Best-Ever Sourdough and 'Sausage' Stuffing

DIFFICULTY: EASY | COOK TIME: 55 MINUTES
YIELD: 10-12 SERVINGS

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When I was growing up, stuffing was the queen of our holiday table — and luckily for a stuffing-lover like me, I got to experience two distinct types each and every season.

My Southern grandmother, Lucy made her Thanksgiving stuffing with an abundance of sage and savory homemade cornbread, recalled easily from memory after decades of practice. A few weeks later, on Christmas eve, my Midwestern grandmother Helen made a delicious bread stuffing using a humble boxed mix. They were both incredibly delicious, and I looked forward to them every year.

After moving to New York in my 20s, I discovered quality rye and sourdough breads and started looking for new and exciting ways to use them in my cooking. Eventually, my love of stuffing and sourdough met head on, and the Best-Ever Sourdough and “Sausage” Stuffing was born.

In my compassionate alternative to traditional stuffing, vegan butter stands in for dairy butter, and protein-rich vegan sausage provides a gentle smokiness. The optional dried cranberries or cherries add a gentle sweetness and festive appearance and contrast beautifully against the seasonal green of the fresh parsley and sage.

I hope this beloved recipe becomes a new family favorite at your holiday table!

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ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter (or olive oil)

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 8 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, leaves only (or 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage)

  • 3 large vegan sausage links (try Field Roast Smoked Apple-Sage), crumbled

  • 1 large loaf day-old sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, leaves only, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped (optional)

  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth

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instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Lightly oil a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish and set aside until needed.

  3. Heat the vegan butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  4. When hot, add the onions and celery, plus a pinch of salt.

  5. Cook until the vegetables are translucent and softened, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

  6. Add the sage and crumbled vegan sausage.

  7. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the sausage is just beginning to brown.

  8. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

  9. Add the bread, parsley, and optional dried fruit.

  10. Season with salt and pepper.

  11. Pour in 3 cups vegetable broth.

  12. Use a spatula or your hands to mix everything together, until well coated and moistened. (If the mixture seems too dry, add some additional broth.)

  13. Taste the stuffing, and adjust seasonings as needed.

  14. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish, pressing down with your hands to make it smooth and uniform.

  15. Cover with foil, place in the oven, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until heated through.

  16. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

  17. Serve hot.