A tasty mixture of sage and onion, stuffing got its name because it’s commonly ‘stuffed’ up a dead bird’s backside. Nice.
Of course, you don’t need to stuff your stuffing anywhere, you can serve stuffing balls on the side of any roast dinner.
If you’d like to enjoy your stuffing with a nut roast or mushroom wellington, you’ll probably be wondering whether stuffing is suitable for vegans and vegetarians or not.
In this guide, I’ll show you what to look out for when it comes to vegan stuffing so that you can enjoy a cruelty-free Sunday dinner or Christmas lunch.
While you’re here, you may also want to know the answer to these common vegan Christmas questions…
Can vegans and vegetarians eat stuffing?
Vegans and vegetarians can usually eat boxed sage and onion stuffing mix as this rarely contains any animal ingredients. However, some stuffing does contain meat, milk or eggs and so it’s important to always check the ingredients when choosing stuffing if you’re a vegan or vegetarian.
Which brands of boxed stuffing are vegan?
PAXO stuffing is suitable for vegans and is labelled as vegan on the box. It’s made with flour, onion, vegetable oils, salt, sage, parsley, raising agents and barley malt extract.
PAXO stuffing does contain palm oil, a substance that some vegans choose to avoid as unsustainable palm oil is linked with deforestation and the loss of animal habitats. However, the palm oil that’s used in PAXO is certified as sustainable, so this isn’t an issue.
Aunt Bessie’s frozen stuffing balls are vegan by ingredient and are labelled as suitable for vegetarians. While there are no animal products in Aunt Bessie’s stuffing, they are not officially certified as suitable for vegans.
Aunt Bessie’s stuffing balls contain palm oil. The manufacturer, Birds Eye, sources 90% of its palm oil sustainably, but there is room for improvement on this front.
Mrs Crimbles stuffing mix is vegan by ingredient and labelled as vegetarian-friendly. The stuffing is made in a factory that handles milk and eggs, so there is a chance of cross-contamination. It is, however, gluten-free as it is made with rice and chickpea flour, rather than wheat flour. It’s also free from palm oil.
Supermarket own brands
Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons own-brand sage and onion stuffing mixes are all suitable for vegans and are labelled as vegan on the box. They do all contain a small amount of palm oil which may or may not be sustainably sourced.
Animal Products in Stuffing
Does stuffing normally have meat in it?
Traditionally, stuffing is made with minced meat, giblets, suet or chicken broth before being stuffed inside the body cavity of animals. However, nowadays, stuffing is often made of plant-based ingredients like flour, onion, sage, parsley and vegetable oil.
Can stuffing be made without eggs?
Homemade stuffing recipes often call for eggs to bind the ingredients together and create a fluffy texture. However, it’s easy to make stuffing without eggs, by simply using olive oil or vegan butter or margarine.
Does stuffing contain dairy?
Stuffing rarely contains dairy. However, if you have a severe allergy you should check the box as it’s sometimes made in the same factory as milk products. Some people may choose to add butter when making a homemade stuffing recipe.
Homemade stuffing can be made with all sorts of animal ingredients, so it may not be suitable for vegans or vegetarians. However, when it comes to boxed stuffing mix and frozen stuffing balls, these are usually vegan-friendly.
If you’re a super strict vegan, you’ll want to choose a stuffing mix like PAXO which is labelled as ‘suitable for vegans’ or Asda’s own brand which is certified by The Vegan Society. However, if you’re happy with all plant-based ingredients and don’t require your food to be made in a dedicated milk-free factory, then most vegetarian sage and onion stuffing brands are also vegan-friendly.
Suggested read: Is food that ‘may contain milk’ vegan?