Dairy Free Apple Walnut Stuffing

Upgrade your holiday dinner with this incredible dairy free apple walnut stuffing! Crisp on top and perfectly soft underneath, this dreamy side dish is loaded with flavor. Cozy, comforting and easy to make, it’s a MUST for thanksgiving and christmas. Vegetarian with a prep ahead option included.

A white baking dish filled with Dairy Free Apple Walnut Stuffing.

At our house, no thanksgiving (or holiday) dinner is complete without a big ol’ tray of freshly baked stuffing. 

Between the crisp top and soft layer underneath, it’s a family favorite for sure.

And today’s dairy free apple walnut stuffing?

Hands down the BEST version I’ve ever made. It’s a bold statement, I know.

But hear me out.

Loaded up with fresh apples, crunchy walnuts, fresh herbs and a touch of dried cranberries, it’s classic yet different enough to make it interesting. 

And with the perfect texture and hint of sweetness from the fruit, it’s some serious turkey day carb love.

{PS – Looking for a no frills version? Then try my classic thanksgiving stuffing – also dairy free and delicious!}

Chopped veggies, fruit & bread in small bowls.

How To Make Dairy Free Stuffing 

So, let’s talk about how this dreamy side goes down:

Prepare the filling. First up, we’ll start by cooking some onion, celery and apple in a skillet, before stirring in walnuts, cranberries, fresh herbs and spices.

Toss everything together. Next, we’ll add the filling to a large bowl, along with some bread cubes, broth and eggs, and give it all a good stir.

Bake until crisp. Finally, we’ll spread the mixture in a baking dish and pop in the oven for about 1 hour, until crunchy on top and soft underneath.

The hardest part? Giving it a few minutes to cool before diving on in. 

Unbaked Apple Walnut Stuffing in a glass mixing bowl.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Stale bread is key for achieving the perfect stuffing texture. So make sure that your bread is at least one day old (although a few days is better!). 
  2. You can absolutely use dairy free butter in place of the olive oil. 
  3. Now, as far as the apples, I like sweet and crisp varieties in this stuffing. BUT any kind will work – just try to use something a bit firmer so it doesn’t get too mushy in the final product. You could also use pears (or even a combo of the two). All delicious options. 
  4. And last but certainly not least, raw pecans can be used instead of the raw walnuts. 

Dairy Free Stuffing in a baking dish with plates to the side.

Prep Ahead Option

If you want to prep this dish in advance, here’s my go-to method:

  • Cube up the bread and store in a baggie or container on the counter. 
  • Cook the veggies / apple and stir in the nuts, herbs and spices as directed. Let the mixture cool to room temperature then store in a container in the fridge. 
  • When ready to enjoy, assemble the dish and bake off in the oven. 

Makes it much easier on turkey day!

How To Store

Once baked, let the stuffing cool to room temperature. It will keep covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Bonus tip? If you want to repurpose the leftovers – try serving for breakfast topped with one or two fried eggs. SO GOOD. 

A white plate filled with Non Dairy Stuffing.

Additional Dairy Free Side Dish Recipes:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

A white baking dish filled with Dairy Free Apple Walnut Stuffing.

Dairy Free Apple Walnut Stuffing

Yield: about 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Upgrade your holiday dinner with this incredible dairy free apple walnut stuffing! Crisp on top and perfectly soft underneath, this dreamy side dish is loaded with flavor. Cozy, comforting and easy to make.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 4 to 5 medium ribs) 
  • 3 cups chopped apple (about 3 medium apples)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, chopped   
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from about 1 large orange)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 ounces stale crusty bread, cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes*
  • 1 ¼ cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, plus extra if needed
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick or olive oil spray. Set aside.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the celery and apple and continue to cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until everything is tender. 
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts, cranberries, orange zest, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Carefully transfer the mixture to a large bowl along with the bread cubes, then toss gently to combine.
  4. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the broth and eggs. Pour into the bowl with the bread and toss until everything is evenly coated. If all the bread cubes are not moist, pour in a little bit of extra broth, about a tablespoon or so at a time.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. 
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for about 25 to 30 additional minutes, until the top layer is golden and crisp.
  7. Let sit for about 10 minutes then serve!


*Go for a nice and firm (i.e. crusty) bread here. I personally love to use sourdough but I’ve also tried this with whole wheat and multigrain and they all work well. So just choose whatever loaf looks best. 

Additionally, be sure to use bread that is dairy free and is at least one day old.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 522mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 9g

Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.