clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Quinoa Stuffing (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This dish has all the flavor of the stuffing you grew up eating, but it’s totally plant-based and gluten-free. It is made with quinoa, mushrooms, celery, onion, fennel, apple, pecans and a classic combination of Thanksgiving stuffing herbs and seasonings.

It is insanely delicious, loaded with nutrients and most importantly: nostalgic. It is satisfying yet light, leaving room in your belly for all the other Thanksgiving dishes!


Units Scale
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (cook in vegetable or no-chicken broth for more flavor if desired instead of water)
  • 3 tablespoons vegan, soy-free butter (you can substitute olive oil)
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt (or more to taste at the end)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste at the end)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5 large celery stalks, ends trimmed, finely diced
  • 1/2 medium fennel bulb, finely diced (stalks, leaves ["fronds"], and tough core pieces removed)
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, stems removed and finely diced
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme, diced
  • Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, diced (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 large sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large sweet red apple, cored and diced (skin left on)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup diced pecans (or walnuts)


  1. Prepare your quinoa (you can do this step a couple days in advance if desired).  Use my stovetop directions or my Instant Pot directions. You will need 1 cup of dry uncooked quinoa for this recipe which yields about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. With either method you can cook the quinoa in water or in vegetable broth (or no-chicken broth) if desired for more flavor.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. When the butter starts to melt add onion, salt and pepper. Stir for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute.  
  3. Add celery, fennel and mushrooms and cook for 10-15 minutes until the celery and fennel soften and the mushrooms release their juices and the juices start to evaporate a bit. Stir frequently throughout this cooking stage.
  4. Stir in the herbs, apple and pecans if using. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked quinoa, stir to combine, and cook for 3 minutes to warm and slightly toast and flavor the quinoa. Taste and add more seasonings if desired. I typically add a bit more salt, butter and herbs at the end. 
  6. Serve immediately or allow to fully cool before storing. You can store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop

Keywords: vegan quinoa stuffing