This stuffing will hug you from the inside. If there was ever anything that would make you feel good and comforted, it is this stuffing. This dish is a must have for Thanksgiving dinner or any meal where you feature stuffing. My family would routinely have stuffing as a side dish when I was a child, and if time were not a factor, I’d make this on a weekly basis.
Prep: 30-40 minutes | Cook: 40-45 minutes | Serves 6-8
- 2/3 loaf of bread, toasted and cut into ½-1 inch cubes (I like Rudi’s Country Morning White)
- 1 lb fresh chanterelle mushrooms, washed and cut into 1 inch sized pieces (feel free to experiment with other mushrooms if chanterelles are unavailable or if others are preferred)
- 4oz vegan butter (in general, 1 stick)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 small apple, diced (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (adjust the amount as you see fit)
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch of ground cloves
- 1-2 cups vegetable broth (plus more if you like a moist stuffing, always start out slow with broth)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the bread and cut (or tear) the bread into cubes. Place the cubes in a large mixing bowl and set to the side
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the dry pan. The mushrooms will let off a lot of water. When the mushrooms release their water, remove them from the pan, place in a bowl, and set to the side.
- In the same pan (no need to clean the pan, it should be dry with much evidence of mushroom activity) melt the stick of butter. Add the onion and celery – sautee 3 minutes until translucent. Now add the carrot and optional apple – cook for 3 minutes. Add the chanterelles back into the pan and stir.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the parsley, sage, thyme, salt, ground pepper, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. Stir cooking over heat until the herbs turn bright green and the mixture becomes fragrant. When the situation I just decribed happens, turn off the heat and move the pan to a cool burner (trivet on a counter top… somewhere where we can encourage the cessation of ‘cooking’).
- Add the mixture to the bowl of bread cubes. Stir to fully incorporate the mixture amongst the cubes. Then begin to slowly add the vegetable broth to the cubes/mixture. Go slowly. Very slowly. Add, mix, add, mix. It’s always easier to add more broth to make a moist stuffing, but it is hard to take broth out.
- When the stuffing has become a thing of unbaked beauty, add it to a 9-10” pie dish with high walls. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the top becomes beautifully golden brown.
- Serve with the rest of the feast. This stuffing loves to be served with our mushroom gravy.
So why did I ask you to hold the mixture to the side to stop the cooking process if you’re just going to add it to the bread cubes? If you’re anything like me, you likely procrastinated making said toasty bread cubes and need to make them now… Don’t try to rush those golden blocks of happiness by slowly warming them and not letting them get their full tan on. Don’t let the mixture simmer over the stove while you play catch up. Let the mixture sit in a safe place where the liquid won’t cook off.
Mushrooms, apples, fruits, and other such delights: try anything your heart desires. Next year I’m swapping out the apple for a persimmon (oh yeah!). If king oyster mushrooms are holding your heart, use them instead. If you want more garlic, add more garlic. If you don’t like garlic, leave the garlic. Want to use shallots instead of onions, do it to it. Don’t like sage, knock out the sage. Love marjoram, add marjoram. Do what you like, and I’m sure you’ll be happy.
If you jack up the recipe by adding too much broth all at once we can aim to fix it. Remember that you didn’t use the whole loaf of bread… Toast and (vegan) butter those slices. Turn 2 slices into a sandwich, cut into smaller cubes and add to the mixture. This will help to re-thicken the stuffing.
If you don’t have a 9-10” pie dish, use whatever dish you have that is appropriate. The stuffing should be 1”-3” deep at the most. You will know how much is there in volume, and you can always use any square or oval casserole dish.
***If you plan to make this dish ahead of time, say the day before and let it sit in the fridge over night… You must, absolutely must, take it out of the fridge early, and let it come up to room temperature before attempting to bake it. It won’t explode or anything, but it would be awful for you and your loved ones to end up with a mouthful of cold stuffing.
With all of my love,
© 2016 Animals Say Thanks