- Food: Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
The best stuffing for Thanksgiving! It’s rich and savory, with fresh herbs, celery, butter, and leeks, and it’s based on my family’s original recipe.
Would you believe me if I told you that my favorite part of Thanksgiving is a simple, basic stuffing recipe? Yes, it is correct! My grandmother’s stuffing recipe was one of my favorites as a child.
It was simple and wonderful, made with onion, celery, and dried herbs. On top was a crisp, golden crust of bread, with a delicious, gooey middle beneath. Every bite was bursting with rich, delicious flavor.
Every year during Thanksgiving, my mother makes this homemade stuffing dish for my family.
Because I adore it, I decided to create my own version to share with you! I only made a few changes: I used leeks instead of onions, fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, and crusty sourdough bread.
I was overjoyed with the results, but I was anxious to hear what my mother thought. I let out a great sigh of relief when I told her about it last weekend.
She looked up after a few nibbles and exclaimed, “You took our stuffing recipe and improved it!” I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Ingredients for the Stuffing Recipe
This stuffing recipe is more conventional than the ones I’ve previously published (see here and here). It’s made with the following ingredients:
- Of course, there’s bread! For this dish, avoid using pre-sliced sandwich bread. You’ll want a crusty, delicious loaf, preferably sourdough.
- Butter — It adds a rich, buttery flavor to the filling.
- With the herbs and celery in this recipe, I enjoy the sweet, oniony flavor of leeks. Check out this post to learn how to cut and clean leeks if you don’t cook with them often.
- Celery is a must-have for stuffing.
- Garlic — For a pungent, flavorful depth.
- Fresh herbs — Rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley add a delectable mix of earthy, fresh, and savory tastes to this Thanksgiving stuffing. You’ll never use dried herbs in stuffing again!
- To moisten the bread, use vegetable broth.
- Eggs — They bring richness and moisture to the stuffing, assisting in the creation of its delectable gooey center.
- Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil on top to help the stuffing brown in the oven.
- Also, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to bring out the flavors!
This stuffing recipe is incredibly easy to prepare! This is how it works:
To begin, tear the bread. Yes, shred the paper with your hands rather than cutting it with a knife! I enjoy how the rough edges capture the melting butter and herbs, and I prefer the sight of ripped bread to flawless tiny bread cubes. Place the bread in a fairly large basin after it has been torn.
Cook the leeks next. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the veggies soften, after adding the leeks, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper. To avoid browning the leeks, I reduce the heat to low halfway through.
After that, season the bread. Add the fresh herbs after pouring the leek mixture over the toast. Toss everything together with your hands, covering the bread in butter and herbs.
Toss the bread with 1 1/2 cups of broth once more. Toss in the eggs one more. The bread should be quite wet at this point. If it’s still a little dry, add another 1/2 cup broth.
Lastly, bake! Place the bread mixture in a greased baking dish and layer it thickly and evenly. Drizzle olive oil over the top, cover, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
If you like your stuffing to have a crispy top like me, cover the dish and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Recipes for the Best Stuffing
- Use bread that has been sitting out for a day. This stuffing recipe works best when you use day-old (or day-old) bread. It soaks up the flavors of the buttery leeks, broth, and herbs because it’s drier than fresh-baked bread. So prepare ahead of time! Bread should be purchased or made one to three days ahead of time.
- To get a crispy top, remove the cover from the pan. One of my favorite aspects of Thanksgiving stuffing is the contrast between the crispy top layer of bread and the wet, gooey center. Cover the casserole dish for the last few minutes of baking to obtain a nice crisp top on your stuffing.
- Make it ahead of time. Who doesn’t like a Thanksgiving dish that can be prepared ahead of time? Follow the recipe as stated, stopping only before baking the stuffing, if you want to prepare it ahead of time. Refrigerate the baking dish after covering it. Put it in the oven 30-40 minutes before you plan to eat it so it’s warm. It’s fine if you want to create your stuffing a day ahead of time. Then, bake the stuffing ahead of time but cover it for the duration of its time in the oven. Refrigerate it for at least one night. Reheat it in a 350° oven the next day, still covered, until warmed through. To get the top nice and crisp, remove it from the oven for the last few minutes of baking.
- If necessary, double the amount. If you’re feeding a gathering of stuffing fans or want a lot of leftovers, double the recipe. It makes plenty for 8 decent-sized servings, but you may want to go back for seconds. At the very least, I usually do.
|Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
The Thanksgiving side dish is this classic stuffing recipe! Rich, savory taste comes from leeks, celery, and fresh herbs.
- 1 small loaf (1 pound) of day-old crusty sourdough bread, (not sandwich bread)
- ½ cup salted butter or vegan butter
- 2 leeks, halved, thinly sliced, and rinsed well (2 cups)
- 4 celery stalks, diced (1¾ cups)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped sage
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Heaping ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1½ to 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions For Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8×11 or 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Place the bread in a large mixing dish and tear it into 1-inch pieces.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté for 5 minutes with the leeks, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper, lowering the heat to low halfway through. Sprinkle the sage, parsley, rosemary, and thyme over the leek mixture over the bread. Toss with your hands until everything is evenly coated. Toss the stuffing in 1 1/2 cup of the broth to coat it evenly. Then toss in the eggs one more. The bread should be somewhat moist. Mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth if it’s still a little dry. Depending on how dense and dry your bread was, the amount you use will vary.
- Fill the baking dish halfway with the mixture. Stop here if making ahead, cover the dish with foil, and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Drizzle the olive oil on top when ready to bake and bake for 30 minutes, covered. If the stuffing is still a little wet, cover the dish and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes to crisp up the top.