Fun fact: The best time to share a recipe for vegan stuffing with chestnuts is about a week and a half after Thanksgiving.
I’m kidding, of course.
Luckily, even though I’m a latecomer on sharing a vegan stuffing recipe, for most of us, Christmas dinner looks an awful lot like the one we just had at Thanksgiving. So there’s still time to make this vegan stuffing with chestnuts, celery, and carrots before the holiday season passes us by.
(And just wait until you see the Christmas cookie recipe I’m going to share on January 3rd. You are going to go nuts for it.) 😉
Vegan stuffing with chestnuts
This stuffing is loaded with celery, onions, and carrots. The vegetables give it variety and a pop of color amongst the beige. Along with savory spices and vegetable broth, it has loads of flavor and nary an animal product in the mix.
I also like to add roasted and peeled chestnuts to the stuffing for added bite.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
I was reading recently that most of us have never roasted chestnuts, despite how popular Christmas music makes this pastime seem.
Up until 11 years ago, I’d never even tasted them.
While chestnuts make most of us think of crackling Christmas records, it takes me back to my honeymoon.
A couple of months after we got married, David and I traveled around Europe. One of our favorite stops on the trip was our visit to Zürich, Switzerland. Sellers stood outside, roasting chestnuts in big iron pots lined with charcoal.
They’d serve the chestnuts in paper sleeves with two pouches. One pouch held the fresh, warm roasted chestnuts, while the other was empty and ready for discarding shells.
It was so quaint and warming, standing in the brisk air, smelling the nutty chestnuts cooking, and cracking away at the peels as we walked.After we returned home from our honeymoon, I purchased fresh chestnuts at the grocery store once they showed up during the holiday season. (It’s interesting the things you notice once you know what to look for. Somehow before then, I’d never even seen them there.)
I’ve roasted chestnuts several times, but these days, I prefer to go with the kind in vacuum packaging that have already been cooked.
Chestnuts can be wily since they are rounded on one side and flat-ish on the other. Plus, breaking through the tough shell with a knife can be tricky. (If you don’t score them with a knife, they’ll explode in the oven.)
Trader Joe’s sells roasted and peeled chestnuts in the refrigerated section in vacuum packaging, and I’ve seen them elsewhere sold in jars. I’d recommend either of those options for this recipe. Although, if you want to roast & peel your own, go for it! Get directions on how to roast chestnuts here.
No chestnuts where you live? No problem.
If you can’t find chestnuts or they are out of season at the time you’re making this stuffing, no worries. You can simply omit them or add some chopped walnuts instead.
(You may not want the same amount of walnuts, since walnuts have a stronger flavor than chestnuts and are a bit more dense. I’d recommend starting by doing half and working up from there, depending on your preferences.)