This vegetarian stuffing for Thanksgiving is very aromatic and flavorful with the use of dry cherries, fresh apples and herbs. Toasted almonds add crunch.
Stuffing is a quintessential Thanksgiving side dish. I never understood the concept for stuffing, to me stuffing has to be inside something to be called that. But stuffing is usually served on the side. Today’s recipe is a great stuffing for Thanksgiving – it is fruity, flavorful and vegetarian.
There are regional differences in the way stuffing is made in the US. Southerners make their stuffing, called dressing, from cornbread. While those in the other parts of the country make it from white, wheat or rye bread as base. Apples, chestnuts, raisins, celery and/ or other vegetables, sausage are added to stuffing.
Vegetarian Stuffing for Thanksgiving:
Generally there is meat added to the stuffing. Even if it is meat free, the bread is usually moistened with chicken/ turkey broth. So I’ve eaten stuffing very few times and never thought of making at home either. But my Thanksgiving recipe series made me look for traditional recipes and try and make them vegetarian.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Stuffing:
This stuffing recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine. The main ingredient for any stuffing is bread. Any hearty – store bought or homemade bread can be used in this recipe. I used homemade No-knead Oat bread that I made couple of days before making the stuffing.
Chopped apple and celery add crunch and freshness to the stuffing. Traditional herbs and spices like sage, thyme and nutmeg add aroma and seasonal flavor.
All in all this is a very flavorful dish with all the aromatics and after making the crispy bread was just so addictive. I was snacking on the apples, crispy bread and plump dried cherries even before the dish got to the table.
Make this homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving and I’m sure even meat-eaters would love it.
Linking this to Valli’s ‘Cooking from Cookbook Challenge: November — Week 4′.
Fruit & Toasted Almond Vegetarian Stuffing for Thanksgiving
- 8 cups Oatmeal Bread or Multigrain Bread - cubed (I used homemade Honey Oat bread)
- 1 Small Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Medium Apple, chopped
- ½ cup Almonds
- 1 Celery Stalk, sliced
- ⅓ cup Dried Cherries
- 2 TBSP Fresh Sage, cut into strips
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1½ tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1½ tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
- 1½ cups No-Salt or Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
- To taste Salt
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Spread the bread cubes on baking sheet, and bake for 30~45 minutes or until dry and crisp. Transfer to large bowl.
- Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Toast the almonds until pale brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Coat a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray.
- Heat 3tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook or 5~7 minutes on medium until soft and translucent.
- Add celery (if using) and saute for 2 minutes more.
- Stir in apples, sage, pepper, thyme, crushed red pepper, parsley and nutmeg. Season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Next add maple syrup and vinegar and turn off the heat.
- Combine the apple mixture, bread cubes, almonds and dried cherries in the large bowl.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish and pour broth over top. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until stuffing begins to brown on top,
- If you prefer crisp stuffing, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Serve and Enjoy!!
- Use any hearty bread you have on hand. I used my homemade Honey Oat bread.