This turkey stuffing is a classic recipe with bread, sauteed vegetables, butter and fresh herbs, all baked together to golden brown perfection. The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving that can be assembled the day before the big meal.
There are so many ways to make Thanksgiving stuffing, and I typically alternate between my delicious cornbread dressing and this turkey stuffing. It’s a simple recipe, yet totally satisfying and can easily be dressed up with a variety of add-ins to suit your family’s tastes.
Thanksgiving is almost here, and as much as I love the turkey, I love the side dishes even more. This turkey stuffing is a classic recipe that’s so much better than what you’d get in a box or a bag at the grocery store, and it happens to be super easy to make. Need help with your turkey? Be sure to check out my complete guide on how to cook a turkey!
How do you make turkey stuffing?
The first step is to choose your bread. While you can definitely opt for those bags of bread cubes they sell at the store, it takes just minutes to make your own bread cubes and you have much more control over the flavors of the final dish. I cut up baguettes into 1/2 inch pieces, then either toast them, or let them sit out overnight to get stale. The bread cubes get combined with classic stuffing ingredients, including sauteed onions and celery, fresh herbs, chicken broth, eggs and butter. Everything goes into a pan and bakes until golden brown.
Tips for turkey stuffing
- You can really use any bread you like in this recipe, some other great choices are focaccia, ciabatta, a multigrain loaf or even sourdough bread. You want to use a sturdy bread that will not become mushy when baked.
- If the top of your stuffing starts to look overly browned before the baking time is up, you can cover it with foil.
- Fresh sage is imperative here – do not try to substitute dried sage.
Can you make turkey stuffing in advance?
You can assemble this whole recipe, cover it with foil, and place it in the fridge for up to 8 hours before you plan to bake it. You may need to add more bake time to compensate for starting with a cold dish.
How do you stuff a turkey?
You can spoon this stuffing into the cavity of your turkey and bake it that way if you prefer. Just be aware that it may take longer for your turkey to cook with a full cavity; the temperature of the stuffing will need to reach 165 degrees F before it’s safe to eat. I prefer to bake my stuffing in a separate dish. You don’t get that same crispy topping when the stuffing is inside of the turkey.
Turkey stuffing variations
- Cranberry Apple Stuffing: Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 2 diced, sauteed apples to the recipe.
- Sausage and Fennel Stuffing: Add 1 pound cooked crumbled sausage and 1 cup diced cooked fennel bulb to the recipe.
- Mushroom Lovers Stuffing: Add 1 pound mixed sauteed mushrooms to the recipe.
- Bacon Apple: Everything is better with bacon! Add 1/2 pound of cooked, crumbled bacon along with 1 cup of diced, sauteed apples.
This turkey stuffing is a classic recipe that everyone is sure to love. You’ll never want to eat stuffing from a box again after you try the homemade version!
More great side dishes
Turkey Stuffing Video
- 2 rustic baguettes cut into 1/2 inch pieces (you want 8-10 cups total)
- 10 tablespoons butter divided use
- 1 cup onion finely diced
- 1 cup celery sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1/4 cup sage leaves finely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves chopped, divided use
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- cooking spray
- Leave the bread out overnight spread out on baking sheets to get stale. Alternatively, you can bake your bread cubes at 225 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until they get crisp - approximately 1 hour of bake time.
- Coat a 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Place the bread cubes in a very large bowl and add the onion and celery mixture.
- Add the sage and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley to the bowl.
- Add the eggs, chicken broth, salt and pepper to the bowl. Stir until bread is thoroughly coated and everything is combined.
- Pour the stuffing into the prepared dish. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the top.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the dish, then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and serve.
This post was originally published on October 22, 2018 and was updated on October 23, 2019 with new content.