Where is the eggless vegetarian Thanksgiving stuffing of my dreams?
November 7, 2019 10:17 AM   Subscribe

I need an eggless vegetarian Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Over the years I've tried many, and they've mostly sucked. Parameters inside.

So yeah I don't even like stuffing, but Mr. BlahLaLa does, and since he doesn't eat the turkey, I try to help him out in this area. I need a recipe that:

-- Obviously: isn't going to cook inside the bird.
-- Has no egg. This is the big sticking point for most recipes. And I do get that without an egg you're going to have a very "different" sort of recipe.
-- Can have dairy, like butter.
-- Can easily be cooked a day or two in advance and reheated, just because of Thanksgiving time management.
-- Isn't flavorless, or so obviously alt-flavored (like, heavy soy sauce) that it isn't Thanksgiving-ish. Also isn't total mush.
-- Doesn't require a ridicuous amount of cooking, prep or any special tools. Like, not sous vide and the like.

That's really it. I know I can just keep googling for recipes, but since the last few I've tried have stunk, I'd prefer to hear it directly from someone that it's a great recipe that works well.
posted by BlahLaLa to Food & Drink (37 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I’ve never had a stuffing that contained egg. I didn’t even know that was a thing. My go to for stuffing is the Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing. And instead of making it with the chicken broth I use vegetable broth.
posted by Sassyfras at 10:25 AM on November 7, 2019 [23 favorites]

My vegetarian stuffings usually revolve around wild rice and mushrooms. Not my recipe but this example seems similar (sub vegetable broth, obviously, and I'd use raisins or dried cranberries or apricots instead of the stated pears.)
posted by niicholas at 10:29 AM on November 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am not opposed to box stuffing if it's great!
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:30 AM on November 7, 2019

I guess you might consider this not sufficiently "thanskgiving-ish" but this Bon Appetite recipe for Masa Cornbread stuffing with Chilies has enough other stuff in it that i dont think you'd miss the eggs it calls for - i would add a bit more stock to compensate but frankly its a moist and gooey mess (in the best possible way) with the melty cheese and chopped peppers.

Have made it numerous times, with both the prescribed masa cornbread but also whatever was handy cornbread-wise (and even with a mix of white and cornbread once) and no ones complained ever.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:33 AM on November 7, 2019

that recipe isnt vegetarian bc of the chicken stock, which you could obviously swap out for a meatless version.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:34 AM on November 7, 2019

Our family's "stuffing" - technically dressing - is so simple. We just saute onions, mushrooms and celery in a huge load of butter, add torn up white toast, season, add milk if it seems too dry even with the load of butter and bake in a buttered casserole. Did I mention huge load of butter? Delicious reheated.
posted by wellred at 10:36 AM on November 7, 2019 [14 favorites]

Friend of mine who is allergic to everything including eggs has recommended this one. She says that she used flax eggs and that she likes to add dried fruit.

This woman is a powerhouse cook with tons of allergies and eating restrictions and I still miss her food since she moved away from me. If she says this is good, it's good.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:42 AM on November 7, 2019

This is my stuffing recipe, adapted from my mom's.

- Rice or rice pilaf (my mom always used "Near East" boxed rice pilaf)
- A loaf of bread, cubed and dried for a day to make croutons. Don't use store-bought croutons.
- Onions
- Mushrooms
- Pecans, chopped
- Celery, chopped (optional)
- Vegetable soup stock (I use "Better than Bouillon")
- Spices (rosemary, tarragon, whatever you like)

Chop and sauté the onions and mushrooms. Don't spare the butter.
Sprinkle the soup stock over the croutons to rehydrate them a little.
Combine all the ingredients, season with spices
Put in a casserole dish. Dot with butter. Bake.

This is a pretty plain recipe, but everyone seems to like it.

This is the vegetarian alternative. Normally I boil the giblets to create the rehydrating juice, but I'll admit there's not a big difference. If you want to stuff this in a bird, nuke the uncooked stuffing until it is too hot to touch and stuff the bird immediately before cooking it.
posted by adamrice at 10:42 AM on November 7, 2019

Egg? Ive never even heard of using egg in stuffing.

The recipe I use is cooked in a slow cooker, so it stays moist and you don't have to monitor it during cooking.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:56 AM on November 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have never used egg in my stuffing, nor made it in the bird. I sauté onion and celery in butter, mix it with toasted bread cubes and broth, season with salt, pepper, and sage, then bake in a 9x13 pan. It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving—I make 7 pans!
posted by wisekaren at 11:01 AM on November 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

Just popping in to say that I'm not an intuitive cook, so I really need a recipe, not "mix all these things together and voila."
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:03 AM on November 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yet another "never seen a stuffing recipe with egg in it." Can you give us an example of a stuffing recipe you have that does include egg? If we can see what you're starting with, we can help you figure out how to adapt it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:05 AM on November 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

this Spinach & Pumpernickel Stuffing looks pretty good. swap out the chicken stock for veg stock and you should be good to go.

Here's another option that you could try if you omit the sausage: Northwest Celebration Stuffing
posted by zsh2v1 at 11:07 AM on November 7, 2019

Here you go. We were a Pepperidge Farm Stuffing mix family until we discovered The Pioneer Woman's Stuffing. It is THE stuffing, well, for us anyhow. Both are eggless.
posted by sarajane at 11:07 AM on November 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

My sister was a big egg stuffing person. Never really my thing, but it defeinitely IS a thing. Makes everything stick together well, ups the protein. I think if you're making vegetarian stuffing you need to think if it's supposed to be high in protein in which case nuts are a good go to. There's basically your basic stuffing which is something like this, and then something a little more fancy including things like mushrooms and/or nuts. Anything with chicken stock can have veggie stock substituted.
posted by jessamyn at 11:11 AM on November 7, 2019

Egg is often used as a binder in stuffing, rather than for the taste, for example this delicious recipe: stuffing from The Kitchn If that’s the kind you like could you use egg substitute?
posted by plonkee at 11:13 AM on November 7, 2019

Interesting to have discovered this divide. Many, many, many, many, many, many stuffing recipes use eggs.

Also, some of these recipes -- like the Pioneer Woman one, alas -- have a hidden problem of seemingly not using eggs...but using something that already has egg mixed in, like the cornbread.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:15 AM on November 7, 2019

So generally a really wet dressing will have egg as a binder. My example is my grandmother's cornbread dressing (you crumble up the cornbread til it looks like sawdust and then assemble the dressing using egg, stock, butter, celery/onions, herbs, etc.). But it's really soupy and needs the egg to bind it together.

Traditional "stale bread" dressings don't need the egg, and it's superfluous if egg is added, OR, the recipe calls for tons of liquid, hence the egg.
posted by cooker girl at 11:17 AM on November 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

cornbread stuffing with pecan and pears (vegan)
posted by carrioncomfort at 11:23 AM on November 7, 2019

I usually just doctor up boxed stuff!

Sautee carrots, celery, and onion in butter or oil, mix into boxed stuffing, serve with fresh made cranberry sauce. mmmm. I want some now.
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:25 AM on November 7, 2019

I'm not aware of a egg-based stuffing, so I'll recommend the apple, shallot, and herb dressing from an out of print Williams Sonoma book that we've been making for years. Fits all your requirements, the hardest ingredient to source is the celery root but you can leave that out, and the hardest prep is chopping all the shallots. Better the next day, too. Truly a restaurant-quality dish.
posted by wnissen at 11:30 AM on November 7, 2019

I use stuffing bread cubes (or ripped up) I let it dry out for a few hours till its dryer but not hard. One loaf of bread.

Saute a minced onion, finely chopped celery (2-3 ribs) in 1/2 cup butter till quite soft. When soft, add 1 tbsp of poultry spice. Mix well. Dump over the bread and stir well. I sometimes shred an apple into it.
If it looks too dry, melt another 1/4 cup butter and add. Chop 1/2 bunch finely chopped parsley

Spray a casserole dish and add the stuffing.

Use chicken or turkey stock to moisten (1.5 cups). Bake at 350 for about an hour.

I make Turkey stock while my Turkey cooks. I buy extra wings and simmer with carrot, celery, onion.
posted by Ftsqg at 11:48 AM on November 7, 2019

Also if you want to make cornbread dressing, you can easily use an egg substitute - just get some ground flaxseed. I used to make vegan cornbread all the time.
posted by Frowner at 11:54 AM on November 7, 2019

Honestly, I like old fashioned Pepperidge Farm stuffing made, as directed, with celery and onions. They also have alternative recipes.

How do I know I love this stuffing? We always had Thanksgiving at my aunt's and I loved her stuffing and raved to everyone all year long about how special it was. When I got married she sent me a lovely card and wrote:

PS: The stuffing is Pepperidge Farm. Just follow the directions. Shhhh.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:55 AM on November 7, 2019 [12 favorites]

I just made stuffing today. I pretty much use the recipe on the Pepperidge Farms bag, adding extra onion and celery, fresh parsley, fresh sage, browned sausage and roasted butternut squash. It's a meal in itself. You could add walnuts instead of sausage for some protein. I don't eat dairy, so I use olive oil and vegan butter. To replace the both, experiment with miso and/or with mushroom broth. When I have used better bread, it makes better stuffing, but Pepp. Farm is pretty good,as well as being what I'm used to. It has to be baked to get the right texture and some proper crusty bits.
posted by theora55 at 12:02 PM on November 7, 2019

Wow here’s another vote for never having heard of egg in stuffing. I wonder if it’s regional? I grew up in California.

Anyway, tangent aside, my go to stuffing is from Simply Recipes Just use vegetable stock instead.
posted by like_neon at 12:16 PM on November 7, 2019

I have made this aptly named Best Vegetarian Stuffing Ever every Thanksgiving for the past few years and it is sooooo good, loved by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. It's easy to make, contains no egg, and can be assembled ahead of time and baked the day of.
posted by purplemonkie at 12:36 PM on November 7, 2019

I also use the Pepperidge Farm stuffing as a base but I add to it as follows:
1 or 2 onions, cut up and sauteed in a mix of butter and olive oil
4 or 5 or more cloves of garlic, cut up and sauteed in a mix of butter and olive oil
1 box of mushrooms, cut up & sauteed in a mix of butter and olive oil
2 apples cut into small chunks
1 cup of raisins
sage. oregano. thyme. salt & pepper. maybe a bay leaf? I can't remember offhand.
SOMETIMES I use vegetarian bacon as well, cut up and cook ahead like the onions etc.
Mix it all together with melted butter and store bought vegetable stock. Whatever doesn't fit into the bird (I do usually make a turkey on Thanksgiving) goes into a casserole dish and is cooked in the oven for about half an hour for the stricter vegetarians among us.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:39 PM on November 7, 2019

Nthing the Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing. It is very easy with simple directions and imo delicious (although everyone prefers the stuffing they grew up eating and this was mine).
posted by sallybrown at 1:44 PM on November 7, 2019

I have adapted this recipe to be vegan by choosing a vegan cornbread recipe, vegan bread, and coconut milk instead of broth. Still tastes great.

7 cups corn bread

3 cups stale white bread (w/o crusts)

1/2 c chopped onion, 1 1/2 c chopped celery, 1 tsp thyme, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper - all sauteed in 1 1/4 c butter

Add bread cubes to butter and veg. mixture and mix well until butter absorbed

Add 1 cup milk and mix again. Cool and then pack lightly into turkey cavity (main one and neck cavity) Use small skewers to pin closed. Put extra stuffing in pan and cover with foil and bake for 1/2 hour after turkey comes out of oven (while you make gravy).
posted by bq at 1:45 PM on November 7, 2019

Here's the one I use:

Apple-Cranberry Stuffing

1 stick unsalted butter or 1/2 C oil
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
3 large tart apples (Granny Smith are best)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup cranberries (dried may be used if fresh are not
16 oz. bag herbed stuffing mix (such as Pepperidge Farm)
1 (14 oz.) cans vegetable or chicken broth

Melt butter/heat oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and
celery. Saute until onions just begin to turn translucent, about 7-8
minutes. Peel, core, and dice apples. In a large bowl combine onion
mixture, apples, nutmeg, salt, pepper, sage, cloves, thyme, and
cinnamon. Stir in nuts and cranberries. Mix in stuffing mix. Add broth
and stir until stuffing bread is evenly moistened. Transfer stuffing
mixture to a large Pyrex dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Stir. Serve immediately, or chill overnight and reheat at 350 for 40 minutes.

(I saute the apples with the onion & celery -- just add them to the
pan for a couple minutes at the end. )

If you make sure the stuffing mix you use has no eggs in it, it's egg-free. We have been known to saute it up for breakfast after T-giving. NephewR, who claims to hate stuffing, ate this in lieu of the rest of dinner the year he was 3.
posted by jlkr at 3:57 PM on November 7, 2019

My family has always made and loved the Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing with the addition of sauteed celery and onion, and substituting broth for the water. Add me to the list that's never heard of using eggs in stuffing.
posted by Dolley at 7:01 PM on November 7, 2019

I think there are lots of awesome options here. But I thought I’d mention that my mom tosses in a couple of handfuls of cashews to add some oomph to the vegetarian stuffing she makes for me every year.
posted by hilaryjade at 7:06 PM on November 7, 2019

I made "The Best Vegan Stuffing" from Serious Eats this year for Canadian Thanksgiving and thought it was really yummy. I'm not normally a bread stuffing person, and couldn't stop myself from going back for more. There are a couple of steps (e.g. making your own broth, drying out your bread), but I'm pretty sure you can assemble it the night before and bake it the day after (take a look at the non-vegan version's instructions).
posted by emsuro at 10:28 PM on November 7, 2019

I just looked at Serious Eats and they have a new post up: So Long, Turkey: The Ultimate Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu
It looks so delicious, I wish we had Thanksgiving.
posted by mumimor at 9:50 AM on November 12, 2019

I wish we had Thanksgiving.

This American officially gives you permission to have your own thanksgiving (free from the implicit connection to native genocide, even!)
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:53 AM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

There are so many good answers here that led me down delicious paths of recipe investigation. And then before I had formally decided, I noticed my girl Smitten Kitchen posted this kale & caramelized onion recipe and it was all over. I doubled it, and it was fabulous. Highly recommended.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:29 PM on December 7, 2019

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