Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing

My family are stuffing fanatics. Of all the Thanksgiving sides, it’s the most popular by far.

They were in stuffing heaven with this classic version and literally stuffed themselves.

Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing - 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!!

Technically it’s dressing because it’s not stuffed inside the bird, but we still call it stuffing rather than dressing. Our age old mis-naming tradition.

My family likes stuffing that’s classic and traditional. No sausage and pear, dried fruit and nut, wild mushrooms, or even bacon or sausage need apply. Think old-fashioned.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing - 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!!

The stuffing is made with onions, celery, parsley, rosemary, sage, butter, broth, and bread. Sometimes simple really is really the best.

I used a loaf 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.

Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing - 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!!

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

As the stuffing baked, my house smelled exactly like Thanksgiving and like all the Thanksgivings I remember at my mom’s and grandma’s houses growing up. Warm, cozy, comforting, and happy.

Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing - 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!!

Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing

My family are stuffing fanatics and of all the Thanksgiving sides, it’s the most popular by far. They were in stuffing (technically dressing) heaven with this classic, traditional, old-fashioned version and literally stuffed themselves. The stuffing is made with onions, celery, herbs, butter, broth, and bread. Simple really is the best. To save time on the big day, I dry the bread out the night before but you can do it that morning if time permits. Begin with really dry bread or it’ll turn to mush. The stuffing is lightly crusted on top, soft underneath, full of rich buttery flavor, and well-seasoned from the herbs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) 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 1/2 cups celery, diced small
  • 2/3 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely minced
  • 1/4 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 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

  1. 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 uncovered until the morning you’re ready to make the stuffing.
  2. When you’re ready to make the stuffing, transfer bread to a very large bowl; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9×13-inch pan or 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  4. To a large skillet, add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. Stuffing is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently as desired.
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58 comments on “Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing”

  1. I have always preferred stuffing from a pan rather than from the inside of a turkey because I love the golden brown top. I can almost smell this and it looks wonderful…you just can’t go wrong with real butter and fresh herbs!

  2. Is there really anything like a good traditional stuffing?! This looks so good girl, I’d prefer to have it in my hands right now just for some quick taste testing! SOOOO DELICIOUS!

  3. I never loved dressing/stuffing/whatever until a few years ago, and I am totally fine with Stove top.   I like the herb bag and I add celery and *maybe* some mushrooms, but I don’t like or need or want all that fancy stuff.  The stuffing itself should shine alone, or you’re trying to hard and failing.

    But, I clearly am in the minority opinion there.

  4. Yum! I love stuffing! It’s always my favorite part of the meal!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  5. I’m with you. I like the traditional Thanksgiving foods–I only get them once a year so it’s not like I get bored with them. And dressing/stuffing (we get both on T-day) is my absolute favorite part of the meal. We could dispense with all the other food, just eat that, and I’d be one happy camper.

    • I only get them once a year so it’s not like I get bored with them. = So true! It’s like trying to tweak with grandma’s beloved holiday cookie recipe, and since they’re such a RARE treat, enjoy the tried-and-true!

  6. This is absolutely gorgeous!! I love stuffing, and we call it that too. :)

  7. Your photography on this stuffing is absolutely killing it, Averie!

  8. Can you use dried herbs instead of fresh?

    • I haven’t tried it with dried although it will probably be fine. Although many times the amounts of dried vs. fresh herbs vary in recipes, usually using less of dried, but I can’t comment for sure because I’ve only made it with fresh.

  9. Have you ever tried this in a crock pot? I want to try this recipe, but I’m out of oven space for Thanksgiving! Most crock pot recipes say cook for 3-4 hours on low, so do you think your recipe could work like that? I know it wouldn’t get *as* golden brown on top :/ 

    • I haven’t tried it in a crockpot and if you do so, do it the day before just in case it doesn’t work out! If it does work out, great. Just reheat it all on the day-of, but leave yourself an option at least. LMK how it goes!

  10. Hi there! I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and everyone LOVED it– thank you so much for sharing it! I was wondering if this could possibly be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake it. And if so, would you recommend letting it sit out on the counter for 30 minutes or so before baking? Thank you!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

      I haven’t tried assembling it ahead of time and storing the fridge. Refrigerating bread can sometimes leave it soggy and odd so that’s my only hesitation but if you were willing to take a gamble on it, i.e. not preparing this for the fanciest of holiday parties and company, and just making it for something more casual, I say go for it. LMK how it works!

  11. Mine is still soggy.. how do I get it to the right texture? I followed the recipe exactly as it is written

  12. Could you leave out the celery in this dish? We have a celery allergy over here, but this looks delish! Would you add in apples or something instead?

  13. How do you think this would work with flax eggs if we have n egg allergy to work with?

  14. We love stuffing, but our family is trying to eat only sprouted breads. Do you think i could cube up a loaf of my sprouted sliced sandwich bread? The cubes would be smaller and require less baking time, I’m sure. just wondering if you’ve ever tried that route? It would take less time than baking a sprouted loaf only to cube it.

    • I think that sprouted bread would be sort of soggy and strange. Stuffing that we all know and love is made with white crusty type of French breads or similar; I worry that sprouted will not give you the texture or flavor you’re used to.

  15. Is there anything I can use in place of the egg? Thanks!

  16. Many of you are talking about how much you enjoy stuffing, that’s great, but has anyone actually tried this stuffing, and if so, can you review how it came out. Thanks

  17. Could I replace the dried french bread with croutons instead? I’m hosting thanksgiving for the first time ever and am trying to cut corners where I can. Thank you!

    • The issue with that would be that they’re already seasoned and salted, so it’s hard to know what seasonings to skip or reduce, and how much to reduce the salt by. It’s a good idea in theory but you’d have to be confident with the reductions/omissions, knowing what and where to do so.

  18. I’m thinking of making this for Thanksgiving this year. Please advise when you say dried out bread. I will be baking bread day before. Do I  dice up bread and leave it to dry out prior to baking, or just leave loaf out for 24 hours, then dice.? How many French bread loaves do you use? 
    Thanks in advance. 

    • Dice and leave it out to dry. You need it stale/dry on all sides, not just on the outside of a loaf. Also I highly suggest using a loaf of storebought crusty French bread or baguette. The texture is perfect for stuffing. You don’t want something too soft (like many homemade bread) because the stuffing will turn to mush.

  19. I want to make this and get it right – by  French bread do you mean baguette?  If not, what would this loaf look like?  I need a visual!  Lol!

  20. Hi Averie! It will be my first time to make stuffing and I’m following your recipe. Do you mind telling me how do I dry in the oven the bread? At what temperature should it be “dryinging” out in the oven to remove all the moisture in the bread? Thanks in advance!

  21. I can’t wait to try this! Have you tried this with vegetable broth instead of chicken?

  22. I have three cats. Leaving things uncovered on the counter never goes over very well! LOL

  23. What would the measurement of the spices be if i used dry instead of fresh?
    THANKS!

  24. Do you think I could cut this recipe in half? We are having a very small Thanksgiving this year and 8-10 servings is just way too much for us.

  25. I was just wondering… is says to mix the herbs with half of chicken broth and set aside… but then it doesn’t say what to do with it. I’m guessing you add it to the bread when you add the other half of the chicken broth mixture? Just wanted to make sure

  26. I made this stuffing last year and it was a hit! I am making it again this year and can see this becoming a tradition for me. Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. When doing the spices do you measure before they’re finely chopped or measure after they’re finely chopped?

  28. Recipe looks fabulous! I’m about to prepare it for our Thanksgiving meal today. I don’t see an oven temp for the actual baking part, just the temp for drying out the bread. Going to guess and hope I don’t dry it out! Maybe I missed it somewhere?

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  29. I made this yesterday for Thanksgiving. My local grocery had already dried and portioned a full pound of their own French bread, and sealed it in a bag so I bought that instead of buying baguettes and drying them myself. It saved a lot of time!

    This was my first time making stuffing and it was SO easy. Prepping fresh herbs took the longest, but even that wasn’t bad. I had to use a 3.5 qt dish instead of 3 qts but it actually fit perfectly. This stuffing was a crowd pleaser, and was even opted for over my boyfriend’s grandmother’s stuffing (and she is notoriously the best cook in the family) so this was a huge achievement! I just finished my leftovers and it was as good, if not better than yesterday :) I’ll be making this again for Christmas…and maybe just throughout the year as a regular side dish!

  30. I just made this for our Canadian Thanksgiving. It was a lot more work than my usual recipe but I was excited from the photo. Unfortunately it was quite dry and even with gravy it just didn’t soften up enough. I followed the recipe to the letter. Next time I might just leave the bread out to dry rather than baking prior.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m sorry it didn’t live up to your expectations. Bread can vary so much in it’s texture, dryness, climates vary, ovens vary, etc. and it sounds like given your variables that leaving the bread out rather than baking it would have been sufficient.

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