Holiday Vegetable Stuffing with Parmesan Crust to Complete Your Table
When the holiday season rolls around, I always take it upon myself to test out some recipes before the big day, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. In my experience, stuffing can be made in many different ways. It’s also not usually most people’s favorite side dish on the holiday table. That’s exactly why I decided to make this holiday vegetable stuffing with a parmesan crust. It’s truly the most delicious stuffing I’ve ever had and features tons of fresh vegetables and flavor.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s veggie-friendly and perfect for anyone at your table with dietary restrictions. It can easily be made with meat or other added ingredients, but I encourage you to try it as is and see how this stuffing can complete your meals this holiday season.
First, begin by chopping up your carrots, onion, celery, and leek into small, bite-size pieces.
Set that aside and chop up your French bread into small cubes.
Melt half of the butter and mix in half of each seasoning ingredient. Place your bread cubes on a baking sheet and pour the butter and herb mixture on top. Mix well until each piece of bread is lightly coated with butter.
Bake your bread in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until slightly golden brown and dry.
Melt the rest of the butter into an oven-safe pot on the stovetop. Add your remaining seasonings and chopped vegetables. Sauté until all the vegetables are slightly soft and aromatic.
Pour in your white wine and cook this off for about 3-4 minutes.
In a separate bowl or measuring cup, pour in your vegetable broth and oat milk. Crack two eggs into that same bowl and gently whisk everything together.
Add the baked bread pieces into the pot on the stovetop. Gently stir and pour in your egg, milk, and broth liquid mixture. Continue stirring until the mixture is well absorbed into the bread pieces.
Top the stuffing mixture with your parmesan cheese and then bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese forms a nice crust.
How to Make the Perfect Holiday Vegetable Stuffing
The key to making a holiday vegetable stuffing that everyone will remember is first toasting and seasoning your bread. While this might seem like an extra, time-consuming step, it makes all the difference in terms of texture and flavor. Toasted bread soaks up the vegetable broth mixture better than fresh bread, so you’ll get the perfect soft and yet crunchy stuffing consistency. If it’s too soft, it will just turn to mush on the table in front of you.
Additionally, I find that seasoning your butter mixture for both the bread and vegetables helps coat every ingredient in the flavor combination we’re going for in a veggie stuffing. Namely, those flavors include rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. These two steps ensure that you’ve evenly spread your seasoning and they will end up in each bite of stuffing.
I didn’t use garlic in this recipe, which might surprise some, but I don’t think the recipe needs it. In fact, the addition of a leek adds a strong onion flavor that pairs beautifully with the sautéed white onion. As a result, this serves the same aromatic purpose as garlic and any further onion or garlic flavor would overpower our key seasonings.
Possible Recipe Modifications
Just in case this holiday vegetable stuffing recipe doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can try a couple of my recommended modifications. I’ve made this recipe several times, so I’ve also tasted these versions as well.
Many traditional holiday stuffing recipes include meat and specifically, sausage. If your household loves meat, you can absolutely add sausage or even turkey to the dish. The vegetables will still add flavor and nutrients to your stuffing and pair well with a strong flavor like sausage or turkey. I’d recommend sautéing the meat along with your vegetables in the early stages of the recipe to incorporate it as well as possible.
That being said, you can also use a turkey stock to keep your recipe Thanksgiving-ready. I used a vegetable stock because it can be lower in sodium and helpful for our vegetarian friends, but any kind of stock or broth will do in this stuffing recipe.
I really love this recipe because it has a strong savory flavor. What says savory better than parmesan cheese? As a result, I decided to add a parmesan cheese crust to my vegetable stuffing recipe. The parmesan blends with the rosemary and thyme perfectly. Plus, as your stuffing bakes in the oven at the end, it creates the perfect crispy crust to an otherwise soft dish. It almost forms a kind of stuffing casserole, but I really enjoy that consistency.
While this recipe does include a small amount of white wine, the alcohol cooks off in the sautéing process. If you don’t like the flavor it adds to the dish, you can absolutely omit it. In fact, a good substitution for wine in recipes like this is a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar. This will add a similar bite to the dish without any kind of alcohol.
Ultimately, you can customize this holiday vegetable stuffing recipe to your exact preferences, but the base ingredients remain the same. All you truly need is mirepoix, which is a base of onion, carrots, and celery, and toasted bread, seasoning, and some kind of stock. When you combine these together with my recommended steps and add-ons, you’ll have everyone’s favorite holiday side dish.
For the perfect holiday dessert, be sure to check out our Apple Pie Cookies.