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Published November 19, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
StuffingThe procedure of stuffing protein meat has been literally going on for generations. In early recipes throughout the first century AD, you learn of people stuffing rabbits, chickens, pigs, and other animals that were accessible. Turkey stuffing was popularized in the early days of Thanksgiving as it is written in many 16th century Boston area documents. Stuffing most often uses dried bread, herbs, and vegetables, that are reconstituted with liquid and then stuffed into the turkey cavity and then baked until it is firm and finished cooking. In addition, stuffing can also be cooked separately in a casserole dish in the oven, which would then be considered dressing. I personally like stuffing cooked outside of the turkey because the bird will cook much quicker without it.
How to Make a Homemade Stuffing RecipeFollow these easy step-by-step instructions for making a homemade stuffing recipe:
- Cut fresh bread into cubes and place it on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 300°for about 25-30 minutes or until firm.
- In the meantime, cook-off some pork sausage until browned and cooked through and then set aside.
- Using the same pan, cook some mushrooms and onions in melted butter until lightly browned, which takes about 10 minutes.
- Next, add in the celery and garlic and cook just until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked vegetables, sausage, and bread to a large bowl and add them together.
- Next, add in fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and stock and mix until combined. The bread should be wet, but not soggy and drenched.
- In a separate bowl whisk together 3 eggs and then add it to the stuffing bowl and mix until completely mixed in.
- Transfer the mixture to a large 13×9 casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake a further 25 minutes, then garnish with parsley and serve.
Additional Ingredients to Add-InWhile there are certainly some basic ingredients for a traditional stuffing recipe, you can absolutely customize it to make it your own. I took the initiative to add sausage and mushrooms, but there are many other things you can add including:
- Turkey Giblets
- Turkey Gravy
- Dried Cherries
- Fresh Cranberries
- Dried Cranberries
- Root Vegetables
Make-Ahead and StorageMake-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 hour ahead of time, just keep it covered and warm at low temperatures in the oven until ready to serve. How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of dressing to a casserole dish or pan, drizzle on ¼ to 1/3 cup of chicken stock, and cover with foil. Bake in the oven at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed. How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can cover and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
Chef Notes + Tips
Any bread will work for this recipe, but you can take it to the next level with my sourdough.
Feel free to substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
In place of fresh herbs, substitute out with dry poultry seasoning.
Use a little bit of stock at a time, you may find that you need less or more when mixing it in.
When mixing the stuffing together, do so gently so that the bread or other ingredients do not break apart.
You can use bratwurst, Italian sausage, or plain pork sausage in this recipe.
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Homemade Traditional Stuffing Recipe
- 12 cups of cubed bread
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut in half
- 1 pound loose pork sausage
- 2 peeled and small diced small yellow onions
- 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
- 3 medium diced celery stalks
- 3 finely minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 whisked eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Spread out the cubed bread on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until crisp and firm. Set aside.
- While the bread is baking add a ½ stick of butter to a large frying pan or rondeau over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until broken up, lightly browned, and cooked throughout.
- Remove the sausage from the pan or pot and add the remaining ½ stick of butter.
- Add in the onions and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned and then add in the mushrooms and cook for a further 8-10 minutes while occasionally stirring until lightly browned.
- Place in the celery and garlic and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or just until the celery is tender.
- Transfer the cooked vegetables, sausage, and baked cubed bread to a very large bowl.
- Next, add in the herbs, salt, pepper, and chicken stock and mix gently until combined. See note about chicken stock.
- Pour in the whisked eggs and then again gently mix until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a 13x9 casserole dish and cover with foil.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
- Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley.