Thanksgiving Stuffing

Okay…so we have the cranberry sauce, the mashed potatoes and the green beans set for our Thanksgiving feast.  What next?  The stuffing, of course!

Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

I think this stuffing is the only reason I keep getting invited back to cook Thanksgiving dinner at our friends’ home.  I overheard Dustin speaking with our friends, Ty and V, the other night about Thanksgiving.  Dustin was confirming we were still on for having dinner at their place.  Ty, in a slightly nervous tone said, “Yep,” and then said, “Lacey’s gonna make her stuffing, right?”

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Feels good to be loved…well, at least for my food.  Heehee.

Growing up, my mom would make her stuffing with Cream of Mushroom Soup to moisten the stuffing.  I enjoyed her stuffing, but I wanted to try my own methods as I grew up and began to start my own Thanksgiving traditions.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

There have been quite a few trial and errors, let me tell you.

The first year Dustin and I made our own Thanksgiving dinner, I tried an apple and bacon cornbread stuffing out of a magazine.  Fancy, right?    Let’s just say…it didn’t get eaten.  Not sure what exactly went wrong, but I guess the flavors from the cornbread, apples and bacon just didn’t play well together.  Sad.  I was so excited about that one.

Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Over the years, I have come to love this Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe.  For its simplicity.  For its flavors.  For its texture.  For its overall yummyness.

A word about stuffing: Rather than cook my stuffing in the bird, I choose to cook the stuffing separately.  I watched an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown about five years ago that explained the unsanitary nature of cooking the stuffing in the bird.  You see, even though the bird’s meat reaches a safe temperature to consume, the unsafe juices soak into the stuffing and don’t reach the appropriate temperature to cook off.  Therefore, I fill the bird with aromatics (like orange slices, fresh herbs and onion quarters) to help flavor the bird while it cooks.  Then, I discard them (more on this in a later post!).  Just an FYI, if you’re interested.  If it’s good enough for Alton, it’s good enough for me.

Thanksgiving Stuffing
Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

I hope you try this stuffing recipe.  It’s great for Thanksgiving or any other night of the week.

Thanksgiving Stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 French Loaf, cut into ¾-inch to 1-inch cubes
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 10 cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6-8 sprigs (approx. 1 tbsp.) fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 2-3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the bread cubes evenly over two baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. Bake the cubes in oven until completely dried and beginning to harden and turn golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Transfer dried bread to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  5. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped mushrooms, 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper and saute until mushrooms are golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  6. Once golden, add 2 more tbsp. butter, celery, onion and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery and onion have softened, about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Add sage and remaining 2 tbsp. butter once vegetables are softened. Add chicken broth and stir mixture to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Carefully pour the chicken broth mixture over the bread cubes in the large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Reserve about ½ cup of the chicken broth mixture to assess moistness of the bread cubes before incorporating all the broth. You don't want the bread to be soupy, just moist.
  9. Carefully pour the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish. Take care not to smash the stuffing into the dish, just lay it gently so a not to mush the bread too much.
  10. Bake until heated through and the top begins to turn golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

19 comments… add one

  1. Sabrina November 3, 2010, 11:43 am

    If its good enough for Alton, its good enough for me too! My Mom freaked the h*** out on me last Thanksgiving because I wouldn’t let her stuff MY turkey! I follow Alton’s method. She shut up after she tasted it. :D

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef November 3, 2010, 10:10 pm

      Sabrina, you’re hilarious! It’s funny how some people can get so offended that you wouldn’t want to stuff the bird with stuffing. I’ve seen it happen too. Guess it’s hard for people to change what they’re used to, especially if they’ve never gotten sick before from the harmful bacteria. Thanks for sharing the Alton love, though! :) He sure knows his stuff.

      Reply
  2. DARYL WILLIAMS November 3, 2010, 2:28 pm

    hey i love to cook give me more and more

    Reply
  3. Kimbrily Nichole McDevitt November 3, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Ohhh myyyyyyyy that looks sooo yummers!!!! i am for sure going to make this on Turkeyday!….posssibly sooner! lol

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef November 3, 2010, 10:11 pm

      Thanks, Kimbrily! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and that you love the stuffing as much as I do!

      Reply
  4. Nik November 7, 2010, 1:29 pm

    This was GREAT and EASY too! Thanks for this recipe.

    Reply
  5. Erica November 22, 2010, 7:34 pm

    This sounds fantastic, thanks for sharing! I’m curious though, about how many people do you think it will serve?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef November 23, 2010, 1:21 pm

      Good question, Erica. I make it for 4 people every Thanksgiving and there are plenty of left-overs, so I’d estimate 5-6 people with a reasonable serving.

      Reply
  6. GARY November 24, 2010, 11:54 am

    Your “Thanksgiving Stuffing” is not stuffing. It is dressing. Stuffing is cooked inside the bird (hence the name)…dressing is cooked outside the bird. There are many, many people who do not know the difference.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef November 24, 2010, 2:15 pm

      Hi Gary. Well, thank you for the clarification. I’d never really thought about it before and thought the terms were used interchangeably. Good to know…though I find myself remaining partial to the term “stuffing” just cuz that’s what I’m used to.

      Reply
  7. angela808 September 26, 2011, 6:32 am

    WOW! that looks delicious! gosh, thanks for sharing such amazing and easy to cook recipes!

    Reply
  8. Rinda October 27, 2011, 8:25 am

    Yum, so excited to make my own stuffing (dressing?) this year- we’ve had a lot of dietary changes since my husband and son were diagnosed with Celiac Disease. My poor husband LOVES stuffing but it is now a no-no unless I can figure out how to homemake it with gluten-free bread. I will definitely be trying your recipe soon!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 31, 2011, 10:49 am

      What a bummer about the Celiac Disease. I’m sorry to hear that. I’d love to know how this turns out with gluten-free bread.

      Reply
  9. marissa November 15, 2012, 7:50 pm

    Thank you for posting this, I had lost my recipe. I have been making this for years and it is wonderful!!

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier October 19, 2014, 9:19 pm

      Yay, so glad you have a place to get this recipe, Marissa :)

      Reply
  10. Mary November 17, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Lacey, Love your site, it gives me great ideas. My mom made this stuffing except she would add regular sausage to it and just a bit of bread. It is sooooo good! I too have become a convert of the no stuffing in the bird. The stuffing is now cooked in a corning ware and gets a little crisp on the top. I don’t miss the old way at all. Thanks for all the great recipes.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier October 19, 2014, 9:21 pm

      You’re so welcome, Mary. I like the idea of using sausage to the stuffing and reducing the bread — thanks for that idea :)

      Reply

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