A bowl of cubed bread and ingredients to make a classic bread stuffing.

Thanksgiving is shaping up to be quite different this year, not so much the cozy party of twelve I had originally imagined, but an even cozier party of six, a fancier family dinner, the humans surrounding the table, with any luck, a bit more presentable than usual.

Alas. 2020. Who knew?

A box of Bell's Seasoning.

Below you will find a recipe for a very classic bread stuffing from my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs. It’s seasoned with Bell’s Seasoning, which, if you are unfamiliar, is a finely ground mix of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme, and pepper. Just pulling out the box every year makes me happy, filling me with nostalgia for Thanksgivings past, occasions attended without fail by all of my favorite people.

Classic bread stuffing in a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Below you will find a recipe for a no-frills stuffing: olive oil-toasted bread tossed with sautéed onions and celery, Bell’s seasonings, and copious amounts of butter. It, along with the kale version, hands down every year is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.

Know you can customize the seasonings and add-ins of this recipe to your liking. Also: you can make it ahead and freeze it. See instructions in the post for how to freeze it.

A 9x13-inch pan filled with kale and caramelized onion stuffing.
Freezable Stuffing with Kale and Caramelized Onions

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Classic bread stuffing in a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Classic Bread Stuffing

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A round-up for 25 Thanksgiving side dishes, plus a classic bread stuffing from my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs

Notes: If you’re using my mother’s peasant bread for the stuffing, you don’t need to remove the crust. If you are using crusty bread, remove the crust. 1.5 lbs of bread is roughly 1.5 loaves of peasant bread. 

Bell’s Seasoning is readily available at most grocery stores. It’s a mix of finely ground rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme, and pepper. If you can’t find it, I would imagine using some combination of the noted dried herbs would work. A smaller amount of chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano would also be nice. 


  •  pounds peasant bread, torn into 1– to 2-inch pieces (about 12 cups)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups finely diced onions (1 to 2 onions)
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon Bell’s Seasoning, see notes above
  • 1½ cups homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 egg
  • Softened unsalted butter, for greasing


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss the bread with ¼ cup oil; it will feel saturated. Season the bread with salt and pepper to taste. Spread it onto a sheet pan in a single layer, reserving the bowl. Transfer the pan to the oven and toast the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Set it aside to cool briefly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter with the remaining ¼ cup oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring, until soft and beginning to color.

  3. Return the toasted bread to the reserved bowl. When the onions and celery have finished cooking, scrape them into the bowl over the bread. Sprinkle with the Bell’s. Add 1 cup stock, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed — this is your chance to get the seasoning right before you add the egg. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ½ cup stock with the egg and add it to the bowl. Toss them to combine.

  4. Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking pan with the softened butter and spread the mixture into it. Cover the pan with foil, transfer it to the center rack of the oven, and bake the stuffing for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and bake the stuffing for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the bread is golden. Remove the stuffing and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving it.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American