Classic Bread Stuffing
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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?
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.
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.Print
Classic Bread Stuffing
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 10
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.
- 1½ 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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
Keywords: classic, bread, stuffing, dressing
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
26 Comments on “Classic Bread Stuffing”
Close to my mother’s ‘South Dakota Farm’ version… simple… seasonings only minced sage from the garden and some marjoram (S-P). Do far ahead – slow saute mountain of onions and celery in ocean of butter, add sage at end… freeze (forever?). Bread, cubed, ‘crisped’ and bagged, keeps forever. ‘Stock’ from neck, etc to moisten… finally realized it didn’t need to go in bird, tastes just as good from a giant casserole, gentled baked. Thanks!
(Better, even, than Thompson’s Turkey which, yes!, I did make in my insatiable, try-everything salad days 🙂
I love the simple seasonings of a classic stuffing! Thanks for sharing all of your make-ahead tips. And how have I never heard of Thompson’s Turkey?? Checking it out now. Happy TG!
If I use your mother’s peasant bread recipe for the stuffing but I bake it in a Dutch oven, do I need to remove the crust? Or would a loaf pan be the better alternative to the Pyrex bowls in this case?
Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Hi! So nice to hear this. I think a loaf pan will create a thinner crust that you would therefore not have to remove. When you do it in the Dutch oven is it super crusty? If so, I would remove the crust. And weigh the bread after you remove the crust to be sure you’re using enough bread in the stuffing. Let me know if you have any other questions!
I’ve never made your mother’s recipe, but other no knead bread done in the Dutch oven is indeed super crusty.
I’ll try the loaf pan. Thanks!
Pulled it out of the oven an hour ago and it’s just perfect. Crusty on top, soft everywhere else. Lovely flavor.
For anyone else using a loaf pan, mine is 5×10 inches, and I did the full dough recipe all at once. It was just under the the edge of the pan after the second rise.
Wonderful to hear this, Janet! Thanks for sharing your tips on the loaf pan as well.
Love your recipes!
Thank you, Christine!
Ali many of these items will be on our table tomorrow. What will you be serving your family for breakfast? My mom always made a breakfast casserole for Christmas and Thanksgiving morning. I am not a huge fan of it but I do like the idea of eating a certain thing on holiday mornings as a family tradition. Curious if you guys do something?
So nice to hear this, Bates! Hope your holiday was a good one. My mom always made baked eggs, which I love, but I haven’t exactly carried on that tradition. I love the idea of a breakfast casserole for the protein aspect … it might keep everyone full until the big feast? We honestly don’t have anything we make every year, but yesterday, I did make eggs: poached for Ella and Tig, scrambled for Graham and Wren. Hope you and your family are well. Miss you guys xoxo
Can I assemble everything the day before I’m cooking (including the egg) and keep in a buttered baking dish in the fridge to be cooked the next day? Thanks. Apologies if you’ve already answered this question.
Yes! Cover with foil, and it will be good to go!
Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!
I love your book and this stuffing. I covet the pan you use to to sauté the onions and celery. Please share the info about the pan .
So nice to hear this, Carol 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thank you. The pan is called an All Clad “every day” pan, but it is no longer in production, unfortunately. I get asked about this pan so often I’ve considered reaching out to All Clad to see if there is any possibility of bringing it back … it’s such a good pan — easy to clean, great size (13 inches across), and not insanely heavy like Le Creuset (which I love, but which are heavy :)).
I will keep you posted if I find anything similar. Thank you again for your kind words!
This is the best stuffing recipe! It’s my go to recipe for thanksgiving, though I didn’t realize until now that you aren’t supposed to use all of both loaves. I always use both full peasant bread loaves and the stuffing still turns out delicious!!!
So nice to hear this, Sonia! For us bread lovers, there can never be too much bread 🙂 🙂 🙂 Hope all of your holiday preparations are going well!
Such a generous holiday guidepost! ♥️ Yum! This fun and delightful website has become my happy place!
Awww thanks so much, Hillary 🙂 🙂 🙂 Grateful for you and all of your thoughtful comments and positive vibes. Thank you 💕💕💕💕💕
OMG thank goodness somebody actually didn’t try to doctor up Pepperidge Farm or Stove Top. There’s nothing like homemade from start to finish. Yes, it’s a little more work, but, it is sooooooooooo worth it.
I can’t wait to make this! My family loves stuffing and leftovers so I will be doubling the recipe. Can it go in one larger pan.? If so, should the cooking time change?
Thanks! Can’t tell you how many of our family favorites are from your site.
Hi Cindy! Yes, it can definitely go in a larger pan. The cooking time shouldn’t change much, but I would just bake it at the end until it looks evenly golden or browned to your liking.
This looks like the perfect stuffing, excited to do a “dry run” today, quick question, have you had experience making this ahead, as in the day before turkey day? Wondering if it would be baked fully the day before and then just warmed up on the big day or assembled and put in the fridge for a day and then cooked fully for the meal? Thanks so much!
Hi Sarah! I would assemble it and put it in the fridge; then cook it fully the day of the meal. I always find when I reheat stuffing, while it is still delicious, it definitely dries out a bit. You can also freeze it unbaked if that works better for your schedule. Instructions on how to do that are here: Freezable Stuffing with Kale and Caramelized Onions