Enhance your Christmas or Thanksgiving feast with this traditional stuffing recipe—a quick and tasty side dish that's sure to please. This easy stuffing recipe is a delightful addition to your holiday table, bringing both flavor and aroma to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this traditional bread stuffing recipe is a must-try for a stress-free and delicious holiday meal.
In this recipe, I will guide you through the creation of a simple yet scrumptious stuffing. I'll provide a list of ingredients, a step-by-step preparation and cooking process, along with tips to ensure your side dish is bursting with the most delightful flavors.
Let's begin with the ingredients. Here's a comprehensive list of the elements I used to craft this traditional thanksgiving stuffing recipe:
1. Bread Cubes: These provide the foundational texture for the stuffing, creating a satisfying blend of soft and crispy bites.
2. Herbs: I utilized a blend of fresh sage and thyme to impart a warm, earthy flavor to the stuffing and add a layer of aromatic complexity to the dish.
3. Poultry Seasoning: This blend typically includes a mix of savory herbs, enhancing the overall poultry flavor of the stuffing.
4. Eggs: Acting as a binding agent, eggs help hold the stuffing together during the cooking process.
5. Butter: Adding richness and a velvety mouthfeel, butter contributes a luxurious element to the dish.
6. Chicken Broth: Moistening the bread cubes and infusing them with savory depth, chicken broth elevates the overall taste.
7. Celery: Providing a refreshing crunch and a subtle hint of bitterness, celery adds texture and balance to the stuffing.
8. Onion: Its savory sweetness and aromatic quality enhance the overall flavor profile of the dish.
9. Salt and Black Pepper: These seasoning staples balance and heighten the flavors, ensuring a well-seasoned and delicious stuffing.
How to Make Traditional Stuffing Recipe from Scratch
Follow these simple steps to achieve a flavorful and aromatic stuffing from scratch that will undoubtedly elevate your dining experience.
1. Create the Aromatic Base:
- In a deep pan, melt butter and sauté celery, onion, sage, thyme, and poultry seasoning for 5-6 minutes until tender over medium heat.
- Season the mixture with salt and black pepper.
- Pour in chicken broth, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then turn off the heat.
2. Assemble the Casserole:
- In a large baking dish or mixing bowl, beat eggs and incorporate parsley.
- Add dry bread cubes and mix thoroughly.
- Pour in the aromatic broth and ensure an even mixture, then transfer to a baking dish if not done already.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
- Uncover the dish and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes until the top achieves a golden, crisp finish.
Sure, here are some tips for making easy and delicious stuffing:
1. Select Quality Bread: Choose a good-quality bread for your stuffing. Whether it's a French baguette, rustic sourdough, or cornbread, a flavorful base will enhance the overall taste.
2. Drying the Bread: For optimal texture, cube the bread 2-3 days in advance and let it air-dry. Alternatively, you can bake the cubes in the oven at a low temperature (300°F) for 10-15 minutes to achieve the desired dryness.
3. Flavorful Aromatics: Sautéing a combination of onions, celery, and garlic in butter before mixing with the bread adds depth and richness to the stuffing. Consider adding herbs like sage and thyme for an extra layer of flavor.
4. Proper Seasoning: Season the stuffing generously with salt and pepper. Taste as you go to ensure the flavors are balanced. Don't forget that the broth you add will also contribute to the overall seasoning.
5. Moisture Balance: Achieve the perfect balance of moisture by gradually adding chicken or vegetable broth to the bread mixture. Too little can result in a dry stuffing, while too much can make it soggy.
6. Binder - Eggs: Beating eggs and incorporating them into the mixture serves as a binder, holding the stuffing together during baking.
7. Fresh Herbs: If possible, use fresh herbs. They impart a vibrant flavor that can elevate the entire dish.
8. Add Nuts or Fruits: Consider adding chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts, or dried fruits such as cranberries or apricots, for added texture and sweetness.
9. Preheat the Oven: Ensure your oven is fully preheated before baking the stuffing. This helps with even cooking and achieving a golden-brown top.
10. Covering While Baking: Cover the stuffing with foil during the initial baking period to retain moisture. Uncover towards the end to allow the top to crisp up.
Remember, stuffing is a versatile dish, so feel free to get creative and adjust the recipe to suit your taste preferences!
Here's how to store leftover stuffing.
- Allow the stuffing to cool to room temperature. For additional food safety guidance, please visit this website.
- Place it in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag.
- Refrigerate the stuffing within 2 hours of cooking.
- Consume within 3-4 days for optimal freshness.
- If storing for a longer period, consider freezing. Place the stuffing in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, ensuring it's airtight. Label with the date.
When ready to use frozen stuffing, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Here's how to reheat the leftover stuffing.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the stuffing in an oven-safe dish, spreading it evenly.
- Add a splash of broth or water to maintain moisture.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- Stir the stuffing halfway through for even heating.
- Adjust the time as needed based on the quantity and thickness of the stuffing.
- Ensure it's piping hot before serving.
To prepare dry cubes, cut your preferred bread into half-inch cubes and allow them to air-dry for 2-3 days before using in your recipe. If you're short on time, you can expedite the process by baking the cubes in the oven at 300°F for about 10-15 minutes on the same day of cooking.
You can make stuffing in advance by preparing dry bread cubes and the aromatic base. Mix and assemble with the egg and broth mixture before baking. This can be done up to 48 hours ahead.
The amount of broth you put in stuffing can vary based on personal preference and the desired texture. As a general guideline, you'll typically need about 1 to 1.5 cups of broth for every 8 cups of dry bread cubes. However, it's essential to add the broth gradually and mix thoroughly to achieve the desired level of moisture without making the stuffing too soggy. You can always adjust the amount based on the specific recipe and your preference for a moister or drier stuffing.
Check Out More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
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Easy Stuffing Recipe
- 1 pound (16 oz) dry bread cubes
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, (divided)
- 1½ cups chopped celery
- 2½ cups chopped yellow onion
- 4 tablespoons freshly chopped sage, thyme, and/or rosemary, (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasonings
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- 2¼ cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt, (or more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, (or more to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a deep pan, melt ⅓ cup butter, sauté celery, onion, herbs, poultry seasoning, salt and black pepper for 5-6 minutes until tender on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then turn off the heat.
- In a large baking dish, beat eggs and incorporate parsley. Add dry bread cubes and mix thoroughly.
- Pour broth, blend until bread is moist but not soggy (add more if needed) and dot the top with the remaining butter.
- Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for an extra 10 minutes or longer until the top is golden and crisp.