Fig and chestnut stuffing

This year will be my second vegetarian Christmas, and I’m pretty excited! I’ve been researching lots of recipes so make my plate as hearty as any meat-eater’s. I know that for many, the stuffing is one of the best parts of the festive meal, but it is something I don’t remember having last year. For me, I always want my stuffing to be full of chestnuts as they’re just so delicious. My favourite stuffing that I’ve every had also included dried figs, which I wanted to recreate in a plant-based alternative. In planning out my Christmas meal this year, I have noticed a lot of repetition in ingredients, which is fine to a certain degree, but not when your plate becomes 90% lentils! I’m making a mushroom wellington this year, so wanted to avoid them in my stuffing, and switch up my legumes too. Instead, this stuffing uses chickpeas, which I chose due to their dense texture and subtle taste.  I used parsley, but feel free to use your favourite herbs -try sage, rosemary or perhaps thyme depending on your preference!

I used coconut aminos, which taste similar to soy sauce, but have a milder Unami flavour and are lower in sodium, which works beautifully for this recipe. You can purchase them from some health food shops and supermarkets.

Fig and chestnut stuffing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Christmas
Serves: 6
  • 1 medium leek, chopped and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
  • 100g dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 150g pre-cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 50g breadcrumbs (or blend up rolled oats)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Sauté the leeks for five minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further two.
  3. Next, stir in the parsley, figs, chestnuts, breadcrumbs and chickpeas, and cook for 10 minutes until piping hot.
  4. Add the aminos or soy sauce, then season to taste.
  5. Either serve immediately; cool, and freeze for later; or decant into a baking dish and cook alongside your Christmas main in the oven. I'd recommend 30-40 minutes to allow the stuffing to go crispy, but it will be quite forgiving in both time and temperature.
I would also recommend scattering in some dried cranberry to your fig and chestnut stuffing for a burst of tart flavour. For more Christmas recipes, gift ideas and yoga tips, click on the Christmas tag.