It’s a tough call, but I might have to say my favorite Thanksgiving side dish is stuffing. Even though I’m no longer a meat eater, I still like a super hearty stuffing. The mushrooms in this dish add the extra heft other recipes get by adding sausage, and the optional addition of a couple of whisked eggs binds the dish.
Vegetarian Mushroom Stuffing
8 slices fresh-made bread (I used a loaf I picked up from Grand Central Bakery, but any thick-crusted bread works well.)
6 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups diced onion
2 cups celery, diced with celery tops and leaves included
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 to 3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, optional
Cut bread into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Place in oven heated at 200 degrees to dry out. Stirring once or twice, bake for about 10-12 minutes. (Note: This can be done a day in advance.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pan, melt butter. Once melted, add onion and celery, cooking for about 7 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in sage, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix well, then stir in dried bread cubes and vegetable stock, one cup at a time, until desired moisture level is reached. Spread into a 9×13 pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until top gets crispy.
Optional method: Whisk two eggs until frothy. Add eggs after bread crumbs and vegetable stock have been added, stirring well to combine. The added eggs will create a more bonded stuffing.