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Vegetarian Stovetop Stuffing

Need a change from potatoes? Try our homemade vegetarian stovetop stuffing. Quick, loaded with healthy veggies and way better than the store-bought packaged version.

vegetarian stovetop stuffing in pan

There’s no reason to wait for Thanksgiving when you can whip up this stuffing from scratch in about 20 minutes for a simple weeknight side with chicken, pork, fish or vegetarian mains.

Stovetop stuffing is essentially an unbaked version of a traditional dressing or stuffing recipe that doesn’t use an egg as a binder. The only difference is that the stuffing doesn’t brown on top.

It’s easy and completely adaptable to whatever you have on hand.  Measuring doesn’t matter in this recipe. Just taste and adjust.

This homemade stovetop stuffing is also much healthier than the box version because of the high ratio of vegetables to bread (less carbs, more nutrition). For for 3-4 people, you’re only consuming 4-5 slices of bread.

It can easily stand on its own, but with gravy….well…the best. Try our make-ahead turkey gravy or a quick gravy (included in the Roast Turkey and Pear Chutney recipe).

Simple comfort food.

Tailor To Your Taste

Which type of bread is best?

Almost any bread is fine. I used multigrain in some of the pictures, Challah in others. In a pinch, I’ve even used leftover hamburger buns.

What vegetables can I use? 

Almost anything goes, but be sure to use onions. Other good ones are celery, peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, frozen corn niblets, finely diced carrots, celery root. I often stir in chopped fresh baby spinach at the end (it wilts quickly) as it’s packed with healthy nutrients.

Add -ins

  • Chopped apple – really good
  • Raisins, cranberries or nuts
  • For some crunch, toss in chopped canned chestnuts.

Can I make a non vegetarian version?

Absolutely. I sometimes add chopped smoked hotdogs as I do with my traditional homemade stuffing. They infuse a wonderful smoky flavor.

Can I turn stovetop stuffing into a traditional dressing/stuffing? 

Yes. Just moisten the stuffing a little more with broth. Dot with a tablespoon of soft butter or turkey/chicken drippings, place in a greased casserole dish and bake at 375F for 15 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake an extra 8-10 minutes to brown the top.

Shortcut

  • Use packaged toasted bread cubes instead of making your own.
  • Buy pre-chopped vegetables – often sold for stir fries –  and just give them a finer chop if necessary. Alternatively, throw your veggies in the food processor and pulse a few times to chop.

Make Ahead

  • Make the stovetop stuffing and place in the fridge, covered (if making for the next day). To reheat, put it in the microwave covered until hot – about 1-2 minutes.

Other homemade stuffing recipes you might like

How to make stovetop stuffing

chopped onions and veggies, parsley, broth, apple, bread, salt and pepper
Gather ingredients: chopped veggies, garlic, parsley, broth, apple, bread, salt, thyme and pepper
toasted cubed bread
Toast bread slices and cut or rip them into small pieces.
veggies sauteing in pan
Saute onions, celery and peppers in a pan. Then stir in garlic.
sauted veggies in pan
Add seasonings and apples if using.
vegetarian stovetop stuffing in pan p
Toss in bread cubes and moisten with broth to the consistency you like.
vegetarian stovetop stuffing in pan
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Vegetarian Stovetop Stuffing

Need a change from potatoes? Try our homemade vegetarian stovetop stuffing. Quick, loaded with healthy veggies and way better than the store-bought packaged version.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 -4

Ingredients

  • 4-5 slices bread (to make about 3 cups bread cubes)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 apple, cored and diced (no need to peel)
  • 3/4 tsp ground sage or poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2-3/4 cup vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • MAKE BREAD CUBES: Toast bread to golden brown. Cut or rip into 1/2 inch pieces/cubes.
  • SAUTE VEGETABLES: While bread is toasting, heat butter on medium in a skillet or non stick wok. Add onion, celery, garlic and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Add diced apple, poultry seasonings and thyme and saute another 2 minutes.
  • FINISH STOVETOP STUFFING: Add bread cubes and parsley. Mix in 1/2 cup broth to moisten. Add more broth if needed to the consistency you like (more if you like stuffing moist, less if you like it drier). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Lower heat to low, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow bread cubes to absorb flavors. Stir and serve.

Notes

Variations and Substitutions
Bread: Almost any bread is fine. I used multigrain in some of the pictures, Challah in others. In a pinch, I've even used leftover hamburger buns.
Vegetables: Almost anything goes, but be sure to use onions. Other good ones are celery, peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, frozen corn niblets, finely diced carrots, celery root. I often stir in chopped fresh baby spinach at the end (it wilts quickly) as it's packed with healthy nutrients. 
Add -ins: Chopped apple, raisins, cranberries, nuts, chopped canned water chestnuts.
Make Ahead:
Make the recipe and place in fridge, covered, (if making for the next day). To reheat, put in microwave covered until hot - about 2 minutes. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates and depend on vegetables used as well as ratio of vegetables to bread. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Stovetop Stuffing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 669mg29%
Potassium 209mg6%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1395IU28%
Vitamin C 37mg45%
Calcium 123mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Vegetarian stovetop stuffing, originally published in Feb 2017, has been updated with new information. 

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