Loaded with fresh mushrooms, onions, sage, and thyme this homemade mushroom stuffing is deeply flavorful and absolutely delicious. The stuffing is savory and soft in the middle, and perfectly crisp on top. We keep this stuffing vegan and use a rich vegetable broth. We find the stuffing is absolutely delicious this way, but if you prefer, you can use chicken or turkey broth as a substitute. Butter can also be substituted for the olive oil and you can add eggs, which will provide a slightly more dense, custardy texture. See our article above and the notes section below for more about eggs in stuffing.
1 large bakery-style rustic bread loaf, like French bread or sourdough (14 to 16 ounces)
6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil
1 pound (450 grams) white button, cremini, shiitake, or wild mushrooms (or a mixture)
2 cups diced yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 1/2 cups diced celery (3 large celery stalks)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, see note
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176° C).
Cut bread into 1-inch cubes, spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet, and bake, stirring every so often, until the bread is dry and hard on the outside, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the bread bakes, prepare and cook the vegetables. Chop the mushrooms into very small pieces either by hand or by using a food processor. If using a food processor (the quickest method), place half the mushrooms in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until roughly chopped into pieces the size of rice. Transfer to a bowl, and then repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or deep pot over medium heat, and then add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and they are starting to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, sage, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have softened and smell sweet, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper — start with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, taste, and then add from there. Stir in the maple syrup.
Take the pot off of the heat, and then stir in the broth. Taste the mixture once more and check the seasoning. If it needs it, add a pinch more salt. Stir in the bread cubes and half of the parsley. If after the bread is well mixed into the vegetable mixture, it still looks dry, add 1/4 cup more broth or more until the bread looks moist, but stop before there is excess liquid at the bottom of the pot.
Transfer the stuffing mixture to a lightly greased baking dish (use a deep 8-inch x 8-inch square pan, 9-inch by 13-inch dish or similar). Cover with a layer of foil, and then bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the stuffing, and bake another 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp on top. Serve with the remaining parsley scattered on top.