My Dad has this sort-of rule that stuffing *has* to have meat in it to be delicious. After careful consideration, we cooked up this recipe, featuring Beyond Meat Chicken-Free strips, dried apricots, capers, pecans and oregano. The Beyond Meat gives the stuffing that meaty bite and aroma my Dad loves; the capers and apricots bring depth and sophistication; the pecans add crunch; the oregano is like a whiff of the garden. Basically, it comes together smoothly to make a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas side!
We bought already-dried bread cubs from our local bakery. You can find cubes like this at bakeries or grocers – or make your own by cutting a loaf of your favorite bread into cubes and allowing them to dry out on the counter for a day or two. Really stale, crispy bread cubes are the way to go for stuffing. If they’re too soft, they get mushy in the stuffing.
Vegan Stuffing with Beyond Meat, Apricots & Capers
1 cup onion, chopped
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
3 Tbl. capers, crushed/chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 pack Beyond Meat Chicken-less Strips, Lightly Seasoned flavor, shredded
1 Tbl. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. white pepper
salt, to taste (be sure to check your broth’s flavor before adding more salt!)
1 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
1 cup pecans, chopped and divided
10 cups bread cubes, dried
splash of dry white wine, (optional)
fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 casserole with non-stick spray or rub with a few drops of olive oil. Set aside.
In a large skillet or cook pot, add olive oil and onions over medium-high heat. Saute 2 or 3 minutes, to soften onion. Add celery, carrots, capers and garlic. Saute another 4 to 7 minutes, until all veggies are lightly browned then add shredded Beyond Meat, dried oregano, dried thyme, white pepper and salt (if using). Cook about 2 to 3 more minutes and set aside, off heat.
Combine chopped dried apricots, 1/2 cup chopped pecans and bread cubs in a large mixing bowl. Toss in Beyond Meat-veggie mixture and fold together. Pour in egg replacer and broth, as well as a splash of dry white wine, if using. Quickly stir to moisten, then turn out into prepared 9×13 casserole dish.
Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup pecans onto stuffing and cover with aluminum foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes, to crisp the top. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired, before serving.