Spicy tempeh sausage and garlicky kale are baked up with crusty seasoned bread cubes to make this savory and hearty vegan stuffing.
I could make a meal out of this stuffing.
Okay, I did make a meal out of this stuffing, and to be honest, that isn’t saying a whole lot, being as I usually end up turning the side dishes I post on this site into dinner anyway.
But this stuffing…you could give me a plate full of this stuff for Thanksgiving dinner and I’d be happy. Unlike my usual Thanksgiving dinner consisting of an assortment of sides, this dish is packed with protein, and delicious protein at that.
Tempeh sausage isn’t actually a new idea on this site. Remember way back when I posted my tempeh breakfast sandwiches? I didn’t. With six hundred plus (!) recipes on the site, I tend to forget a thing or two, even when I come up with something that I love. After I made those sandwiches I promised myself I’d do more with the tempeh sausage concept, because it’s really so easy. Sausage is all about the spices; get them right, and there’s no need for meat.
I liked this version of tempeh sausage better than the last, probably because I threw in all kinds of spices to give it an Italian feel, and nothing says Thanksgiving like Italian food.
Well, not really, but whatever.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like delicious food, be it vegan, vegetarian, Italian, or whatever, so vegan Italian sausage stuffing it is, complimented by some garlicky kale, and of course, squishy bread cubes. This is my new favorite stuffing.
Tempeh Sausage & Kale Stuffing
For the Tempeh Sausage
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 8 ounce package tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Stuffing
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 to 3 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 4 cups kale leaves, torn into 1 to 2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 cups 1 inch bread cubes, about 1/2 loaf, I used multigrain, but use whatever is your favorite
- Dalt and pepper to taste
- Make the tempeh sausage by stirring broth, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, paprika, thyme, fennel, red pepper flakes, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Add tempeh cubes and toss to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, stirring once or twice to recoat the tempeh with the marinade.
- Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add tempeh, along with any excess marinade. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until all of the liquid has cooked off and tempeh begins to crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a medium pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and sauté until shallots are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until liquid is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add kale to the pot and cover. Allow the kale to steam for about 5 minutes until it begins to wilt and brighten in color. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350° and lightly oil a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.
- Stir the flax seeds and water together in a small bowl, and allow to sit for 5 minutes while you mix the stuffing.
- Place the bread cubes into a large bowl. Add the kale, along with it's cooking liquid, a bit at a time, using your hands to mix it in. Mix in flax mixture, then tempeh sausage. You can add a bit more broth if the mixture seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and cover with foil. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more, until lightly browned.
- Divide onto plates and serve.