year?