An easy onion and sage stuffing for Thanksgiving bursting with lots of flavors from fresh herbs, butter, sweet onions, and a fresh loaf of bakery bread. Literally the best vegetarian stuffing recipe! It's a Whole Lotta Yum!
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Why You'll Love This Onion Sage Stuffing
While we're also obsessed with our popular apple sage stuffing with sausage, sometimes you just want to make a meat-free version if there's already tons of protein on your holiday table. Or perhaps it's because you want vegetarian stuffing for holiday guests or plan to make 2 stuffings for variety.
Either way, our buttery, herby, fresh sage, and onion stuffing recipe will definitely be the most popular dish on your Thanksgiving table! It's tender, full of flavor from fresh herbs, and there's no Stovetop stuffing mix in sight!
Once you learn how easy it is to make your own homemade stuffing from scratch, you'll seriously NEVER buy a store-bought stuffing mix again. This is a sage and onion dressing recipe for baking the stuffing in a 9x13 pan and not stuffing a turkey.
Old Fashioned Sage and Onion Stuffing Ingredients
We're showing you how to make our buttery vegetarian stuffing recipe starting with a loaf of hearty bakery bread since not all stores will have this for sale. Plus, being able to pick your own bread lets you customize the flavors or use a gluten-free or other type of bread depending on dietary preferences.
The onion sage stuffing recipe can be simplified even more by buying a bag of stuffing cubes from the bakery, which many stores carry around the holidays.
- bakery loaf of bread - you can use an Italian bread, sourdough, whole wheat, French bread, or any type of dense bread from your bakery. Do not use soft sandwich bread, it won't hold together.
- vegetable oil
- unsalted butter
- sweet onions
- celery stalks
- fresh herbs - parsley, sage, and rosemary. Around the holidays you can buy bundles of fresh herbs for stuffing turkey, buying this is a cheaper option if it's available.
- large eggs or vegan substitute
- vegetable broth, chicken broth, or turkey
- fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
Supplies You'll Need
- Baking sheet for toasting the bread cubes
- Large skillet for browning the sausage
- Small bowl & large bowl for mixing the ingredients together
- 9x13 pan for baking the stuffing in. You can cut the recipe in half to make a smaller 8x8 or 9x9 portion.
Substitutions and Variations
- Vegan- Use plant based margarine, an egg substitute like flax eggs, and make sure you're using a vegetable broth.
- Gluten Free- swap the bakery bread with a dense loaf of gluten-free bread
- Keto/Low carb- We've tested a low carb stuffing variation using low-carb bread when my husband was on a keto diet, and it turned out delicious!
Add apples: Peel and cube one apple and saute it with the onions and celery for a sweet touch.
Add sausage: Mix in ½ lb-1 ½ cooked mild or spicy Italian sausage
How to Make Vegetarian Stuffing
Making your own homemade vegetarian stuffing is actually simpler than it at first seems! We show you how to easily make your own bread cubes for stuffing super fast by baking them in the oven.
Then it's just a matter of combining sauteed veggies with the bread cubes and remaining ingredients before baking. Adding butter cubes to the top of the stuffing before it goes in the oven gives sage stuffing an extra delicious flavor.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Cut the bread cubes into 1" pieces (no need to be perfect!). For a more rustic look you can tear the bread into pieces with your hands.
Step 2: Spread the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet, making sure to leave space in between the cubes for even browning. Baked for 40-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until they're dried out. How long they'll take to dry out depends on the density of the bread you're using. Let cool.
Step 3: Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook them until they're softened and just starting to brown.
Step 4: In a large mixing bowl combine the cooled bread cubes, the cooked onions and celery, the parsley, sage, and rosemary and combine.
Step 5: In a small bowl combine the eggs, broth, salt and pepper. Add this to the bread mixture and combine all ingredients.
Step 6: Generously butter the baking dish with 2 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter. Add the bread mixture to the pan. Dot the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter on top of the stuffing.
Step 7: Bake for 45-50+ minutes until the dressing is heated through and the top has a nice golden brown crust.
- To speed things up you can buy large bakery bread cubes around the holidays. You can also make stale bread by cutting the bread cubes and letting them sit on the counter for 2-3 days (loosely covered with a kitchen towel).
- To add fresh peeled apples to this stuffing, saute the onions and celery for 2-3 minutes first before adding the apples.
- Cut the recipe in half to serve a smaller group, likewise, you can increase everything by 50% and bake it in a 12"x16" pan to serve a crowd.
How to Serve This Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe
Serve the sage stuffing recipe with all of the classic Thanksgiving dishes!
- Baked turkey in the oven
- Green bean casserole
- Sweet potato casserole
- Broccoli salad with bacon
- Creamy baked mac and cheese
- Corn casserole
- Cranberry sauce
- Make ahead gravy
- Pumpkin pie
- Easy apple crisp
How to Store Sage Stuffing
- Store: Let the leftover stuffing cool to room temperature. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: You can also freeze stuffing by cooling it first to room temp, and storing it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze the stuffing for up to 1 month.
- Reheat: For best results, thaw the stuffing before reheating it. The best way to reheat stuffing is to bake it in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Remove any plastic wrap and then bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes until it's heated through.
Sage Stuffing Recipe (Vegetarian) FAQ's
The main factor that makes stuffing stick together is the starch in . As the stuffing cooks, the starches absorb the moisture from the other ingredients and any added broth, causing them to gelatinize and bind the mixture. Additionally, ingredients like eggs can be added to some recipes to act as a binder, providing structure and helping to hold the stuffing together.
The ideal texture for stuffing is moist but not soggy. When stuffing is too dry, it can be crumbly and the dish doesn't hold together. On the other hand, overly wet stuffing can be mushy.
You want to find a balance where the stuffing is moistened enough to hold together and have a rich flavor but still retains some of its bread-like texture. You can adjust the broth in the recipe to suit your personal preference!
It isn't necessary to cover the stuffing with aluminum foil unless you prefer a softer top. As written, our recipe doesn't cover the vegetarian stuffing with foil but you definitely can if you either prefer it on the softer side or you notice that the bread cubes are turning darker in color than you prefer.
Sage Stuffing Recipe
- 1 9x13 pan
- 1 large skillet
- 1 large sheetpan
- 2 mixing bowls 1 small and 1 large
- 16 oz large bakery loaf of bread Italian, French, sourdough, etc. If it weights slightly more than 16 oz, it's fine!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 ½ large sweet onions cut into ½" pieces
- 5 celery stalks cut into ½" pieces
- ¼ cup fresh parsley minced
- ¼ cup fresh sage minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced
- 2 large eggs or vegan substitute
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth or chicken or turkey
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter or plant based substitute
Toast the Bread Cubes
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Cut the bread cubes into 1" pieces (no need to be perfect!). For a more rustic look you can tear the bread into pieces with your hands.
- Spread the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet, making sure to leave space in between the cubes for even browning. Baked for 40-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until they're dried out. How long they'll take to dry out depends on the density of the bread you're using. Let cool.
Assemble the Stuffing
- Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook them until they're softened and just starting to brown.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cooled bread cubes, the cooked onions and celery, the parsley, sage, and rosemary and combine.
- In a small bowl combine the eggs, broth, salt and pepper. Add this to the bread mixture and combine all ingredients.
- Generously butter the baking dish with 2 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter. Add the bread mixture to the pan. Dot the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter on top of the stuffing.
- Bake for 45-50+ minutes until the dressing is heated through and the top has a nice golden brown crust.