Vegetarian Stuffing with Chestnuts, Pecans and Cranberries
These Vegetarian Stuffing balls are crammed with flavour and texture. Chestnuts, both chopped and pureed, add a sweet creaminess which binds the other ingredients together. Roasted pecans add a nutty crunch and dried cranberries, one of my new favourite ingredients, at a sweet-sharp hit of fruitiness. I use fresh nutmeg to add a seasonal spiciness to the recipe.
They are a great addition to a big, celebratory roast dinner. Try them with home-made Bread Sauce and Fresh Cranberry Sauce and tell me I’m wrong! Think nutty crunchiness, creamy richness and zesty, fruity sweetness.
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Why bother making Vegetarian Stuffing?
In addition to the flavour, there are lots of good things about this recipe. First off, it is a vegetarian side dish which will also appeal to meat-eaters. My family is a mixture of carnivores, vegetarians and pescatarians so I have a ready-made focus group for my recipes. The verdict was that these are pretty much as good as any meat-based alternative. Therefore, you can put them on everyone’s plate – cosying up to the turkey or the nut-roast – and they work just as well.
They are also really easy to make – just a matter of mixing the various ingredients together – and can be prepared in advance. Just make up the stuffing balls and keep covered in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. They only take 15 minutes to cook.
They are also pretty versatile. Although I came up with this recipe as accompaniment to a roast dinner, I sometimes make them as a vegetarian lunch or snack option. They are also great cold as part of a packed lunch or winter picnic.
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Other festive sauces and accompaniments
Having the right sauces and accompaniments can take a festive meal to the next level. If you are preparing a special festive meal for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year you might like to try some of my other recipes for drinks, snacks, accompaniments and desserts. They are very easy and are a great way to create a celebratory festive feast!
- In my opinion, all the best celebrations start with a few drinks and nibbles. Instead of buying ready-made snacks, why not try making crisp and savoury Cheese Biscuits , Spiced Roasted Nuts or Moroccan-style Dukkah? If you want something a bit more substantial, you could try my Marinated Feta, Smoked Salmon Pate or Butternut Squash Hummus.
- To accompany your main course, in addition to this Vegetarian Stuffing, you might like my home-made Cranberry Sauce and Bread Sauce. They really are very simple to make and so much better than shop-bought alternatives.
- If you are looking for a vegetarian alternative for your main course, my Mushroom and Chestnut Pies are a really good option. I make these every year for my vegetarian guests and a number of them tend to get eaten by the non-vegetarians!
- I have lots of dessert and pudding recipes. Have a look at the Recipe Index to check them all out. Some of my favourite festive alternatives include Cranberry Pavlova, Cranberry Ice Cream, Banoffee Pie, Lime Cheesecake and Rhubarb Roulade.
- And, of course, any festive meal is not complete without some warm and fragrant Mince Pies made with home-made vegetarian Mincemeat!
Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.
Vegetarian Stuffing RecipePrint
This quick and easy Vegetarian Stuffing recipe combines the sweet creaminess of chestnuts with onions, crunchy roasted pecans and fruity dried cranberries.
- 50 g (2 oz) butter or 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 onion
- 180 g (6 oz) vacuum-packed peeled chestnuts
- 50 g (2 oz) shelled pecans
- 50 g (2 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 50 g (2 oz) dried cranberries
- Salt and pepper
- Grated nutmeg
- 1 egg (optional)
- Set your oven to 200 C/180F/Gas Mark 6
- Peel and chop the onion. Put the onion and butter or oil in a frying pan and fry for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Process half (90g) of the chestnuts for a few minutes in a food processor or blender to form a puree. Roughly chop the remaining chestnuts.
- Put the pecans in a frying pan and dry fry (with no oil or butter) for 5 minutes until they are darker brown and toasted. Roughly chop the pecans.
- In a large bowl combine the fried onions, chestnut puree, chopped chestnuts, chopped pecans, breadcrumbs and cranberries.
- Season to taste with grated nutmeg and salt and pepper.
- You can add an egg to the mixture to make it easier to combine.
- Take a dessert spoon of the mixture and squeeze it in your hands to make a ball. Place on a baking tray. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
- Put the tray in the pre-heated oven and cook the stuffing balls for 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
This recipe is vegetarian but can be made vegan if oil is substituted for butter and the egg is omitted.
These stuffing balls are actually very nice cold either as a snack or as an accompaniment to a cold meal.
Keywords: stuffing, vegetarian stuffing, chestnut stuffing, Christmas