By Team Dirty
Oct 14, 2022,
If you ask us, Thanksgiving is all about the sides. Potatoes, rice, roasted veggies, gravy, casseroles, yum! But the undisputed queen of sides is the stuffing (AKA “dressing” to our southern friends), and our Savory Stove Top Stuffing is worthy of the crown. This beauty is totally plant based and delicious enough for the omnis. Plus, it has the huge advantage of not taking up any valuable oven space! But if you prefer to bake your stuffing, we include instructions for that, too. Now let’s get cooking!
Gather your Savory Stove Top Stuffing ingredients
Bread: this is the base of the stuffing, of course. What kind you get is up to you, but it will affect the flavor, so keep that in mind when purchasing. We like 100% whole grain or sprouted bread with no added oil or sugar. Substitute gluten-free bread if desired. Stale bread works best, so if your bread is fresh, place your slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and leave on the counter overnight before making. This is also great for using up the bread heels you’ve been stashing in the freezer! You are saving those, right?
Spices: a large portion of the flavors we associate with Thanksgiving come from spices like sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. This stuffing is no different. The spice list may seem long, but trust us, they lend a delicious depth of flavor that makes the stuffing sing.
Canned black lentils: these are firmer and smaller than their green or brown cousins, and they add a punch of nutritious texture without becoming mushy. If you have trouble finding them locally, you can purchase ahead of time online. In a pinch, substitute cooked or canned green or brown lentils.
Miso: while miso is a surprising ingredient to find in stuffing, we encourage you not to skip it. It has a deep umami flavor that really sends this recipe over the top. To purchase, look for yellow, blonde, or mellow miso. It’s a refrigerated paste typically found near the tofu. You also might find it in the global cuisine section of your grocer.
First, we’ll toast our bread to finish drying it out. Stale bread works best for this recipe. Follow the instructions above the night before making if using fresh bread.
Heat your oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and cut your bread into ½-inch cubes. If you prefer larger or smaller cubes, that’s fine, just be sure the pieces are uniform to ensure even toasting.
Spread your cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. If they don’t fit, use multiple sheets or toast in batches. Toast for 10–13 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Check them often so they don’t burn.
After toasting, the cubes should be completely dry and crunchy like a crouton. Set aside for now.
While your bread cubes are toasting, prepare your veggies and the spice mix. To prep your spices, you can measure them all into a small bowl and give it a good stir, or measure into a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and give it a shake. Set aside.
Once your veggies are prepped and your other ingredients are measured, heat a pot large enough for everything over medium heat for a few minutes. Once it’s hot, add the mushrooms, celery, onion, shallot, carrot, and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes until the veggies are tender. If anything starts to stick, you can add a splash of water (no more than a tablespoon or two), but you likely won’t need to as the mushrooms release their water.
Once they’re softened, add all of the spice mixture as well as the lentils and miso. Stir until well combined, about a minute.
Add the vegetable stock and bring just to a boil. You may need to raise the heat a bit, but don’t go too high, you don’t want a full rolling boil. Once the liquid is just beginning to bubble steadily, take the pot off the heat and add your bread cubes and parsley. Stir gently but quickly to ensure the cubes are coated in your liquid.
With the pot still off the heat, place the lid on, and set a timer for eight minutes. If your pot doesn’t have a lid, you can cover it tightly with aluminum foil.
After eight minutes, remove the lid and fluff your stuffing with a fork. If not serving immediately, don’t cover the pot again as it could make your stuffing mushy. Thanksgiving is stressful enough without mushy stuffing! Making your stuffing in a cast iron or enameled cast iron dutch oven can help keep it warm while you finish the rest of the meal.
When you’re ready, place this incredible plant based Savory Stove Top Stuffing your fanciest serving dish (if you get down like that) and serve it alongside your holiday feast. If your affair is a bit more casual, keep the stuffing in the pot and plunk it down on a trivet. Enjoy!
If you prefer baked stuffing, skip the final step with the lid and transfer the Stove-Top Stuffing to an oven-safe baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350°F (175°C) until the top is browned to your liking, about 10–15 minutes.
- 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
- 1 pinch cayenne powder (optional)
- 8 slices bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (we like 100% whole grain or sprouted)
- 2½ cups mushrooms, diced (175 g / any variety)
- 1 cup celery, diced (100 g)
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced (160 g)
- ¼ cup shallot, diced (35 g)
- ¾ cup carrot, diced (100 g)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (8 g)
- 1½ cups canned black lentils, drained and rinsed (275 g / about 1 15-oz. can / sub green or brown cooked or canned lentils if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon white or yellow miso
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped (5 g / any variety)
- Heat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
- Place the cubed bread onto your baking sheet(s) and spread in a single layer. Bake for 10–13 minutes, stirring once midway through baking, so the bread pieces get evenly toasted. You want the cubes to be completely dry and crunchy. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
- While your bread is baking, add all of the spice mix ingredients to a small jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Place the lid on and give it a few shakes, then set aside for now.
- When your bread cubes are done toasting, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.
- Heat a pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Once hot, add the mushrooms, celery, onion, shallot, carrot, and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
- Add all of the spice mix, lentils, and miso. Stir until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring just to a boil, then remove from heat and add the toasted bread cubes and parsley. Quickly and gently stir and toss the bread cubes a few times to coat them with the mixture, then place a lid on the pot and set your timer for 8 minutes.
- After 8 minutes, remove the lid, gently fluff your stuffing with a fork. Do not place the lid back on your pot at this point or your stuffing may become mushy.
Our Savory Stove Top Stuffing yields about eight cups, which will serve anywhere between six to 10 people, depending on portion sizes. To feed more, double the recipe. You may need to use two large pots as everything is unlikely to fit in one.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
We love this traditional fluffy stove top stuffing as is, but it’s also spectacular smothered in oil-free vegan Holiday Gravy or cheesy sauce. Try stuffing it into veggies, tofurkey, or even a baked potato.
Have you made this delightful holiday dish? Did it blow the socks off all your guests? Let us know in the comments below!
May your holidays always be delicious.
If you’re looking for more plant based Thanksgiving dishes, get access to the following recipes (and more!) with a free 10-day Plant Fueled Life trial.
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