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Grandma's turkey stuffing recipe has been a staple on our Thanksgiving table for many years. My girls love it and always ask for seconds.
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- Bread: cubed or coarse breadcrumbs
- Vegetables: onions, celery, mushrooms
- Liquid: chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
- Spices: sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, salt, pepper
- Meat: sausage, giblets, bacon (optional)
- Fruit: apples, cranberries (optional)
What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?
The main difference is how it is cooked. Stuffing is loosely placed inside of the turkey cavity and cooked to 165 F. Dressing is cooked outside the bird in a buttered casserole dish. Another difference is Southerners like to call stuffing dressing.
What kind of bread should I use?
Stale, dried out bread is best, as it will give you the best texture and flavor. We like to use French bread, but feel free to use the bread of your choice.
How long do you dry out bread?
Depending on how organized you are, you can start a few days ahead or the same day. Start by tearing up the bread into small bite sized pieces. Get two large cookie sheets and evenly spread the bread cubes in a single layer. Leave it out on the counter for a few days to totally dry it out.
If you are short on time, preheat the oven to 400 F. Place each cookie sheet on separate racks and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
What spices do you use?
The most common spice is sage. Other popular spices are thyme, rosemary, marjoram, salt, and pepper.
Do you put eggs in this recipe?
Traditionally, you don't put eggs in, but if you want to the eggs will act as a binder and will also provide more moisture and protein.
Should this recipe be moist or dry?
It should be moist, but not soggy. Add the chicken stock gradually and mix it in with your hands to get the right consistency.
How should I correct it if it's soggy?
Spread it out on a large cookie sheet and bake it for 10 minutes at 400 F. Check to see if the extra moisture evaporated. If it's still too soggy, bake it a little longer.
How do you correct it if it's dry?
If it is too dry, add a little more chicken stock and mix it in with your hands. Let it sit for a few minutes and check it by sampling it.
Is turkey stuffing safe to eat?
It is easier and safer to cook it outside the turkey in a buttered casserole dish for 50 minutes at 400 F.
But if you are traditionalist, you can cook it inside the bird, just use more caution.
Clean out the inside of the turkey cavity and loosely stuff the bird so air can circulate. It is safe to eat when it is reads 165 F on a thermometer.
Can this recipe be prepared the day before?
The good news is, yes it can. The whole recipe can be prepped, assembled, and baked in a casserole dish ahead of time. When ready to eat, reheat in the oven and serve it warm.
How long will this keep in the refrigerator?
This should keep for 4 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.
Can this recipe be frozen?
Yes, fully cooked turkey stuffing can be frozen. Allow it to completely cool then store in freezer friendly containers for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat it in a covered ovenproof baking dish at 325 F for 15 minutes or until heated through.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients, then measure out the spices and chicken broth.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Tear up the French bread into small bite sized pieces and spread out on two large baking trays.
Place the trays on two separate racks in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the hot skillet. Sauté the mushrooms for 8 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Remove the mushrooms from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
Sauté the onion and celery in the same skillet for 7 minutes over medium high heat.
Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant, while constantly stirring.
Add the dried spices, sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, salt and black pepper, to the onion mixture and cook for one minute to let the spices bloom.
Remove the onion mixture from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
Over medium high heat, pour in ½ cup of chicken stock to deglaze the bottom of the skillet. Use a wooden turner to scrape off the brown bits. This will add more flavor to the stuffing.
If you want to prep your stuffing ingredients the day before, this is what your ingredients would look like. Allow the deglazed chicken stock, mushrooms, and onion mixture to cool completely before covering and placing in the fridge.
When ready to assemble, add the mushrooms and onion mixture to the large bowl of toasted or dried bread cubes. Mix together with your hands.
To moisten the stuffing, add liquid. Here I'm adding the de-glazed chicken stock.
Finally, pour in 1 ½ cups of chicken stock.
Mix together with your hands. If you think it's still not moist enough, pour in the ½ cup of reserved chicken stock.
Generously butter a large casserole dish with your fingers.
Add the stuffing and spread out so it's an even thickness. I like the stuffing to be no more than 2 inches deep.
Cover the casserole with a lid or foil.
Place in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve warm.
- Want to add meat? Try sausage, giblets, or bacon.
- Want to add fruit? Try apple chunks, dried cranberries, or raisins.
- Want to add nuts? Try chestnuts or pine nuts.
- Need this to be vegetarian? Use vegetable stock and leave out any meat.
- Need this to be gluten free? Use gluten free bread cubes and gluten free chicken stock.
- Best type of bread? Use day old white bread, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces. Leave it out overnight to dry or toast the bread cubes in the oven.
- Want to cook it in the bird? Clean out the cavity, loosely stuff it, and cook until the stuffing has an internal temperature of 165 F.
- Cookie Sheets: these are our favorite cookie sheets for baking and cooking.
- 3-Quart Skillet: this heavy-bottomed, stainless steel pan is a kitchen must have.
- Wooden Turner: this sturdy wooden spoon makes it easy to scrape and stir.
- Aluminum Foil: keep your stuffing from browning too quickly with this foil.
This holiday recipe goes well with these other old stand bys.
The pleasure of a 5-star review would be greatly appreciated.Print
Grandma’s turkey stuffing recipe is easy, traditional, and perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. This savory stuffing is made with veggies and is simple to make ahead. Bake this homemade, old fashioned stuffing in a buttered casserole dish for delicious side dish!
- 1 loaf French bread, torn into bite-size pieces (10 cups) (390g)
- 5 tablespoons salted butter (70g)
- 2 cups yellow onion, chopped (232g)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 ¾ cup celery, finely diced (223g)
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock (600 ml)
- Tear up the French bread into small bite-sized pieces to get 10 cups.
- Spread the bread cubes on two 11x17-inch cookie sheets to air dry overnight, or toast them in a 400 F oven on separate racks for 10 minutes. If your bread pieces are larger, stir, rotate pans, and toast 10 more minutes or until golden brown.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the mushrooms for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
- Saute the onion and celery over medium high heat for 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, roughly 30 seconds.
- Stir the spices into the onion mixture and cook for 1 minute to bloom the spices. Remove the onion mixture from the pan.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and pour ½ cup of chicken stock into the skillet. Deglaze the pan by scraping the browned bits off of the bottom with a wooden turner.
- Put the toasted bread cubes in a very large bowl and add the onion mixture and mushrooms. Mix together with your hands.
- Pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the mixture and use your hands to mix it until the bread cubes are moist, but not soggy. If needed, add the last ½ cup of stock to the stuffing.
- Butter a 9x13-inch casserole dish, then spread the stuffing inside.
- Cook at 400 F for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve warm.
- Use day old white bread, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces for the best taste and texture. Plan on leaving it out overnight to dry or toast the bread cubes in the oven.
- If you are a traditionalist and want to cook it in the bird, clean out the cavity, loosely stuff it, and cook until the stuffing has an internal temperature of 165 F.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: easy turkey stuffing, turkey stuffing from scratch
This recipe was originally published on September 28, 2017.