One of Thanksgiving’s greatest pleasures is a moist, flavorful stuffing. Learn how to make the perfect herb stuffing from scratch with this easy recipe.
From-Scratch Herb Stuffing (and it’s easy!)
Perhaps even more important than the turkey itself, stuffing is the star of Thanksgiving dinner. A good stuffing will be talked about for years to come!
Making stuffing from scratch isn’t actually that difficult at all, and the result is so much better than a mix or store-bought.
This easy herb stuffing is a great recipe for beginners or if you’re looking for something that will compliment the rest of your meal.
Soft and moist inside, golden brown and lightly crispy on top, and perfectly seasoned with fresh herbs, this is the perfect accompaniment to any Thanksgiving dinner!
Related: Try our easy and juicy butter roasted turkey recipe too!
Are Stuffing and Dressing the Same Thing?
Yes, and no. Stuffing was traditionally used to describe something cooked inside another food, namely poultry dishes. Dressing, while perhaps containing the same ingredients, was cooked separately in a pan. However, over time, the two words have come to be used interchangeably.
These days, where you live is likely the main determination of whether or not a dish is called stuffing or dressing. In the South, it is usually called dressing. In the north, stuffing is more common.
I’ve always called it stuffing, but perhaps this particular recipe is better described as dressing, since it is prepared in its own pan. But no matter what you call it, this is one tasty dish!
What You Need to Make Thanksgiving Dressing
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- 1/2 loaf of bread — You can use French, Italian, or country bread
- Half of a White Onion
- 2 Stalks Celery — Thinly sliced
- Minced garlic
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Fresh rosemary
- Kosher Salt & black pepper
- Chicken broth — may substitute vegetable broth
- Large eggs
- Unsalted Butter
Handy Kitchen Tools
What is the Best Bread to Use for Stuffing?
Like bread pudding, the best bread to use in stuffing is day-old bread or even slightly stale bread. Soft or freshly baked bread will produce a mushy stuffing.
To ensure that our bread is dry and crispy, we bake at a low temperature for 20 minutes. If needed, you can bake your bread cubes for up to 40 minutes at this low temperature. Just keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t burn.
As far as type of bread, anything with a mild flavor and good body will work. I recommend French or Italian bread, or even country bread. However, you can always mix it up with something a little more flavorful, like sourdough bread or wheat breads. Just be sure to dry in the oven as needed.
Can You Use Low-Sodium Chicken Broth?
We used regular chicken broth for this recipe. However, you can substitute with vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth as needed. If using low sodium broth, you can adjust the flavoring to your taste by sprinkling in salt. This allows you to control the flavor, but keep the sodium count lower.
Again, this is optional, as it is not a very salty dish to begin with. We only lightly season with salt and pepper.
How to Make Herb Stuffing from Scratch
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread bread cubes on top in a single layer. Bake at 200°F for 20 minutes, then remove from oven.
Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Grease your baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
In a skillet, over medium heat, add onion and celery and cook until soft and fragrant, 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook for another minute or so, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place the toasted bread in a large bowl and add to this your vegetable and herb mixture from the skillet. Toss to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth and beaten eggs and pour over the cubed bread and herbs. Toss to coat.
Scoop the mixture into your prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy on top.
Before serving, top with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or parsley. I find it easiest to serve directly from the baking dish with a large spoon.
Can You Prepare Uncooked Stuffing Ahead of Time?
While many Thanksgiving side dishes can be mixed up a day ahead and cooked later, stuffing is not one of them. Do not refrigerate uncooked stuffing to cook the next day.
You can instead cook stuffing the day before, cool to room temp, refrigerate, and reheat when you’re ready to serve. See directions below.
How Do You Store and Reheat Stuffing?
Leftover stuffing should be kept in an airtight food storage container. We often use gallon-sized freezer bags to save space.
You can reheat a few different ways:
- Microwave — This is the fastest method for reheating anything, but won’t get the best texture.
- Stovetop — Faster than reheating in the oven, and allows you to crisp up the stuffing again. Simply add leftovers to a large skillet with a bit of chicken broth and a pat of butter and stir until hot and crispy on the outside.
- Oven — A reliable way to reheat leftovers, and especially easy if the stuffing is still in the original baking dish. Place the pan in oven and preheat to 350°F. As the oven heats, the leftovers will warm. Continue cooking an additional 20 minutes until warm throughout.
More Thanksgiving Meal Ideas
- 50+ Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
- 40+ Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Recipes
- Thanksgiving Margarita Recipe
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Easy Herb Stuffing Recipe from Scratch
- 1/2 loaf French bread cubed
- 1/2 white onion diced
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon. fresh rosemary
- black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable if desired
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread cubed bread on top. Bake for 20 minutes at 200°F.
- Increase oven temperature to 350°F and grease a baking dish. Cook diced onion and celery in a skillet over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper.
- Place toasted bread in a large bowl and add sautéed veggies. Toss to mix. In a medium bowl, whisk together chicken broth and beaten eggs and pour over the bread. Stir to coat.
- Scoop bread mixture into your prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until cooked through, 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 20 more minutes, to crisp up the top of the bread.
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