Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout & Bread Stuffing With Apples

November 13, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: The first time I served this stuffing to my (omnivore) family, they were so enchanted that they didn't even know it was vegan. I've made a few tweaks over time, but the core of the recipe--a savory mix of winter squash, brussels sprouts, and good bread--has remained. Gena Hamshaw

Food52 Review: Featured in: Our Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes.The Editors

Serves: 6
Cook time: 50 min


  • 1 pound butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 medium gala apple, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 10 slices bread of choice: crusty sourdough, dry cornbread, whole grain, or, if you are gluten free, millet bread from Food For Life will work nicely. Prior to preparing the recipe, leave bread out for a day to become slightly dry, then cut into cubes.
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (plus extra as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash, brussels sprouts, apples, and shallots in 2 tbsp oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast till vegetables are very tender (I actually like my sprouts a bit singed) and remove from oven. Reduce oven heat to 350.
  2. Heat other tbsp oil in a large pot. Sautee the onion and celery till translucent (about 5-8 min). Add the bread cubes and allow them to get golden brown with the veggies in the oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the roasted vegetables, vegetable broth, cranberries, pecans, and seasonings. Stir the mix till the broth has almost entirely absorbed in the toasted bread. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Serve hot. And delicious.

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Reviews (76) Questions (4)

76 Reviews

pistolwink November 23, 2018
This was great! My only substitution was prune bits instead of cranberries. And I baked everything in a 9x13 casserole dish at the end. There's a fair bit of chopping involved, but the result was well worth it!
Andrea Y. November 19, 2018
How big a slice of bread? How thick? How tall? Does it change depending on the density of the bread? A weight given for the bread would more easily transfer from bread type to bread type.
lweib November 22, 2018
It doesn't matter, this recipe is endlessly flexible. I've made it with at least 4 different types of bread. 1-inch cubes is a good medium. With gluten-free rice-millet bread I have made the pieces slightly bigger because of that bread's tendency to crumble. With thicker whole wheat bread, a bit smaller. It all works one way or another.
Viney November 23, 2017
Making this now for Thanksgiving. If I had to do it over, I'd moisten the bread + aromatics + s/p, then toss gently with the roasted vegetables and seasonings - so that the bread got a little moister without mussing up the roasted vegetables. (Also, add a few mushrooms to the roasted vegetable mix and baking it in a large rectangle casserole). Can't wait to try it!
Katie B. November 22, 2017
This turned out delicious! Making ahead for thanksgiving tomorrow and it tastes amazing (so far--I will do the last step tomorrow, but samples pre-oven are outstanding!). Do yourself a favor (if you have time), and make the genius no-knead peasant bread to use with this recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/69714-alexandra-stafford-s-no-knead-peasant-bread<br />Bread is chewy and a bit dense, absorbs stock really well after toasting:)<br />
Carrie G. November 22, 2017
How are you making ahead what steps are you doing tonight and then tomorrow? I'm traveling 2 hours tomorrow. Any tips would be great! Thanks!
Katie B. November 22, 2017
I did everything described in the recipe up to the second part of step 3 (so I didn't bake it all together yet, just the stovetop part. I let it cool down a bit then transfered to a dutch oven i can store in the fridge overnight--tomorrow I'll put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes so it all heats up & comes together, &gets crispy on top). <br />
Homa O. November 22, 2017
I would like to make this recipe but concerned about roasting the vegetables and apples all together. Won't they roast at different rates?
Lynn R. November 21, 2017
I want to try this in a slow cooker. Any suggestions?
Jennifer J. October 20, 2017
Nila O. September 18, 2017
Don't try it! There are so many steps, it took me all afternoon and it was terrible!
Mel Y. October 10, 2017
Agreed, flavors didn't combine well for me. Not worth repeating.
allekas November 25, 2016
I want to share my make-ahead story in the hope that others will share theirs. The dish delivers on flavor in a big way with an almost divine balance between comfort and sophistication, but the cost of stove-top and oven real estate on a busy Thanksgiving is high. I tried to roast, sautee, and mix everything except the vegetable broth the night before. I wanted to preserve some of the crispness of the toasted bread and didn't think that would happen if it sat in broth all night or cooked all the way thought then reheated. On the day of, I brought it to room temperature (90 minutes), then finished it off with the broth - which it absorbed nicely - and popped it in the oven. It was good - the flavor balance really does carry it - and the toasted bits did keep some nice chew, but it just wasn't much to look at. Any other experiences with cooking it all the way through, then reheating the next day? It was a great dish and I'll definitely make it again day-of - just trying to improve on an already good thing. Thanks!
lweib November 22, 2018
I always do the sautee and the oven bake at home, mix all with broth, and put in the fridge overnight. Then day-of it just needs its 30 min in the oven. Usually it hitches a ride with the green bean casserole or sweet potatoes. It looks like this is almost the same as you did, except I mixed with broth the night before instead of day-of. There's not a huge amount of broth really, so it wasn't sitting in liquid. More like the bread is just-moist. Then in the final all-together bake, everything finishes cooking, bread on top gets crisp. I think the overnight broth time actually helps the flavor, because the bread tastes super-infused and savory. Every time!
Sa November 24, 2016
We make this every year and it is a big hit. As a Thanksgiving side, it can easily feed 10-12 people.
Änneken October 16, 2016
One word: WOW!!! I made it the first time around Thanksgiving last year and because it was so incredibly delicious I continued making it throughout the year. I find the flavors so well balanced and complex that I find it satisfying enough to be a meal of its own. If you have friends that need convincing that vegan cuisines shines with flavor, serve them this.
Alec December 26, 2015
This is the most delicious stuffing recipe I've ever tasted!! Served it at our large family Christmas dinner and everyone insisted on having the recipe. They fought over who got to take the small amount of leftovers home! I followed the recipe exactly. I used sourdough bread that was fresh, so I baked it in the oven a bit so it dried out before using it. Fantastic!
John December 21, 2015
I love all the ingredients and also the vegetables. It is so healthy.
barbara S. December 14, 2015
Disappointed that there is no nutritional value.
Alissa A. November 20, 2017
There are apps you can use to calculate it before going through with it. Try Lose it! app.
Chef D. November 27, 2015
Taylor S. November 27, 2015
Ah amazing! I used a mixture of dried bread cubes, fresh light seeded rye bread, and fresh oatmeal sandwich rolls which turned out complementary and nice. Overall, the flavors are wonderful together and roasting the vegetables/apple in advance makes the flavors pop. This tastes just as traditional and delicious as turkey stuffing, if not better.
Lara W. November 25, 2015
Does anyone know if it's ok if I don dry out the gluten free bread? Will this affect the dish or should I just wait and make it first thing in the morning?
Sheri November 26, 2015
I didn't dry out my bread last year - I lightly toasted it and it worked fine. Making again today :)
kerstin November 25, 2015
can you use fresh cranberries? and if so should i use more or less?
Renee November 23, 2015
I made this last year for our family dinner and it was a HUGE hit! This delicious and colorful dish made a beautiful presentation on my Thanksgiving Day table.
Elotess R. January 8, 2015
Awesome flavors! I omitted the cranberry, only added half of a Granny Smith instead of a Gala, and added mushroom for something a little less sweet. I also cut the bread in half.
Ann December 20, 2014
Can this be made ahead of time and frozen?<br />
Marina C. November 19, 2014
Loved this! Omitted cranberries and apples. Put with cranberry sauce on side. Added more garlic to celery/onion mixture and sautéed herbs with celery/onions. Used only 3 pieces of Ezekiel bread. 10 pieces seems like way too bread - might be just us. Definite keeper - even when not Thanksgiving!
Thao March 6, 2014
I made this for a pre-Thanksgiving celebration and it turned out deliciously. My friend who does not like brussels sprouts had a second helping. And his girlfriend bugged me for the recipe for days until I e-mailed her the link. I picked up butternut squash from the farmer's market this weekend because I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make this again :) Guess what's for dinner tonight!?
kerstin December 24, 2013
i love this stuffing!!! it has become a staple for every family gathering. even the carnivores in my family love it
DaniMama December 21, 2013
Fantastic! Only stuffing I've ever liked. Omitted the cranberries and the nuts. Used very crusty sourdough baguette. Will definitely be making this again and again!!
shari December 14, 2013
this recipes sounds incredible and i am planning to make it for xmas eve. what does everyone think about swapping out the bread for quinoa? and if so, how much quinoa do you think i should use?
Rachel K. December 11, 2013
Does anyone know if this can be made and reheated in a crockpot? Trying to make it for a holiday work potluck and there isn't an oven....
Wouter December 7, 2013
This is a great stuffing. The combination of roasted vegetables is great. Best stuffing I have had in ages, and will make this a turkey day standard.
Anna Z. November 30, 2013
This was my favorite dish! I used the recommended gluten-free bread (only 6 slices), dried it for 2 days as it's usually pretty moist. Followed the rest of the recipe exactly except subbed turkey broth for the veg.
Gail F. November 30, 2013
I made it today,I like it but I was wondering how sweet potatoes would taste also as a sub for the butternut squash
LizCo77 November 29, 2013
This turned out brilliantly! I made it for Thanksgiving, and all of my guests were amazed. They truly could not stop talking about how good it was. Thank you!
Dianecpa November 29, 2013
Perfect make ahead dish!<br />
AnM November 28, 2013
I added yellow beets and they cooked through with everything else. Just cut them up smaller than other root veggies. You can definitely get away with cooking it the night before and reheating.
silverspringcat November 28, 2013
I added cubed baby turnips and next time will use corn bread and brown separately in pan and this was out of this world delicious! It was my main dish for Thanksgiving
Kay C. November 27, 2013
We had an early thanksgiving dinner this week and to save time making this dish I skipped the roasting and just put all ingredients into a casserole. >>> DO NOT SKIP ROASTING<<<< The flavor was totally missing and bland. Leftovers are now being put into a shallow pan and roasted before eating them....Won't make that mistake again!
lifeatthecircle October 21, 2014
So good to know! I would have totally done this. Thanks for sharing!
laurie November 26, 2013
What size dish do you cook this in? 9x13? 8x8?<br />
Gail D. December 15, 2013
Laurie - I used my 9x13 inch dish. I think an 8x8 would perhaps be too small. Enjoy.
Bridget November 26, 2013
I'm wondering if I could get away with making this 24-20 hours before eating and then reheat before serving. Any suggestions? Thoughts? New to the vegan community and cooking in general!
AntoniaJames November 26, 2013
This was identified as a make-ahead dish. I, for one, am skeptical about roasting Brussels sprouts that far in advance, as in my experience, they lose a lot of their appeal over time. They don't actually lose their luster, in my opinion. I find them rather unpleasant. That said, I'm preparing all of the other ingredients ahead of time (I already have, except for most of the bread), and plan to roast the Brussels sprouts separately at high heat -- or actually, I'm more likely to pan roast, using the "Stuck Brussels Sprouts" recipe (though I'll brine instead of blanch, as noted in that recipe -- prior to putting the whole thing together and roasting on Thanksgiving morning. I'll undercook the Brussels sprouts because I know they'll cook further in the oven in the casserole. To my mind, there are few things more unpleasant than overcooked Brussels sprouts. <br /><br />I'd be interested in the experiences of others who've made this, as to whether any have made it well in advance. It would be helpful if the Food52 test kitchen would weigh in on their actual experience in making this ahead.<br /><br />I tend to be somewhat particular about certain things, and roasted veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. just don't appeal to me after they've been out of the oven for more than a few hours! ;o)
Kay C. November 27, 2013
Bridget, Yes, you can make it a day or two before, and just like so many other dishes it will even taste better !
Elise November 25, 2013
This came out delicious -- substituted homemade polenta for the cornbread to keep it gluten-free :)
realfoods November 19, 2013
I made this stuffing for Thanksgiving last year and it was a MAJOR hit with the whole family. Since then, I've made it two other times, and plan to make it again for both of my Thanksgiving meals this year. A+ recipe.
amielp November 19, 2013
I have two vegan daughters and we made this during a Sunday afternoon "cooking lesson" and it was a big hit. Prior comment about non-vegan bread isn't quite right. Plenty of bread sold has no dairy. I bought a crusty loaf that I could slice myself since regular sliced bread has a hard time standing up to the liquid. Leaving overnight is a big help. But unless you have an enormous pan I don't see how you can brown the bread with the onions and celery. Just not enough space in the pan for 10 slices of bread :) Going to try to brown in a separate skillet next time. Also cooking veggies till done is a bit vague. Make sure brussel sprouts are cut side down and we cooked for about 25 mintues. as I'm reading I just saw that the oven was to be reduced to 350! we didn't but that helped the bread become less soggy. I can't fault the taste because it was terrific but fresh sage, thyme and rosemary is a bit of a headache. I might try some dried spices next time since I paid for fresh herbs which I'm sure will get tossed. This would make a great Thanksgiving side dish. Thanks for the recipe!
ChefM December 8, 2013
Lots of stores carry a thanksgiving or turkey blend of fresh herbs which usually have sage, rosemary and parsley in the package and often thyme as well. So, for this recipe you might need to buy only one package of fresh herbs if you can find the turkey blend package.
amielp March 29, 2014
good idea chefM thanks<br />
ChefJune November 19, 2013
Dear me, this would make a fabulous vegetarian entree for Thanksgiving!
Sklyon November 14, 2013
Can this go in a turkey?
Donna November 13, 2013
I love all of these ingredients; they are some of my favorite foods! I really look forward to trying this recipe. It seems like a great component to a wonderful Autumn-y, comfort food feast!!!<br />
Artur H. November 8, 2013
Nice recipe.<br />Do you serve it a starter or the main dish ?<br />http://31ef2033.dotests.com
MaineRed November 8, 2013
I added mushrooms and doubled the herbs. Also, the measurement for the bread is vague: just make sure you have the same amount of bread as you do other ingredients and cut everything to be the same size. Also, using butter makes it way better :)
AntoniaJames November 17, 2013
Thanks, MaineRed for the tips! I like these modifications. ;o)
AntoniaJames November 7, 2013
This looks so tasty. Wow. ;o)
Kay C. November 1, 2013
Used fennel bulb instead of celery, oatmeal instead of any bread. Was fantastic, each bite had a different complimentary flavor.... I can't wait to try the leftovers tomorrow night This will be added to my holiday meals from now on!
Bree November 24, 2013
How much oatmeal did you use? I like that idea :)
Kay C. November 27, 2013
not much the first time, just a 1/4 cup to see if it worked, the second time I did a full cup. Am going to try some other grains next time<br />
laurah October 24, 2013
How is this raw vegan when you heat the oven to 300 degrees?
Jamie October 21, 2013
Do you think this can be prepared in advance and then baked right before serving? I'm thinking of going through steps 1 and 2 the night before, then traveling with it and doing step 3 right before serving. Thanks, looks delicious!
JadeTree November 5, 2013
I have the same question! I figured I would do exactly as you suggest - I might let the vegetable sit out a bit to get some chill off before I mix with the bread and broth before baking.
AntoniaJames November 7, 2013
You should ask the Hotline this question. I'd worry that the Brussels sprouts would not hold up well. They tend to get a bit sad as time passes. I love the recipe, though! ;o)
SuzChef November 26, 2013
I did step 2 in the morning, then steps 1 and 3 right before dinner.. it was divine!
AntoniaJames November 26, 2013
That's what I'm planning to do, except that I pre-roasted the squash and apple last night. Seeing that it only needs to be roasted for 20 minutes, I'll get it to room temperature and then pop it into the oven right before we eat (after pan-roasting the Brusslies). Thanks for weighing in, SuzChef! ;o)
Christina October 20, 2013
Great vegetarian recipe, but unless you're using vegan bread, the recipe isn't vegan. Most bread isn't vegan.
AntoniaJames November 7, 2013
Artisanal breads are typically made with flour, water, salt and yeast, and sometimes a bit of olive oil. It shouldn't be too hard to get something that works for this. ;o)
[email protected] December 31, 2012
Fantastic recipe. I love that it brings together so many of my favorite foods in one dish. The leftovers were heavenly.
C'estVrai61 December 22, 2012
Finally! A stuffing my best cooking and eating friend and I can agree on. We've been "at it" on this topic for 15+ holidays! Wish we had known of you years ago. Thanks SO much. Can't wait to make this one!!
Whats4Dinner November 15, 2012
I'm doing a trial run of vegan sides this weekend, this included. This will be my first Thanksgiving as a vegan and of course we have omnivorous guests coming, so I'll make the spatchcocked turkey and vegan sides :-)
susan G. November 15, 2012
I could eat that all the time, anytime.
Muse November 15, 2012
What a fabulous alternative to meat-laden stuffing...Bravo!