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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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. 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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