The Best Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe

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The Best Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe

This Best Vegetarian Stuffing recipe is full of mouth-watering flavors and textures that will please both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. It is one meatless side that is sure to be a hit at your holiday or Thanksgiving table!

The best vegetarian stuffing in a white bowl.

I’m so happy to be sharing this Vegetarian Stuffing recipe with you today.  It is one of my tried and true recipes… one that I make for my family every year.  They have come to love and look forward to it as much as I do.

This dish truly comes from the heart and I promise it will not only be the BEST Vegetarian Stuffing you’ve tried but it will end up being your favorite even over turkey ones.

The Best Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe

You see… I adore Thanksgiving.  I’ve hosted a huge party at my house for years.  My husband cooks two birds but since I don’t eat meat the turkey is not the star of the show for me.  The sides are what makes my heart swoon so I’ve perfected them over the years.  Being a pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats seafood and fish,) this Vegetarian Stuffing recipe is actually my true Thanksgiving food love.

This fluffy, savory, flavor-filled MEATLESS stuffing is the star of my meal.  It’s not just a simple boxed stuffing but packed with goodies to make it stand out like cranberries, apples, celery, garlic, carrots, onions and FRESH sage.

Who needs turkey broth when you have ALL of this?

The Best Vegetarian Stuffing in a white serving dish.

The Best Vegetarian Stuffing Ingredients

This meatless stuffing has a combination of savory and sweet flavors for the perfect flavor bomb for the holidays.  To make this Vegetarian Dressing recipe you will need:

  • French bread: Make sure you use day-old, dried bread. Dry bread is crucial for stuffing to have texture and flavor. If you use freshly baked bread it will result in a soggy dressing.
  • Dried cranberries: Cranberries add a chewy texture and a sweet-tart flavor to the stuffing.
  • Fresh sage: Use fresh sage for the best flavor.
  • Sweet onion: Adds a nice, mildly sweet flavor.
  • Carrots and Celery: Finely chop the carrots and celery for the best texture.
  • Poultry seasoning: A tasty blend of herbs that helps to enhance the flavor of the dressing.
  • Apple: Apples are a fun twist that helps to lighten up the dish that can often feel heavy.
  • Garlic: No stuffing is complete without a little bit of garlic mixed in!
  • Vegetable broth: Finish it off with some vegetable broth to keep the stuffing moist.
  • Butter: I don’t skimp here and go for a stick off salted butter.  I’m all about healthy cooking most days, but I’m totally ok with this dish being a bit indulgent.  Even with the butter though a single serving of this dish is only 200 calories.
  • Salt and pepper

The Best Vegetarian Stuffing in a white serving dish.

How do you make vegetarian stuffing from scratch?

Curious how to make vegetarian stuffing from scratch? Here’s how…

  1. Chop up your ingredients. Use the freshest produce you can find for the best stuffing!

Ingredients for the best vegetarian stuffing.

2. Place bread cubes in a casserole dish and sprinkle with sage and dried cranberries.

3. Saute the chopped veggies in melted butter. Add garlic, apples, and vegetable broth.

4. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes.

Process photos for the best vegetarian stuffing.

Variations and Pro Tips

  • You can double this recipe by using a jumbo casserole dish.
  • When you pour the butter, clergy, carrot, and onion mixture over the bread make sure to drizzle it evenly.
  • Mushrooms would be a great addition to this!  You could trade them out for the apples and leave out the cranberries for less sweetness in the dish.   Walnut would also be good.
  • If you have a vegetarian coming to your Thanksgiving this stuffing is hearty enough to be the main course for them along with other sides.

Can vegetarians eat stuffing?

It depends! Often Thanksgiving stuffing or holiday dressing is made with turkey broth, the turkey itself, or even cooked in the bird.  It is really simple to make stuffing suitable for vegetarians and vegans though by switching the turkey broth to vegetable broth and using a recipe like this.  This recipe is the perfect vegetarian stuffing recipe for people who don’t eat meat.  To make it for vegans just follow the instructions below.

Is this stuffing suitable for vegans?

To make this stuffing vegan, saute the veggies in a vegan butter instead of butter.  You can also use a few tablespoons of olive oil but you will not get that same indulgent flavor.  It will work though.

Can you make the stuffing ahead of time and reheat it?

If you are making it fresh on Thanksgiving day save time by pre chopping all of your vegetables except for the apple which will turn brown.  I chop the celery, onions, carrots, garlic, sage and bread ahead of time and store it in ziplock bags in the fridge.  That way it will take a fraction of the time to actually make on Thanksgiving day when you are trying to make other dishes.

You could also do most of the prep work by putting the bread, cranberries, and sage in a dish ahead of time.  Just make the butter mixture right before you want to cook it.

You could also make the entire recipe and reheat it for dinner.  It tastes great as leftovers as the flavors combine well after resting in the fridge.

The Best Vegetarian Stuffing in a white serving dish.

After making this a half dozen times, my Vegetarian Stuffing recipe is now a true family favorite!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



Want More Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides?


If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook too!


The Best Vegetarian Stuffing in a white serving dish.

Vegetarian Stuffing

Julie Wunder
This Best Vegetarian Stuffing recipe is full of mouth-watering flavors and textures that will please both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. It is one side that is sure to be a hit at your holiday table!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Side Dish, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 207 kcal


  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 loaf, approx. 16 ounces day old French bread, cut in 1/2 in cubes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped and divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 large apple, chopped (approx.. 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium high quality vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray an 8x11 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Put the bread cubes in the dish and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sage and the dried cranberries on top.
  • In a large sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.
  • When the butter is melted add the rest of the sage, onion, celery and carrot. Season with a healthy pinch of the salt and pepper.
  • When the onions become translucent add the garlic and apples. Season with another healthy pinch of the salt and pepper.
  • After the apples have cooked for about 2 minutes, add the vegetable broth. Season with the rest of the salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Allow the mixture to sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, over the bread. Gently move around the bread to allow the broth to soak all the pieces. Be careful not to smash or break up too much of the bread.
  • Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. Twice during the cooking time, carefully stir to keep the bread moist.


This is great as leftovers too!


Calories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 7gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 704mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1286IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Best Vegetarian Stuffing, Vegetarian Stuffing
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!

Pin for later!

By | 2020-10-28T11:47:15-04:00 September 26th, 2020|All Vegetarian, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Meals|80 Comments


  1. Sapana Behl October 7, 2020 at 4:25 am - Reply

    5 stars
    This veg stuffing sounds full of flavors and I am sure it must taste amazing as well. Love the idea of using cranberries for that wonderful flavors.

  2. Ramona October 5, 2020 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Yummm, what a perfect thanksgiving recipe to make! i really love the combination of sage and dried cranberries, soo tasty and creative. I also love how it includes apples in it, what an interesting dish to make! thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. Gail Montero October 5, 2020 at 10:39 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Such a tasty vegetarian stuffing for Thanksgiving! Love the added sweetness from the apples and cranberries – yum!

  4. Kushigalu October 5, 2020 at 9:22 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Love this vegetarian stuffing. The flavors in this recipe is amazing. I am pinning to try this for holiday. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lesli October 4, 2020 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Everything in the vegetarian stuffing looks delicious! I especially like the addition o the apples. So perfect!

  6. Sondra Barker October 4, 2020 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    OMG yum. This looks so tasty, perfect for the holidays coming up. Cant wait to try. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Sarah James October 4, 2020 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Your stuffing looks delicious, you can’t beat homemade and I love how you’ve packed so much flavour in there. Pinning this for later.

  8. Chef Dennis October 4, 2020 at 11:32 am - Reply

    5 stars
    I do love a good stuffing and can’t wait to try your recipe. I know my family will love it

  9. Amy Liu Dong October 3, 2020 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    This is the best recipe to add on my menu today, meatless day is a winner for me and I love this recipe.YUM!

  10. Leslie October 3, 2020 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I’m loving this amazing Vegetarian Stuffing recipe with FRESH ingredients! That’s so key to separate this from a lot of other stuffing recipes!

  11. Alexis October 3, 2020 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I love this stuffing, it’s most and very flavorful. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  12. Emily October 2, 2020 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Stuffing is my favorite side dish during holidays and I actually prefer vegetarian stuffing like this vs. the kind cooked with the Turkey. Such a delicious comfort food!

  13. Sue October 2, 2020 at 9:16 am - Reply

    5 stars
    One of my daughters is a vegan and I always struggle to find things for her to enjoy during the holidays, so this is a life saver for me!

  14. Natalie September 25, 2020 at 11:47 am - Reply

    5 stars
    This stuffing sounds amazing. I absolutely love the flavors and all the veggies you used. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Now i can’t wait holidays to give this a try.

  15. Erin @ Vitality Vixens September 25, 2020 at 10:12 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Love this! I’m not usually a big fan of stuffing, but this is amazing!

  16. […] The Best Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe […]

  17. […] Vegetarian Thanksgiving Stuffing […]

  18. […] two favorite dishes that aren’t as healthy are my Apple & Sage Vegetarian Stuffing and my Mom’s Famous Sweet Potato Casserole.  These are tried and true family favorites that […]

  19. […] of Thanksgiving day as you can, without sacrificing the freshness of your meal.  For example, my vegetarian stuffing recipe requires a ton of chopped up vegetables.  I will cut all of that up on Tuesday and put it in […]

  20. […] two favorite dishes that aren’t as healthy are my Apple & Sage Vegetarian Stuffing and my Mom’s Famous Sweet Potato Casserole.  They are on my menu each year and are totally […]

  21. Cheryl Buchanan November 18, 2018 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I am apologizing for my comment as I believe your recipe was submitted online first and the on on Epicurious after. That one seems to have copied yours.

    In regards to the recipe. I am making this, again, for the vegetarians in my family. They love it!

  22. […] that just feels fall-ish to me about them.  Maybe it’s because they are a star of my famous Thanksgiving Vegetarian Stuffing?  I end up buying five bags of them to cook my epic Thanksgiving […]

  23. Annmarie November 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Definitely no need for meat with a stuffing like that! Looks amazing!

  24. Deborah Brooks November 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I like the cranberries and apples in here!

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  27. [email protected] run pink November 20, 2016 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    4 stars
    Just used this recipe for my family get together today. It was a hit!

    • JulieWunder November 21, 2016 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Yayayayayay!! Thank you for letting me know! It makes my day when I hear about people making and enjoying my recipes. Thanks Jess!!! Hope you have a good week.

  28. Patty @ Reach Your Peak November 2, 2016 at 10:27 am - Reply

    5 stars
    omg I just got so excited for Thanksgiving now!! Will definitely be saving this recipe. Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving lol

    • JulieWunder November 6, 2016 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Yay! Thanks so much Patty! Hope you get a chance to try it.

  29. Emily November 2, 2016 at 6:07 am - Reply

    4 stars
    What a delicious recipe! So perfect that everyone can enjoy it, whether they eat meat or not ?

  30. Alisa @ Go Dairy Free November 1, 2016 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    This recipe is a necessity for the holidays! There are always vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving and everyone wants stuffing 🙂

  31. Rebecca | NOURISHED. the blog November 1, 2016 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Love the apples and cranberries in here, Julie! They are such a sweet and different twist on stuffing. And I love how I could easily make this gluten free by using GF sandwich-style bread instead. This will definitely be making an appearance on our dinning table during the holidays!

    • JulieWunder November 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Yes! Such an easy swap! Hope you get a chance to try it.

  32. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious November 1, 2016 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Looks so good! I love the sage and dried cranberries in there!

  33. Taylor Kiser November 1, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    This looks so delicious! It’s perfect for Thanksgiving!

  34. Heather @ FITaspire November 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan of stuffing, but I’ll try it sometimes. 🙂 I do love that you have more color in your version than I often see, that makes it more appealing for sure!!!

    • JulieWunder November 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Yes! This one is a stuffing for even stuffing haters. 🙂

  35. amanda -runtothefinish November 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I am a stuffing freak. I could pass up everything else on the table and just have a big old pile of stuffing…sigh, I’m already getting excited for it! I literally only eat it at thanksgiving!!!!

    • JulieWunder November 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      That’s awesome!! It is sooo good! You should totally try mine. It’s that good!

  36. Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands October 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    I’m not usually a fan of stuffing but this looks so good!! I might have to make this so I can have stuffing too, even if I have to smuggle it in so I don’t offend my aunt. Haha!

    • JulieWunder November 6, 2016 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      Haha!!! Oh I feel ya! Everyone in my family talks about loving this!

  37. Laura October 31, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I do love adding sausage to my stuffing…however my sister is a vegetarian and this is perfect for our family!!!

  38. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche October 25, 2016 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Yuuum – love stuffing! I love how many veggies this one contains – perfect for Christmas dinner 🙂

  39. Nadia October 25, 2016 at 5:55 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Sounds and looks delicious! Stuffing has always been my favourite part of a Christmas dinner 😀

  40. Kate @ Veggie Desserts October 24, 2016 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    I’m exactly the same. Veggie stuffing is always the star of my Christmas dinner!

    • JulieWunder October 30, 2016 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Me too! So good– Thanks so much Kate. Hope you get a chance to try this one.

  41. Becky Jordan October 20, 2016 at 8:52 am - Reply

    5 stars
    This looks amazing! Love the apples in it. I’m sure my family will love it this Thanksgiving!

  42. Asparagus Salad | Running in a Skirt November 18, 2014 at 9:08 am - Reply

    […] My Vegetarian Stuffing, Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes and Greek Yogurt Mac & Cheese just to name a few. […]

  43. Tina muir November 18, 2014 at 6:37 am - Reply

    This sounds woooonndderrrffuullll!!! Love the idea of vegetarian stuffing, and realistically, that is how it should be haha. It is all about the bread! Thanks for joining us for meatless monday lovely lady 🙂

  44. Renee @ Bendiful Blog November 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    I’ve never made my own stuffing before! This year it sounds like we are hosting our very first Thanksgiving and this recipe makes me think I could handle some non-bag kind of action. Great Recipe Julie!

  45. Sam @ PancakeWarriors November 17, 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply

    I always make vegetarian stuffing! It’s so yummy! I’m trying to find gluten free stuffing this year – wish me luck! Thanks for sharing

  46. Nicole @ Fitful Focus November 17, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Would you believe I’ve never made stuffing before! I’m usually all about the sweet potatoes, but this looks delicious!

  47. Sarah November 17, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Looks delicious! If only I made the stuffing for Thanksgiving. It isn’t something I usually eat as my aunt makes it with sausage. Maybe I will have to make myself for my family next week.

  48. Chaitali November 17, 2014 at 9:00 am - Reply

    I love vegetarian stuffing and trying out new versions every year 🙂 This one sounds really good. I love the addition of the cranberries so there are pops of sweetness with the rest of the savory ingredients.

  49. This looks great! Thanks for linking up with us again this week and bringing another fab recipe

  50. Joanna @Makingmine November 12, 2014 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Oh yum – this is SO pretty! I am usually not a big fan on dressing, but this one looks amazing!

  51. Felicia November 12, 2014 at 12:29 am - Reply

    This looks and sounds delicious. I am always on the lookout for good stuffing ideas. I’ll have to add this to my list!

  52. Susie @ SuzLyfe November 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    MMMmmm! Looks so tasty! I love stuffing, even if I try to stay away from it. What I like the most about Thanksgiving is that I don’t have to choose–ALL THE THINGS!

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2014 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      Yeah, I embrace Thanksgiving and eat a bunch 🙂

  53. Sarah @ Sunny Runner November 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    I’m a vegetarian and have a hard time finding stuffing recipes that actually sound/taste good! I can’t wait to try this.

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Sarah! I hope you enjoy it! I have some other good vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes coming up this month. Hope to see you again!

  54. Alysia @ Slim Sanity November 11, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Stuffing was always one of my favorites. I never really cared for my Dad’s family recipe which he made from scratch because it had the giblets in it lol. Otherwise we always made Stove Top! I’ll have to try a homemade version like this!

  55. Denise November 11, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Thank you so much! I love Thanksgiving, but being a vegetarian makes it a little challenging. Will pin these!

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2014 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      It can be hard! I’ve tried out some good ones over the past few years. I’ll be posting a few more in the next few weeks if you want to check back!

  56. Gail Harrell November 11, 2014 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Dressing sounds yummy! I still miss seeing your smiling face on the weather at WLOS, but am happy to know you are enjoying your new lifestyle and hope you keep up the good work. God bless you and your family. 🙂

    • JulieWunder November 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Gail for your support! God bless you family too 🙂

  57. Blane Sherer November 11, 2014 at 6:31 am - Reply

    I appreciate your helpfulness for Thanksgiving preparation.
    It will be here before you know it.

  58. Jessie November 11, 2014 at 5:36 am - Reply

    Vegetarian stuffing is actually the only way I make it. Last year I used leftover pumpkin cornbread in the mixture. Talk about delicious! I bet it would be work great with your recipe.

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