This easy vegetarian stuffing uses fresh bread, and is flavored with mushrooms, leeks, and herbs.
Ready to graduate from boxed stuffing mix and make your stuffing from scratch? Great news: it’s easier than you think. This vegetarian mushroom-leek stuffing is herby, savory, and will have your whole home smelling like the best holiday of the year. Let’s dive in.
Key Ingredients + Substitutions
- Bread: Choose a white, crusty loaf like ciabatta or a sourdough boule for the best texture. Do not use “sandwich” bread or pre-sliced bread; you want to be able to cut it into chunky pieces.
- Mushrooms: Add meatiness and umami to vegetarian stuffing.
- Leek: Leeks belong to the onion family but have a sharper, greener flavor (kinda like a scallion). You can certainly substitute with a large white/yellow onion, though.
- Carrots + Celery: Create the signature, sweet-earthy foundation of stuffing.
- Broth: Use store-bought vegetable or mushroom broth, or make your own from veggie scraps.
How to Make Mushroom Leek Stuffing
Find complete instructions with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Dry Out the Bread
Cut the bread into chunky squares and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until fully dry but not yet golden, about 12 minutes.
Step 2: Brown the Mushrooms
Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms in olive oil until golden brown, about 10 minutes. For optimal browning, resist the urge to stir too often. Then remove from the pan and set aside.
Step 3: Sweat the Aromatics
To the same pot where you cooked the mushrooms, add the leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme. Cook gently until the vegetables have released their juices, and are soft and reduced in size, about 15 minutes. The goal here is to soften, not brown.
Step 4: Combine Everything and Bake
To the pot, add the dried bread, cooked mushrooms, and chopped parsley. Gradually incorporate the broth. Then transfer to a casserole dish (here’s the one I use!) and bake at 375ºF until golden and crispy, about 25 minutes.
Expert Tips for Vegetarian Stuffing
- Use a good-quality bread. Preferably from a good bakery or the bakery section of the supermarket. The bread does, after all, dictate most of the flavor of stuffing.
- Don’t wash the mushrooms under the tap. Mushrooms absorb water like sponges, which can prevent them from browning properly. (Browning is key for developing the flavor of mushrooms, which is also why they’re cooked separately from the rest of the vegetables here.) So unless your mushrooms are literally covered in dirt, wipe them with a damp paper towel instead.
- Season at every stage. Don’t forget to salt and pepper at every phase of cooking: i.e. season the mushrooms, the aromatics, and right at the end (before putting the stuffing in the oven). There’s nothing worse than serving a beautiful homemade stuffing and realizing it’s under-seasoned when it’s too late.
Homemade stuffing is best served the same day as it’s made. If you want to get a head start on prep, you can dry out the bread the day before, and keep it at room temperature in a covered container. You can also cook the mushrooms and aromatics, and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Assemble and bake the stuffing the day you’re going to serve it.
More Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes…
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Arugula Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries
- Charred Brussels Sprouts
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.
The Full RecipePrint
This mushroom-leek stuffing will make your whole home smell like Thanksgiving.
- 1-pound loaf of ciabatta [or similar] bread* (see note below)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 small carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium leek, white part only*, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Cut the bread into large [about 1 1/2 inch] cubes and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until fully dry but not yet golden, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Increase the oven temp to 375ºF
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or another large pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms with pinches of salt and pepper. Cook until golden, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot and add the celery, carrots, leeks, garlic, and thyme, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. (If your vegetables are browning, turn the heat down.)
- Take the pot off the heat. To the pot, add the cooked mushrooms, toasted bread, and parsley. Add half of the broth and stir to incorporate. When the bread has absorbed most of the broth, incorporate the second half.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch (or similar) baking dish. Bake until the top is dry and golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- Serve hot.
- Buy a whole ciabatta loaf, sourdough boule, or another crusty white loaf, and slice it up yourself. Do not use sandwich bread.
- Do not throw away leek greens – they’re totally edible. Leek greens get crispy when fried – you can use them as a topping (like for my white bean purée) or in pasta (like my leek and pea pasta).
- Serving Size: 1/8 of the recipe
- Calories: 210
- Sodium: 376 mg
- Fat: 5.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 32.9 g
- Fiber: 1.9 g
- Protein: 6.1 g
Keywords: vegan stuffing, thanksgiving, leek, mushroom