Nearly 10 years ago, I became a pescatarian, meaning fish is the only meat I eat (which isn’t often). When that first Thanksgiving came rolling around, I felt I was in a bit of a conundrum. I never cared for the Thanksgiving turkey but the stuffing, oh my yes. I rate stuffing right next to buttery mashed potatoes, and the thought of not having any made my teenage heart break. Enter in my mom to the rescue. She created this Vegetarian Stuffing. It’s basically a casserole of bread and miscellaneous herbs and fall foods, and we’ve had it every year since. My whole family loves it, although I’m usually quite stingy with it since, come on, they have the turkey stuffing.
The Vegetarian Stuffing is filling and oh-so delicious, making it an excellent Thanksgiving side dish. The great thing about it is that it’s super flexible. The measurements aren’t exact, and you can add whatever you want—instead of apples, use pears, or add some celery to it if you want (I abhor celery, but it always seems to find its way into the stuffing).
Here’s how I love my Vegetarian Stuffing
Don’t be afraid of the whole stick of butter in this recipe—remember, you won’t be getting any of the turkey juices to add flavor and fat.
Serves 5 – 7 (or 2 – 4, plus leftovers)
1 loaf of bread, torn into bite sized pieces (I use ½ a loaf of multigrain and ½ a loaf of French bread)
½ onion, chopped
3 apples, chopped into bite size pieces (I love Pink Lady and Fuji)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup cranberries (fresh, not canned)
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts
1 stick butter, broken into pieces
black pepper to taste
fresh rosemary to taste
2 Tbs. olive oil
Optional: ½ cup croutons (for crunch and extra flavor)
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Place all ingredients in a large (oiled) casserole dish, with the ingredients mixed well. The deeper the casserole dish, the better the results. Make sure the butter pieces are evenly distributed throughout.
- Once all ingredients are in the dish casserole, cover, and place in oven for 2 hours. If you finish the dish before everyone’s ready to eat, keep the cover on, and place near the stove.
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