The Best Stuffing Recipe (Classic Thanksgiving Dish) (2024)

Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing — Nothing frilly or trendy in this recipe. It’s a classic, easy, homemade stuffing that everyone loves!! Simple ingredients with stellar results! It’ll be your new go-to recipe!!

The Best Stuffing Recipe (Classic Thanksgiving Dish) (1)

Table of Contents

  • No-Frills Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
  • Homemade Stuffing Ingredients
  • How to Make Thanksgiving Stuffing From Scratch
  • Tips for Making the BEST Stuffing
  • Recipe FAQs
  • Recipe Variations to Try
  • Traditional Homemade Stuffing Recipe
  • More Easy Thanksgiving Recipes:

No-Frills Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

This post and recipe is a repost from 2014 and has been a huge hit with my readers ever since.

People love serving this traditional stuffing at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and I even receive emails at other times during the year from people who make it and no matter the season, it’s always a hit.

My family are stuffing fanatics for classic and traditional stuffings. No pears, dried fruit and nuts, wild mushrooms, or even bacon or sausage need apply. Think: old-fashioned stuffing made with day-old bread, onions, celery, butter, and herbs.

The stuffing is lightly crusted and golden on top, soft underneath, full of rich buttery flavor, and well-seasoned from the herbs.

As the stuffing bakes, my house smells exactly like Thanksgiving and like all the Thanksgivings I remember at my mom’s and grandma’s houses growing up smelled. Warm, cozy, comforting, and happy. This is the BEST stuffing recipe ever!

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Homemade Stuffing Ingredients

Like I’ve already mentioned, this easy Thanksgiving dressing recipe calls for simple, straightforward ingredients. Classic, but delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need to make the best stuffing recipe:

  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • Butter
  • Broth
  • Bread
  • Eggs

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

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How to Make Thanksgiving Stuffing From Scratch

This classic Thanksgiving stuffing is easy and straightforward to make, even if you’ve never made homemade stuffing before.Here’s a quick overview of the recipe:

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet, then sauté the onion and celery until softened.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the dried bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs, and broth.
  3. Add the eggs last, mixed in with a little broth for easier distribution.
  4. Turn the stuffing into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and dot the top with butter. Bake until done.
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Tips for Making the BEST Stuffing

To save time on the day of, bake and dry out the bread the night before and leave uncovered on the counter until the morning you’re ready to make the traditional stuffing.

Note that the saltiness level of low-sodium chicken broth varies, and so do personal preferences, so salt the dish to taste to create the best stuffing recipe.

If you need to keep the homemade stuffing warm before serving it, loosely cover it with foil and stick it in a 200F oven.

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Recipe FAQs

What’s the Difference Between Stuffing vs Dressing?

Technically this is a dressing recipe because it’s not stuffed inside the bird, but in my family we still call it stuffing rather than dressing. Our age old mis-naming tradition.

What’s the Best Bread for Stuffing?

I used a loaf (baguette) of day-old white French bread from my grocery store’s bakery that I cubed, dried in the oven for 45 minutes, and allowed it to sit out overnight.

To save time on the big day, I dry it out the night before but you can do it that morning if time permits.You want to begin with really dry bread because otherwise it’ll turn to mush.

Can Stuffing Be Prepared in Advance?

I’ve never pre-made or pre-assembled this classic stuffing recipe, but I think it’d be fine to assemble the night before and bake the day after. Check the stuffing just before baking it. If the bread seems dry at all, drizzle a little extra broth over top. You do NOT want to end up with dry stuffing!

Should I Cover the Stuffing with Foil before baking?

Yes, this classic stuffing recipe tells you to cover the stuffing with foil and bake it for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 40 minutes.

How Long Does Thanksgiving Stuffing Last?

Stuffing is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently as desired.

Can You Freeze Stuffing?

Yes! Once baked, let the Thanksgiving stuffing cool completely before storing in a freezer bag. You can reheat the stuffing from frozen in a 350F oven (don’t let it thaw first, otherwise the bread will turn to mush).

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Recipe Variations to Try

If you love this traditional Thanksgiving dressing recipe, you’ll also love the following recipe variations! Here are some more stuffing recipes I’ve created over the years:

  • Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing
  • Stovetop Stuffing
  • Cornbread Stuffing
  • Pull-Apart Stuffing Ring

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4.49 from 1094 votes

Traditional Homemade Stuffing

By Averie Sunshine

Nothing frilly or trendy. Classic, amazing, easy, homemade stuffing that everyone loves!! Simple ingredients with stellar results! It'll be your new go-to recipe!!

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours hours 15 minutes minutes

Additional Time: 5 minutes minutes

Total Time: 2 hours hours 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound day-old white French bread, diced into 1/2-inch cubes and dried
  • 1 extra-large, about 2 1/2 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 ½ cups celery, diced small
  • cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely minced
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, sticks discarded, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, sticks discarded, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250F. Place cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until dried out, about 45 minutes. You must begin with very dry bread or it’ll turn to mush. Tip – To save time on the day of, bake and dry out the bread the night before and leave uncovered on the counter until the morning you’re ready to make the stuffing.

  • When you’re ready to make the stuffing, transfer bread to a very large bowl; set aside.

  • Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9×13-inch pan or 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

  • To a large skillet, add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt.

  • Add the onions, celery, and cook until vegetables have softened and are just beginning to lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Transfer vegetables to bowl with bread.

  • Add the parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, 1 1/4 cups chicken broth, and toss well to combine; set aside. Note about salt – the saltiness level of low-sodium chicken broth varies, and so do personal preferences, so salt to taste.

  • To a small bowl, add the remaining 1 1/4 cups chicken broth, 2 eggs, and whisk to combine. Pour mixture over bread and toss well to combine. Turn mixture out into prepared baking dish.

  • Dice the remaining 1/4 cup (half of 1 stick) butter into 8 to 10 pieces and evenly dot the butter over the top of the stuffing.

  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is as lightly golden browned as desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

Storage: Stuffing is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently as desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 210kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 688mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

©averiecooks.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

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Originally published November 5, 2018 and republished with updated text November 20, 2020.

The Best Stuffing Recipe (Classic Thanksgiving Dish) (2024)

FAQs

How to make stuffing for turkey Gordon Ramsay? ›

Make the stuffing, melt butter in a large frying pan and gently sauté onion and garlic for five minutes until soft. Stir in the herbs for one minute then add breadcrumbs to absorb butter. Mix in zest, pine nuts and seasoning and cook over medium heat for about seven minutes until crumbs start to brown and crisp.

Is stuffing better with or without eggs? ›

It's a matter of preference, but adding a beaten egg to your stuffing mixture acts as a binder and keeps the bread moist.

What is the best bread to use for stuffing? ›

Sourdough, Italian, and white bread are standard choices for stuffing; however, journeying beyond your comfort zone can produce excellent results.

Do you cook stuffing before putting it in the turkey? ›

When you place stuffing inside a turkey, it comes into contact with raw meat and juices that may contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. For optimal food safety, the stuffing must reach a minimum temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any bacteria present.

What can I add to stuffing for more flavor? ›

Fruit, especially dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, figs and apricots can seriously improve a dreary box of stuffing. That bit of sweetness plays beautifully with other flavors on the table. I've found that fresh fruits like apples and pears are stellar as well.

Is it better to stuff the turkey or make the stuffing on the side? ›

If you cook the stuffing outside the turkey, first of all, it's no longer "stuffing" — it's "dressing." Both it and the turkey will cook more reliably, and you can fill the inside of the turkey (loosely) with aromatics if you're going for that Thanksgiving-y turkey-cornucopia look.

Does Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix go bad? ›

You have to UNDERSTAND food safety and what conditions make different foods unsafe to eat. Sometimes expiration dates need to be taken seriously, and sometimes food is safe to eat passed that date. If you mean the kind you buy in the store dry (such a Pepperidge Farm, no, it does not. It will last practically forever.

Why add eggs to turkey stuffing? ›

Broth: Chicken broth keeps the stuffing moist without making it soggy. Eggs: Two lightly beaten eggs help hold the dressing together and add moisture. Water: You can add a few tablespoons of water, if you'd like, to achieve your desired consistency.

Why is my turkey stuffing soggy? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture.

What's the difference between stuffing and dressing a turkey? ›

"Stuffing is cooked in the cavity of the turkey, so the juices soak into the ingredients, making it more flavorful. Dressing gets cooked on its own and needs extra liquid to make it flavorful." So stuffing is cooked inside the bird. Dressing is cooked outside the bird, usually in a casserole dish.

Is it OK to make stuffing a day ahead of time? ›

You can absolutely make stuffing ahead of time. It's a great way to get a jumpstart on Thanksgiving cooking and it frees up much-needed oven space.

What makes stuffing unhealthy? ›

Stuffing is not strictly a healthy food, because it is typically high in calories, fat, sodium, and refined carbohydrates. 1 But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it, All foods can fit into a healthy diet in moderation.

Is it better to make stuffing with fresh or dry bread? ›

The bread is one of the most important ingredients in the stuffing. This is the base; it's what gives the stuffing structure, and it plays a big role in determining the texture. While you can use almost any bread — cornbread, bagels, or even frozen waffles — to make stuffing, it needs to be dried or “staled” first.

What is stuffing usually made of? ›

Stuffing is a seasoned mixture of breadcrumbs, vegetables, and butter that is typically placed inside the cavity of a turkey before roasting. You can also use this recipe as a stuffing recipe for chicken or pork.

What is stuffing mostly made of? ›

Stuffing is a mix of edible ingredients such as herbs, bread and a binder such as egg, traditionally stuffed into a meat cavity before it is cooked. Other ingredients in stuffing might be meat, nuts, butter, chopped vegetables and even fruit or oysters.

What is homemade stuffing made of? ›

Classic stuffing made with bread cubes, seasonings, and held together with chicken stock and eggs. A holiday staple!

What is the difference between turkey stuffing and turkey dressing? ›

"Stuffing is cooked in the cavity of the turkey, so the juices soak into the ingredients, making it more flavorful. Dressing gets cooked on its own and needs extra liquid to make it flavorful." So stuffing is cooked inside the bird. Dressing is cooked outside the bird, usually in a casserole dish.

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