Stuffing is a popular filling for Turkey on Thanksgiving or even Chicken. One common question among people is whether stuffing is vegan in Canada or not. It could be because mostly it’s served as a side dish or a dressing in Canada.
Stuffing, also known as dressing is not vegan as it contains bread, egg, milk, and chicken broth. Then again, classic stuffing is not vegan, the ones you can get in the supermarket or restaurants in Canada. Stuffing can be made vegan if you use special ingredients.
Typically stuffing is made with bread which is then stuffed into an uncooked turkey or chicken before popping it in the oven so the juices of the meat soak in the dressing making it more flavorful.
It is also served as a side dish as dressing. Standard stuffing is not vegan as most recipes contain chicken broth, milk, and egg. However, some brands do have vegan-friendly stuffing like Arrowhead Hill.
Stuffing is traditionally stuffed inside a bird, so it would be considered off the menu for vegans. But some do consider it a vegan option when it’s served as a side dish.
The main ingredient of stuffing is bread. In a non-vegan stuffing, any bread can be used but vegans can opt for smoked cornbread that does not contain any egg. However, most cornbread has eggs, so you have to be careful.
A standard vegan stuffing is made with:
- Vegan butter or oil
- Diced onion
- Vegetable broth
- Egg replacement – water and flax
Some people also add dried fruits and nuts to the stuffing to make it fancy. Some common nuts that are added to the recipe include almonds, chestnuts, and apricots. These nuts go great with a plant-based stuffing.
Most stuffing also includes some form of meat like chicken shreds and more. Some also add beef and seafood, but mostly chicken and turkey are used. The seafood option tends to be crabs.
In some countries, giblets are also used in stuffing. Giblets are the liver, gizzard, and heart of a chicken or any other bird. In the Middle East, stuffing usually contains minced meat with rice and vegetables.
Vegan Stuffing Brands in Canada
Luckily, there are plenty of plant-based, vegan stuffing brands in Canada that you can get from your local supermarket. Here are some of the best vegan stuffing brands:
1. Paxo Stuffing
Paxo stuffing is pure vegan. It only contains wheat flour, spices, dried vegetables, and vegetable oils. Vegetables are mostly onion, parsley, and sage.
2. Tesco Stuffing
Tesco stuffing is vegan. It contains onion, palm oil, dried sage, parsley, sunflower oil, and a leavening agent.
3. Arrowhead Mills Stuffing Mix
Arrowhead Mills’ organic stuffing is made with wheat flour, sunflower oil, and herbs. It is 100% vegan and certified organic by USDA. To prepare the stuffing, all you need to do is add water or vegetable stock.
4. Pepperidge Farm Classic Stuffing
Pepperidge Farm’s classic seasoned stuffing is 100% vegan and contains no animal ingredients. It is made with wheat-baked loaves, and dried herbs.
How to Make Vegan Stuffing At Home
If you don’t want to use pre-packed stuffing, you can also make vegan stuffing at home easily with a few ingredients only.
- 1 loaf of bread (any bread)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 1 large onion, diced into small pieces
- 4 stalks of celery, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cup vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- herbs (thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary)
- If you have fresh bread, slice it into small cubes and leave it overnight to dry. Or if you are in a rush, you can bake the bread cubes for 20 minutes at 200F.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a baking dish with oil. In a large skillet, add onion and cook it for 5 minutes until slightly charred.
- Add celery and garlic to the onion and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock to the veggies and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix bread and vegetables in the baking tray. Sprinkle chopped herbs and bake for 40 minutes. Bake until the stuffing is golden brown and crispy on top.