I love these Vegan Sausage Stuffing Balls for Christmas or Thanksgiving Dinner . The holidays are all about sharing delicious creative food and flavours with loved ones, and these sausage stuffing balls made with tempeh really are perfect to share. They're meaty, healthy and full of festive flavours such as sage and chestnuts. While I love a good centrepiece for Christmas dinner, (like our gorgeous Christmas Wreath Pie) what makes it for me are the side dishes.
I came up with these tempeh sausage stuffing balls because I used to love the traditional pork stuffing balls; so this is my vegan meaty festive alternative. They have all the great flavours you would expect in a stuffing ball, as well as the meaty texture brought to you by the tempeh.
If you want to check out more recipes as a gift, you should try Festive Feasts. It's our labour of love, full of the most tantalising vegan Christmas dishes. It's ideal for keeping your Christmas recipes in one place and makes a lovely gift. Available as an ebook or in paperback; get it here.
Tempeh is fermented soya beans that generally comes in the form of a block. It's a great meat replacement due its chewy and firm texture. It's natural, healthy and high in protein. For these tempeh sausage stuffings balls you want to buy it plain. You can buy plain tempeh in supermarkets, healthfood shops and online (sometimes it comes ambient in a jar but generally you'll find it in the fridge section). Better Nature are a brand that's widely available in supermarkets and online.
Tempeh has a slightly sour taste (which I actually love), although with these tempeh sausage stuffings balls it's not that noticeable as there are so many other amazing flavours. You can find tempeh pre-marinated/pre-flavoured for a quick and easy meal. Or you can easily make your own tempeh bacon (which is super easy in the air fryer)
Here are your ingredients for these tempeh sausage stuffings balls:
- Tempeh - see above for details on this great vegan meat replacement, which is high in protein. If you want to find out more about high protein ingredients and recipes, check out our Protein Guide.
- Chestnuts - for that festive nutty flavour! You can also add cranberries if you want, which will just add to the festive feel of this dish. Chestnuts are healthy and high in protein. They come in long-life packets so I always have some in the cupboard (for any time of year).
- Fresh sage - to really create the true Christmas flavour I've added lots of fresh sage (also, because you HAVE to have sage in stuffing!).
- Breadcrumbs - I use actual breadcrumbs from leftover bread. You could use breadcrumbs from a packet instead.
- Plant milk - this recipe just needs a bit of vegan milk to loosen the tempeh in the food processor and allow you to shape the tempeh into stuffing balls.
- Garlic & onions - standard in most of our recipes!
- Salt & pepper - add to taste if you want.
- Olive oil - for greasing your baking tray so they don't stick.
The best thing about these vegan sausage stuffing balls is that they're so easy to make!
- Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor, except the oil.
- Form the mixture into stuffing balls. I usually make between 20 and 25, and they're about 1 inch thick. You can choose to make smaller or larger balls – just remember to cook larger balls for longer, and a bit less for smaller ones.
- Bake in the oven. Flip them halfway through.
3. The stuffing ball mixture should be evenly blended but still a little chunky.
4. Form the stuffing balls into walnut size pieces, brush with a little oil and bake.
TIP: I usually make between 20 and 25 stuffing balls about 1 inch thick. You can choose to make smaller or larger balls – just remember to cook larger balls for longer, and a bit less for smaller ones.
You could mix these stuffing balls by hand, if you chop everything very finely, however they are much easier to make if you have a food processor. I love using my Kenwood processor. It's very old now, but you can find a similar one on Amazon.
🌶 Substitutions & Variations
Some hints and tips on how to update this yummy vegan sausage stuffing ball recipe should you want to!
- Gluten-Free- choose gluten-free oats or gluten-free breadcrumbs in place of ordinary breadcrumbs.
- Soy-Free- There are other types of tempeh not made from soya available- alternatively cooked chickpeas or lentils.
- Herbs- omit the sage and choose parsley, rosemary and thyme to change up the flavour.
- Spicy- A hint of chilli is always nice. Add some chilli powder.
Make up the stuffing ball recipe but leave it in the fridge, uncooked for up to three days. Then just roll into balls and bake.
Alternatively, the baked stuffing balls keep well in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months. They make a great addition to a Christmas sandwich!
We love these with roast potatoes and all the trimmings. Check out my other seasonal recipes below that I think would be perfect to go alongside these Vegan Tempeh Sausage Stuffing balls.
This recipe was developed by Vanessa, one of the original co-founders of this site. Vanessa is now working on her plant based health coaching business, Energise and Thrive Plant Based. She helps people get high energy, great health, and balanced eating with delicious plant-based food.
She’s also brought out her FREE Guide - 5 Steps to Balanced Plant Based Eating which you’re welcome to download. Of course, all the recipes she has created for The Vegan Larder (like this one!) will remain here for you to access.
These are some questions we often get asked about these tempeh sausage stuffing balls.
Yes. You can get tempeh made from other beans besides soy beans. It's generally artisan tempeh makes that do this. I love using Tempt Me Tempeh. Then make sure your other ingredients are soy-free.
If you use gluten-free breadcrumbs, then yes. Always double-check all your ingredients though.
Cook the sausage balls for 10 minutes at 180C in the airfryer.
Vegan Christmas Tempeh 'Sausage' Stuffing Balls
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 400 g (2½ cups) tempeh (broken up into chunks )
- handful fresh sage
- 8 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 65 g (½ cup) cooked chestnuts (chopped)
- 1 small onion (chopped finely)
- 100 g (1 cup) breadcrumbs (use gluten free if desired)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 tablespoon non-dairy milk
- 3 teaspoon olive oil (for greasing)
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 390°F / Gas Mark 5 and lightly oil a baking tray with the olive oil.
- Place all the ingredients (except the oil for greasing) in a processor and pulse. The ingredients should be chopped and mixed up, but not blended. This gives a nice ‘meaty’ texture.
- Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 inch thick. It should make 20-25 balls.
- Place the balls on the baking tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the balls go a lovely brown colour. Flip the balls half way so they are the same colour all over.
- Enjoy as a delicious side for Christmas dinner, covered in gravy!