This homemade stuffing is a family recipe that will be your go to stuffing recipe for all your holiday meals and can be baked separately in a casserole dish or stuffed in the turkey.
Everyone needs an easy stuffing recipe. Stuffing in general is easy to make. You can make hundreds of variations to change the taste to accompany various dishes or occasions, and make it more difficult or time consuming, but a basic stuffing is easy. And even though you may not spend hours nursing it to perfection, it’s still delicious.
As a kid, I always knew when my mom was planning on making stuffing because there would be a bowl of bread sitting on the counter. Since stuffing is made from stale bread, she would let it sit out, open to the air for a day or two. My mom’s recipe is traditionally considered “dressing“, as she baked it separately from the turkey, in a Pyrex dish. But when you put it in the bird to bake, it’s called “stuffing”. Here, I’ll share with you the steps to prepare it both ways.
What Kind Of Bread Do You Use For Stuffing?
Bread is the primary ingredient, so it’s important that you choose a bread that you like. Plain white bread will get the job done, but you may want to consider buying higher quality and thicker cut bread for your holiday dish. Breads we have used include Orowheat Potato, White, Oatnut, and Buttermilk. My moms recipe includes two kinds of bread – yes, you can mix and match! She uses 3/4 of a loaf of potato or country top white and 3/4 of a loaf of multigrain, oatnut, or honey wheat. She doesn’t use the end pieces!
Make Your Bread Stale
To ensure that your bread can properly absorb the other ingredients, it should be stale. Get a large bowl or baking sheet and your bread.
If you are particular about the size and shape of your stuffing, you can cut the slices into one-inch cubes and lay them on a baking sheet to dry out overnight.
We are not always so precise. For our recipe, we tear the bread into pieces, drop it in the bowl, and let it sit for a night or two.
If you forget to leave it out overnight, you can pop your bread in the oven, spread out on a baking sheet. Bake at approximately 250F for 30 minutes. You can toss the cubes or flip the slices every 10 minutes.
Note: You don’t HAVE to dry out your bread, but the consistency of the end product will be a little gooier. If you want to eliminate the task of drying out your bread, you can pick up a boxed stuffing like Mrs. Cubbisons Traditional Stuffing. This one has larger cubes than some of the other boxes and is only lightly seasoned so you can dress it up to your own taste.
- Onion (yellow or white)
- Salt & Pepper
- Chicken Broth
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)
Just a quick reminder since it’s not uncommon for the terms ‘stuffing‘ and ‘dressing‘ to be used interchangeably. Dressing is cooked outside of a turkey, while stuffing is cooked inside.
How To Make Dressing
The first step is of course, to dry out your bread (see Make Your Bread Stale, above).
If you’re baking it separate from the bird: You’ll want to use a large baking dish or casserole dish that measures 9×9 or larger, preferably one with a lid. We traditionally use the old Pyrex 2-quart casserole dish with the glass lid.
Grease the dish with butter.
Follow these steps for baking method in a casserole dish:
In a small bowl, beat 1 egg and set aside.
Coarsely chop your onions and celery. In a large pan on the stove, melt 1 stick of butter and sauté the celery and onions over medium heat until softened – about 15 minutes. Pour the onion mixture into the bowl over the bread and mix it all together until the bread is coated. Then, heat chicken broth in the same pan just until warm and pour it over the bread mixture. Add the beaten egg, salt, pepper, and dried sage, and mix together with the stuffing. Add the mixture to your casserole dish and pop it in the oven, covered. If you don’t have a lid, you can use foil. Bake covered for about 45 minutes, then uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
How To Make Stuffing
If baking in the bird, instead of adding the prepared bread mixture to a baking dish, stuff it into the turkey. Remember to check temperatures to ensure that the stuffing is cooked through before serving. Internal temperature in the middle of the stuffing should be 165F.
Can You Make Stuffing Ahead Of Time?
Stuffing (or dressing) is best made when you plan to serve it. If you mix the wet and dry ingredients together and let it sit, the end product will be much soggier.
Variations & Additions
This dressing is delicious on it’s own, but here are a few things to add if you want to change it up.
- Dried cranberries
- Cooked and crumbled chorizo, bacon, or sausage
- Chopped pecans or walnuts
- Chopped apples or pears
- Other herbs like thyme, rosemary, or marjoram
How To Reheat Stuffing
Stuffing is easy to reheat individual servings in the microwave. Just add your portion to a microwavable bowl and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. For larger servings, spread leftover stuffing evenly into a baking dish and heat at 350F until warmed through.
Try our Wild Mushroom Stuffing, too!
Easy Stuffing Recipe
This homemade stuffing is a family recipe. This will be your go to stuffing recipe for all of your holiday meals and can be baked separately in a casserole dish or stuffed in the turkey.
- Onion (yellow or white)
- Salt & Pepper
- Chicken Broth
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Place dried bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside
- Chop onion and celery and set aside
- Add one stick of butter (1/2 cup) to a large skillet over medium high heat
- Add onion and celery and sauté about 10 to 15 minutes or until soft
- Turn off heat and pour onion and celery mixture into the large bowl over the top of the bread
- Put pan back on stove (no need to wipe it out), and add 16 ounces of chicken broth. Warm the chicken broth over medium heat just until slightly bubbling
- Pour chicken broth over the stuffing mixture
- Stir the stuffing mixture and the broth until all bread is well coated
- Add 1 beaten egg, 1 teaspoon of dried sage, and salt and pepper to taste
- Mix well to combine ingredients
- Pour stuffing into baking dish and bake at 350F for 45 minutes with the lid on
- Remove lid and bake an additional 15 minutes to brown the top
If you plan on stuffing the turkey instead, skip the baking dish, and instead of putting the stuffing mixture into the baking dish, add it to the turkey cavity.
Note that the baking time for your stuffed turkey is different that a turkey that is not stuffed. Be sure to check temperatures to ensure that your stuffing is cooked all the way through. The middle of the stuffing should be 165F to be cooked through.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 195mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.
Try these other delicious holiday recipes!
- The Best Juicy Turkey Recipe
- Homemade Turkey Gravy
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Green Bean Casserole With Blue Cheese
- Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes
- Creamed Corn
- Creamed Onions
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