Food / Side Dishes / Slow Cooker / Vegetarian

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Stuffing


Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

Growing up, Thanksgiving meant spending the day lounging around the house in stretchy pants, puttering around the kitchen to take in the comforting smells of sage and meat, and eating until I hated myself. Post-engorging, I’d dive head first into the couch and fall into a carb coma.

Bliss, my friends. Total bliss.

But times have changed.

Despite the fact that my American husband and my Canadian self get to celebrate the holiday twice, it’s without family these days. We live out of state/out of country, so we visit at Christmas instead—which really isn’t too bad. I mean, let’s be real: it’s one less holiday I have to worry about drinking too much wine and saying something I shouldn’t.

For a few years, I was living a pescetarian lifestyle. That meant a Thanksgiving without the traditional stuffed turkey and the meaty gravy creating a pool of regret in my fluffy mashed potatoes. The solution to this? Vegetarian gravy and this bad ass vegetarian stuffing.

Why call it stuffing if it isn’t being stuffed into a bird? Because it’s going to be stuffed into your face.

The fact that this stuffing is vegetarian isn’t the only thing it has going for it; cooking it in a slow cooker means that you can prep it, set it, and forget it. It’s one less thing to worry about in a sea of things to worry about. Let’s face it: cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be anxiety-inducing. Traditionally, it’s one of the most delicious and anticipated meals of the year. Mucking it up will haunt you. FOREVER. The best thing you can do for yourself is lighten the load where you can.

This stuffing is adapted it from Damn Delicious and it’s foolproof. I threw it together last year for our Friendsgiving feast and it was a hit. You don’t have to be a veg-head to appreciate my plant-based twist, but if you prefer meat in your stuffing, I’d definitely recommend giving her recipe a whirl.



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5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Stuffing

Vegetarians can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without that stuffing going anywhere near that bird. This vegetarian spin is full of flavor and is cooked in a slow cooker — so you can prep it, set it and forget it.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author Killing Thyme


  • 1 package KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls 12-count, cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ribs of celery diced
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves
  • 2 cups vegetable stock + more as needed
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish optional


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Place into oven and bake until slightly golden and crisp, approx. 5-7 minutes. Remove, set aside and cool.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat.
  • Add celery, carrots, leeks, sage and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until tender, approx. 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste and remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the bread mixture, cooked vegetables, dried cranberries, pecan halves, veg stock and melted butter. Mix well to combine.
  • Transfer the bread mixture into a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook, on low heat, for 3-4 hours.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.


TIP: If you love a crispy top to your stuffing, you can transfer the stuffing to a baking dish before serving and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Times may vary based on your oven. This can be done while you carve your turkey.
Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Stuffing | Killing Thyme


  • […] Try leeks in my Vegetarian Slow Cooker Stuffing! […]

  • Aili
    November 24, 2018 at 3:28 am

    5 stars
    Made this for our Thanksgiving dinner since we had a veggie friend join us. Lots of compliments at the dinner table. I would definitely recommend the time in the oven (which we did for 15 minutes) but we did have to travel over an hour so I just didn’t want it to be soggy. It smelled really sweet and I was a little worried but it turned out great. I actually liked it better a few hours later as an after dinner need to still snack more even though I can’t move. So easy to make and I’m enjoying more unusual crock pot recipes.

    • Killing Thyme
      November 25, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Hey Aili! I’m so glad you and your entire table enjoyed this! Yes. The oven time is definitely crucial. I like getting that crispy top, which you just can’t get in the slow cooker.
      And hey, my Thanksgiving motto is “Don’t eat until you’re full; eat until you hate yourself.” Sounds like you did it right ;)

      Thanks for the feedback! <3

  • […] Vegetarian Slow Cooker Stuffing from Killing Thyme […]

  • Justine
    October 17, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    As always, this looks incredible Dana. My Mom makes a crock pot stuffing (which is actually a recipe adapted from a friend of mine) and she’s been on the hunt for something new lately — I’m totally going to send her your way. :) I love crock pot stuffing, it’s so moist and delicious and of course you know I love this plant based spin. Two thumbs up, my friend!

    I hope you and your hubby had a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving in the US! Hopefully you drank too much wine. ;)

    • Killing Thyme
      October 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, Justine! I’d love to hear your Mom’s thoughts if she decides to give it a whirl :)

      I hope you had a great TG, too! We certainly did, and have another one to look forward to soon. Darn, tough times huh? Haha.

      And oh, you know I drank ALL the sangria ;)

  • Amanda
    October 14, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Have you tried adding a bit of celery salt in the dish? Celery Salt + Sage + Thyme is like the holy trinity of Thanksgiving-y savoury spices (for sweet it’s obvs cinnamon+nutmeg+all spice, if you were wondering…)

    I also adore your reason for calling this stuffing despite not being stuffed in a bird, Bravo.

    • Killing Thyme
      October 14, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      I should give the celery salt a whirl. I need to make this again for our Friendsgiving, so maybe I’ll try it then!

      For sweets, is ginger not in there? That surprises me!

      Thanks! Still plenty of stuffing happening :)

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    October 14, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I totally LOVE stuffing…and I DON’T stuff the bird either. I prepare it separate in a pan…the day before. Seriously I could eat just stuffing, in fact I just finished leftover Thanksgiving stuffing for lunch today. Just stuffing!! This recipe sounds delicious.

    • Killing Thyme
      October 14, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks, Gloria! I’m with you. I could just eat an entire plate of stuffing slathered in gravy. I have a bit of leftovers left and have been making trips to the fridge throughout the day quite often.

  • Colleen Milne
    October 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Such a great idea to use the slow cooker for the stuffing, which looks amazing, by the way. I love the cranberries and pecans in there.

    • Killing Thyme
      October 14, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks, Colleen! The cranberries add such a nice burst of tangy-ness. And who can deny the crunch of big pecans? Noms.

  • Julia (@imagelicious)
    October 14, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I love that this stuffing is made in a slow cooker thus saving precious stove and oven space for other foods. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. Addition of craisins and pecans sounds delicious. Will be stuffing my face :)

    • Killing Thyme
      October 14, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks, Julia! I’m also in love with the fact that this is done in the slow cooker. To worry about one less thing really alleviates some stress. I was able to get everything done in time and everything was still hot when served. #Goals

  • Amanda Orlando
    October 14, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I’m all about crock pot cooking and this sounds like a great idea. A friend of mine recently suggested having mulled wine or hot cocoa sitting in a crock pot for entertaining during the winter. Guests could help themselves and it would be warm all day. There are so many wonderful things you can do with one. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Killing Thyme
      October 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks, Amanda! I’m glad you dig the recipe. It really helps out, especially when you have so many other things on the go — mashed potatoes, veggie sides, proteins, etc. We’re actually trying a mulled wine recipe in the slow cooker this weekend — hopefully it’s blog worthy!

  • Jo-Anna
    October 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I agree, it’s stuffing because you stuff it in your face! Ha! This looks like a delicious stuffing recipe, I love that you used Hawaiian rolls (they’re my fave)! I’m looking forward to seeing your recipe for vegetarian gravy…yum!

    • Killing Thyme
      October 14, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks, Jo-Anna! Ugh — I had never experience the beauty that is the King’s Hawaiian roll until I moved here to the US and I’ve gotta say… they really are something else. I’m really excited to post the gravy recipe — I just need to reshoot it. Who knew brown goo would be so hard to stylize and photograph? ;)


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