This Easy Stuffing Recipe is simple and flavorful with golden crispy top while moist and tasty on the inside. However you call it, stuffing or dressing, it is delicious and a great side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
This homemade stuffing is baked with dry bread cubes in a perfect blend of butter, bacon, fresh herbs, celery, spices and moist with eggs and broth.
Some people love their stuffing with meat like sausage. This recipe is versatile and you can use it as base. I like to keep it simple and not overpower the flavor of turkey.
The holidays are right around the corner. Yes, another year just flew by. Stores are selling Christmas decorations already.
If you’re an early planner, consider making this savory stuffing (actually dressing) which you can use as turkey stuffing as well.
We serve ham during Thanksgiving dinner and some popular Filipino viands and an abundant of Filipino sweets. Since we do ours at night, I have the opportunity to go to my friend’s gathering.
Last year, I skipped their celebration. I was hesitant to go coz they usually have a big crowd and we cannot get a hold of her. I had a feeling it won’t be just them and because of the stay at home order, I decided to skip it. Not a bad call, they had 30 people.
Anyway, I am using her stuffing recipe. She usually prepares 2 big turkeys (one is stuffed), ham, lots of sides and sweets as well.
Her parents are old school and like their bird stuffed while others like it on the side. I prefer the latter.
We were late one time and the best part was gone, the crunchy top of stuffing.
I have tried different versions of stuffing from her family members and my favorite is her easy stuffing recipe with fresh herbs.
Of course, everyone claims they have the best stuffing recipe. Don’t get me wrong, they were all delicious, in case they are reading this!
How to make stuffing
- If you have stale bread, use that, otherwise use fresh bread. We love bread and it doesn’t get stale in our household. Anyway, French, Italian, sourdough bread are great for this stuffing recipe.
Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. Prepare it a couple of days early and place on a baking sheet in 1 layer. Let it sit in room temperature for a couple of days to dry out like croutons or pop it in the oven on the same day you make the stuffing at 250 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, mixing it around occasionally to toast evenly.
2. Transfer bread in a greased 9x13 baking dish or casserole pan.
3. I tweaked her recipe a bit and added 2 thick slices of bacon, cut into narrow strips. The bacon grease adds another layer of flavor to the mixture.
Also, depending on how busy my friend during the day of their celebration, she makes the stuffing a day ahead or on the same day. I have adapted preparing it in advance.
In a skillet, saute bacon until crisp and add it in the greased baking dish with bread. Melt butter together with bacon grease over medium-low heat.
Saute onion and celery over medium heat for about 8 - 10 minutes or until celery is tender. Turn off heat then add sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, all spice, garlic powder, 2 cups broth, salt and pepper.
Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes or so. This will also allow the flavors to meld together.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs and broth in a small bowl. Set aside.
IF MAKING ON THE SAME DAY: Stir-in cooled herb mixture over bread. Mix well then pour egg mixture evenly.
Note: Make sure the herb mixture is already cool before pouring the egg mixture. It can curdle if poured over hot herb mixture.
4. IF MAKING A COUPLE DAYS AHEAD: Instead of adding the broth all at once, I only add 1 cup broth. Let the herb mixture cool before pouring over bread. Mix well and cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to bake, beat eggs and combine with remaining broth. Pour egg mixture over bread. Mix and coat bread with egg mixture.
Honestly, this is the part I like the most. The aroma while sauteing the ingredients makes me hungry. I start munching on them once the herb mixture is poured over the bread cubes (without the eggs yet).
My friend cannot stop laughing when I was watching her make it. I love it crunchy with warm buttery herb and celery. It is delicious even before baking.
Note: Bacon and chicken bouillon powder are both salty, so I only use a small amount of salt. Dissolve chicken bouillon in ¼ cup of hot water (take it from the 2 cups of water).
Eggs and broth keeps the stuffing moist. We don’t care for mushy bottom and we prefer more eggs over broth. Eggs act as binder and holds the stuffing together. You can decrease the eggs to 2 and add more broth if you like.
Tip: If you make this last and your turkey is already cooked, use the turkey drippings and replace the broth with it.
5. Cover baking pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 – 55 minutes then remove foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes to brown and crisp the top.
6. You can garnish with extra herbs and serve warm.
Can I make stuffing in advance?
Yes, you can. In step 4 above (how to make it), after pouring the herb mixture over bread and once it is completely cool, cover with foil and store in the fridge for a day or two. When ready to cook, continue the process.
I usually do it this way. It has time for flavors to meld and less thing to do on the day of our gathering. Just add the egg mixture and pop it in the oven. Done!
Note: My friend's sister-in-law does it differently. She adds all the ingredients including the egg mixture and store it overnight in the fridge. Hmm, I’m not comfortable adding the eggs at this point.
- Fresh Herbs – substitute with dry herbs. Dry herbs are more potent and concentrated, use a ratio of one tablespoon of fresh herbs to one teaspoon of dried herbs.
Another option is Poultry Seasoning. It has all the herb ingredients called for in this stuffing recipe.
2. All Spice – you can use nutmeg.
3. Bacon – don’t care for bacon and grease, you can omit it.
4. Chicken Bouillon Powder – use LOW SODIUM chicken broth.
Why use eggs in stuffing
Eggs act as a binder plus it adds flavor to your stuffing.
How to store leftover
Store leftover stuffing in an airtight container or wrap in heavy foil and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for a month.
How to freeze stuffing
Freeze leftover stuffing in heavy foil and zip lock bag up to a month. It is best to slice into portions and thaw only what you can eat in the fridge overnight.
How to reheat leftover stuffing
For a crispier top, TOAST in toaster oven (if you have one) for 10 – 15 minutes or BAKE at 300 degrees F for 10 – 15 minutes. Otherwise, use a microwave between 30-45 seconds. Microwaving will not yield a crispy top.
Easy Stuffing Recipe
- 1 (16 oz or 1 pound) French Bread or Italian Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 slices thick bacon cut into thin strips
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
- 2 cups celery chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 ½ tablespoons fresh sage remove from stem and chopped leaves
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary remove from stem and chopped leaves
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme remove hard stem
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley chopped
- ½ teaspoon All spice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or 2 cups water with 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
- 3 large eggs
- Prepare the bread a couple of days before making the stuffing. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes and place it in a baking sheet in 1 layer until dry like croutons. Otherwise, place it in the oven at 250 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, mixing it around occasionally to toast evenly.
- Fry bacon until crisp over medium-low heat. Place in greased baking pan with bread.
- Melt butter with bacon grease. Saute onion and celery for 5 - 7 minutes or until tender over medium heat.
- Turn off heat. Add sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, all spice, garlic powder, 2 cups broth, salt and pepper. Set aside and let the mixture cool about 15 minutes or so. This will also allow the flavors to meld together. In the meantime, beat eggs in a small bowl then stir-in the broth. Set aside.
- MAKING STUFFING ON THE SAME DAY: When herb mixture has cooled down, stir-in with bread cubes then pour egg mixture evenly.
- Note: Make sure herb mixture is no longer hot before adding the egg mixture. Eggs can curdle when added.
- MAKING STUFFING AHEAD OF TIME: In step #4, add ONLY 1 cup broth. Let the herb mixture cool before pouring over bread. Mix well and cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to bake, beat eggs and add remaining broth (1 cup). Pour egg mixture over bread and mix.
- Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F and bake for 50-55 minutes covered with foil and another 15-20 minutes uncovered.
- If desired, garnish with extra herbs and serve warm.
- Bacon and chicken bouillon powder (if using instead of broth) are salty, so ½ teaspoon salt is enough to season stuffing or use low-sodium chicken broth.
- Eggs and broth keeps stuffing moist. We don’t care for mushy bottom and prefer more eggs over broth. Eggs act as binder and holds the stuffing together. You can decrease the eggs to 2 and add more broth if you like.
- If your turkey is done before making the stuffing, replace the broth with turkey drippings.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrap in heavy foil and refrigerate up to 3 days.
- Freeze sliced leftover stuffing in heavy foil and zip lock bag up to a month. It is best to slice into portions (4 inches x 4 inches) and thaw only what you can eat in fridge overnight.
- For crispier top, TOAST in toaster oven (if you have one) for 10 – 15 minutes or BAKE at 300 degrees F for 10 – 15 minutes otherwise use a microwave between 30-45 seconds. Microwaving will not yield a crispy top.
- Refer to post above for ingredient substitutions and more tips.
Try other delicious side dish
Check out our Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe web story.