You’re going to love this traditional Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. It has the perfect combination of buttery, warm bread plus hearty herbs and aromatics. It more than deserves a place at your holiday table.
Stuffing might be my favorite holiday side dish, and this might just be my go-to stuffing recipe. It is top-notch. It’s made up of bread cubes tossed with sautéed onions, celery, and garlic and saturated with flavorful chicken stock and savory herbs that scream “warm and cozy!”.
Why You’ll Love This Stuffing Recipe
- Traditional comfort. There’s just something about Thanksgiving stuffing that fills my heart with warm, nostalgic memories of cozy evenings with loved ones. With rich butter and fresh, savory herbs, this stuffing hits all the right vibes.
- Versatile. This is a great baseline recipe. Feel free to experiment with different kinds of bread, herbs, and creative add-ins.
- Easy (and so much better than the boxed stuff). Most of us have reached for boxed stuffing mix at least once in our lives. It’s quick, easy, and hassle-free. But so is this recipe. It only takes about 20 minutes of hands-on kitchen time and is SO worth it.
Ingredients For Traditional Stuffing
- Bread – I like using French baguette, country bread, ciabatta, or even cornbread. You can also buy a pound (about 10 cups) of unseasoned dried bread cubes and use that.
- Unsalted butter
- Veggies – Yellow onions, celery, and garlic.
- Herbs – Fresh sage, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and fresh parsley. Dried herbs would also do the trick but fresh is best if you can find them.
- Salt and pepper
- Low sodium chicken broth – Vegetable broth will also work.
How to Make Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Dry the bread. If your bread is not dry/stale already, arrange the cubes on baking sheets and bake at 200˚F for 20 minutes.
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter.
- Saute the veggies. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the onions and celery. Saute until softened. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add favor. Stir in sage, thyme, and rosemary and saute until fragrant. Stir in the parsley, salt, and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Put it all together. Toss together the contents of the skillet with the bread cubes, whisk together the broth and eggs, and stir them into the bread cubes to coat.
- Bake. Transfer the stuffing to the baking dish, smooth it out, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes.
- Rest. Remove the stuffing from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
- Serve. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Dry bread cubes. It is essential that you start with dried bread cubes. If they are not dry, you will find yourself with a soggy, mushy mess.
- Be gentle. When mixing everything together, you want to make sure the broth mixture coats the bread cubes thoroughly but you don’t want to mix so much that the bread starts to break apart and/or become mushy.
- Don’t overcook. No one wants dry stuffing. Bake just until the stuffing is set and the top is lightly golden brown.
- Be safe. Do not bake the stuffing inside the turkey. It likely won’t get hot enough to kill off all the bacteria from the turkey drippings. If you want to throw caution to the wind and do it anyway, check out the notes in the recipe card below.
- Have fun with bread. I have used all different kinds of bread for this recipe. Some of my favorites are ciabatta, a nice French baguette, and/or cornbread (or a combination). Feeling adventurous? Make your own. My No Knead Skillet Olive Bread would be an awesome choice.
- Add-ins. Feel free to add cooked, crumbled sausage, walnuts, cranberries, and/or mushrooms. Consider this recipe a blank canvas for your experimentation.
Serve this traditional stuffing as a side at your next holiday feast. I have been loving it with my Oven Roasted Turkey and this Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Glazed Ham. Don’t limit yourself to making this heartwarming recipe only during the holidays, though. Make it any time you need comfort food and serve it with my Roasted Chicken or Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breasts and a nice green salad.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- To store. Once the stuffing has cooled completely, cover the baking dish tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap or seal the leftovers in an airtight container. You can store leftover stuffing in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat. Allow the stuffing to thaw in the fridge (if applicable) before baking, covered, at 350°F for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.
More Holiday Side Dishes
Load up your Thanksgiving table with my classic stuffing and some (or all) of these other incredible holiday sides.
For the Bread Cubes
Before you begin, make sure the bread is dry/stale. If bread isn’t dry, place cut-up bread cubes on baking sheets and bake at 200˚F for 20 minutes.
For the Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish and set aside.
Place dried bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Stir in onions and celery; cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Stir in sage, thyme, and rosemary; cook for about a minute or until fragrant. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
Add the sautéed onions mixture to the bread cubes and stir to combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the broth and eggs. Then, pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture, and mix until everything is completely coated.
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish; smooth it out and cover with foil.
Bake for 45 minutes; remove foil and continue to bake for 15 more minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let stand 5 to 8 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
Note that for this recipe, we’re using more butter than in the recipe above. Also, we will not use eggs and chicken broth for this method.
- Melt 10 tablespoons butter in a large skillet; add celery and onions and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
- Stir in garlic and fresh herbs and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Stir in dry bread cubes and gently toss with a spoon until all bread cubes are evenly coated. You might want to do this part in a large mixing bowl because you’ll need more space.
- Stuff a 10 to 12-pound raw turkey with the stuffing, then bake.
Tips And Variations
- Use dry bread cubes to avoid soggy stuffing.
- Mix carefully – ensure the bread is well coated, but avoid over-mixing to prevent mushiness.
- Avoid overbaking. You want moist stuffing, not dry. Bake until it’s just set and lightly golden on top.
- For safety, don’t cook the stuffing inside the turkey due to bacteria concerns. If you choose to do so, please take a look at the recipe notes for guidance.
- Experiment with different breads like ciabatta, French baguette, or cornbread. Even homemade bread can be a great choice.
- Customize with add-ins like cooked sausage, walnuts, cranberries, or mushrooms. Treat the recipe as a base for your culinary creativity.
Calories: 276 kcal | Carbohydrates: 33 g | Protein: 10 g | Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Cholesterol: 63 mg | Sodium: 430 mg | Potassium: 307 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 5 g | Vitamin A: 626 IU | Vitamin C: 7 mg | Calcium: 117 mg | Iron: 3 mg
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.