Italian Vegetarian Stuffing
The best Italian style vegetarian bread stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Caramelized leeks, celery, no meat sausage, fennel and the classic holiday flavors from fresh rosemary, sage and dried cranberries are tossed together with bread cubes and veggie broth and baked until golden.
Servings 6 people
- 1 loaf crusty bread (aprox 16 cups)
- 4 links Italian sausage Beyond Meat, thawed out
- 1 leek (sliced and rinsed well)
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1-2 sprigs rosemary chopped
- 2 sprigs sage chopped
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 bunch Italian parsley chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries optional
- S & P to taste
- olive oil as needed
Cook the Vegetables
Preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium flame with a lug of olive oil. Add the cleaned leeks with a good pinch of salt and saute until they begin to get some color and caramelize. Add in the celery and a little splash of veggie stock if needed and give everything a good stir. Cook until the celery begins to soften.
Push the leeks to the side to make a little space in the center. Drizzle a little olive oil and add the garlic, sage and rosemary. Cook until fragrant, stir to combine and remove from heat. (This step can be done the night before and refrigerated)
Prepare the Sausage
Preheat large cast iron pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Cut the Beyond Italian sausage into 1 inch pieces and add them to the hot pan. Use a flat end wooden spoon to break it up into chunks as it browns.
Sprinkle with a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra heat + add the fennel seeds. Toss everything to toast well in all the sausage dripping. Use a slotted spoon and transfer everything to a bowl.
Add the vegetable broth to the pan with the sausage dipping and deglaze all the brown bits from the bottom. Use a silicone spatula to scrape everything from the bottom.
In your largest mixing bowl add the dried or toasted bread cubes, cooked leeks and celery mixture, the browned Italian sausage, chopped parsley and cranberries. Give everything a good toss.
Pour 1/3 of the veggie broth over the bread mixture and toss again. Add another 1/3 of the broth and combine well before adding the rest of the broth and mixing again.
Oil a 9x13 inch roasting dish making sure to get the sides as well.
Transfer the stuffing mixture to the pan and finish with a good drizzle of olive oil.
How to Dry Bread for Stuffing
- Air dry - Slice the loaf into 3/4 inch slices then cut or tear them into 3/4 inch cubes. Spread on a large baking sheet and allow to air dry overnight.
- Bake - Alternatively you could toast the bread cubes in a 375"F oven for 15 minutes or so until they start to get a little color around the edges.
- Grill - cut thick slices of bread and grill them on both sides until nice grill marks form. Rub both sides of the bread with a garlic clove just like making bruschetta. Tear into rustic pieces and use in the stuffing.
Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg