This healthy vegan stuffing recipe is easy to make and perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday meals.

Plant-based stuffing made with cubed bread and vegetables on a small plate.

About this Stuffing

You will love the rich, savoury flavour of this classic side dish. This stuffing features basic ingredients like onion, garlic, carrot and herbs and is easy to whip up in under an hour.

This stuffing makes a great choice if you’re serving those with dietary restrictions. It does animal products and can be made gluten-free by using your choice of gluten-free bread.

Enjoy this stuffing with other sides like mashed potato, gravy and cranberry sauce and with mains like chickpea meatloaf or stuffed butternut squash. It’s perfect for the holidays or anytime you’re craving comforting holiday flavours.

Highlights

  • Vegetarian and vegan (dairy-free, no egg).
  • Can be made gluten-free.
  • Quick and easy to make!
  • Basic ingredients.
  • Can be made ahead of time.
  • Oil-free, no butter.

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients for vegan stuffing: celery, carrots, bread, herbs, broth, garlic and onion, sitting on a white surface.

A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Bread: You can use any bread but I like sourdough, multi-grain or another hearty, whole grain bread works well. A good quality white bread is just lovely too! You can use gluten-free bread if needed.
  • Cooking Liquid: You can use butter for a more classic flavour or any cooking oil, for oil-free stuffing, you can use broth to saute.
  • Onion: White or yellow onion works.
  • Garlic: Use raw garlic, minced or grated.
  • Carrot: You’ll need about 2 medium carrots or 2 cups diced. The amount doesn’t have to exact.
  • Celery: Use roughly 2 cups diced. Again, the amount doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Herbs: You can use dried or fresh herbs. The recipe calls for sage, thyme and rosemary.
  • Broth: Use any vegetable stock or broth you enjoy, homemade or store-bought.

Step-by-Step with Photos

There are two steps to making this vegan stuffing: sautéing the vegetables and baking the stuffing. Let’s go through how to make it step-by-step.

Dry the Bread

There are two options for preparing the bread for stuffing:

  1. Cube the bread and let it sit out overnight in a bowl.
  2. Toast it in the oven on a baking tray.

I’ve made it both ways and think toasting it in the oven is the way to go. You want it to be a bit crispy and slightly browned. It shouldn’t be rock hard like a crouton but it should be a little firm with some crispiness to it.

Cubed bread on a baking tray, drying out to make stuffing.

Sauté the Veggies

While the bread is toasting, heat 2 tbsp of plant-based butter in a skillet over medium heat then add the carrots, onion, garlic and celery along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

If you’re not using butter or oil, heat the pan then add the veggies along with 2 tbsp broth.

You can see from the photo below you want to take the time to dice the veggies rather than roughly chop them. I think this lends to a better stuffing consistency once it’s done.

Sautéing Options: To keep the recipe oil-free, you can sauté the veggies in a few tablespoons of vegetable broth but for a more traditional stuffing flavour, you can use 1-2 tbsp of vegan butter. I’d suggest butter if you don’t mind using it!

Diced carrot, onion, celery and garlic in a skillet.

Add the Herbs

After 7-8 minutes, stir in the fresh or dried herbs and cook for 4-5 more minutes, adding a little stock as needed if the pan is drying out or the mixture is starts to burn.

Be sure to scrape any browned bits off the bottom pan when you add more stock – they’re full of flavour!

Start preheating the oven now as well.

Sautéed garlic, onion, celery and carrot in a skillet.

Mix the Veggies, Bread and Broth

Add the cubed bread to a large mixing bowl, then add the sautéed veggies. Start by adding 1 cup of vegetable broth, mixing, and then slowly adding more broth as needed.

How much broth should I add?

It depends on how you like your stuffing, the type of bread you use and how dried or toasted that bread is.

You want the bread to be moist but not completely soaked. Start with 1 cup and then slowly add more, a little bit a time, until all the bread is moistened. I use 1.5 cups broth to make my stuffing.

Mixed vegan stuffing in a big blue glass bowl.

Bake the Stuffing

Cover the stuffing with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top.

Serve your stuffing right away or if you’re making it in advance, let it cool then cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready to reheat it.

A large casserole dish of vegan stuffing with vegetables.

FAQs

Do I have to toast the bread for stuffing?

No. This still is optional but it does help prevent soggy stuffing so I’d recommend it.

Alternatively, you can cube the bread and leave it out in a bowl on the counter overnight or use a 1-2 day old fresh whole loaf that’s gone a bit hard.

Can I make this on the stovetop?

Yes. Make sure you use a large saucepan that will fit the bread. After sauteing the veggies and herbs, add the bread. Slowly add the broth and cook over low heat until you reach your desired consistency.

Stovetop stuffing will be softer with a mushy consistency. The baked version will be soft on the inside with a crispy layer on top. Both are good!

A wooden spoon scooping bread and vegetable stuffing out of a glass casserole dish.

Flavour Variations

I like simple stuffing made with the basics but there are lots of other ingredients you can add to make this stuffing your own. Here are a few ideas:

  • Mix in 1/2 cup dried cranberries when you add the cubed bread.
  • Mix in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans when you add the cubed bread.
  • Add 1 diced apple when you saute the veggies.
  • If you’d like to add mushroom, use 1-2 cups and cook it first in a little oil or butter, before adding the other veggies. Cook for 8-9 minutes until browned and the liquid has released and evaporated. Remove them from the pan and proceed with the recipe, mixing them back in when you add the bread.
  • Try this Butternut Squash Stuffing.
Two small white plates of a serving of plant-based stuffing made with bread and vegetables.

Storing & Making Ahead

  • Make it in advance. Save time on Thanksgiving day and make this ahead of time. The longer it sits, the more time the flavours have to shine! Bake it a day ahead then add a little extra stock over top and bake at 350 F until it’s heated through and crisp on top.
  • Leftover stuffing can be covered in the dish or transferred to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave, in a pot on the stovetop or in the oven. If it’s dried out, mix in a little broth to add moisture back in.

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Plant-based stuffing made with cubed bread and vegetables on a small plate.

Simple Vegan Stuffing

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

This easy, healthy vegan stuffing recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday meals. Serve this delicious stuffing alongside favourites like mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce for a complete holiday feast.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 10 cups cubed whole-grain bread (or white bread or sourdough)
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter or oil, or water or broth for oil-free stuffing
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced, approx. 2 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced, approx. 1.5 cups
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped, approx. 2 cups
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp dried sage or 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tsp ground thyme or 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 12 cups vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast Bread: Place the cubed bread on 1 or 2 baking trays and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly crispy and browned. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.
  3. Saute Vegetables: Heat the butter or oil, if using, in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, garlic and carrot and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. If you didn’t use butter, add the water or broth for cooking. Saute the vegetables for 7-8 minutes until softened and fragrant. 
  4. Add Herbs: Stir in the dried or fresh herbs and cook for a few more minutes. Add more vegetable broth if the pan starts to dry out, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of pan as you do.
  5. Mix Stuffing: Add the cubed toasted bread and sautéed veggies to a large mixing bowl and add 1 cup of vegetable broth. 
  6. Adjust Liquid & Seasoning: Mix well then slowly start adding more broth until all the bread is moist but not soaked. I use about 1.5 cups broth. You may need a little more or less depending on the bread you use. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
  7. Transfer to Baking Dish: Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish. I used a shallow 12 x 9 inch glass dish. It can be a little smaller and deeper, that’s totally fine.
  8. Bake Stuffing: Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top.
  9. Serve: Serve right away or cool and store in the fridge until ready to reheat.

Keywords: easy vegan stuffing, healthy vegan stuffing