Try this butternut squash stuffing with apple, sourdough bread and sage for a delicious holiday side dish.
About this Stuffing
If you’re looking to try something new for your holiday menu, how about roasted butternut squash stuffing for a twist on the classic Thanksgiving side dish?
This recipe features traditional stuffing flavours like thyme, sage, apple, onion and celery with soft but crispy sourdough bread. The roasted butternut squash adds a hint of sweetness that pairs well with the tart apple and fresh herbs.
Not only will this stuffing make your home smell amazing, it’s sure to be a favourite part of your Thanksgiving dinner or any other holiday meal.
Serve your homemade stuffing with mains like stuffed butternut squash or chickpea loaf or more sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and Brussels sprouts.
- Vegetarian and vegan (dairy-free, no eggs).
- Traditional stuffing flavours.
- Can be made gluten-free.
- Perfect holiday side dish.
- Simple ingredients.
- Can be prepared in advance.
- Serves 6-8 as a side dish.
Please note the full ingredient list is located in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This section covers notes on each ingredient and any substitutions.
- Butternut Squash: You’ll need 1 small to medium-sized butternut squash or about 5-6 cups cubed. You can use frozen butternut squash cubes but I’d recommend using fresh. You can substitute another variety of squash or try sweet potato.
- Olive Oil: You can use olive oil or another other cooking oil for roasting the squash.
- Bread: I like sourdough bread for stuffing but something like brioche or challah bread or any kind of crusty bread is also nice. In a pinch any bread works and you can also use gluten-free bread if needed.
- Butter: Use any brand of plant-based butter. If you’re not vegan you can use regular butter.
- Onion: You can use white or yellow onion.
- Celery: You’ll need 4-5 stalks of fresh celery.
- Apple: Use a tart green apple variety such as Granny Smith.
- Garlic: You’ll need 3 cloves of raw garlic.
- Fresh Sage: This stuffing really shines with fresh sage and thyme but you can substitute 2 tsp dried sage and 1 tsp ground thyme for the fresh herbs if needed.
- Fresh Parsley: You’ll need fresh parsley.
- Broth: Any vegetable broth you enjoy works. You can use carton broth, homemade vegetable broth or mix up some bouillon.
- Nuts: It’s optional to sprinkle your stuffing with chopped pecans or walnuts. I like pecans over walnuts but both work. They add a bit of nutty flavour and crunch.
Step 1: Prepare the Bread
You have two options for preparing the bread for your stuffing. Cube the bread and then:
- Spread it out on a baking sheet and leave it out overnight, uncovered, to dry it out.
- Spread it a single layer a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 300 F until lightly crisp and a little golden. Be careful not to burn it!
Quick Note: Do not skip this step or your stuffing will be mushy. Bread that’s been left out uncovered for a day is ideal, though if you haven’t prepared in advance, the oven method works well. You want the bread to be a bit hard and crunchy.
Step 2: Roast the Squash
Preheat the oven to 400 F and start preparing the butternut squash. To prepare the squash:
- Cut the stems off the top and bottom so it’s flat on either end.
- Peel the squash then cut it in half crosswise so you have the top half and bottom half.
- Cut each piece in half lengthwise.
- Scoop the pulp and seeds out of the bottom half.
- Cube the squash.
The recipe calls for 5 cups of cubed squash which is roughly a small to medium-sized squash. You can use a bit more or less if you like. The amount doesn’t have to be exact.
If you have extra squash, you can use it in a soup or salad like this roasted squash salad or slow cooker butternut squash soup.
Add the cubed squash to a baking sheet and toss with 2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and roast it for 25-30 minutes until tender and browned.
Step 3: Saute the Aromatics
Once the squash is in the oven, chop your onion, celery, apple, garlic and fresh herbs.
Melt the butter in a large skillet or pot. Once melted, add the onion, garlic, celery and apple and cook those for 7-8 minutes until they’re softened.
Add the fresh sage and thyme and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Quick Note: If you have a Dutch oven, you can use that to saute as it will be big enough to mix the stuffing in. If you do not have a large pot, you can use any pan to saute then transfer everything to a mixing bowl to mix the stuffing in step 4.
Step 4: Mix the Stuffing
You can either mix the stuffing up in the pot if it’s large enough or transfer everything to a large mixing bowl to combine.
Combine the roasted butternut squash, bread and vegetable mixture, along with 1.5 cups of the broth and mix well.
Taste and season with more salt and pepper. Note that some vegan butters and vegetable stocks are saltier than others, so taste and season as you proceed through the recipe.
After you’ve mixed it up, assess the amount of broth needed. The stuffing should be completely moistened but not soaking or soggy. We’re going to add more broth in the final step before baking.
Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish then add the stuffing to the dish. Drizzle with more broth and sprinkle with the pecans, if you’re adding them.
Step 5: Bake the Stuffing
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes then remove the foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the bread is browned and crispy on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. If you’d like to add sausage to this recipe, brown up to 1.5 cups ground plant-based meat such as Beyond or sliced Italian sausage in a skillet over medium heat before adding the onion mixture.
Once cooked through and browned, add the onions, etc. and proceed with the recipe.
Yes. You can use any variety of squash such as acorn squash, pumpkin or delicata squash.
Yes, you can use frozen butternut squash cubes. Thaw them fully before roasting.
Yes. The stuffing will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let cool then warp tightly to avoid freezer burn. Thaw the stuffing in the fridge or at room temperature and then reheat at 350 F, covered with foil until hot.
- Add up to 1/2 cup dried cranberries when you mix everything together.
- Try the same volume of leeks as a substitute for onions or try a mixture of both.
- Roast 1-2 cups quartered Brussels sprouts with the squash.
- Add up to 1 cup cooked wild rice or a wild rice blend.
- Add 1-2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms with the onions.
- For classic stuffing try this easy vegan stuffing recipe.
- You can dry out the bread 1-2 days ahead. If the bread is ready but you’re not ready to cook yet, store the bread in a sealed bag or container until you’re ready.
- You can cook the onion mixture 1-2 days and advance and store it in the fridge.
- You can bake the stuffing ahead of time, cover with foil then reheat in the oven at 350 F for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- You can assemble the entire casserole, up until the point of baking, then cover and place in your fridge tightly covered for 1-2 days. Remove from fridge 45 mins before baking (to come to room temperature).
- Store leftover squash stuffing in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- It can be stored wrapped in the casserole dish or transfered to an airtight container.
- Reheat stuffing in the microwave in individual portions or in the oven at 350 F for about 10 minutes until heated through.
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Tender roasted butternut squash is the perfect addition to this twist on traditional stuffing. Paired with sourdough bread, apple and fresh herbs, this deliciou stuffing makes a wonderful addition to a holiday meal.
- 5 cups cubed butternut squash (743 g)
- 2 tsp oil (10 mL)
- 8–9 cups cubed sourdough bread (375 g)
- ¼ cup vegan butter (60 g)
- 1 large white onion, chopped (2 cups, 250 g)
- 3–4 celery stalks, chopped (about 2 cups, 235 g)
- 1 small tart apple, like granny smith, diced (1 ¼ cups, 150 g)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2–3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (750 mL)
- ¼ cup pecans, optional (30 g)
- Salt and pepper
- Prep the bread: The day before you make the stuffing, place the bread cubes on a sheet pan and leave them out overnight, uncovered, to dry out. Alternately, you can place them on a sheet pan and bake at 300 F for about 10-15 minutes, until bread cubes are dry at the surface, but still soft in the center.
- Prepare: Preheat oven to 400 F and grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
- Roast Squash: Transfer the cubed squash to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Roast the squash on the middle rack of the oven for 25-30 min, stirring halfway through, until tender and golden-brown.
- Saute Aromatics: Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add onion, celery, apple and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Some vegan butters and vegetable stocks are saltier than others, so make sure to season and taste as you go. Cook for 8-10 min, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender.
- Add Fresh Herbs: Add sage and thyme. Cook for 1-2 min, stirring often, until fragrant.
- Mix Stuffing: Add the dried bread, parsley, onion mixture and roasted squash to a large bowl or add everything to the cooking pot if it’s large enough. Add 1.5 cups of the vegetable broth. Mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Assess the amount of broth needed. The stuffing should be completely moistened but not soaking or soggy. I used 2 cups of broth in this step and another 1/2 cup over top before baking.
- Transfer to Baking Dish: Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish, spreading out in an even layer. Drizzle with additional broth. Sprinkle with pecans if using. Cover the baking dish with foil.
- Bake Stuffing: Reduce the oven heat to 350 F. Bake covered for 25 min. Uncover and bake for another 25-30 min, until top becomes golden-brown and lightly crisped.
See post above for notes on storing and making ahead.
- Serving Size: 1/8th of recipe
- Calories: 223
- Sugar: 8 g
- Sodium: 548 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 40 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 6 g
Keywords: butternut squash stuffing