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!!
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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!
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:
- Fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme)
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
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:
- Melt the butter in a skillet, then sauté the onion and celery until softened.
- In a large bowl, stir together the dried bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs, and broth.
- Add the eggs last, mixed in with a little broth for easier distribution.
- Turn the stuffing into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and dot the top with butter. Bake until done.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Stuffing is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently as desired.
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).
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:
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- 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 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.
Storage: Stuffing is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently as desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 688mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g
More Easy Thanksgiving Recipes:
Easy Foolproof Roasted Turkey — Learn how to make juicy, flavorful herb-roasted turkey that’s not dry! This turkey has all the flavor that grandma’s used to have, minus the hassle.
The Best Mashed Potatoes — Buttery, creamy, PERFECT mashed potatoes that rival your favorite restaurant’s version but EASY and ready in 45 minutes!!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Butter Pecan Crumble Topping — The holiday classic just got even better because of the amazing topping! A buttery, brown sugary, crunch that’s irresistible! Easy and you can pre-assemble to save time!
The Best Green Bean Casserole — No processed soups nor canned ingredients and instead made with fresh green beans, mushrooms, red onions, and a cheesy crispy breadcrumb topping that will have the whole family going back for seconds!
Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce — Make your own cranberry sauce with amazing depth of flavor in 30 minutes! The best cranberry sauce you will EVER have, guaranteed!
Cheesy Funeral Potatoes — This casserole is creamy, CHEESY, and topped with crunchy Corn Flakes! It’s an easy side dish that feeds a crowd, so it’s perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter – An amazingly easy dinner roll recipe that you don’t even have to knead!
Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey-Cinnamon Dip — The honey glaze and the creamy cinnamon dip make these potatoes irresistible!
Parmesan and Herb Roasted Potatoes — Easiest potatoes ever and packed with so much flavor! Olive oil, herbs, and everything is better with cheese! A family favorite that everyone loves!
Originally published November 5, 2018 and republished with updated text November 20, 2020.