Stuffing has always been a top reason that I look forward to Thanksgiving food. It was my favorite as a child and while other sides are close contenders, stuffing is still a favorite now! I love the texture and flavor of a classic stuffing both on Thanksgiving Day, and afterward, mixed with protein and veggies for new meal creations. This meaty lentil walnut stuffing recipe provides texture, rich flavor, and nutrient density, too!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market, with whom I will be showcasing this recipe. Ingredients may be purchased at any store to make on your own, and all opinions are mine!Jump to Recipe
If you’re in the Philadelphia area, I’ll be demoing this recipe, plus my popular Maple Roasted Brussels, Butternut and Cranberries and new Garlicky Baby Kale this Wednesday, November 14 at 5:30 PM at the brand new Sprouts! You’ll get to try samples of everything I make and leave with a reusable bag, Sprouts brand coconut cream (I’ll show you how to make a maple whipped cream with it) and a coupon for a surprise product. I’ll be sharing nutrition tips and there will be gift card giveaways!
A “Meaty” Lentil Walnut Stuffing
Tim grew up with his mom making a sausage stuffing and I knew I wanted to help create an alternative that was cruelty-free, but also nutrient-dense and filled with flavors I enjoyed. That is how this healthy vegan stuffing was born! While a pre-packaged vegan “beef” or chorizo is certainly an option, I prefer to go this route for the holiday. Lentils are naturally rich in iron, protein and fiber, among many other nutrients and walnuts add omega-3 ALA. The two together provide an amazing texture (try my Lentil Walnut Loaf recipe for further proof of this)!
The sage, oregano, and pepper compliment the flavors of the lentils and walnuts, too, but this wouldn’t come together as well without a rich vegetable broth. If you are able to make your own, amazing! Let me know if you have a short cut! I personally have just chosen to purchase packaged because it’s so much easier. I always choose low sodium and am still happy with the depth of flavor whether making this stuffing, or a soup!
How to use stuffing leftovers:
- Baked egg and stuffing muffins. Pressed against the sides in a muffin tin with an egg dropped inside, then baked.
- Pan crisp to pair with eggs and leftover Thanksgiving veggies.
- Mixed with turkey and cranberry sauce, of course.
- Stuff acorn or delicata squash, then bake.
- Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Bread on bread, I know, but don’t knock it til you try it (stuffing, turkey & cranberry sauce)
- Stuffing waffles! Seriously. Just pack it into the waffle iron, press for a bit and then top with a fried egg and your favorite sauce.
- Stuffing and squash stuffed peppers.
Have one to add? Comment below!
Lentil Walnut Stuffing
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 4 tbsp vegan butter such as Miyokos or Earth Balance
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
- ½ cup finely diced carrot
- ½ cup finely diced celery
- 2 cups cooked green lentils
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp fresh oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 cups cubed, whole grain bread
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Toast walnuts on a baking sheet at 350° for 10 minutes.
- While walnuts are toasting, heat butter in a large saucepan over low-medium.
- Add garlic, stir and cover for 1 minute. Add onion, celery and carrot, stir and cover for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent in color.
- Let the walnuts sit out of the oven as you add the lentils and olive oil to the food processor. Add the walnuts, and pulse several times, until a “meaty” texture is formed.
- Add the lentil-walnut meat to the pan along with the herbs and spices. Stir well and remove from heat.
- Add the cubed bread to a large mixing bowl along with the mixture from the pan. Toss before pouring over 3 cups of the vegetable broth. Stir well, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Pour over the last cup of broth and stir.
- After greasing a 9×12 (or similar sized) baking dish with oil or more vegan butter, pour mixture in and bake, covered with foil, for 40 minutes.
- Increase heat to 425 and remove foil. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on your texture preferences.