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

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Vegan Stuffing

rate this recipe:
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
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


5 from 14 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Yum. I’m totally with you on the stuffing thing (I never really understood stuffing as dressing!) This reminds me of our family recipe chock full of mushrooms, herbs and onions. Shiitakes are a fabulous upgrade- I’l have to remember this! I just hope my mamma doesn’t roll her eyes at me either 😉

  2. Definitely stuffing, who calls it dressing? Interesting spin with the kale in it, maybe I will have to try that. I like fruity stuffing. Pineapples, cranberries, walnuts, that’s where it’s at for me!

  3. This looks like a delicious recipe! I appreciate the fact that it reheats well because Thanksgiving is all about quality leftovers. Happy Monday, Jeanine 🙂

  4. I love mushroom stuffing and cannot wait to try this! I never thought to put kale in it. Love the twist!

  5. Alden

    It’s only called stuffing if you actually cook it stuffed inside the bird. Otherwise it’s called dressing!

    • jeanine

      Ha – finally one vote for dressing 🙂

  6. Yum! I call it stuffing but no matter what you call it, this looks delicious. I sure love the addition of mushrooms too!

  7. oh this is quite a stuffing recipe! Love your pictures here! I think dressing is a southern term, as I never heard referred to as that until I moved to NC. Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe!

  8. oh this is quite a stuffing recipe! Love your pictures here! I think dressing is a southern term, as I never heard referred to as that until I moved to NC. Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe!

  9. I’m not a bid stuffing fan, so I like that this one is chock full of veggies. Plus the cranberry, rosemary, and balsamic additions look amazing.

  10. Hello from Switzerland, your blog is very nice and is a great inspiration for me! Beautiful photos! Every time i look at your post i find something fantastic. Thank you!

  11. Caitlin from

    I’m always confused when someone calls it dressing. It just doesn’t sound right. I bet shitake mushroms taste wonderful in this stuffing! I’m in charge of turkey and stuffing this year, so I may have to test this out very soon 🙂

  12. Jessica from

    This is a great take on the traditional recipes – I’ve never had mushrooms in stuffing! Even though our Thanksgiving is alredy over in Canada I may have to give this a try one weekend…just have to find something to celebrate lol

  13. stuffing all the way!! i never really got the dressing thing, although it’s been explained to me that stuffing is literally stuffed inside a bird and dressing is on the side. i don’t care about semantics though, it’ll always be stuffing to me!!!

    this looks so, so good! love the shiitakes and sage 🙂


  14. Jeni from

    This stuffing sounds amazing! Stuffing is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving!

    • Bay Area Girl

      5 stars
      I made this for my family this past Thanksgiving! It was delicious, easy to make, and as healthy as stuffing can be. The shiitake mushrooms and kale gave it a great savory flavor.

  15. I’ve always known it as stuffing, dressing goes on a salad, right?! I don’t usually like stuffing, but this could convince me otherwise!

  16. As a relative newcomer to North America, I have to say that I had first found the concept of stuffing as a side dish a bit odd… I mean, a dish entirely made of bread? With little nutritional value? And even more so, a stuffing that has never seen the inside of a bird? For years, my response to an offer of veggie stuffing has always been, “no thanks”… And then I actually tasted it. So yeah, now I’m firmly on the side of stuffing – and yours looks amazing!

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.