The BEST Vegan Stuffing! Made with homemade tempeh sausage, sautéed vegetables and sourdough bread. This stuffing is a must make for Thanksgiving and the holidays.
If you call something the best, it has gotta be the best, right?
Well, this is the best vegan stuffing out there. Maybe the best stuffing ever? I don’t know. You be the judge.
I’ve basically taken my mom’s stuffing recipe and swapped in homemade tempeh sausage crumbles for Italian sausage. Promise me you will try these sausage crumbles, even if it’s not in this stuffing.
Isa first taught my how to make them and I’ve been adding them to countless recipes ever since: pizza, pasta, egg bakes, tofu breakfast tacos– you get the drift. The secret is adding in fennel seeds and sage; those two spices alone make this sausage taste more like Italian sausage and less like tempeh. Promise me that these crumbles will make an appearance in your house soon, OK?
How to Make the Best Vegan Stuffing
To begin, we’re sautéing the holy trinity of carrots, onion and celery in glorious butter. Well, vegan butter. I’m obsessed with Earth Balance and use it in just about everything, but any butter will work. I prefer EB because it’s non-hydrogenated margarine which means you get the non-dairy factor without any added trans-fats. Please use butter or vegan butter here, coconut oil or olive oil just doesn’t have the same taste.
Then we fold in the tempeh sausage crumbles and lots of toasted sourdough bread. Day old bread isn’t enough, the bread should be very dry and crouton like. To ensure that each piece is toasted enough, cube it and then bake in the oven until dried.
Fresh herbs are a must, so I included a heavy hand of sage, thyme and parsley. Don’t substitute dried as it won’t work the same way. Plus, it’s Thanksgiving and I think it’s OK to spend a few dollars on yummy fresh herbs; use any extras in cocktails, pasta or freeze for later.
Lastly, add the vegetable broth and let sit to ensure that the bread soaks up everything before baking. Start slowly, you can always add more if needed. I like to begin with two cups of broth, then add a tablespoon or two at a time until perfect. The bread should be lightly moist, but not wet. If it’s too wet, it will bake into a soupy mess. It’ll still be delicious, but stuffing should be moist, not wet.
Hope you love this vegan stuffing recipe as much as we do! Since we typically do a mostly plant-based Thanksgiving, I find that classic side dishes like stuffing are so easy to make vegan. With a little vegan butter, good vegetable broth, crispy tempeh sausage and lots of fresh herbs, I promise this stuffing recipe will become a must-make in your house every year.
Watch my tutorial video to see how easy it is to make the best vegan stuffing:
Crumble the tempeh using a box grater or finely chop using a knife. Add to the skillet along with 1/4 cup water. Let steam until all water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Add in the spices and garlic and toast for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the soy sauce, maple syrup and oil and let cook for 5-8 minutes until browned and crispy. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly butter a large (9×13″) baking dish and set aside.
Cube bread and place in a single layer on a baking sheet (will likely need two baking sheets) and toast until dried out but not overly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven.
While bread is cooking, heat the butter in a separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender but not browned, about 15 minutes.
Add the wine and scrape any browned bits that have occurred after cooking the vegetables. Bring to a boil and cook until wine is mostly evaporated, about 3-4 minutes. Toss in sage, thyme and parsley.
Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Add bread, tempeh sausage and vegetable mixture in a large bowl and add 2 cups of stock, toss well to combine. You want the bread mixture to absorb all of the broth and be “wet” but not have any visible broth in the bowl. Add the salt and pepper.
Slowly add the rest of the broth, tossing every 1/4 or so until all combined. Let sit for 10 minutes until all broth is absorbed. Season, adding more salt/pepper if needed.
Transfer stuffing to prepared dish and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, increase temperature to 425 degrees F. and bake another 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.
You can make this ahead of time for easy prep. Make as directed the day before, then cover with foil and chill in the fridge until ready to bake.
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.