This Homemade Stuffing Recipe is everyone’s favorite holiday side dish! It’s loaded with all the best flavors and textures and can easily be prepped ahead of time!
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Stuffing is a must have at every holiday dinner!
This Homemade Stuffing recipe is better than the box and just as easy to make.
Onion, celery and apple add a ton of flavor (I promise the apple won’t make it sweet!), and you can customize the recipe to be softer or crispier depending on your preferences.
It might be the only thing you want for Thanksgiving from here on out — followed closely by a big slice of Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie, of course!
Serve with Garlic Brown Sugar Dry Brine Turkey, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Casserole and a batch of Mom’s Homemade Buns for the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
- Cubed Bread: you’ll need about 10 slices of day old bread. If you don’t have day old bread, you can simply leave your bread out on the counter for a couple of hours or toast it briefly to dry it out. Any bread will do!
- Melted Butter: melted butter is used to sauté the mix-ins and to add moisture to the stuffing.
- Mix-Ins: we’re using a classic combination of diced onion, diced celery, and peeled and diced baking apple to add texture and flavor.
- Seasonings: a simple blend of minced garlic, dried sage, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper is all you need.
- Chicken Broth: use low sodium chicken broth so you can control the saltiness of your stuffing. If you only have regular chicken broth, add less yourself to start, then adjust only as needed.
How to Make Stuffing
This recipe is so simple to prep! See the recipe card below for the full instructions.
- Sauté the mix-ins: In a skillet, cook onion, celery, and apple in butter, then sprinkle in the seasonings.
- Stir vegetables together with cubed bread. Make sure your bread is either slightly dried out or lightly toasted so it soaks up all that flavor.
- Combine and bake: Add the skillet mixture and bread cubes to a greased baking dish and mix to combine. Brush the top with melted butter, then bake until heated through and cooked to your liking. For softer stuffing, add a little more broth or cover with foil. For crispier stuffing, bake uncovered.
Homemade Stuffing Recipe FAQs
Any denser, sturdier loaf of bread! French, Italian, brioche, or challah are all great options for your Homemade Stuffing Recipe. You can use any bread really, just make sure they are dried out at least slightly before beginning. You can accomplish this easily by toasting for a minute or two.
While some stuffing recipes use eggs to bind everything together, I don’t find it necessary. The ingredients I use create the perfect flavor and texture as they are. No eggs needed!
If you prefer your stuffing to be more like a savory bread pudding, you can add a couple eggs to the mix.
Seasonings are key! You can totally make your stuffing spice-free, but don’t be surprised when it just tastes bland. I use a combination of minced garlic, dried sage, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper and it adds so much delicious flavor. Additionally, the flavor in the chicken broth creates the perfect flavor base to enhance with your seasonings.
Prepping for the holidays in advance? You can totally get this stuffing ready to go and store it in the freezer. To do so, prepare as directed, but don’t bake. Instead, wrap tightly and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. When you’re ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake.
Baked stuffing will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge, then warm in the oven or microwave until heated through.
Tips and Notes
- Use stale bread. Day old bread works better in this recipe than fresh does. The tougher texture holds up better in the broth creating the perfect Homemade Stuffing.
- No day old bread? Leave it on the counter for at least 60 minutes OR toast it briefly before assembling your stuffing.
- Cut into 3/4″ cubes. Even 3/4″ cubes of bread are small enough to cook all the way through, but not so small that they will just get soggy in the broth.
- Play with texture. Prefer a softer texture? Cover the baking dish or bake less. Like it a little crunchier? Leave it uncovered or bake longer. It’s your stuffing! Make it your way!
- Make it vegetarian. You can easily make this into a vegetarian-friendly side dish by swapping the chicken broth for veggie broth.
This Homemade Stuffing Recipe is a classic holiday side dish, so serve it alongside your next Roast Spiral Ham or Roast Turkey and with all of your favorite holiday sides.
More Holiday Side Dishes You’ll Love
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Homemade Stuffing Recipe
- 10 cups cubed, day old bread* (about 10 slices)
- ¼ cup melted butter (divided)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 ribs celery (diced)
- 1 baking apple (peeled and diced)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried sage (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove bread from package and allow to sit on the counter while you prep the rest of your ingredients. (If it's fresh bread, I recommend toasting briefly or allowing to sit at least one hour on the counter uncovered).
- In a large skillet, combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, onion, celery and apple. Cook over medium-high heat until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
- If you haven't already, cut bread into ¾"-1" cubes.
- In a greased 9×13" baking dish, combined bread cubes, skillet mixture, and chicken broth. Toss well and adjust broth as needed (for a softer stuffing, you can continue adding broth just until it is no longer absorbed by the bread. We prefer our stuffing with just 1 cup broth).
- Brush the top of the stuffing with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes. If you like softer stuffing, cover with foil or bake less. If you like more crunch, leave uncovered and bake a little more.**
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Tag @thereciperebel or hashtag #thereciperebel — I love to see what you’re making!Tag @thereciperebel
What kind of bread is best?
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Jill! Any kind of day old bread. Hope you enjoy it!
Can you omit the apples?
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Cathy! You probably could, I’ve only tested the recipe this way though.
Sam R. Litzenberg says
This is a wonderful recipe but my family always enjoyed their holiday stuffing with a pound of their favorite pork sausage right in the mix. Mother would go to her butcher and get a pound of his finest pan-style sausage..(Butcher shop special mix) and cooked it down. She drained it and then mixed it in with her regular stuffing ingredients. It was then put in a baking dish and baked like a regular side and put out on the table. It was always great with turkey gravy. Over the years, I have done this with Jimmy Dean table sausage and what ever other brand that was available. When I served it to my cowboys on the ranch years ago, they called it “Yankee Stuffing” because of my lineage but they always cleaned it up.
The Recipe Rebel says
Sounds tasty Sam!
The recipe looks delicious! Just wondering if you used dried herbs from a jar or dried your own. Thanks!
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Beth! They are from a jar but ones you’ve dried yourself would work too.