Mom’s Old Fashioned Stuffing

10 ingredients and vegan, my mom’s old fashioned stuffing is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Start to finish, this side requires less than 60 minutes to prepare. Grab a fork, and dig in to this family-favorite dish.

Old-fashioned stuffing with walnut and cranberries in a glass pan.

I wish I could take credit for this recipe. But alas…I cannot. My mom has been preparing this stuffing recipe for almost 40 years. It’s not Thanksgiving without this delicious side sitting on our dining room table. It has traveled through our family and now it’s one of my husband’s favorite foods. Although I have adapted it here to be vegan, and to include a few of my favorite seasonal add-ins, I hope that you all find my mom’s old fashioned stuffing to be just as amazing as our family does.

Old Fashioned Stuffing

Soft yet crunchy. Salty and sweet. Tasty and, well…delicious! This old fashioned stuffing is made with only 10 ingredients and requires about 1 hour of time to prepare. Not bad for the Thanksgiving side. It’s so simple and completely customizable (see Add Ins below). And let me just say that, yes, I am aware that we use 1 CUP of vegan butter in this recipe. I know. It’s a lot. But this is a side dish. And it’s meant to be eaten on a day of celebration. So don’t panic. It’s ok. We can use a cup of vegan butter and still live. I promise. Good, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

The bread

Begin by using your favorite loaf of rustic bread. I’m a huge sourdough fan so that’s what I chose to use. If the crust of your bread is rather crunchy you can remove it just to make sure that the top of your stuffing doesn’t become too hard when cooked. Once that’s taken care of, cut your loaf into large cubes. You’ll need about 9 cups of cubed bread which is about 1, 14oz loaf.

The Celery and Onions

Now, let me just say that for some reason, my mom does not like large pieces of celery or onion in her stuffing. She’s a big texture person so perhaps that’s why she always pulverizes them in the food processor for this recipe. To be honest, I prefer the onions and celery this way. Maybe it’s because I’m my mother’s daughter. Or maybe it’s because that’s just the nostalgia of the dish for me. Either way, give it a try. Place your celery in the food processor and pulse until VERY FINELY chopped. Do the same with the onion. If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, feel free to finely chop the celery and onion yourself. You do you.

Combining

In a large skillet, melt 1 cup (remember, you’ll be ok) of vegan butter. Once melted, add in the celery and onion. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. If your celery and onion pieces are larger, they may need to cook for 4-5 minutes. Just cook them until they’re tender. Once cooked, turn off the heat and add sage, thyme, truffle salt, pepper and 3 cups of cubed bread. Toss to coat. This bread will become very soggy rather quickly. Don’t worry, this is what we’re going for. At this point add in the other 6 cups of cubed bread as well as any add ins.

Add Ins

This is where my recipe really deviates from my mom’s. I decided to add in some fresh cranberries as well as chopped walnuts. You can either leave these things out completely or replace them with other seasonal favorites such as: chestnuts, pecans, pomegranate arils, cooked vegan sausage, or sliced apples.

Missing scoop of old-fashioned stuffing with walnut and cranberries in a glass pan.
Bake it

Once you’ve added (or not) any extras it’s time to bake the stuffing. Grease an 8×8 inch dish with vegan butter and dump in the stuffing. Cover with aluminum foil (or a rimmed baking sheet) and bake at 325*F for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes until the top is crispy. Serve and prepare for this to become a new family holiday classic.

Missing piece of old-fashioned stuffing with walnut and cranberries in a glass pan with cranberries on a wooden spoon.

I would like to end this post by saying “Thank you” to my mom. Not just for sharing this recipe but for instilling in me, at a young age, a love of cooking. She taught me the joy of bring family and friends together over meals. Holidays have always held a special place in my heart because I can remember, even a child, assisting in the kitchen. From this stuffing dish at Thanksgiving, to cookies on Christmas Eve, the holidays, for me, are marked by meals. So thank you Mom, for instilling in me at such a young age the true meaning of holidays: spending time with the people you love. Sharing laughs, love, and, of course, food.

Enjoy friends.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Celery- vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium

Cranberries- rich in fiber; excellent source of vitamin C, phytonutrients

Onion- antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Walnuts- Omega 3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

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Mom’s Old Fashioned Stuffing

A 10 ingredient, vegan, old fashioned stuffing that is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Start to finish, this side requires less than 60 minutes. Grab a fork, and dig in to this family-favorite dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Holiday, Vegan
Keyword: 1 pot, 10-ingredients, cranberries, dressing, dried cranberries, fried sage, holiday sides, sour dough, stuffing, thanksgiving sides, walnuts
Servings: 8 people
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • cups celery, pulsed in food processor
  • ¾ cup onion, pulsed in food processor
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 9 cups loaf sour dough bread, cubed
  • tsp salt
  • tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • cup chopped walnuts
  • cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with vegan butter.
  • In a large skillet, melt the vegan butter. Add celery and onion and cook until soft.
  • Stir in 3 cups of cubed bread and toss to coat. Add remaining 6 cups of cubed bread, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
  • Transfer to prepared baking dish and cover with foil or top with a rimmed baking sheet. Bake covered for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and cook for additional 15 minutes until top is crunchy.
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Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta

A cozy bowl of butternut squash and fried sage pasta is just what you need on a crisp autumn evening. This dish can be ready in 30 minutes and only requires 10 simple, wholesome ingredients. As an added bonus, this pasta sauce is easily turned into a soup. Grab a fork (or a spoon) and dig in.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with another plate of pasta in the background.

Can we all just take a second to appreciate pasta? What about another second to appreciate the sauces that we serve them with? Ok. Now that we’ve taken care of that…you can start appreciating this amazing homage to autumn. My incredibly flavorful, insanely easy butternut squash and sage pasta. Oh, and did I mention this squash pasta sauce can double as a soup? Yeah. Two dinner options in one. You’re welcome.

Fried Sage

This is the real secret, behind the scenes, star of the show. Fried, fresh sage is one of the most amazing little additions you could make to any squash dish. It’s so easy and it adds such a subtle sweetness to this sauce. So how exactly do we do this?

Add enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of a small pan. Heat the oil over high heat to get it extremely hot. Test the oil by adding a small piece of torn sage leaf to the oil. If the leaf sizzles the temperature is perfect. If it doesn’t continue testing every 30 seconds or so until it’s hot enough.

Once the oil is hot enough, add the sage leaves to the oil and allow to cook about 2-3 minutes per side until crispy and fragrant. Watch the sage closely, making sure that it doesn’t burn. Remove the leaves from the oil and place on a towel to absorb the excess oil. Set the leaves aside until later and begin working on the sauce.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with fried sage on the side.

Butternut Squash Sauce

Now that the sage portion of the dish is ready, it’s time to start the sauce (or soup). To the heated oil that you used to fry the sage, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Add the butternut squash, herbs, and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes stirring to prevent burning but allowing the butternut squash to get a bit of a char. Add the vegetable broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the butternut squash is tender.

Allow the squash to cool a bit before adding to a high speed blender. Puree the squash with some plant-based milk and vegan parmesan cheese until smooth. At this point your pasta sauce is ready to go! Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions and toss the al dente pasta with this sauce. Top with the crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts.

Butternut Squash Soup

If you want to turn this sauce into a soup that’s totally doable and incredibly easy. When you’re blending the sauce simply add more vegetable broth to the blender and continue to blend until the sauce turns into your desired soup consistency. Top the soup with crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. If you really want to go over the top, serve this soup in a sour dough bread bowl. Totally drool-worthy.

I hope that you will try this recipe and that you love it as much as I do. Let me know what you think of this dish and if you prepare it as a pasta sauce or a soup.

Enjoy friends.

Fried sage and butternut squash pasta topped with cranberries and walnuts on a grey plate with fried sage leaves on the side.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic-phytochemicals

Onion-antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Rosemary-polyphenolic compounds

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Fried Sage and Butternut Squash Pasta

A cozy bowl of butternut squash and fried sage pasta is just what you need on a crisp autumn evening. This dish can be ready in 30 minutes and only requires 10 simple, wholesome ingredients.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: 10-ingredients, butternut squash, dried cranberries, entree, fried sage, pasta, sage, vegan, vegan entree, vegan parmesan, vegan soup, walnuts
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 10-15 sage leaves
  • ½ cup yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed about 8 cups
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese

Additional Toppings

  • dried cranberries
  • chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • To a large pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of oil. heat over high heat. Once hot, lower to medium-high and fry the fresh sage leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes flipping half way watching closely to prevent burning. Remove sage from the oil and place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Reserve sage leaves for later.
  • In the sage olive oil, saute onions until translucent. Add garlic, butternut squash, sage, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook for 5-10 minutes until crispy.
  • Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until vegetable broth has cooked off and the butternut squash is tender. Continue to add vegetable broth as needed in order to cook and soften squash.
  • Allow to cool slightly and blend in a high-speed blender with plant-based milk & vegan parmesan cheese*.
  • Serve over your favorite al dente pasta and top with crumbled fried sage, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and more vegan parmesan cheese**.

Notes

*If making a soup instead of a sauce, add more vegetable broth 1 cup at a time to thin the mixture to your preferred soup consistency.
**This is my absolute favorite vegan parmesan cheese recipe.
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Warm Autumn Vegetable Salad

With Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm autumn vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Warm Autumn Vegetables

Ok, this has got to be why I love fall so much. There’s nothing like prepping a bunch of vegetables, seasoning them in some well-thought-out spices, tossing them in the oven, and enjoying the aroma that fills my house while they roast. This, to me, is what the autumn months are all about. So let’s discuss these vegetables a little bit shall we?

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are just amazing! They’re so versatile (baked, boiled, steamed, mashed…you know the different ways to prepare a potato!) and they really are very sweet. In this dish I remove the skins but if you would prefer the extra fiber (there’s already a lot of it in this salad) feel free to keep it on. It’ll give the sweet potato a nice crunchy, caramelized texture.

Multi-colored carrots

I love the additional colors from the multicolored carrot variety. You can totally use regular ol’ orange carrots if you cannot find the multis, it’s no big deal. Just remember that you want to eat the rainbow. The greater the color variety in your food, the more nutrients you’re consuming.

Delicata Squash

The delicata squash is by far my FAVORITE squash. Ever. I think I love it so much because you can eat the skin! Less prep time means more time enjoy the cool autumn days outside with my family and less time making meals. Plus, who doesn’t love the cute little half moon shapes of a delicata squash? Pro tip: save the seeds of your delicata squash and use them in this recipe for chili roasted squash seeds. Also, did you know that you can save the pulp (or scooped out portion) of the squash and put it to go use here.

Parsnips

And let’s not forget the parsnips! Now these are the secret star of the show. They are actually really sweet and are amazing when roasted. They’re also fantastic in soups and stews. Be on the lookout for more parsnips recipes from me as the season rolls into autumn, but for now, let’s just appreciate them in this delicious little salad.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers, pumpkin tahini dressing, and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

I love making my own dressings. Nothing beats the convenience of store bought but I also like to be in control of the amount and type of fats and sugars that are in my dressings. And most store-bought dressings contain gums. Ew. So let’s whip up this fun fall dressing together ok? It’s thick, lightly pumpkin-y, nut-free, and oil-free.

Toppings

This is where you get get to be creative. The salad toppings I have listened down in the recipe are just recommendations and ideas. Use what you have and whatever is in season. I recommend a nut or seed, something creamy such as avocado or vegan cheese, and a lightly sweet fruit such as figs or pomegranates. These additional flavors and textures aren’t required of course. The salad is fantastic as is. But adding these topping will create a more intricate flavor profile and visual appeal. Go crazy!

Meal Prep

Finally, did I mention that this salad is perfect for meal prepping? Move over boring salads and bland sandwiches…prepare this on Sunday instead to get you through the upcoming work week. Store the vegetables, salad, and salad dressing separately in your fridge and assemble everything the evening before. Super simple, flavorful, satisfying, (insert more wonderfully descriptive adjectives here). You get the idea. This warm autumn vegetable salad with pumpkin tahini dressing is a packed lunch that will definitely keep you going long into the afternoon.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Carrots-vitamin A, fiber, manganese, niacin, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C

Cranberries-vitamin C, fiber, phytonutrients

Garlic-phytochemicals

Pumpkin- fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A

Sweet potatoes-vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, fiber

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Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm winter vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Assembly5 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: easy, gluten-free, meal prep, nut-free, oil-free, pumpkin, salad, tahini, vegan, vegetables
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 delicata sqush, de-seeded, diced
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled, cored, diced
  • 4 mutlicolored carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1, 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • avocado oil spray omit if oil-free
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Salad Dressing

  • 3 tbsp runny tahini
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • tsp onion powder
  • 5 tbsp water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Salad

  • 4 cups lettuce of choice (arugula, spinach, butter lettuce…)
  • chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • vegan feta cheese
  • avocado diced
  • pomegrante arils
  • fresh figs

Instructions

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl combine pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using). Set aside.
  • Divide prepared sweet potatoes, delicata squash, parsnips, and carrots and place on prepared baking sheets. Spray with avocado oil cooking spray. Top with spice mixture and toss to coat.
  • Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven and add cranberries and black beans to both baking sheets. Toss to coat and roast for additional 20 mintues.

Salad Dressing

  • In a small bowl whisk all salad dressing ingredients until well combined. If too thick, add water a tbsp at a time until desired consistancy is reached.

Salad

  • To assemble the salad: toss lettuce greens of choice with salad dressing. Divide between 3-4 plates. Top with warm winter vegetables and additional salad toppers. I suggest: chopped walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds; vegan feta or diced avocado; pomegrante seeds or fresh figs.
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