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Make Ahead No Fuss Stuffing

Stuffing made easy! Forget the boxed stuff and make it from scratch! It is full of fresh herbs and all the classic stuffing ingredients.

My dad cannot live without canned cranberry sauce which my mom hates but makes him because she loves him and boxed stuffing which they both love. But you all know how itchy it makes me to not have my own homemade recipe so classic stuffing to replace that box at the store is here!

A photo of classic stuffing in a baking dish.

We’ve heard you yelling from the rooftops that you love stuffing. And I know some people are stuffing purists. Just bread, butter, simple veggies, and herbs. This is the recipe for you!

 

How to Make Classic Stuffing?

Making classic stuffing from scratch is easier than you think! Let me walk you through each step and then answer any questions you might have.

Bread

This recipe takes some planning ahead because you have to dry out the bread. Get a loaf of country bread and cut it into 1/4-1/2″ cubes and set it out on a baking sheet to dry overnight. Other types of bread can be used if you want (see FAQ below for other suggestions).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and drizzle the bread with oil. Bake the bread for a few minutes until golden brown. Set the bread aside and get to work on the vegetables. Decrease temperature on your oven to 350 degrees.

A close up photo of classic stuffing that is golden brown and topped with chopped fresh parsley.

Vegetables, Herbs and Seasonings

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and then add the minced shallots and celery and saute them for about 6 minutes until they are fragrant. Then add the garlic and all the fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, and savory), and cook until fragrant for about a minute. Then salt and pepper to taste.

A photo of sauteed shallots, celery, garlic and fresh herbs in a skillet.

Combine and Bake

Combine the veggies, herbs and seasonings with the toasted bread and toss together until well combined. Add the broth, give it a healthy dose of salt and pepper and stir until evenly coated. Pour the stuffing into the buttered baking dish, cover it tightly with foil, and bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until it is beautifully golden brown and top with fresh topped parsley.

A photo of classic stuffing in a baking dish.

What Makes a Good Stuffing?

This is all according to the world of Carrian, but a good stuffing has to have some crunch and not be soggy. It needs fresh herbs and butter. It needs to be the subtle star of your Thanksgiving spread and be able to hold it’s own against the mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and sweet potato souffle because I looooovvvveee all those things! This stuffing recipe does and has all these things!

A photo of classic stuffing in a baking dish.

FAQ

Is Stuffing the Same Thing as Dressing?

Stuffing…dressing…dressing…stuffing…they are the same thing right? But are they? The common consensus is that stuffing is the bread mixture that is cooked inside the turkey or chicken and dressing is the same mixture cooked in a pan. So I guess this recipe should be called no fuss make ahead dressing, but it seems like most people call it all stuffing so I’m going with stuffing.

Do You Put Eggs in Stuffing?

We don’t put eggs in this recipe, but I know it is common in many stuffing recipes. It acts as a binder and can help the stuffing cling together. I’m not a big fan of that, so I don’t put eggs in my stuffing.

What Kind of Bread is Best for Stuffing?

Stuffing can be made with just about any kind of bread you like. We have found that country bread, a good quality sandwich bread, or French bread hold up the best. Baguettes or sourdough bread are also both good options. Though we have another stuffing recipe where we use cinnamon bread. It just depends on what kind of flavor and texture you are going for!

When Should You Stuff the Turkey?

Never! We don’t stuff our birds with stuffing. We stuff it with onions and lemons and other delicious things to enhance the flavor. Check out our classic roasted turkey post for more details. We make our stuffing separately so it sure to be cooked completely (and not in the cavity of a bird) and so it gets crunchy and delicious.

Is Stuffing A Turkey Safe?

It is safe but in the words of Alton Brown, “just don’t do it!” If everything is cooked to temperature, it is safe to stuff a bird and then eat it, but why? One of the things that I’ve never loved about stuffing is that it is often soggy. I want my stuffing crunchy with some texture!

A photo of classic stuffing in a baking dish.

What is for Dessert?

I’m going to cover Thanksgiving sides down below, so let’s get to dessert! Save room for a slice or two (or six) of pie because these are some of the best ever! You have to have a classic pumpkin pie, an apple pie, and pecan pie. Then a few of my less common but most favorites are razzleberry pie, chocolate French silk pie, and Dutch apple pie. It’s impossible to choose just one!

A photo of classic stuffing in a baking dish.

Stuffing purists, this one is for you! It’s classic, simple, and it’s going to be devoured at your Thanksgiving feast. Ditch the box stuff, and make your stuffing from scratch people!!

And you don’t need a turkey, make it with our garlic parmesan chicken during the year!

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes You’ll Love:

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney
155 days

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A photo of classic stuffing in a baking dish.

Stuffing

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour
Servings: 6
Make it from scratch! It is full of fresh herbs and all the classic stuffing ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf bread country bread, about 12 cups
  • 1/4 Cup butter plus a little more for the dish
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 stalks celery minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 Cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sage fresh, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves fresh, minced
  • 1 tablespoon savory leaves fresh, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves fresh, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 1/4 Cups chicken or vegetable broth low sodium

Instructions

  • Cut the bread into 1/4-1/2" cubes and leave out overnight to dry out. 
  • Preheat the oven to 450, place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle oil over the bread. Bake for a few minutes until golden. 
  • Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350º and butter a 9x13" dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add the shallots and celery and cook until soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic, parsley, sage, thyme, savory and rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Place bread in a large bowl and veggies and herbs. Toss to combine. Gently stir in the chicken broth. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss until completely coated.
  • Transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake until cooked through, 45 minutes, then remove foil and cook until bread is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Serve with a fresh chop of parsley garnish.

Notes

Store left over stuffing in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Stuffing will keep for 4-6 days.
Nutrition Facts
Stuffing
Amount Per Serving (1 Cup)
Calories 150 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 549mg24%
Potassium 119mg3%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 1080IU22%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A photo of classic stuffing in a baking dish.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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