Classic Homemade Stuffing
This Classic Homemade Stuffing is a must for your Thanksgiving feast! It is an easy and fuss-free dish made of bread cubes with buttered herbs and veggies soaked in a savory homemade stock. A holiday side dish that you wouldn’t want to miss!
Ok, time to fess up! Raise your hand if you look forward to the sides as much, or even more so than the mains. Admit it, when it comes to rationing your Thanksgiving dinner plate, side dishes make more than 50% of the cut! I mean, who could resist a hefty scoop of Sweet Potato Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Sauce, Mac and Cheese, Roasted Baby Potatoes, and of course- STUFFING. I know I can’t!
A Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish
I am all for trying out new recipes to add to my holiday table, but when it comes to stuffing, I like sticking with a classic. New dishes might make your spread more exciting and interesting, but there should always be something in it that brings back warm nostalgic memories! And traditional baked bread stuffing never goes out of style! This stuffing recipe might not be made inside a turkey, but it goes great on the side of Apple Cider-Glazed Roasted Turkey, Lamb Wellington, or Herb Citrus Butter Roasted Turkey.
What Bread to Use?
Bread stuffing might be a traditional dish, but the type of bread to use can vary depending on one’s preference. You can use any kind of sturdy bread that does not dissolve when soaked with the stock. Some prefer using sourdough for its tangy taste, while others opt for French or Italian loaves, baguettes, challah, or brioche. You can keep it simple by using thick white bread, too.
How to Dry Your Bread?
Stale, dry days-old bread might not be as appealing when making a sandwich, but it is ideal for this recipe. Buy them at least 2 days before making your stuffing. And leave them out to dry. In case you forgot, which can happen with the chaos the holiday brings, you can place them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they dry up.
What Can I Use Aside from Bread?
You can try making this using cornbread, biscuits, or naan. Other alternatives are rice or grains like wild rice, quinoa, or even oatmeal.
This is one of those holiday side dishes where you do not need to splurge to get it right. It is made of simple pantry and fridge staples but makes the best-tasting stuffing you can even make!
⦁ Dry bread cubes- you can buy these pre-packed or make your own using days-old bread of your choice.
⦁Vegetables- I used celery and onion. You can use both the celery leaves and stalk chopped into small pieces.
⦁Homemade turkey stock- this is where the majority of the flavor comes in. That is why I prefer using my own from-scratch stock. If you are using store-bought ones, make sure they are top quality.
⦁Unsalted butter- this gives the stuffing a more decadent taste! I like using unsalted to make sure I can control how much salt goes into it.
⦁Fresh sage or Poultry seasoning- fresh sage gives the stuffing an earthy flavor with a minty and peppery taste. You can also use poultry seasoning mix, which is mainly made of dried sage and thyme.
⦁Salt and Black pepper- to taste.
⦁If you like your stuffing on the meaty side, you can add chopped sausages, chorizo, pancetta, prosciutto, or leftover meats such as chicken and pork.
⦁Aside from onions and celery, you can also add mushroom slices.
⦁If you are looking for more elaborate stuffing to try, check out my Cornbread Stuffing with Salami or Bacon, Apple, and Fennel Naan Stuffing recipes.
How to Make Classic Homemade Stuffing
What I love about this recipe is how quickly I can make it, giving me plenty of time to prepare my other dishes. All you have to do is saute the veggies, then toss them on a baking sheet with the dry bread cubes and bake.
⦁Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
⦁Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
1.Saute the veggies—Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter until melted, then saute the chopped celery and onion—season with salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes or until the vegetables have softened, then remove from heat. Add the fresh sage or poultry seasoning and mix.
2.Assemble. Place the dry bread cubes in a mixing bowl, then pour the buttery veggie mixture all over them. Toss to combine them, and pour in the turkey stock. Use just enough to moisten the bread cubes without making them soggy. Gently toss to coat all the bread cubes evenly.
3.Bake. Place the moist stuffing into the prepared pan, then cover it in foil and bake for about 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Garnish with fresh sage on top.
Tips for Making the Stuffing
⦁Make sure to use stale, dry bread, or you will end up with soggy stuffing. If your bread is still moist after a few days of drying out, cut them into cubes and toast them in the oven until they are dried through.
⦁Add the right amount of liquid. Putting too little will make it tough and bland, but too much will make it soggy and unappetizing. Use just enough to moisten the bread cubes. Add it in batches until you get it just right!
⦁The baking time depends on the amount of bread you are using.
⦁I like using a metal baking sheet instead of a casserole to get a crispier stuffing.
Make Ahead and Storing Notes
This is one of those holiday side dishes that you can make ahead of time. You can prepare the stuffing 2 days ahead of time and bake it a day before or on Thanksgiving morning. Baked stuffing can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Classic Homemade Stuffing
- 1 1/2 cups Celery, chopped
- 1 cup Yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup Unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Choppped fresh sage or 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 12 cups Dry bread cubes (about 1-inch cubes)
- 1 1/4 cups Homemade turkey stock or chicken stock
- Kosher salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet preheated to medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once melted add in the celery, onion, kosher salt and pepper. Cook the veggies until softened for about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh sage.
- In a large bowl place the bread cubes. Add the onion mixture and toss to combine. Next, add in enough stock to moisten the bread cubes. Gently toss.
- Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the stuffing into the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Garish with fresh sage on top.