November 19, 2018

The Best Vegan Stuffing

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. 

best vegan stuffing

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?

The BEST Vegan Stuffing!

How to Make the Best Vegan Stuffing 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
The BEST Vegan Stuffing!

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:

If you’re looking for more vegan thanksgiving recipes, consider my vegan mushroom gravy, mini vegetable Wellingtons, Fresh Green Bean Casserole, pumpkin cornbread muffins, and the BIG round-up of 50 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

the best vegan stuffing

The Best Vegan Stuffing

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x
  • Category: vegan, thanksgiving, stuffing, sidedish
  • Method: oven, stovetop
  • Cuisine: vegan, thanksgiving, american


Looking for the best vegan stuffing? This is it! Homemade tempeh sausage crumbles folded into a classic stuffing with sourdough bread, carrots, celery, onion, thyme and sage. Vegan.

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x
  • Category: vegan, thanksgiving, stuffing, sidedish
  • Method: oven, stovetop
  • Cuisine: vegan, thanksgiving, american
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x
  • Category: vegan, thanksgiving, stuffing, sidedish
  • Method: oven, stovetop
  • Cuisine: vegan, thanksgiving, american


Tempeh Sausage

  • 16 ounces tempeh (from two 8 ounce packages)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage (I love Penzey Spices Rubbed Sage, can also use fresh if you don’t have dried)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Sourdough Stuffing

  • 1/2 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan (I used Earth Balance baking sticks; or regular butter for non-vegan version. Don’t substitute oil, you want the flavor of butter)
  • 1 lb. sourdough bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon salt (Earth Balance is salty, so if you use an unsalted butter, you’ll want more salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable stock


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly butter a large (9×13″) baking dish and set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

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The BEST Vegan Stuffing! Made with homemade tempeh sausage, sauteed vegetables and sourdough bread. This stuffing is a must make for Thanksgiving and the holidays. | | #stuffing #vegan #thanksgiving #healthy #christmas #holidays #healthy #sourdoughbread #tempe

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Meet Alex Caspero

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.


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  1. This stuffing recipe is THE BOMB! I made it for my first vegan thanksgiving and my guests couldn’t get enough of it! My store was out of tempeh so I ended up using some other random vegan meat and it still turned out amazing. I was truly pleasantly surprised when my good friend kept raving about this stuffing because she always tells it how it is and if she doesn’t like something, you bet she’s making it known! Super happy this didn’t disappoint, thanks for the great recipe 🙂

    • Hi Dylan– heat exactly as directed in the recipe. Pull it out of the fridge with foil, then cook for ~35-40 minutes at 400F. Remove foil, increase temperature to 425 degrees F. and bake another 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.

  2. I made this recipe for a Friendsgiving this past weekend. It was my first time making homemade stuffing and was worth the effort. Great flavor and perfectly moist without being mushy! This will be the only recipe I’ll use from now on. Animal products weren’t missed in the slightest.

  3. As November rolls around again, I’m starting my Thanksgiving menu. This is the first recipe that went on the list. This stuffing is the absolute best, it really is. I may make a double batch this year – its the only leftover I really wanted to eat the next day. I could not get enough. Great job.

  4. This is a fantastic stuffing recipe! I just experienced my first Thanksgiving being vegan, so I brought my own meal to my family’s dinner celebration. I didn’t make the tempeh sausage (out of sheer laziness) and only about 2.5 cups of the broth (used Better than Bouillon cubes). My stuffing came out a lot more mushy and brown than in your photos, but that’s just how I like it. It tasted exactly like my mom’s traditional stuffing she makes. I topped it off with some homemade vegan mushroom gravy and everyone at Thanksgiving was jealous of my plate! Thanks for creating this recipe, I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers that I froze!

  5. The recipe calls for dry white wine. Is this a white cooking wine? Or is this a normal white wine such as Chardonnay?

  6. Hi! When you make this dish ahead, do you bake it all the way through, then reheat it? I’m travelling with it, and I don’t want it to be dry…

    • I leave it unbaked, then bake right before serving. You may need to add a little more vegetable broth as it cooks as preparing the dish ahead of time may make it drier. I usually splash a little on before placing it in the oven, and then checking it halfway through to see if it needs more moisture. To me, stuffing is the perfect balance of chewy and soft!

  7. I’m hosting a mostly-Vegan thanksgiving dinner this year and your recipe sounds lovely! I know you mentioned the tempeh is the star of this dish, but would it be any good if I left it out, or much too bland? Most of my guests like simple foods, so the tempeh may be a little “out there” for the non vegans attending. TIA!

  8. 1.4 tsp smoked paprika? I have never seen a recipe call for .4 tsp of anything-. Hoping to try this soon. Will do my best to measure 1.4 tsp.

  9. Just made this as a “trial run” for our family Thanksgiving. I am certain this will please both our vegan and non-vegan family members. Loved it

  10. Yes! Finally, finally a delicious vegan stuffing! I made this last week, and my family is still talking about it. I’ll be bringing a double-batch to the in-laws this Thanksgiving.

  11. This is the BEST stuffing recipe! I’ve made so many vegan stuffing recipes and none of them compare to this one. The tempeh crumbles make it!

  12. This recipe looks great! I would like to make it for Easter tomorrow and wasn’t sure if I should bake it tonight and bake it again tomorrow? I wasn’t 100% clear on what you meant in your note about preparing it the night before. Thank you!

    • Sorry I’m just getting to this now- you can make the entire thing ahead of time without baking. Cover, then remove and bake as directed. Thanks!

  13. I absolutely love this! It’s my go-to holiday dish and no one can tell there’s tempeh in it. Everyone always loves it and I could eat the whole pan to myself 🙂 Last time I made it, I added about 5 oz of chestnuts to it because I personally love chestnuts! Turned out great! Thanks for a delish recipe!

  14. This tempeh sausage is very yummy. I didn’t make the stuffing since the holiday is over, but I wanted to try the sausage. I served with with potatoes and salad for dinner, and then added it to a leftover vegetable garbanzo soup in our fridge. The soup is quite good with the added energy of spicy sausage. I will definitely make this sausage again.

  15. I’ve never cooked with Tempeh and I’m wondering what kind to use? I found it at Woodmans and there was three different kinds , I bought one that said soy on it but now wonder if I should have gotten the plain kind? Also I’m planning to add mushrooms do you think that would be okay? My son is vegan and I’m trying to make it for him.. thank you for a great sounding recipe

    • Hi Julia, I haven’t halved this one before- but if I was going to, then I would keep the baking times as a start, and use a smaller pan (like an 8×8). Check it after 30 minutes; then see if you need to remove and cook an additional 10-15 minutes. The last few minutes of baking time are just to get the top nice and crispy.

  16. This recipe looks great and I’d like to try it out for thanksgiving this year! Would you be able to estimate about how many cups it makes? Thanks!

    • Hi Monique,
      I didn’t measure this in cups, but it fills a 9×13″ pan nicely (as shown in the photos.) I’d estimate about ~10 cups in the finished recipe.

        • I would definitely double it and use two pans. I haven’t doubled it, but I’m sure it will work fine. I’d watch how much liquid you add, erroring on the side of too little to too much. Enjoy!