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Vegan mushroom stuffing with chestnuts is savory, satisfying, and perfect for Thanksgiving. Beloved by vegans and omnivores alike.

vegan mushroom stuffing with chestnuts in a baking dish
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Why we love this recipe

When I first shared this recipe many years ago, I called it top-secret vegan stuffing — because if you don’t tell someone it’s vegan, they won’t know. As the original headnote read, “This is a wonderfully savory, totally legit stuffing that happens to be vegan. Inform guests on a need-to-know basis. Do not tell Uncle Earl. Repeat: Do not tell Uncle Earl.”

Vegan mushroom stuffing with chestnuts:

  • Is bursting with the savory, satisfying flavors of the season
  • Makes an amenable addition to the Thanksgiving or winter holiday table, since it complements a wide variety of dishes, both vegan and traditional
  • Pairs perfectly with my wildly popular vegetarian gravy (which has an easy vegan option)
  • Is prep-ahead friendly

I first published this recipe here way back in 2013. I’ve since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls

The bread

  • For this recipe, I typically like to oven-dry my own bread. You’ll need about 10 cups of dried bread cubes. (They shrink in the oven, so you’ll being with more.) I start with two good-quality baguettes — sourdough if possible — of about 325 grams each. You can choose any type of good crusty bread (or several) that you enjoy. Or start with good-quality store-bought dried bread cubes. When I use this method, I typically buy them at Whole Foods, where they’re made from a nice variety of artisan breads.

The produce

  • Leeks provide a nuanced onion-like flavor and a nice, jammy consistency. You’ll use the white and light green parts. Be sure to wash them well — they can be very sandy inside.
  • For the mushrooms, you’ve got options. I like to use creminis since they have a deep yet mild flavor and don’t give off as much liquid as white button mushrooms. If you’re serving a crowd that really enjoys mushrooms, feel free to use half or more shiitakes, chanterelles, or any wild variety or combination that you like.
  • Cut the celery nice and small so it almost melts into the mix.
  • Roasted, shelled chestnuts add a hint of sweetness and earthiness. They come in vacuum-sealed packages or jars and tend to be reasonably easy to source during the holiday season — you can find them online if not locally. I find this approach much easier than roasting and shelling them at home. One cup whole shelled chestnuts equals about 1/2 cup chopped.
  • You’ll use sage and thyme for their woodsy, autumnal flavors, plus a bit of parsley and chives for little bursts of freshness.

The liquids

  • Use a nice, dry white wine that you like to drink. Any style is fine. I tend to default to one of my favorite bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It adds a nice complexity to the flavor with no more than a tiny trace of alcohol content remaining after cooking. But if you don’t do wine for any reason, you can substitute additional broth.
  • Reduced-sodium Imagine No Chicken Broth is my favorite boxed veggie broth by far, since it somehow magically has the flavor profile of a good chicken stock rather than being weirdly red and tasting tinny or sweet, as some other vegetable broths can do.
  • A tiny bit of soy sauce contributes savoriness and depth of flavor. You won’t really notice it beyond the deliciousness it adds.

Vegetarian adaptation

If you’re looking for a beautiful vegetarian mushroom stuffing that isn’t vegan, all you need to do is beat four large eggs and add them to the mix along with the broth. This version has a slightly more custardy consistency and more protein than the original. Both are wonderful.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a fabulous pan of vegan mushroom stuffing with chestnuts. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll dice the bread and dry it out in a low oven. Meanwhile, cook the leeks and celery in the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until reduced in volume by about half.
  2. Add the chestnuts, wine, soy sauce, and woody herbs, and cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates.
  3. Place the bread cubes, skillet contents, broth, soft herbs, and pepper into a large bowl and mix gently but thoroughly.
  4. Transfer to a pan and bake. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Sure can! You have two great options here.

The first one, which I prefer, is to assemble the whole pan of stuffing up to 24 hours in advance, but hold off on baking it until just before you’re ready to eat. As long as it’s tightly covered in a nice cold fridge, this is a great approach. You can bake the stuffing straight from the fridge, adding a few extra minutes for it to cook through. Or you can bring it to room temperature on the counter about an hour before baking and pop it in the oven for the 45 minutes indicated in the recipe.

The second option is to bake the stuffing ahead of time and then reheat it before serving. This is totally fine, too. Pull cooked stuffing out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for an hour or so. Cover your pan tightly and pop it into the oven for 30-40 minutes. Ideally you’d do this at about 350°F, but since Thanksgiving’s ALWAYS got multiple dishes in the oven, you can really reheat it at just about any temperature your oven’s set to.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

More favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes

vegan mushroom stuffing with chestnuts on a plate with turkey and gravy

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vegan mushroom stuffing with chestnuts in a baking dish
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Mushroom Stuffing with Chestnuts

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Vegan mushroom stuffing with chestnuts is savory, satisfying, and perfect for Thanksgiving. Beloved by vegans and omnivores alike.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total: 2 hours
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Ingredients 

  • 2 good-quality baguettes, sourdough if possible, to yield about 10 cups dried bread cubes
  • 2 large leeks
  • 3 ribs celery, including leaves
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup (140 grams) shelled roasted chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup (237 ml) dry white wine that you’d be happy to drink
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cups (710 ml) good vegetable broth
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 200°F. If you have a convection oven, this is a great time to use it. Position two racks close to the center.
  • Cut the baguettes into 3/4-inch cubes and distribute between two rimmed sheet pans without crowding.
  • Bake for about an hour, peeking in and maybe shaking the pans occasionally, until the cubes are dry all the way through. You can do this up to a few days in advance if you like.
  • While the bread is drying, slice the white and light green parts of the leeks into thin half moons and wash thoroughly in several changes of water in a colander. (Leeks can be very sandy.)
  • Cut the celery into a nice small dice — you'll want it small so it cooks as quickly as the leeks and almost melts into the stuffing.
  • Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a wide, reasonably nonstick frying pan.
  • Add the leeks, celery, and salt, and cook, stirring from time to time, until nice and soft, about eight minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until they've reduced in volume by about half, and any moisture has released and simmered away.
  • Add the chestnuts, thyme, sage, wine, and soy sauce. Raise heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring frequently, until almost all liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
  • Remove bread cubes from oven and raise heat to 375°F. Move a rack to the middle.
  • Tip the bread cubes into a large mixing bowl. Add the contents of the frying pan and the broth, pepper, parsley, and chives.
  • Toss gently to combine and allow the bread to soak up all the liquid.
  • Spoon the stuffing into a baking dish. You can use a standard 9"x13"x2" baking dish (especially if you prefer a higher ratio of crisp top) or a lidded 3-quart casserole (especially if you like a higher proportion of custardy deliciousness).
  • Bake, covered (with foil or the casserole lid) for 30 minutes. Then remove cover and bake 15 minutes more.

Notes

  1. For this recipe, I typically like to oven-dry my own bread. You'll need about 10 cups of dried bread cubes. (They shrink in the oven, so you'll being with more.) I start with two good-quality baguettes — sourdough if possible — of about (325 grams) each. You can choose any type of good crusty bread (or several) that you enjoy. You can make the bread cubes several days in advance if you like. Or start with good-quality store-bought dried bread cubes. When I use this method, I typically buy them at Whole Foods, where they're made from a nice variety of artisan breads.
  2. Leeks provide a nuanced onion-like flavor and a nice, jammy consistency. You'll use the white and light green parts. Be sure to wash them well — they can be very sandy inside.
  3. For the mushrooms, you've got options. I like to use creminis since they have a deep yet mild flavor and don't give off as much liquid as white button mushrooms. If you're serving a crowd that really enjoys mushrooms, feel free to use half or more shiitakes, chanterelles, or any wild variety or combination that you like.
  4. Cut the celery nice and small so it almost melts into the mix.
  5. Roasted, shelled chestnuts add a hint of sweetness and earthiness. They come in vacuum-sealed packages or jars and tend to be reasonably easy to source during the holiday season — you can find them online if not locally. I find this approach much easier than roasting and shelling them at home. One cup whole shelled chestnuts equals about 1/2 cup chopped.
  6. You'll use sage and thyme for their woodsy, autumnal flavors, plus a bit of parsley and chives for little bursts of freshness.
  7. Use a nice, dry white wine that you like to drink. Any style is fine. I tend to default to one of my favorite bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It adds a nice complexity to the flavor with no more than a tiny trace of alcohol content remaining after cooking. But if you don't do wine for any reason, you can substitute additional broth.
  8. Reduced-sodium Imagine No Chicken Broth is my favorite boxed veggie broth by far, since it somehow magically has the flavor profile of a good chicken stock rather than being weirdly red and tasting tinny or sweet, as some other vegetable broths can do.
  9. You've got a couple of good options for prepping this dish ahead of time. The first one, which I prefer, is to assemble the whole pan of stuffing up to 24 hours in advance, but hold off on baking it until just before you're ready to eat. As long as it's tightly covered in a nice cold fridge, this is a great approach. You can bake the stuffing straight from the fridge, adding a few extra minutes for it to cook through. Or you can bring it to room temperature on the counter about an hour before baking and pop it in the oven for the 45 minutes indicated in the recipe. The second option is to bake the stuffing ahead of time and then reheat it before serving. This is totally fine, too. Pull cooked stuffing out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for an hour or so. Cover your pan tightly and pop it into the oven for 30-40 minutes. Ideally you'd do this at about 350°F, but since Thanksgiving's ALWAYS got multiple dishes in the oven, you can really reheat it at just about any temperature your oven's set to.
  10. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

Vegetarian adaptation

If you're looking for a beautiful vegetarian mushroom stuffing that isn't vegan, all you need to do is beat four large eggs and add them to the mix along with the broth. This version has a slightly more custardy consistency and more protein than the original. Both are wonderful.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal, Carbohydrates: 30.3g, Protein: 6.2g, Fat: 6g, Fiber: 2.5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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