What would a Christmas dinner be without a proper stuffing?! Many people love their stuffing, mainly because it has such a powerful flavour, and it complements the other dishes so well. A traditional stuffing is normally made with pork and bacon, so it seems if you are vegetarian, you will have to give up this dish for good. Not so fast! It is incredible, but it is possible to turn a meaty recipe into a vegetarian or even vegan one, and still keep its rich taste. The secret is in the spices, and of course in a bit of imagination. 😉

This stuffing is an adaption of a famous stuffing by Jamie Oliver. I have changed a few things here: I have substituted the pork for tempeh. Tempeh is fermented soy beans and has a smokey flavour. Its texture offers a good substitution for meat as well, and its smokiness can also replace the bacon in the recipe. To further enhance the flavours I simply played with a few spices and herbs, and got a really nice stuffing.

Why am I using tempeh? First of, let me start by saying that I find tempeh much tastier than tofu. Because it is a fermented product, it is really good for your gut and for a healthy microbiota. It has a high bioavailability of calcium, meaning the calcium it contains is much more easily absorbed by the body. It is rich in other minerals, such as manganese and copper, and is a good source of protein. You can find tempeh in the health food stores in the cold section.

This recipe is quick and easy, and you can make this stuffing as a side dish to lentils or veggie burgers. Here is what you will need for it.

Plant-based stuffing

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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inspired by Jamie Oliver


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 20gr stale bread in bread crumbs
  • 100gr chestnuts (vacuumed and ready to use)
  • 250gr tempeh
  • 2 handfuls of fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Sautée the onion and garlic in a pan with a little olive oil, until soft and translucent. Set aside.
  3. Crush and crumble the chestnuts in a food processor.
  4. Add the tempeh, bread crumbs, sage, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Blend well until everything is evenly mixed.
  5. Add the nutmeg, lemon zest, Worcestershire sauce and the rest of the olive oil. Pulse until you have small chunks and some mash.
  6. Combine the content of your food processor with the onion and garlic and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a greased baking pan, push and flatten the stuffing. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Mashed sweet potatoes are a must on the Christmas table, if you ask me. They add more colour and offer a bit of a variety to the traditional potato mash. Here is my recipe for an easy sweet potato mash.

Sweet Potato Mash

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in big cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice milk (or any other non dairy milk)
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil the sweet potatoes until soft.
  2. Remove the water and mash them well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Enjoy the winter festivities, eat good food and take care of yourselves!

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