This easy Vegetarian Za'atar Pomegranate Stuffing makes the most delicious Thanksgiving side dish! Make ahead and freezing instructions included.
Stuffing is one of my all time faaaaavorite foods.
Why? Because it's BREAD! Moist, flavorful, herby bread. I never met a bread I didn't like. I mean love. And there's even cauliflower stuffing!
I come from a family of [carb] lovers. My dad raised me on linguine with clam sauce and chocolate soufflé and grits. Like, the instant kind from the bag prepared with salt and butter. The best. Oh, and popovers! Really plain but really amazing popovers. Who else's dad made them popovers?!
My mom raised me on french toast and popcorn and banana bread and apple cake. She always had multiple kinds of bread in the house, from rustic cranberry walnut bread to fresh challah, honey wheat bagels, and pita bread. She'd buy Italian chocolate topped cookies from Alesci's bakery on a weekly basis.
She'd bring me hot rigatoni with marinara sauce to school for lunch. When I got off the bus, she would offer me fruit or cottage cheese or whole grain crackers but if I was craving pizza, she'd make me a pizza bagel. Super mom, right?
I grew up in a family that celebrated food in the best, most "normal" way. We had a jar full of dark chocolate bars next to the stone ground peanut butter. We had organic tortilla chips and Cheerios and Frosted Flakes on occasion. My parents made meatloaf, chicken paprikash, chic
ken and broccoli, zucchini kugel, flank steak fajitas, spaghetti and meatballs, grilled salmon, and chili for dinner. I remember my mom's brownies with walnuts, apple cake, cream cheese cookies, and banana bread for dessert. We were so lucky.
There was no negativity and zero fear when it came to food. And carbs. My favorite food group!
This Vegetarian Pomegranate Za'atar Stuffing recipe is home and family and love. It smells like Thanksgiving and reminds me of Israel. I remember racing down the stairs on Thanksgiving Day, so excited to help my dad cook the green beans with caramelized onions and almonds.
The smell of onions and garlic simmering in olive oil takes me back to being seven years old every time. Our family always hosted the best Thanksgiving meals, and I'll never forget them.
Mom and dad, thank you for raising me with a strong appreciation for food, culture, human rights, empathy, and giving back. The older I get, the more I realize how similar we are in so many ways.
Whatever you're grateful for this season, old Thanksgiving memories or new ones, I hope you're surrounded by joy this holiday season and that this Vegetarian Pomegranate Za'atar Stuffing makes you feel cozy and loved!
For more Thanksgiving recipes, check out some of my most loved holiday recipes!
- Spinach Mushroom & Herb Stuffing
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars with Pecan Cookie Crust
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cranberry Orange Sauce
This easy Vegetarian Za'atar Pomegranate Stuffing makes the most delicious Thanksgiving side dish! See notes for make ahead and freezing instructions.
- 1 lb loaf day-old french bread, cubed
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided (or butter)
- 2 tbsp za'atar
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 2 large eggs (can omit if vegan)
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch or 3 qt baking dish. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until mushrooms are nice and browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bread bowl.
- In same skillet, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add onion and celery plus a pinch of salt. Sauté until tender, about 12 minutes.
- Add za'atar, rosemary, and parsley and cook for another minute. Stir in the pomegranate and transfer to bread bowl.
- In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together broth, eggs, tahini, salt, and pepper. Pour into bread bowl, tossing to combine. If using dried bread cubes, add another ½ cup broth. Spoon mixture into baking dish.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of za'atar.
STORAGE: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
TO MAKE AHEAD: You can prepare this the day before and store unbaked in the fridge, tightly covered. If you want it more advance than that, I would recommend baking and freezing it.
TO FREEZE: Prepare the stuffing, bake it, then freeze the cooled, covered stuffing. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake before serving per the recipe.