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Bread Stuffing with Fresh Herbs

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Serves 12

Especially on Thanksgiving, skip the packaged stuffing mix and use day-old bread and fresh herbs for great flavor.

For a homemade holiday, visit the Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner for hundreds of recipes for turkeypiestuffing, and sides

Feeling inspired? Use the Bread Stuffing Recipe Maker to create a custom bread stuffing recipe.

  • 1 lb. crusty Italian or French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 to 12 cups)
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more for the pan
  • 2 medium-large yellow onions, cut into medium dice
  • 2 medium celery stalks (or 3 celery heart stalks), cut into medium dice (3/4 cup)
  • 2 to 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tip:
For the best stuffing, let the bread dry overnight so it can absorb all the other delicious flavors that make it stuffing; toasting the bread also boosts flavor.

Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Let dry overnight.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread cubes until light golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. (The recipe may be prepared to this point up to 6 hours ahead.)

In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes with the cooked vegetables, 2 cups of the broth, the parsley, sage, thyme, eggs, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. If the liquid isn’t immediately absorbed by the bread, toss occasionally for a few minutes until it is. If the liquid is immediately absorbed, toss in another 1/2 cup broth. The bread should be moist but not soggy. If necessary, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth.

Butter a 3-quart baking dish (13x9-inch works well). Transfer the bread mixture to the dish, cover with foil, and bake at 400°F until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is slightly browned and crusty, about 20 minutes more.

Variations

Bread Stuffing with Sausage and Golden Raisins: Reduce the butter to 3 Tbs. After melting the butter in the skillet, add 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (or sausage links removed from their casings) and cook, stirring to break up large pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and celery and proceed as directed above. When you combine the bread cubes with the remaining ingredients, add 1-1/2 cups golden raisins.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 160; Fat (g): fat g 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 60; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3; Protein (g): protein g 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 22; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 320; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 45; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Made this for 20 years now, using Bread and Cie artesian breads, including anise/fig and Kalamata olive, but no eggs and this is totally missing the sliced black olives and sliced water chestnuts for texture and depth of flavor!

I'll never use a stuffing mix again. I made this with homemade rosemary bread and it was out of this world.

This was delicious! I made it as directed, using a bit less thyme. Also used homemade bread, which I think contributed to the deliciousness. I like that it is not overly seasoned with poultry seasoning or celery seed. The eggs did not make it soggy at all for me. I will most definitely make this again. It was easy and could be made ahead. It was just a very lovely dressing that complimented the rest of our thanksgiving meal.

Delicious! I added cut up baby portobello's too since I had them on hand and it worked out great! Wonderful recipe!

Best stuffing ever. I have failed year after year trying to produce good bread stuffing. This recipe did a good job pointing out the necessity of getting the dried bread cubes moist but not wet/soggy. This turned out perfect for our taste and I will be sure to make it again. Thank you!

After I cooked various dishes all day long my brother threw on a few boxes of Stove Top just before dinner because the "kids wouldn't eat the stuffing you are making". Most of the box stuffing was left after dinner. We had no good stuffing leftovers. This recipe serves 12. We had 12 people. I should have doubled it, because, if I had, I'd be eating it for breakfast and lunch today. I have found my forever stuffing recipe. Thanks Ms. Anderson! Thanks fine Cooking. I used Texas Toast bread.

I found this recipe to be as close as I have come to my mothers stuffing, however I did not use the eggs...I didn't want the texture that the eggs would have given it. It was perfect...moist but not gooey. The seasoning was just right. Best stuffing outside the bird I've had.

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