Vegan Stuffing

This vegan stuffing recipe is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish! Onions, celery, and sautéed mushrooms fill it with delicious savory flavor.

Vegan Stuffing recipe

This vegan stuffing recipe is a plant-based version of my mom’s classic stuffing recipe. Her stuffing has been my favorite part of Thanksgiving ever since I was a kid. She never makes it from a box, but uses fresh bread, lots of butter, onions, and celery instead. It’s richly flavorful, soft in the middle, and crisp on top, and it’s always the first dish I reach for at Thanksgiving dinner.

In this vegan stuffing recipe, I keep the celery, onions, and crusty bread, but I use a generous amount of olive oil instead of butter, which adds robust flavor. Then, I increase the veggies. Along with the onion and celery, I add a hefty amount of shiitake mushrooms, kale, and tons of fresh herbs. Sautéed with a splash of balsamic vinegar, the mushrooms give this stuffing a delicious savory flavor – it took everything I had to resist devouring it straight out of the pan!

Traditional stuffing is typically considered a Thanksgiving side dish, but with all these hearty veggies, this vegan stuffing recipe could easily pass as a meatless main course. It’ll definitely be at the center of my plate at Thanksgiving this year!

Vegan Stuffing recipe ingredients

How to Make Vegan Stuffing

This vegan stuffing recipe comes together with just a few simple steps:

  • First, sauté the veggies. Cook the onions until they become translucent. Then, add the mushrooms and cook until they soften. Stir in the garlic, celery, sage, and rosemary, and cook a few minutes more.
  • Then, add the bread, along with a big glug of olive oil. Toss in the kale and cook until it wilts. Before you transfer the stuffing to a baking dish, pour 1 cup of vegetable stock into the pan, and stir to combine.
  • And bake! Pile the mixture into a greased baking dish, and pour more stock on top to moisten it. Sprinkle it with dried cranberries and bake until it’s golden brown and lightly crisp on top. Before digging in, let it sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature. (I like it better the longer it sits!)

Cubed bread on a cutting board

Vegan Stuffing Recipe Tips

  • Swap the mushrooms. While I love the savory flavor of the shiitakes in this stuffing recipe, it’s also delicious with different mushroom varieties. Try making it with cremini mushrooms, or with a mix of shiitakes and creminis.
  • Use your favorite bread. I call for ciabatta and nine grain bread in this recipe, but it works just as well with any good crusty bread. French or sourdough bread would both be excellent. And if you need to make your stuffing gluten-free, sub in the best loaf of gluten-free bread you can find!
  • Buy (or make!) your bread a day ahead of time. If you’ve never made stuffing from scratch, you might be surprised to learn that using dried bread will actually make it better! Dry, day-old bread cubes will soak up the olive oil, stock, and mushroom juices like a sponge, which makes for extra-tasty stuffing.
  • Make it in advance. Like any great Thanksgiving side dish, this vegan stuffing recipe is even better if you make it ahead of time. I like it more the longer it sits, and it’s still delicious on the second day! To reheat it, add a little extra stock and bake at 350° until it’s warmed through and lightly crisp on top.

Hands cubing bread with serrated knife

More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

If you’re looking for more recipes to add to your Thanksgiving dinner, you can’t go wrong by trying one (or more!) of these:

And don’t forget the pumpkin pie for dessert!

Best vegan stuffing

Vegan Stuffing

rate this recipe:
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves 8
This vegan stuffing recipe is best when it's made with dry, day-old bread. I recommend buying or baking your bread one to three days in advance so that it really soaks up the savory flavor of the onion, celery, mushrooms, and herbs.


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cipollini onions
  • 3 cups chopped & stemmed mushrooms, mix of shiitakes & creminis
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped sage, plus 8 leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons minced rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 5 cups cubed crusty ciabatta + nine-grain bread*
  • 3 lacinato kale leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, plus more for reheating
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8x12 or 9x13 casserole dish.
  • In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper, and let the mushrooms cook until they begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Add the garlic, celery, sage, and rosemary, and cook until everything is soft and the mushrooms are golden brown, 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, stir, and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the bread and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and toss to coat. Add the kale and cook until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the broth and stir.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish and pour the remaining 1 cup broth evenly over the stuffing.
  • Sprinkle with the dried cranberries, remaining whole sage leaves and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for at least 15 minutes or until ready to serve.


To reheat, add a bit more stock and bake until warmed through and slightly crisp on top.
*Crusty bakery bread works best in this recipe. Soft sandwich bread will become too soggy.


pictured: Staub Cast Iron 12 x 8 Roasting Pan


Leave a comment:

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sinead

    5 stars
    I made this for friends, one can’t have onion and the other can’t have mushroom so I left both out and subbed in chopped dried apricots instead. It was so good, they absolutely loved it. I’m making it again, with the onions, for the family Christmas dinner. A brilliant recipe easily adapted. Thanks a million!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. mary

    What a fabulous vegan stuffing. No need for eggs here! Love the flavors – thanks for sharing:)

  3. Whitney

    This recipe looks amazing and such an upgrade from the boxed stuffing of Thanksgivings past. My mom is allergic to onions, any suggestions to substitute for this? I noticed you mentioned fennel, do I just sautee them as I would the onions? Thanks! First year hosting Thanksgiving!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Whitney, oh that’s a tough one – is she also allergic to leeks? I think fennel could work, I would sauté it like the onion until it’s soft – it might need a bit more time.

      • Whitney

        Thanks! I’ll give it a try!

  4. Abigail

    If I am using relatively fresh bread, would it be beneficial to cube and lightly toast it ahead of time to dry it out?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      You don’t have to – I used relatively fresh bread too.

  5. Karin

    Hi! We discovered your blog and books a little while ago and have been cooking our way through delicious dish after dish! I was wondering if you have any thoughts on what could take the place of mushrooms here since the dish looks amazing but family really doesn’t like them! Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Karin, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes! I’d add about 1 cup more bread cubes. Softened (roasted or sautéed) carrots or fennel would be delicious. I hope that helps!

      • Karin

        Thanks so much for your reply, Jeanine! I will give that a try!

  6. KimK

    Not a mushroom fan. Would this stuffing be good without mushroom. Any ideas of other veggies to add?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kim, you could skip them – I’d add about 1 cup more bread cubes. Softened carrots or fennel would be delicious. I hope that helps!

  7. Regina

    Hi, you don’t mention anything about toasting the bread before you toss it all together, is this correct or should I toast the bread beforehand?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Regina – I didn’t toast the bread. You could use stale bread if you like, but I don’t find toasting it to be necessary.

  8. Carolyn

    Hi I may have missed the # of servings but for 13 adults how much should I make was thinking of doubling the recipe

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Carolyn, I think doubling it would be perfect.

  9. Katie

    For those of us local in Austin, do you mind disclosing who you purchased the bread from? Based on the description and photo my guess is Easy Tiger but I could be wrong.

    • jeanine

      Good eye :). It is Easy Tiger’s nine grain bread (although I like their rye batard too).

  10. Alaros

    Or can I replace the sage for other fresh herb?

  11. Alaros

    This looks amazing! I cannot find fresh sage in my country. Can I substitute it for dry? Please tell me the quantity. Thanks.

    • jeanine

      you can skip it (maybe increase the fresh rosemary in the recipe a little?) Or you can use dried sage, but don’t use 1/4 cup – use a teaspoon or two.

  12. Brian from

    This looks awesome! Just out of curiosity, why remove the mushroom stems?

    • jeanine

      Hi Brian, I find them to be too tough and wood-y and not as tender as the caps. (sometimes I’ll save them for stocks, etc).

  13. Bec from

    Oh my, this looks amazing! I am so making this in Australia just because it looks so amazing! P.s.. we all call it stuffing down here.

  14. I call it stuffing, all.the.way (and I stuff my face with it, too). Being that I’ve finally admitted to my family that I’m a food blogger, and I’ve allowed them to read my blog – something that gave me anxiety before – I’ve now been given the task of making a side dish for Thanksgiving. This is definitely an option!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.