Best Vegetarian Stuffing Casserole Recipe- This vegetarian stuffing casserole is a flavor-packed delight, featuring golden brown crust, tender bread, and a medley of sautéed veggies and aromatic herbs to create the best vegetarian stuffing!
Why you'll love this recipe
This vegetarian stuffing recipe combines a medley of wholesome ingredients, including aromatic herbs, sautéed vegetables, and hearty bread cubes. With its golden-brown crust and savory flavors, this vegetarian stuffing casserole is perfect for holiday dinners or a delightful vegetable side dish to any meal.
Make this one of your holiday classics for Thanksgiving dinner this year! It's a classic stuffing recipe that rings comfort with a vegetarian twist.
You will also enjoy this Chicken Pot Pie Recipe!
- Bread Cubes: Day-old bread is typically used for the stuffing. It provides a sturdy base and absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients when baked.
- Butter: Adds richness and flavor to the dish. It is combined with olive oil to sauté the vegetables and enhance their taste.
- Onion: Adds flavor and aroma to the stuffing—for sweet and tender flavor and texture.
- Carrot: Adds a slight natural sweetness.
- Celery: Diced celery adds a refreshing crunch and subtle flavor to the stuffing.
- Mushrooms: add
- Garlic: Minced garlic enhances the savory taste of the stuffing and adds a delicious aroma.
- Thyme: A fragrant herb that adds earthy and slightly floral notes to the stuffing. Note: I prefer fresh herbs, but you can use dried herbs. You will need to reduce the amount.
- Sage: A pungent herb with a slightly peppery flavor, sage adds depth and warmth to the dish. It smells like Thanksgiving.
- Rosemary: A fragrant herb that imparts a pine-like aroma and adds a savory, herbal taste to the stuffing.
- Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance the overall flavor of the stuffing and help bring out the other spices and herbs.
- Vegetable Broth or Vegetable Stock: Provides moisture and helps bind the bread cubes together. It also infuses the stuffing with savory flavors.
- Fresh Parsley: Optional garnish that adds freshness and a pop of green color to the dish. It can be sprinkled on top before serving.
These ingredients come together to create a flavorful and aromatic veggie stuffing casserole.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Vegetarian Stuffing Step-by-Step Photos
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a large casserole dish.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the melted butter and olive oil.
Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they have softened.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Combine the cubed bread, cooked vegetable mixture, parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary in a large mixing bowl.
Toss everything together until well mixed.
Pour the vegetable broth over the bread mixture and gently stir to combine. The bread should absorb the liquid, but if it seems too dry, add a little more broth.
Transfer the stuffing mixture to the greased casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.
Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Whether you're a vegetarian or simply seeking a meat-free option, this recipe will leave you with a dish that's bursting with deliciousness. Add this to your Thanksgiving day meal or for a special occasion meal. Here are the steps to making this flavorful stuffing.
Best Bread for Stuffing
The best bread for stuffing is typically firm and slightly dry. It should have a good structure to hold up to the moisture from the other ingredients without becoming mushy. Here are some bread options that work well for stuffing:
Day-Old Bread: Bread that is a day or two old tends to be slightly drier, making it ideal for stuffing. You can use varieties such as French bread, Italian bread, or sourdough.
- Baguette: A crusty baguette with a chewy interior works well for stuffing. Cut it into cubes and let it sit out for a few hours or overnight to dry slightly before using it in the recipe.
- Ciabatta: This Italian bread has a dense and chewy texture, which makes it a great choice for stuffing. Its porous structure helps it absorb flavors and moisture without becoming too soggy.
- Brioche: Brioche bread can be a good option if you prefer a richer and slightly sweeter stuffing. Its buttery and tender crumb adds a luxurious touch to the dish.
- Cornbread: Cornbread makes a fantastic base for stuffing, especially for Southern-style recipes. Its slightly crumbly texture and hint of sweetness complement the savory ingredients well.
When selecting the bread, look for sturdy loaves and not overly soft. Avoid very light and fluffy bread as it may turn into a mushy consistency when combined with the other ingredients.
Additionally, you can cut the bread into cubes and let it sit out for a few hours or toast it slightly in the oven to dry it before using it in the stuffing. I avoid the already-made bread crumbs such as Pepperidge Farm.
I love this recipe just the way it is, honestly! Here are a few variations you can consider to mix things up when making your vegetarian stuffing casserole:
- Vegetable Medley: Enhance the flavor and texture of the stuffing by adding a mix of vegetables such as diced carrots, bell peppers, or zucchini along with the onion and celery. Sauté them together for a delicious vegetable medley stuffing.
- Herbs and Spices: Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavors. Add herbs like parsley, oregano, or marjoram, or spices like paprika or cayenne pepper to give your stuffing a unique twist.
- Nutty Delight: If you enjoy the crunch and flavor of nuts, you can add them back into the recipe. Consider using chopped almonds, cashews, or pistachios for a nutty delight in your stuffing casserole.
- Fruity Sweetness: To incorporate a touch of sweetness, you can reintroduce dried cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruits like chopped apricots or cherries. They will add a pleasant contrast to the savory flavors.
- Cheesy Goodness: For richer and creamier stuffing, add grated cheese like cheddar, Gruyere, or Parmesan to the mixture. The cheese will melt and create a deliciously gooey stuffing casserole.
How to Store and Reheat
Storage: Allow the stuffing casserole to cool completely before storing. Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil. Place it in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking. Properly stored, the stuffing casserole can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
Reheating in the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove any aluminum foil or plastic wrap from the refrigerated stuffing casserole out of the refrigerator. Place it in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil to prevent drying. Heat it in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until warm. Remove the foil during the last 5 minutes to allow the top to crisp up, if desired.
Reheating in the Microwave: You can use the microwave if you prefer a quicker reheating method. Transfer a portion of the stuffing casserole to a microwave-safe dish. Cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Microwave on high power in 1-minute increments, stirring in between, until the stuffing is heated thoroughly.
Reheating on the Stovetop: Another option is to reheat the stuffing casserole on the stovetop. Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat and add some oil or butter. Add the stuffing casserole to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated. This method allows for a slightly crispy texture on the outside.
- Choose the right bread: Use firm and slightly dry bread, preferably day-old bread or varieties like French bread, Italian bread, or sourdough. Avoid overly soft and fluffy bread that may turn mushy in the stuffing.
- Prep your vegetables: Take the time to properly dice your onion, celery, and any additional vegetables you're using. Consistent and evenly sized pieces will ensure even cooking and distribution of flavors.
- Sauté the vegetables: Sautéing the onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil and butter before mixing them with the bread cubes helps develop their flavors and adds depth to the stuffing.
- Season well: Don't skimp on the herbs and spices. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences.
- Control the moisture: Gradually add vegetable broth to the bread mixture until it reaches the desired moisture level. The stuffing should be moist but not overly wet. You can always add more broth if needed.
- Bake until golden and crispy: Cover the casserole with foil during the initial baking time to allow the flavors to meld together. Remove the foil for the last few minutes of baking to achieve a golden and crispy top.
Yes, you can prepare the stuffing ahead of time. You can follow the recipe instructions, let the stuffing cool completely, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, reheat the stuffing in the oven or microwave until warmed through.
If you follow a gluten-free diet or have gluten intolerance, you can make gluten-free stuffing. Look for pre-made gluten-free bread or make your own gluten-free bread cubes. Ensure the bread has a similar texture to regular bread, as it will affect the overall consistency of the stuffing.
Yes, you can freeze the stuffing for longer storage. Prepare the stuffing as instructed, cool it completely, and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags. Label the containers with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen stuffing in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Yes! You can easily make this vegetarian stuffing recipe vegan. The only non-vegan ingredient is butter, and that is easy to swap.
Vegan Adaptation: You can substitute the butter with vegan margarine or coconut oil if you prefer a vegan version. Ensure the vegetable broth is vegan-friendly.
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- 8 cups of cubed day-old bread (such as ciabatta or artisan sourdough bread), cut or torn into ¾" pieces
- ½ cup butter or vegan alternative
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, petite diced
- 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
- 1 ½ cup of vegetable broth or vegetable stock, more if needed
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a large casserole dish.
- In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the melted butter and olive oil. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they have softened. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Combine the cubed bread, cooked vegetable mixture, parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary in a large mixing bowl. Toss everything together until well mixed.
- Pour the vegetable broth over the bread mixture and gently stir to combine. The bread should absorb the liquid, but if it seems too dry, add a little more broth.
- Transfer the stuffing mixture to the greased casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Savory
- Method: American
- Cuisine: Italian American
Keywords: stuffing, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian casserole,