Thanksgiving Stuffing

This post was last updated on November 7, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

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

Even my brother-in-law who doesn’t cook has made this recipe and loves it. It’s that good!

Thanksgiving Stuffing

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.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

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

Thanksgiving Stuffing

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.

Thanksgiving StuffingThanksgiving Stuffing

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.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving Stuffing

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.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

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

4.0 from 1 reviews
Thanksgiving Stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Try this easy Thanksgiving Stuffing -- it's delicious and our favorite stuffing recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
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.

Comments

  1. Laura says

    Hi Lucy! Can I make ahead on Christmas Eve for Christmas dinner? Any alterations required or do I complete and just reheat gently?

    Thanks for your help and the site.

    Laura

  2. Joycelyn says

    Hmm? I’ve been making Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner, complete with a 20-25 pound turkey filled with homemade stuffing for a good 60 years for my family and close friends, & not once in all those years has any one of them fallen ill from eating my stuffing. Methinks the paranoia that has arisen over *gasp* stuffing a chicken or turkey is much like the many other “oh no, no, you can’t do that with this or that food anymore, you could die” that have arisen, is ridiculously overblown. If you’re aware of the basic food safe rules (which anyone wanting to cook or bake should be aware of) & have a decent instant read thermometer & oven thermometer, (which anyone attempting to cook/roast meats, fish & poultry should have) it’s highly doubtful you’ll ever cause a member of your family or invited guests to be sick from eating your food.

    BTW. Your recipe is considered dressing in my part of the world (and sounds lovely I might add)

    • says

      Hi Joycelyn. Yep, totally understand your skepticism over not stuffing the bird with the turkey. That was what I grew up on as well. But, after learning about the science behind it and hearing so many people I respect say it wasn’t a good idea, I started cooking my “stuffing” outside the bird. But whether it’s in or outside the bird, it always will be stuffing (not dressing) to us because that’s just what we call it in our home. ;)

  3. Mary says

    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.

  4. Rinda says

    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!

  5. GARY says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  6. Kimbrily Nichole McDevitt says

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

  7. Sabrina says

    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

    • says

      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.

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