Simple Homemade Stuffing

There’s something magical about that first bite of stuffing at a holiday meal. Somehow everything that is savory and good on a holiday table comes together in that single, delicious bite. I love this recipe for Simple Homemade Stuffing because it tastes just like the Thanksgivings I remember as a kid. On other occasions I make more elaborate stuffings with sausages and cranberries and apples, but this simple straightforward version is what I love most with a big roast turkey or prime rib.

Loaf of French bread.

This recipe starts with a loaf of french bread from my grocery store’s bakery. I will sometimes use baguettes if I can’t find a good loaf of french bread. Generally one and a half baguettes yields the same amount of bread that a french bread loaf does. I buy the bread two days ahead of my meal and cube and dry it the day before I make the stuffing. You could dry the bread the same day that you make stuffing, but I recommend allowing the bread to cool completely after drying.

Other kinds of bread can absolutely be used for stuffing. As I’m sure you can imagine, different types of bread will yield very different results with the recipe, so use your best judgment if making a substitute. Many substitutes make interesting variations on the usual stuffing — anything from bagels to sourdough can work. Probably the best sandwich bread to use as a substitute is a loaf of plain sliced white bread. I would recommend against using bread with nuts or seeds.

Simple Homemade Stuffing

3 from 48 votes
Recipe by Add Recipes Course: Dinner
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

This simple homemade french bread stuffing delivers the savory, buttery stuffing taste you remember from childhood holidays.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread, day old (or 1 1/2 loaves day old baguette)

  • 2-3 cups Chicken stock

  • 1 cup Butter (2 sticks)

  • 1 Onion

  • 4 stalks Celery

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Poultry seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon Dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried crushed rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dry bread

  • Up to one day ahead, but at least 4 hours before making stuffing, cut french bread into cubes of roughly bite-size. Spread bread pieces in single layer over 1 or 2 parchment or aluminum-foil lined cookie sheets.
  • Dry bread in 250° F (120° C) oven stirring every 10-15 minutes for 45-60 minutes, or until bread is very dry and crouton-like. Allow bread to thoroughly cool before using. If storing dried bread overnight, store in paper bag(s).
  • STUFFING
  • Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease large casserole or baking dish (approx. 9×13) with softened butter.
  • Dice onion and celery.
  • In saute pan over low to medium-low heat, melt butter. Heat should be low enough that butter does not begin to brown.
  • Add diced onion and celery; toss to coat in butter. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent and celery is tender, stirring occasionally. Lower heat if butter begins to brown.
  • Add poultry seasoning, oregano, rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Stir into butter and vegetables and allow to cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour 2 cups chicken stock into saute pan. Stir thoroughly to incorporate into butter mixture. Let heat for 30-60 seconds, then remove from heat.
  • Place dried bread cubes in large mixing bowl.
  • Pour stock/butter/vegetable mixture over bread cubes about 1 cup at a time, pausing to stir between each addition.
  • Add some or all of additional 1 cup of chicken stock if stuffing seems to dry, or according to your preferred moisture level. Taste stuffing for seasoning. If stuffing seems bland, add pinches of salt until you are happy with the taste.
  • Pour stuffing mixture into prepared casserole or baking dish, spread evenly and press down slightly.
  • Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 25-35 minutes until stuffing is golden brown and somewhat dry on top, or to your preferred doneness. Serve.

Notes

  • This recipe calls for a minimum of 2 cups of chicken stock, but more may be required. If your stuffing seems too dry, add more stock at your discretion.
  • Vegetable or turkey stock may be used as substitutes for chicken stock. Chicken broth and broth made from bouillon will work wonderfully as substitutes. Beef stock is not recommended.
  • French bread could be substituted with any other bread as long as the bread is thoroughly dried. Results will vary.
  • If you prefer to use a store-bought stuffing mix with already dried bread, be sure to decrease any seasonings you add if the mix you buy is already seasoned.
  • Seasonings may be adjusted or substituted according to your taste. Poultry seasoning may be substituted with combination of dried ground (or rubbed) sage and dried thyme (though poultry seasoning is highly preferred as it has additional seasonings). Possible substitutes for oregano and rosemary are basil, parsley, and marjoram.
  • Butter is highly preferred for this recipe, but margarine or a neutral oil (vegetable, grapeseed, canola, etc.) may be used as a substitute. Flavor will be altered.

I feel I should take a moment to note that this recipe does not have eggs as binders for the stuffing. I prefer stuffing without eggs, maybe because the stuffings I grew up with never had it. The egg versions seem a bit more like a bread pudding to me. However, many people are accustomed to that texture and prefer it! I have never tried adding eggs to this recipe, but would be interested to know how it goes if someone tried it. Generally, I would say you’re better off looking for a recipe that already has eggs incorporated so that you get the best results.

Diced celery.

Final note: while this recipe is called a stuffing, it is technically a “dressing” as it is not stuffed in bird, or anywhere else. We always called it stuffing in our house anyway, even though it was prepared on the side, and I find that’s the way most folks refer to it. I do not recommend using this to actually stuff a turkey or any other raw meat for roasting. Bread stuffing in raw meat can become a receptacle for the juices meat releases as it cooks, but stuffing often doesn’t heat at the same speed the meat does, leaving it full of dangerously undercooked juice when the meat itself is done.

Leave a Comment