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This Vegetarian Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful with fresh sage. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian, let alone gluten-free.
This is the gluten-free stuffing recipe that I bring to our festive table every year. My mother-in-law is vegetarian so when Luke and I first started hosting Christmas at our house I put aside my trusted sausagemeat recipe and set about creating a new family favourite that everyone could enjoy.
Table of contents
I actually prefer this vegetarian Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing to my sausage version as there is always so much meat on the festive table from the turkey to the ham to the pigs in blankets. The addition of a herby hearty nut stuffing is exactly the right accompaniment to the rest of the meal.
What chestnuts to use
For this recipe use whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts to make the stuffing which are so easy to use and are widely available at this time of year. They are also delicious directly from the packet and have a wonderful earthy flavour with a crumbly creamy texture. The chestnuts pair exceedingly well with the rustic notes of the fresh sage and the sweet onions.
How to make it
For full recipe instructions go to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- First caramelise the onions at the beginning of the recipe - this is necessary to add the soft sweetness to the stuffing.
- Then you mix the onions with the crumbled chestnuts, fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs and fresh sage.
- Stir in a bit of seasoning, an egg to bind and a splash of double cream for moisture and there you have it.
You can prepare the stuffing a day or two in advance and pack it into an ovenproof dish to keep in the fridge ready for the oven. I don’t cook my stuffing in the bird cavity. Does anyone still do this anymore? But it’s lovely baked in a separate dish to create a crisp topping with the soft stuffing beneath.
When should you put the stuffing in the oven?
On the big day, after the turkey has been taken out of the oven, this nut stuffing goes in. It only needs to bake for 20 minutes so doesn’t clog up precious oven space for any length of time.
How to make stuffing balls
You could alternatively roll the stuffing into balls and bake on a baking tray lined with baking parchment which also works really well as the surface of the balls get quite crunchy, a perfect contrast to the squishy insides.
This vegetarian Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing is like a very low key nut roast and it is certainly meaty enough in texture to be a pretty decent offering for your vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Served alongside some powerhouse vegetable sides like the cauliflower cheese, which I also make every year, you can ensure everyone is going to be pretty well served at your festivities.
Shop the recipe
More festive side dishes
- Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese
- Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
- Cranberry Clementine Sauce
- Spiced Braised Red Cabbage
- Cheesy Brussel Sprout & Leek Gratin
I urge you to give this Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing (vegetarian) a try, it is so easy and delicious. If you do make this stuffing then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.
Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing (vegetarian)
- 2 large onions - peeled and diced
- 30 g unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon
- 180 g whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts
- 15 g fresh sage - leaves removed
- 150 g gluten-free sourdough - or the best gluten-free bread you can find
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons double cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the onions in a saucepan along 30g butter and cook very gently for 30-40 minutes until the onions have caramelized.
- Tip the onions in a large mixing bowl then set aside whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Place the saucepan back on the heat and add the extra teaspoon of butter to melt. Drop the fresh sage into the saucepan and fry gently until starting to colour then remove and finely chop. Add to the onions.
- Break up the gluten-free sourdough and place in a food processor along with the chestnuts. Pulse briefly until they are roughly chopped. Then tip into the onions along with the beaten egg, double cream and seasoning.
- Press the stuffing into an ovenware dish and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
- Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180°C/170°C fan/gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.
- You can make the stuffing up to 2 days ahead and keep in the fridge until ready to bake.
- Alternatively you can roll the stuffing into balls and bake on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.