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Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe

I recently asked on Facebook what your favorite Thanksgiving side dish is. Mine, hands down, is stuffing. In fact, I usually fill myself up on stuffing, mashed potatoes and rolls and eat just a tad bit of turkey. You know, for tradition’s sake. I think I may have a carbs problem. Which is not exactly an earth-shattering revolution. I have loved just about every variety of stuffing I have ever tried. Regular bread stuffing. Cornbread stuffing. Sausage stuffing. Even Stove Top for crying out loud. If it’s stuffing, there’s a 99.9% chance that I will gobble it up. But there is a soft spot in my heart for a regular, classic bread stuffing. And amazingly, my family doesn’t have a standard recipe. It seems that someone just randomly makes some each year. So I decided I needed to find a basic, awesome recipe to make year after year. And this is the winner.

There is, of course, two schools of thought in terms of stuffing: in the bird, or baked separately outside of the bird. We are definitely an outside-of-the-bird stuffing family. I love how crisp it gets on top when it’s baked in the oven, and you don’t have to worry about anything funky going on inside that turkey. Maybe it’s just me, but it makes me skeeve a little bit ;-) Which side of the fence do you fall on?

One year ago: Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti

Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

8 ounces (1 cup) butter
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup pine nuts
6 to 8 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped scallion
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place the butter in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and cook,stirring, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the nuts and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the bread crumbs and the sage and toss to mix. Turn the heat down to low. Add the salt, pepper, and scallion. Toss again; taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the parsley and stir. Turn off the heat. (At this point, you can refrigerate the stuffing in a covered container, for up to a day before proceeding.)

4. Place the stuffing in a casserole dish (3 quart or 9x13-inch) and bake for about 45 minutes, or until crisp and heated through.

(Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman)

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47 Responses to “Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe”

  1. Vicki in GA on November 22, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Very nice.
    On Thursday, I won’t eat turkey or meat of any kind be – I’ll pile my plate with stuffing, mashed taters, and gravy – of course, a big scoop of cranberry relish – some veggie casserole – sweet tater casserole – and be in heaven.

    Reply

  2. the blissful baker on November 22, 2010 at 1:25 am

    i love stuffing too, especially with apples, nuts, and dried cranberries!

    Reply

  3. Hezzi-D on November 22, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I love stuffing, in fact I may be a stuffing addict. I collect stuffing recipes like a crazy woman. I like the addition of pine nuts in your version.

    Reply

  4. Katie on November 22, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I also eat way more sides, and a huge pile of stuffing, on Thanksgiving than turkey. But I prefer the turkey as leftovers on sandwiches and in soup anyway! That stuffing sounds wonderful and comforting. We always add celery and chopped roasted chestnuts!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:23 pm

      Oooh chestnuts would be fab!

      Reply

  5. jenna laughs on November 22, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Beautiful! I love the addition of pine nuts. Very earthy and flavorful.

    Reply

  6. Caroline on November 22, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I love stuffing and green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole, but I will say that my favorite part of thanksgiving is the leftovers! I love a turkey, stuffing and cranberry relish sandwich right around midnight. Perfection!

    Reply

  7. Lisa on November 22, 2010 at 9:28 am

    This looks like an awesome recipe. Any ideas of pine nut substitutions? My husband is allergic to them (but not other nuts or seeds).

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:30 am

      Hi Lisa, I think walnuts would be great!

      Reply

  8. Barbara on November 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

    This looks good, but I like cornbread mixed in with the bread too.
    Cornbread and we use left over buns hotdog or hamburger or regular sandwich bread.
    Saute onions and celery in a little butter add turkey broth pour over the torn up bread and cornbread add an egg to bind and season to taste being careful not to add too much sage it gets stronger as it is baked. Bake at 350 until browned.
    I know this is not an exact recipe, but I am one of those cooks that throws things together and tastes till it tastes right. Unless I am baking then I try to follow the recipe pretty close.

    Reply

  9. Maria on November 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Great stuffing recipe for turkey day!

    Reply

  10. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons on November 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    The stuffing is by far my favorite too! I’ve never tried pine nuts in it before though — sounds yummy! I load mine up with tons of onions, celery, and mucho mushrooms to the point that the mixture turns into half bread half veggie-palooza. Yum! Can’t wait to make it =)

    xoXOxo

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      Mmm mushrooms!

      Reply

  11. Paula on November 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Stuffing is one of my favourite side dishes with turkey and chicken! Classic bread stuffing is (for me) the best! Yours looks wonderful.

    Reply

  12. Jenny Flake on November 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Mmmm, bring on the stuffing!!

    Reply

  13. Cookbook Queen on November 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I am most definitely a stuffing outside of the bird kind of a gal. Because I can REALLY do without some kind of funky salmonella disease on Thanksgiving. Why even chance it, right?

    Anyways–your stuffing looks so YUMMY and I agree–stuffing is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving!!

    P.S. One time, I dated a guy whose family put chopped up hot dogs in their stuffing. I ate it even though I really didn’t want to and it was super weird. I really don’t recommend that.

    Reply

    • Vicki in GA on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      I’ve had a few hot-dog type boyfriends!
      I cracked up reading your post.

      Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      Hmmm hot dogs in stuffing? Haha. I understand why you are no longer dating him ;-)

      Reply

  14. Tracy on November 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I love stuffing too! It’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. Yours looks wonderful!

    Reply

  15. Vicki in GA on November 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    My granny made bread stuffing with oysters and raisins for my cousin and me.
    No one else would touch it – we wouldn’t allow it!! – Granny stuffed the tail end cavity with the oyster dressing. I still love it and make it for me. No one else seems to like it. I like dressing inside the bird – for decades that is how my granny cooked it and no one ever got sick.

    Seemed like turkeys had a bigger cavity for dressing before modern technology started messing with turkeys? And, turkeys didn’t have anything injected into the meat – just real fresh turkey which are now called ‘organic’ and cost a fortune.

    Reply

  16. elizabeth on November 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Could I use chunks of bread instead of breadcrumbs? I think I want a slightly different texture in my stuffing.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:27 pm

      Hi Elizabeth, sure! Chunks would work too!

      Reply

      • HB on October 28th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

        I used bread for this recipe and it was AWFUl! I will never use this recipe again!!!

        Reply

  17. Jenine on November 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. It looks delicious. I’m going to try it but I think I’ll toss in a bit of apple and cranberry. I bet it turns out wonderfully! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:27 pm

      Those would be great add-ins!

      Reply

  18. Jackie on November 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    My family is definitely an “outside of the bird” stuffing family. Your version looks delicious and may I say I have admired your blog for over a yr. I even made your whoppie pies and passed on your butter chart to my readers on my blog. You inspire.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Aw thank you Jackie! So sweet!

      Reply

  19. Tina from PA on November 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Okay, don’t shoot me ,I have a confession to make……..I don’t care for stuffing! I make it (outside the bird) and everyone loves it, I put pats of butter on top then bake till crisp, cann’t go wrong with butter! I love all the other sides and always eat way too much!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Oh gosh, the pats of butter on top sound like such a fabulous idea!

      Reply

  20. madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen on November 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I hadn’t even planned on making stuffing until my husband requested it yesterday.

    Ironic – or luck – that you posted this recipe! I was searching around for a very basic stuffing recipe. Then voila! There you have it! I have quite a bit of leftover sourdough bread lying around – both in roll and sliced form.

    I’m wondering a) will the bread hold off from getting moldy until Thursday considering I bought it on Saturday and b) do you think sourdough will taste ok for stuffing?

    Any thoughts from anybody?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Madge, I think sourdough would be fantastic for the stuffing! And I would probably just pop the bread into the freezer until Wednesday, then take it out and let it thaw.

      Reply

  21. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen on November 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I am with you, outside of the bird is best! Stuffing says thanksgiving to me more than anything else on the table. I tested out my stuffing recipe last week, and ate it all…

    Reply

  22. Paula on November 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I’m with you on the stuffing, never met one I didn’t like, unless perhaps it had oysters in it! However, in our family we’ve always cooked it in the bird for these fifty plus years. My Mom always made a traditional bread stuffing, soaking the days old bread overnight and adding the other ingredients on the day – memories. I like one chock full of things, oh my, can’t wait for Thursday!

    Reply

  23. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having on November 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I only eat the turkey as a medium from cranberry sauce. I’m with you on the stuffing, my entire meal could be stuffing. Maybe a little mashed potato and gravy on the side. This recipe sounds great.

    Reply

  24. Nancy@acommunaltable on November 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I’m probably not the person to ask because I didn’t grow up having stuffing at Thanksgiving – but I think I prefer it outside of the turkey for the same reasons you do -I like the contrasting textures.

    This sounds like a delicious stuffing… not too complicated and a perfect match for the turkey!!

    Reply

  25. Annie on November 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    IMO you just can’t do anything but a traditional stuffing on Thanksgiving. Otherwise there may be mutiny and no one wants that.

    We love our stuffing so we both stuff the bird and make a huge loaf in a 9 x 13 pan. I like to get a little of both :)

    Reply

  26. Darcie on November 23, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Hi! So glad you posted this. I’d love to try this recipe. Just curious to know why you reduced the butter by half. Had you tried it with 2 sticks, as per the original? Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 23rd, 2010 at 10:04 am

      Hi Darcie, I actually didn’t reduce it. 8 ounces (1 cup) is 2 sticks of butter. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

      Reply

  27. Kim on November 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Our house can never seem to have enough stuffing! I’m going to whip this up as well.

    Reply

  28. Lisa @ the Cooking Bride on November 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Outside of the bird. Defintely. The crispy crust is the best part!

    Reply

  29. Cookin' Canuck on November 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I like classic bread stuffings, too and this version looks wonderful with the addition of pine nuts.

    Reply

  30. Katrina on November 25, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Great recipe. Isn’t stuffing just the best??

    Reply

  31. foodlvr on December 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I am definitely an out-of-the-bird type. Our family has no stuffing recipe except for a mashed potato stuffing but only my mom makes it and she doesn’t give out the recipe, not even to her children. I have tried to make it but it didn’t come out tasting anything like hers. What she does I have no ideal. This year I made Sara Moulton’s Basic Rustic Stuffing from the Good Morning America website. I added chantarelles mushrooms. It was very plain. Your recipe looks better.

    Reply

  32. Jen @ How To: Simplify on December 11, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I love experimenting with stuffing. This one looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

    Reply

  33. Carrie on November 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    What do you mean by “fresh bread crumbs” in this recipe? Do you food process fresh french bread? Thanks…

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 20th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      Yes, fresh as in, not packaged stuffing mix. You can stale bread yourself and make the bread crumbs. Alternatively, some grocery store bakeries will put out bags of their own bread crumbs from leftover bread this time of year (or you could ask them for it).

      Reply

  34. Chris on November 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I am trying to make this right now; there is no mention of broth, water, egg or any other liquid. These seems to be too dry. Any suggestions?

    Reply

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