This classic Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is made from scratch with day-old bread, sautéed onions and celery, fresh herbs, and chicken broth. It’s always a favorite side dish for the holidays. Learn how to make fluffy, flavorful stuffing with this easy step-by-step recipe.
What kind of bread works best for stuffing?
- Look for sturdy breads with a tight crumb like sourdough, French, or Italian bread. Avoid soft sandwich breads which can get too mushy.
Should the bread be cubed or torn into pieces?
- Cubing the bread into even pieces helps the stuffing bake evenly. Feel free to tear some by hand for a rustic look.
How far in advance can I make the stuffing?
- You can prepare it through step 6 up to 2 days in advance. Store covered in the fridge until ready to bake.
Can I use boxed stuffing mix instead?
- Homemade is best, but you can use 3 boxes of stove-top stuffing if needed. Reduce broth to 1 cup and follow box instructions.
What can I add to the stuffing?
- Try dried cranberries, chopped apples, sausage, pecans, or chestnuts for extra flavor and crunch.
- 16 cups cubed bread (day-old sourdough, Texas toast, and multigrain bread)
- 2 cups diced yellow onions (about 1 large onion)
- 2 cups diced celery (about 4 stalks)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
- Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes. You can remove the crusts if desired. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on two baking sheets.
- Bake the bread cubes for 50-60 minutes, stirring halfway through. The bread should be lightly toasted and dried out but not burnt.
- While the bread is baking, dice the onions and celery into small pieces. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and celery and sauté for about 30 minutes until translucent.
- Add the thyme, sage, poultry seasoning and stir to combine. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and let sit.
- Once the bread is toasted, transfer it to a large bowl. Pour the onion-celery mixture and broth over the bread.
- Gently mix together. Add more broth as needed until the bread is moistened but not soggy.
- Season with pepper and salt.
- Transfer the stuffing to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. If preparing ahead, cover and refrigerate at this point.
- Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45-50 minutes until heated through, stirring every 20 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
- Let the bread cubes dry out overnight on a baking sheet for best results. The drier the bread, the more broth it will absorb.
- Use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth to control saltiness. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Sauté the aromatic vegetables over medium-high heat to release their full flavor. Don’t rush this step.
- Add broth gradually and stir gently to evenly moisten without over-saturating the bread.
- Bake the stuffing separately from the turkey to maximize crispy tops and edges. The stuffing bake time may vary.
- For a crunchy top, spray with cooking spray or brush with melted butter before baking.