Non-meat stuffing

Peter Flynn


Not everyone wants to eat a meat-based stuffing, so I went looking for non-meat ones of a richness equivalent to the Hannah Glasse recipe 🔗 I’ve been using for years as stuffing balls. I ended up combining the flavours of the chestnut stuffing with the crunch and umame of fried nuts, and the body of cooked grains. It's not quite as sticky as it should be for rolling into balls, but it does work if you're careful. Anna suggested some canned bean juice as a binder, so the next version might use that.

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Makes 24. Heat your (fan) oven to 180°C. Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes.

If you need a simpler way, Paxo’s Sage and Onion Stuffing Mix, quite apart from being probably the best-known stuffing mix, is inherently vegan.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion | finely sliced
  • 1 medium clove garlic | chopped fine
  • 1 stick celery | finely chopped
  • 3 sundried tomatoes | chopped [the ones that come in oil]
  • 4 dried apricots | chopped
  • 2 tbsp blanched almonds | chopped
  • 2 tbsp shelled pistachios | chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nut nuts
  • 2 tbsp pecans | chopped
  • 4 tbsp cooked mixed grains [from a packet]
  • 1 vegetable stock cube | crumbled
  • 4 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 100 g peeled chestnuts | chopped
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp salt (see tip)
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 3 tbsp white bread flour
  • 3 tbsp cold water


  1. Heat the oil and gently fry the onion and garlic, keeping the heat very low so that they caramelise, about 15 minutes (see tip).

  2. Add the celery, fry until soft, then drain it all carefully and put in a large bowl, keeping any oil in the pan.

  3. Add the tomatoes and apricots to the mixture in the bowl.

  4. Fry the almonds, pistachios, pine nut nuts, and pecans in the oil until very pale golden, then drain and add to the mixture in the bowl, again keeping any oil in the pan.

  5. Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the oil and mix (add more oil if necessary), then add the cooked mixed grains and fry briefly to absorb the remaining oil, then add to the mixture in the bowl.

  6. Stir in the bread crumb, cranberries, chestnuts, and herbs.

  7. Season with salt and pepper, then mix the flour and water thoroughly in a small bowl and add it to the mix, stirring well to combine everything.

  8. If you want it all in one, put it all in a baking dish.

  9. Otherwise, weigh it and divide by the number of holes in your mini-muffin pan. Then weigh out each measure and roll very carefully into a ball in your hand, and put into the pan.

  10. Either way, bake for 15 minutes at 180°C.

  11. Do not try to handle until cooled.


  • Goes well with any roast meal.

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