There are a few things essential to any Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, mashed potatoes and a delicious stuffing recipe (arguably more important than the bird, IMHO) to round out the meal. For this easy turkey stuffing, onions, celery and sage are cooked in butter and mixed with toasted bread, then baked until crispy and golden brown. The center stays custardy while the outside forms a nice crunchy crust. Sorry to all of the other Thanksgiving side dishes, but this one just might outshine them all.
Made with just a handful of ingredients (bread, butter and seasonings), this classic side dish comes together in just three straightforward steps: Sauté your vegetables and aromatics, toss with bread cubes and broth and bake in a casserole dish. Once you master the basic recipe, feel free to go gourmet and try all of our favorite stuffing recipes. Start serving it up with sausage, mushrooms, caramelized onions, you name it! Soon enough, you’ll have your own homemade turkey stuffing recipe that your family will request year after year. Tomorrow? Go ahead and transform it into our favorite leftover stuffing recipes. But first, let’s answer all of your questions:
Can you cook stuffing inside the turkey?
You can, but we suggest you skip it! When cooked inside the turkey, the stuffing will not get hot enough to kill off all the bacteria before the bird is done cooking, so you’d have to overcook your bird to make sure the stuffing is properly cooked.
Make a turkey stuffing casserole, or dressing, instead. Use a deep dish so the stuffing mixture stays moist, and keep it covered. Or, if you want super crispy stuffing, spread the mix out onto a baking sheet for maximum heat exposure (read: ultimate crispiness). If you choose to stuff your turkey, take the bird out of the oven when the meat is done, then scoop out the stuffing and finish baking it in a dish until it hits 165°F.
Do I need to add eggs to my stuffing?
You don’t have to. Eggs add a bit of moisture and work as a binder, meaning they help to keep all the ingredients together. So while they’re not absolutely necessary, they could be your new secret ingredient!
Can I make stuffing ahead of time?
Thanksgiving (or any day, TBH!) can be crazy. To minimize day-of stress, prepare the stuffing — but don’t bake — and refrigerate up to a day in advance. To serve, bring the stuffing to room temperature, and then bake as directed. If you want to start prepping a few days in advance, chop and cook the celery and onions, but don’t add the broth. You can also toast and cube the bread, since staler bread works better anyway. Refrigerate everything separately and follow through with the rest of the recipe whenever you’re ready.
How long can you keep stuffing in the refrigerator?
Stuffing is one of the greatest Thanksgiving leftovers of all time. Hands down. Wait for everything to cool, wrap the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then store the stuffing in the fridge for three to five days. Transfer to microwave-safe bowls and nuke it to reheat. Or, bring everything back to room temp and stick the dish back in the oven for a crispier result (if you have the patience!). You can also get creative and add leftover stuffing to sandwiches, stuffed peppers, egg rolls and more.
Let us know what you think of this turkey stuffing recipe in the comments. Is there anything you added? Anything you took out? We’d love to know your favorite stuffing ingredients.
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Yields: 10 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Cook Time: 0 hours 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 0 mins
small loaf (about 1 lb.) country-style bread (about 1 lb.), cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
medium onions, chopped
stalks celery, chopped
low sodium chicken broth
sage leaves, chopped
flat-leaf parsley, chopped
large eggs, beaten
- Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 3-quart casserole dish. Place bread on rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes; transfer to large bowl.
- Meanwhile, heat butter in 12-inch skillet on medium. Add onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until very tender and beginning to turn golden, 6 to 8 minutes
- Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in sage and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
- Transfer vegetable mixture to bowl with bread; toss to combine. Fold in beaten eggs. Transfer to prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per ½ cup serving): About 140 calories, 4 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 1 g fiber, 390 mg sodium.
Did you make this recipe? Comment below!
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