Homemade Stuffing

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No need for a box, this classic Homemade Stuffing recipe is so easy to make!

Dried cubes of bread tossed with sauteed celery and onions, fresh herbs, and broth, then baked until it’s moist and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on top – This Homemade Stuffing recipe is so simple and so good!

For more delicious Thanksgiving side dishes to serve with your homemade stuffing this holiday season, check out these recipes for the best Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Sour Cream Cornbread, Candied Carrots, and Sweet Potato Casserole.

white baking dish with homemade stuffing

Why We Love This Recipe

This classic stuffing recipe is:

  • Easy to make – Saute the veggies, then mix together with the dried bread and broth and bake.
  • Requires simple ingredients – It doesn’t get easier than vegetables and bread, does it? The fresh herbs can easily be swapped for dried herbs, just use half the amount.
  • Can easily be made ahead of time – Prepare and bake up to a day in advance then reheat when you’re ready to serve. Free up your oven for that yummy turkey!

Homemade Stuffing Ingredients

Home-made stuffing is surprisingly easy to make with fresh ingredients and doesn’t even require that many steps.

  • Stale bread cubes – fresh will work, but day-old bread is best. I’ve got tips for how to dry it out a little later in this post.
  • Veggies – Diced onion, Diced celery, Minced garlic.
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chicken broth – Choose a low-sodium variety. This helps to flavor the stuffing. You could also use turkey broth or stock if you’re serving the stuffing with your Thanksgiving Turkey.
  • An egg – Helps to hold the stuffing together.
  • Fresh herbs – Parsley, fresh thyme, and sage. These are great for garnishing, too. Feel free to add other herbs and spices you love, like fresh rosemary or poultry seasoning.

How To Make Homemade Stuffing

It’s really easy to make your own stuffing from scratch, with just a few steps. You can use the recommended fresh herbs or you could replace them with a couple of teaspoons of poultry seasoning. I definitely recommend fresh though if you can.

Prepare the bread. The day before you plan to prepare your stuffing, cut up a loaf of french bread into bite-sized cubes. Lay the bread cubes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet overnight so they can dry out. In a pinch, you can use fresh bread but it can end up a little on the mushy side.

cubes of french bread on a baking sheet.

Preheat the oven. When you’re ready to bake, start by preheating the oven. This is so important for even cooking.

Cook the veggies. Melt some butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and celery and saute them until they are soft and the onions are translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Do this just at the end as adding the garlic too soon can cause it to burn.

collage of images showing steps to make homemade stuffing

Mix everything together. Stir the vegetables, fresh sage and thyme together with the stale bread in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together an egg and some chicken broth, then pour some of it over the bread. Stir until the bread is moist but not mushy and add more of the broth until you’re happy with the moisture of the bread.

baking dish with unbaked stuffing mixture

Bake. Pour the bread mixture into a large baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for about 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes. If you want the top to be a little more golden and crispy, flip on the broiler for the last five minutes or so.

white baking dish with homemade stuffing

Day Old Bread Tip

Check the bakery at your grocery store for a “day old” section. You can often find bread, rolls, and pastries that are almost past their prime, but still good if used right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the stuffing ahead of time?

If you want to make your turkey dressing ahead of time, bake it all the way through, let it cool, then cover tightly and store in the fridge. I don’t recommend letting it sit too long before baking as the bread can become mushy. Reheat in a 350℉ oven, covered with foil, for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.

Do you have to dry out bread for stuffing?

Yes and no. Letting the bread sit out overnight is helpful for adding flavor and texture to your stuffing. It helps control the moisture a bit so you aren’t left with mushy or soggy pieces of bread in the center. However, it isn’t going to ruin your stuffing if you forego this step.

Can I use cook this stuffing inside my turkey?

I typically make my stuffing from scratch in a casserole dish and bake it separately from the turkey. But if you want to stuff your turkey, make sure the stuffing is completely cooled to room temperature or chilled so that the bird won’t sit at an unsafe temperature for too long. Remember that the stuffing needs to be cooked to 165 degrees F because it absorbs the drippings from the turkey.

What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?

Stuffing and dressing are essentially the same things – the difference is in the way they are cooked. Dressing is cooked in a casserole dish to be served with a turkey. Stuffing, though universally used, is actually stuffed inside the cavity of the turkey before it’s cooked. If you want to stuff your bird, cool the stuffing completely first. Once the turkey is cooked, the center of the stuffing must reach 165℉ because the turkey drippings are soaked up.

What is the best bread to make stuffing with?

The type of bread you use is really a matter of taste. Most often I use a one-pound loaf of french bread, but I’ve also used a large sheepherder’s loaf, or a loaf of sourdough. To save on time, you could even use a box of stuffing mix from the grocery store; just discard the seasoning packet.

Why do you put eggs in stuffing?

The egg helps to act as a binder and holds the stuffing together, creating more of a sturdy casserole that just a jumble of bread crumbles.

How wet should stuffing be before baking?

Stuffing should be just moist enough, but not soupy or overly wet. If there is liquid at the bottom of the pan, you’ll want to add more bread to sop that up. Conversely, if the stuffing seems too dry, add more liquid until all of the bread pieces are moist.

Serving Suggestions

Stuffing is a bit underrated in the side dish category if you ask me. We tend to only have stuffing around the holidays, but it’s a great way to switch things up from boring potatoes or rice. Serve it with:

Don’t forget the turkey!

Get the best roast turkey recipe, plus TONS of tips!

bowl of homemade stuffing with two forks

Make Ahead, Storage, and Freezing

Who doesn’t love turkey dinner leftovers? I love to pile turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce all in a bowl and enjoy it for lunch the next day! But if you end up with a lot of leftovers, it can be difficult to finish them all. What’s great about this stuffing recipe is that it freezes beautifully.

Make-Ahead Stuffing: Prepare the recipe as directed, then cover tightly and refrigerate up to 2 days in advance. Remove from the fridge and sit out for 30 minutes before baking.

Refrigerating: Cool completely then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing: Store in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3-4 months.

Reheating: To reheat large portions, bake at 350℉ for 15-20 minutes. Or microwave until heated through.

You can also use the leftovers to make my Turkey and Stuffing Casserole!

101+ Thanksgiving
Side Dishes

Find all the sides you could possibly want for the perfect Thanksgiving menu!

More Essential Thanksgiving Side Dishes

We all know that stuffing is basically a requirement on your Thanksgiving table. It’s a necessary side dish whether you’re making a whole turkey for a crowd or a small Roast Turkey Breast for a few people! Here are a few more of our favorite Thanksgiving sides:

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Homemade Stuffing Recipe

4.55 from 11 votes
Homemade Stuffing has dried bread cubes tossed with celery, onions, fresh herbs and broth, then baked until it's moist and fluffy, and crispy on the outside.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American Classic
Servings 8 servings
Calories 297kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 celery stalks diced (1/2-¾ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 cups 1-inch stale bread cubes (1 large loaf french bread)
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley minced
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves minced
  • 3 teaspoons fresh sage minced

Instructions
 

  • Arrange the bread cubes on a cookie sheet and let them sit out on the counter overnight to dehydrate them.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add bread cubes to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and saute onions and celery until soft and translucent; about 5-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add vegetables and fresh herbs to the bowl with the bread and stir.
  • Whisk egg together with chicken broth, then pour over bread until it’s moist but not soggy. You may not need all of the broth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour bread mixture into a 13×9-inch buttered baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Watch closely once uncovered so the top doesn’t burn.

Notes

Stuffing freezes beautifully. It will last 3-4 months in a freezer container or 3-4 days in the fridge.
To reheat large portions, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Or microwave until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 860mgPotassium: 181mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 703IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I worry about bugs in regards to leaving the bread out, uncovered, overnight. Could I bake it at a low temperature to dry it out?

    1. Hi Courtney, Place the pan in your unheated oven overnight instead of leaving it out on the counter. You just want it to be a little stale; baking would dry it out. It would also be ok to use fresh bread.

  2. This was my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year, and it was a hit! A very light but flavorful stuffing; moist but not mushy; aromatic but not stifling.

    It only took about 2 cups of broth to fully saturate my bread, but the loaf I had was less than 12 cups in volume, which probably explains it. Fortunately, the recipe cautions to add the broth gradually, so I was spared the mistake of adding all 3 cups of broth at once.

  3. I’m not sure if the directions are written out wrong…but mine turn into a mushy mess and I feel like I needed double the bread maybe to fit the pan. At the top is says 30 mins. But once you get to the actual recipe it’s an hour. Tried cooking longer but way too wet and I only used half of the broth.

    1. Hi Felicia, I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out for you. There seems to have been a glitch in the calculations at the top but the written instructions were correct.