This simple vegetarian stuffing recipe is made special with a handful of sourdough bread thrown into the mix, caramelized onions, and delicately-delicious chanterelle mushrooms.
I’m going to tell you a little vegetarian secret. Chicken broth is the absolute bane of the vegetarian’s existence. Chicken broth and anchovies. Man, it’s like butternut squash soup and pasta puttanesca and traditional Thanksgiving stuffing are their Trojan horse. The dishes look vegetarian, but nuh uh – gotcha!
I get that these vegetarian-unfriendly ingredients add flavor to a dish. But luckily for us non-meat-seeking missiles, so does a flavorful homemade vegetable broth. And a little Parmesan Reggiano. And fresh-picked herbs. And just having really really good ingredients to begin with.
Often when I serve a big holiday meal at my place, I keep stealth meat out of the sides, and leave the meat to the, you know, actual meat dish. That way, vegetarians (okay, me) get plenty to choose from, and the carnivores are content, too.
For Thanksgiving this year, we brined our turkey in peppercorns, sage, brown sugar, and salt, then my guy deep-fried it to a perfect golden brown. While our guests oohed and ahhed over my guy’s triumph, I don’t think they missed that the stuffing didn’t have chicken broth.
Or maybe they were just polite.
Well, I think it’s delicious – and I’d be willing to bet you will, too.
Vegetarian Caramelized Onion & Chanterelle Mushroom Stuffing
- 12 cups french bread (cut into 3/4 inch cubes)
- 4 cups sourdough bread (cut into 3/4 inch cubes)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for buttering baking pan)
- 2 large onions (cut in half and sliced thinly (about 5-6 cups raw))
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups about 1/3 pound chopped chanterelle mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a 9x13 inch baking pan.
- Spread bread cubes on two rimmed cookie sheets and bake for about 10-12 minutes, stirring once, until they begin to turn golden brown and are fairly dry and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add onions, 1 teaspoon salt and a couple grounds of fresh ground pepper. Cook on medium-low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and well-browned (caramelized).
- Increase heat to medium and add the celery and mushrooms to the pan. Stirring frequently, saute until tender, about four minutes.
- Add sage, thyme, and parsley, and stir for another minute.
- Add a cup of the broth, gently stirring until much of the bits of onion have come off of bottom of the pan.
- Set aside and let onion and broth mixture cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg.
- Stir in the onion/broth mixture and the rest of the broth.
- Add the bread, and toss to coat evenly.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and press the top gently.
- Bake uncovered for 40 - 50 minutes or until browned and crisp on top.