This four ingredient sage and onion stuffing recipe can be in your belly within thirty minutes! We’re going to be serving up our Christmas dinner with lots of it on the side, but it works really well as part of any roast dinner. This recipe is made extra delicious by the addition of red onion.
Is stuffing vegan?
Traditionally, stuffing is made from the giblets of poultry (yuk) so it wasn’t vegan in the slightest! Thankfully, we’ve moved on a bit since then and this sage and onion stuffing recipe is totally vegan.
You can buy packet vegan sage and onion stuffing, and traditional brands like Paxo are ‘accidentally vegan.’ Generally you’ll find that all packet sage and onion stuffing is vegan, but definitely check the ingredients for the ever present cheeky bit of milk powder just in case...
Homemade stuffing is loads tastier though, and it’s so easy to make, you aren’t gaining an awful lot by using a packet.
Sage and onion stuffing ingredients
If you want to make these awesome sage and onion stuffing balls, you’ll need just four ingredients:
- Red onion. We prefer using red onion to white as it’s slightly sweeter, which compliments the sage really well. The onion will need to be chopped, but don’t worry about getting it too small you’ll blend it up.
- Bread crumbs. Bread crumbs are what give these stuffing balls their texture. You can buy ready made breadcrumbs, but we generally just whizz up the end of a loaf of bread to get ours. Nobody ever eats the end bit anyway so you’re preventing food waste, too!
- Fresh sage. Chop your sage roughly. Again, don’t worry about chopping it too finely as it will go in the blender. When picking out your sage leaves, be sure to choose ones which don’t have soft spots or dried edges. You need to use fresh sage within four to five days of buying it, but you can freeze it if you aren’t going to be making the stuffing balls straight away. However, freezing does intensify the flavour a bit so be sure to adjust the quantity accordingly if you do freeze them.
- Vegan butter.
You’ll also want a generous helping of salt and pepper to season.
How to make sage and onion stuffing
This vegan sage and onion stuffing is super easy to make! First preheat your oven, and while it’s warming get all of your ingredients ready.
- Chop the red onion up and remove the tough outer layer of skin.
- Make your breadcrumbs by blitzing bread in a blender for a few seconds, or by grating it with a cheese grater. Watch your fingers if you do this though!
- Roughly chop the sage.
- Measure out your butter.
- Once you have your ingredients prepared, line a baking tray with parchment paper. This will stop your stuffing from sticking to the tray.
- Next grab a frying pan, and melt your butter in it.
- Once the butter has melted, chuck the onion in, and sautée until soft.
- When the onion is soft and has gone slightly translucent, you can add the sage to the pan.
- Cook the sage and onion together for a couple of minutes, continuing to stir while you do.
- Add your breadcrumbs to the pan.
Careful not to toast the breadcrumbs!
- Stir them well so that they are coated with the sage and onion mix, but don’t leave them in the pan for too long. The breadcrumbs shouldn’t be toasted.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer your mixture (carefully!) to a blender, and then blitz for thirty seconds. You want the mixture to be well blended, but you still want to be able to see some flecks of red onion as this makes the stuffing balls look really good.
- Now you can start forming the mixture into balls. Each ball should be made of around a tablespoon of the mixture to make sure that it cooks through correctly. Roll the mixture into balls using your hands.
- Add the balls to your lined baking tray.
- Pop the tray in the oven and cook for ten minutes. Then turn the balls and cook for another five minutes.
- You’ll be able to tell that they’re done because they’ll be golden brown.
Then all that’s left to do is attempt not to eat them all before plating up… this is probably the greatest challenge about the recipe to be honest!
For detailed measurements and timings please see the recipe card at the end of the article.
This sage and onion stuffing recipe is...
...one of our favourite creations because it’s so easy to make! In less than thirty minutes we have a delicious addition to any roast dinner, whether it’s a quick pick me up during the week or a Sunday roast with all the trimmings.
We especially enjoy how fragrant it is. It makes our kitchen smell so good that our tummies immediately start rumbling in anticipation. Is there anything better than being really hungry when you know there’s a good meal on the way?
It’s also perfect for Christmas. Stuffing is a Christmas dinner staple, it just wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without it. This recipe is especially handy for Christmas because it’s so easy, and you can even freeze it in advance.
How to make sage and onion stuffing - top tips!
This recipe is super simple which is why we like it so much. That being said, even the easiest recipe can still go wrong!
To make sure you end up with perfectly light and delicious sage and onion stuffing balls, there are a few top tips you should follow:
- Use homemade fresh breadcrumbs. The fresher the bread, the nicer the texture of your stuffing balls will be. We like to grab about four slices of wholemeal bread and chuck them in the blender for about thirty seconds.
- Don’t add stock. While we were researching and testing this recipe, we tried adding stock, as the likes of Paxo and other traditional recipes use it. When we tested this it made the stuffing balls far too wet, and we ended up with flat stuffing cookies rather than balls!
- Don’t blitz for too long. The stuffing balls look better and have a nicer texture if you blitz to the point where you can still see flecks of red onion.
What to serve with sage and onion stuffing
These vegan sage and onion stuffing balls are the perfect addition to a roast dinner with all the trimmings! Try serving them up with:
Our mushroom wellington is the perfect centrepiece to any roast dinner, whether it’s Christmas day or just a normal Sunday. Like the stuffing balls it can be made and frozen in advance, and is super quick to make, so you can have more time to relax if you don’t like to spend your whole Sunday cooking.
Carrots and parsnips
Lots of our favourite bits of a roast dinner are really quite savoury, which is why we love adding these sweet maple glazed carrots and parsnips into the mix. They add a nice sweet and yet fresh flavour to your plate, and they’re lovely and crunchy.
We have to admit, we felt pretty smug when we figured out how to veganise cauliflower cheese! It’s the part of a roast dinner that we’d really missed since going vegan, and now we can have it whenever we want.
Not sure you can even call it a roast dinner if you haven’t got a good helping of roast potatoes! These are great because they manage to be both crispy on the outside, while remaining fluffy on the inside. Treat yourself, ‘tis the season to be carby.
Check out our guide 79 Ultimate Christmas Dishes for more Vegan Christmas Dinner inspiration!
Yes it most definitely can! You can get them to the ‘ball’ stage and then heat them when you’re ready. This can be really helpful for timing when you’re cooking loads of different things at once, like on Christmas Day.
Indeed they do! Just pop them in the freezer once they’re cooked, and they’ll be ready for you to reheat whenever you like. They actually reheat really well.
Definitely. Just make your breadcrumbs using gluten free bread and this dish will be totally gluten free.
As always, if you want to have the best possible cooking experience and get the very best results, there are a few bits of kitchen equipment which are must haves!
Get hold of a baking tray that is large enough to accommodate all of your stuffing balls, you don’t want them sticking together because they’re all squashed up!
It’s also a good idea to ensure that your baking tray is non-stick, so that you don’t have to spend any longer than you absolutely have to, doing the washing up. We also like to use a baking tray that is reasonably thick, as they hold the heat much better than thinner ones do.
Without a blender it’s pretty tough to get the mix to the right consistency to make really light and delicious sage and onion stuffing balls. This is true for a lot of other recipes too, we use our blender daily to make soups, smoothies and loads more. It’s definitely a worthy investment. You can however, create the balls by pressing the mix into individual balls without blending them. The outcome will be slightly different to what is seen in the photos though.
Large frying/sauteéing pan
Frying onions is something that you do for most delicious meals! And it just goes so much better if you have a good frying pan. If your pan is too thin, your onion won’t get hot enough and it will absorb the oil. If it’s not got a good non stick surface, then you’ll be scrubbing bits of charred onion from the sides daily.
This sage and onion stuffing recipe is perfect for Christmas dinner or even a Sunday roast. The red onion makes it extra special, and it's super easy to make too!
- 3 red onions (~300g) – chopped
- 200g fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp fresh sage (roughly chopped)
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- Salt & pepper
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter into a frying pan and sautée the onions until soft.
3. Add in the sage for a couple of minutes and stir.
4. Pop the breadcrumbs into the pan, and stir so that all the breadcrumbs are coated well. Don't leave it on the hob too long, as the breadcrumbs shouldn't be toasted! Season well with salt & pepper.
5. Transfer the mixture into a blender and blitz for 30 seconds. It should be well blended, but you should also be able to see some flecks of red onion.
6. Start rolling the mixture into small balls – around one heaped tablespoon at a time.
7. Place on the lined baking tray and bake for ten minutes, turn and then bake for 5 minutes more. They'll be golden brown once out of the oven!