This post was last updated on November 7, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.
Even my brother-in-law who doesn’t cook has made this recipe and loves it. It’s that good!
Growing up, my mom would make her stuffing with Cream of Mushroom Soup to moisten the stuffing. I enjoyed her stuffing a lot (I mean, c’mon: it’s stuffing!), but I wanted to try my own methods as I grew up and began to start my own Thanksgiving traditions.
There have been quite a few trials 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. #stuffingfail
I have now made this for at least the last five Thanksgivings and it’s been a hit each time.
It’s just so good. For its simplicity. For its flavors. For its texture. For its overall yummyness. This is a winner.
A word about this stuffing recipe. Rather than cook my stuffing in the bird, I choose to cook the stuffing separately. When you stuff the turkey with “stuffing,” even though the bird’s meat reaches a safe temperature to consume, there are still unsafe juices that have soaked into the stuffing (which is in the center of the bird and takes longer to heat).
So, that means you have to essentially over-cook the bird to make sure the stuffing is safe to eat.
Therefore, I fill the bird with aromatics (like orange slices, fresh herbs and onion) to help flavor the bird while it cooks. Then, I discard them (more on this in a later post!).
And I fill my tummy with this delicious, safely-cooked Thanksgiving turkey that is super moist and flavorful.
Check out the video below to see the step-by-step action.
I hope you try this stuffing recipe. It’s great for Thanksgiving or any other night of the week.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- Transfer dried bread to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.