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Original Recipes for Vegan Sage Dressing and Brown Gravy

A vegetarian/vegan since 1960 at age 14, I have always enjoyed cooking primarily with vegetables and creating non-traditional recipes.

Vegan Sage Dressing

Vegan Sage Dressing

Vegan Sage Dressing

Vegans/vegetarians have no use for the traditional application of dressing (or stuffing), as in dressing or stuffing a turkey. But that unique sage-based dressing flavor need not be left off the veggie table at Thanksgiving.

And you don’t have to wait for November and the Thanksgiving holiday. You can enjoy that flavorful sage dressing for Easter, Memorial Day, or even the Fourth of July. Any old day of the week can become a flavorful holiday with the delicious, comforting flavors of sage dressing and brown gravy.

If you are accustomed to cooking with traditional, non-vegan/non-vegetarian foods, the veggie version of dressing is simple: leave out all animal flesh, eggs, or dairy milk for the vegan and the animal flesh for the lacto-ovo vegetarian.

Add moisture with olive oil, vegetable broth, and soy sauce. The traditional flavor of sage dressing remains because of the sage, onion, and celery. Easy to make and delicious every time!

These original recipes are the result of my experimentation with vegan cooking.

Buon Appetito!

Recipe for Vegan Sage Dressing



  • 4 regular garlic gloves, or 1 elephant clove, minced
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cups bread, cubed, (home baked is best)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce


  1. Heat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, stir together both dry and wet ingredients.
  5. Pour mixture into baking dish, cover with inverted cookie sheet, and bake in 375˚F oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove cookie sheet and toast under broiler for 2-3 minutes until a nice brown topping is formed.
Vegan Sage Dressing Bars

Vegan Sage Dressing Bars

Mini Baking Sheet

Mini Baking Sheet

Vegan Sage Dressing Bars

Flavorful and zesty, these bars are easy to make and fun!

Sometimes our family does a non-traditional Thanksgiving/Christmas meal with pizza or enchiladas. But even while enjoying the non-traditional, we also like to keep a bit of the traditional.

That's how I came up with the idea of "sage dressing appetizers," which resulted in "dressing bars." Keeps that Thanksgiving sage-based flavor everyone loves!

Recipe for Vegan Sage Dressing Bars


  • 4 medium-sized slices of bread, cubed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 large celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground sage


  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place cubed bread and milk in large mixing bowl. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
  3. Place coconut oil and butter in medium skillet. Heat until very hot, then sauté celery and onion in oil until soft.
  4. Allow celery and onion to cool.
  5. Mix bread and milk until mixture becomes pliable. Add sautéed celery and onion, salt, pepper, and sage, and mix well.
  6. Place mixture in multi-slotted, mini-loaf pan, filling each pan to top.
  7. Bake in 400°F oven for 30-40 minutes, until each loaf looks solid and inserted knife comes out clean.
Vegan Brown Gravy

Vegan Brown Gravy

Vegan Brown Gravy

Likely dinner gravy on sage dressing was discovered while smearing some of that yummy gravy over mashed potatoes. Those Thanksgiving diners might have noticed how yummy the dressing sitting next to the potatoes tasted after the gravy accidentally spilled over into the dressing.

Regardless of how it happened, gravy on dressing has become a must (at least at my house). Besides everyone has noticed that dressing can become a little dry as it sits waiting for all its accompanying dishes to make their way onto the table.

This brown gravy, which I also called "dinner" gravy to distinguish it from the gravy we pour over biscuits for "breakfast," offers a delicious enhancement to the dressing and, of course, it doesn't hurt a thing to pour some over those mashed potatoes or veggie turkey substitutes as well.

The recipe easily converts to a simple vegetarian version by replacing vegan butter with regular dairy butter.

Recipe for Vegan Brown Gravy


  • ½ cup vegan butter plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour plus 2 tbsp unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 3¾ cups water plus ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast


  1. Melt ½ cup vegan butter in medium saucier over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper to a paste.
  3. Whisk in water/soy sauce mixture until well blended.
  4. Cook and stir until mixture begins to bubble.
  5. Reduce heat, continue cooking, and stirring for 4 minutes.
  6. Add nutritional yeast, continue to stir for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 2 tbsp butter.
Corn Bread

Corn Bread

The Corn Bread Alternative

While the sage dressing and dressing bar recipes call for regular bread, you can substitute corn bread in both recipes. Just use the following recipe for corn bread, and substitute it for the bread in the dressing recipes, then follow the rest of the instructions as given:

Old-Fashioned Corn Bread


  • 2 tbsp oil (I use light olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp butter (Earth Balance for vegan version)
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs (omit or use egg substitute for vegan version)
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk (use almond milk with tsp of lemon juice for vegan version)


  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place oil and butter in 10-inch cast iron skillet and place skillet in hot oven.
  3. Mix together cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, egg and buttermilk (or vegan substitutes).
  4. When skillet is hot, pour oil into cornmeal mixture, stir until well combined and pour mixture into skillet; return skillet to oven.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.

You also have the option of mixing breads, in any proportion you desire. All versions of this dish are hearty and satisfying. The special sage flavor enlivens any version you choose to make, whether vegan or vegetarian, or with regular bread or corn bread. You may decide that sage is truly the wisest spice on your rack!

Use of Terms

I consider myself a vegetarian—the lacto-ovo variety—because I do occasionally include eggs and dairy in my diet. I have experimented with a strict vegan diet, and my daily diet remains about 90% vegan still. Based on my own dietary experience, I employ the following terms:

A vegan diet includes the following: vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains, raw sugar not processed through animal bones, maple syrup. No eggs, no dairy, no honey. Meat analogs such as Big Franks may be included in a vegan diet. No animal flesh, including fish.

A vegetarian diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, raw sugar not processed through animal bones, maple syrup, eggs, dairy, and honey. Meat analogs such as MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips may be included in the vegetarian diet. No animal flesh, including fish and chicken.

Sometimes I use the term "veggie" to refer to my recipes or some part of a recipe, if observing the difference between vegan and vegetarian is not necessary.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Linda Sue Grimes