Delicious chestnut and herb vegan stuffing balls that are perfect with any roast dinner but especially for Christmas.
There’s something about the combination of chestnuts and the taste of sage that just says Christmas to me.
If you love chestnuts and sage too then why not give these chestnut and herb vegan stuffing balls a try? They are perfect to enjoy with your Christmas dinner or with a roast at any time of year.
Why make vegan stuffing balls?
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy stuffing as much as everyone else. I’ve always liked to serve stuffing with my roast dinners - especially for Christmas.
And while in the past I used to go to a stuffing packet mix as my default I’ve recently discovered how much better homemade stuffing is.
Not only is it ridiculously easy to make it also tastes about a gazillion times better than the packet stuff (no pun intended).
What ingredients do you need to make chestnut and sage stuffing?
For full ingredients list, quantities and instructions see recipe card at the end of this post.
Chia or flax seeds
To help bind the stuffing balls we need to make a vegan egg replacer using chia or flax seeds. Flax seeds are also known as linseeds. Scroll down to find out how to make a chia egg.
To mix with your chia seeds to make your egg replacer.
For frying your onions.
A good onion is the base of so many delicious dishes and this one is no exception.
You can use ready made breadcrumbs or make your own - see below for more information.
A standard tin of chickpeas adds some protein to these stuffing balls.
Chestnuts are the star ingredient here - they add an incredible taste.
Fresh sage leaves, or dried sage
For its wonderful flavour.
Not essential but perfectly festive and adds a splash of colour and a lovely sweetness.
Salt and pepper
How to make a chia egg
A chia egg is made up of simply ground chia seeds mixed with cold water. It forms a gloopy paste that has similar binding properties to a beaten egg, hence the name “chia egg”.
To make your chia egg
- First you will need to grind your chia seeds. As a guide use 1 tablespoon of chia seeds per “egg”. For this recipe you will need 2 tablespoons. I usually grind a larger quantity of chia seeds in one go (using my blender) and store them in an airtight container for several weeks.
- Once your chia seeds have been ground mix them with cold water - for every 1 tablespoon of chia seeds use 3 tablespoons of water.
- You can also use flax seeds (linseeds). I have found that I get better results using 2 tablespoons of water with flax seeds per every 1 tablespoon ground flax. Flax seeds can often be bought pre-ground.
How to make breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are easy to buy ready made but making your own is easy and a good way of avoiding food waste.
While you can make them by grating slices of stale bread, I prefer to make mine in the food processor. It's a good use for those dried crusts of bread that no-one wants to eat at the end of the packet. If your bread isn’t very stale you can lightly toast it first.
Break into pieces then pulse in the food processor until broken down into breadcrumbs. Store in an airtight container. Breadcrumbs can also be stored in the freezer.
Do you need any special equipment?
You will need a food processor for this recipe.
Can stuffing balls be prepared in advance?
Definitely. These vegan stuffing balls are a great recipe to prepare in advance, particularly on a big occasion like Christmas Day when you’ll have a lot of other jobs to do. Prepare up to two days before and store in the fridge overnight before cooking.
They can be cooked in advance too and reheated but for best results cook them just before you’re ready to eat them.
Can these be frozen?
Yes you can freeze these stuffing balls either cooked or uncooked.
To freeze them uncooked follow the recipe below up to stage 4 and then freeze on a shallow tray for one hour before transferring to your freezer container.
If freezing when cooked, first allow them to cool completely then freeze on a shallow tray for an hour before transferring to a freezer bag or box (to stop them sticking together).
Either way, be sure to label them with what they are and the date to avoid confusion in the future when you’ve forgotten what they are.
When you're ready to eat cook in a hot oven for 15 minutes (frozen cooked ones) or 30 minutes (frozen uncooked) or until piping hot and turning golden brown.
Ideal for Christmas dinner
These chestnut and sage stuffing balls are ideal for your Christmas dinner. They go perfectly with all the trimmings and the inclusion of chestnut and sage gives them a lovely festive flavour.
How to make chestnut and sage vegan stuffing balls
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Please do not reproduce this recipe without permission.
Chestnut and sage vegan stuffing balls
- Food processor
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds or flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 50 g breadcrumbs
- 400 g tin of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 180 g bag cooked chestnuts crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 50 g dried cranberries optional
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until soft, stirring often. This will take 10-15 minutes.
- Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until broken down. Add the cooked onion, the breadcrumbs, the chestnuts and the herbs and pulse briefly to combine. Season with a little salt and black pepper.
- If using stir through the cranberries* and use your hands to roll into balls. You may want to lightly oil your hands first to stop the mixture sticking.
- Place on your prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Press the cranberries into the balls so they don’t burn while cooking.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide.
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