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.
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.
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.
- 35 g butter
- 1 onion
- 180 g vacuum-packed peeled chestnuts
- 50 g pecans
- 50 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 50 g 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 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.
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