The BEST Traditional Stuffing Recipe (2024)

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This is the BEST traditional stuffing recipe you will ever make! How do I know this? How can I prove it? Simple, it's been tried and test for decades. It's a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe that's been handed down through generations! What's even better is how easy it is to make! Let me show you how!

The BEST Traditional Stuffing Recipe (1)

Our family makes this homemade bread stuffing every Thanksgiving. We traditionally stuff it in a turkey while it bakes. But this homemade stuffing recipe works even when you fry or smoke a turkey instead of baking.

Either way the prep is pretty much the same. The method just changes slightly just before cooking! I'm showing you how to make it inside OR outside of the turkey!

If you're looking for an alternative moist stuffing recipe, definitely check our other recipe for a semi-homemade stuffing.

Why You Will Love This Herb Stuffing Recipe

  • Simple ingredients and easy to make!
  • A family-favorite recipe that's been tested for generations!
  • Easy to prep elements ahead to make your holiday cooking easier!
  • Great flavor and it works inside or outside the turkey!
The BEST Traditional Stuffing Recipe (2)

Ingredients You Need

The ingredient list for homemade stuffing is pretty simple. You may already have some on hand and the rest are easy to find in most grocery stores.

The BEST Traditional Stuffing Recipe (3)
  • Bread: You will need two loaves of quality white bread. Since stuffing is primarily all bread you really do want to choose a bread with great taste. I love to use an Italian or french loaf, or the brand artesno.
  • Eggs: Give the bread to have a nice fluffy texture.
  • Butter: For a rich, creamy flavor.
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  • Vegetables: Onions, carrots, and green pepper give the stuffing flavor and texture.
  • Herbs for stuffing: We will be using sage, oregano leaves, and thyme.
  • Garlic powder: A handy pantry staple to add a bit more flavor.

How to Make Homemade Stuffing

Here's an overview of the steps involved in making the BEST homemade stuffing recipe! For detailed instructions, check the recipe card at the end of the post.

  1. Tear the bread into crouton size pieces and lay out on a cookie sheet for about 24 hours so it dries out. Toss the bread every so often.

PRO TIP: If you forget to leave it out the night before you can dry it out faster by putting it in the oven at 200 degrees. every 20-30 minutes toss the bread so that all sides dry out. For more flavor, sprinkle a little bit of your seasonings on the moist bread before it dries, the flavors of the seasonings will infuse into the bread.

  1. Grate all your veggies so that they evenly spread throughout the bread and cook perfectly with the bread. It's simple enough to grate the onion, bell pepper and carrot using your cheese grater.
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  1. Whip the eggs and add to the melted butter.
  2. Gather the sage, thyme, oregano leaves, a good garlic salt and salt. Herbs are what make stuffing so delicious, I mean otherwise it would just be bread right? Combine everything together and mix it up!

RECIPE NOTE: When you bake the stuffing inside the turkey the drippings and juice from the turkey body will moisten the bread so you do NOT need to add any broth to the bread and seasonings. However, when you bake the homemade stuffing outside the turkey you will need to add broth!

Do I bake the stuffing inside or outside the turkey?

Really both methods work just fine! But in my opinion, if you are baking a turkey, I 100% recommend stuffing it! The natural and organic flavors that comes from the bread baking with all the delicious salty turkey flavor is incredible!

Here's what you need to do for each method.

How to Bake Stuffing INSIDE the Turkey

Follow all the steps above EXCEPT do not add the broth. Toss all your ingredients together so the bread cubes are coated.

Open the legs and stuff the turkey cavity completely full of the stuffing. Squish and squeeze it really tight in there!

PRO TIP: Check your packaging of your turkey. It may have the giblets and neck inside the cavity of the bird. If so, remove them before stuffing the cavity with the bread stuffing.

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How to Cook Stuffing OUTSIDE the Turkey

Follow all the steps above, including adding the chicken broth, and stir until well combined.

Bake uncovered for bout 45 minutes and you are ready!! Thats so incredible easy right?

How to Store

  • Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Freezer: Leftover bread stuffing with herbs can also be stored in the freezer. Wrap it up well and freeze for up to three months. Thaw it out in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat: Return the mixture to an oven-safe container and spread it out. You may want to add some additional broth as it will likely be a bit drier after cooking again. Heat in a 325° F oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. To save time you can also reheat in the microwave.

Can I make homemade stuffing ahead?

Yes and no. There are some steps you can take but some will need to wait until the day of your dinner.

You can definitely dry your bread and prepare all of your ingredients such as the grated vegetables individually. Store them in air tight containers (bread in a gallon bag would be fine, or the bread bag it came in.

For best results, I would not bake it ahead of time as reheating it may cause the stuffing to be too dry.

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What to Serve with Homemade Stuffing

When it comes to the sides to serve with homemade stuffing, of course the traditional turkey goes great! If your serving fried turkey, follow the method for making the stuffing outside the turkey.

If you decide to brine a turkey, it's totally fine to add the stuffing inside after brining and before baking.

Don't forget to make a batch of Homemade Turkey Gravy! It's great to add a spoonful over the top of your stuffing.

Other favorite Thanksgiving sides to consider are creamy mashed potatoes, candied green beans, or bacon brussel sprouts.

If you're craving some bread to serve up with the meal. I love these homemade rolls or crescent rolls.

Don't forget the homemade cranberry sauce and of course a pumpkin pie!

Expert Tips

  • Use a quality bread! It really makes a difference to the overall flavor of the stuffing. I recommend a French or Italian loaf.
  • Don't forget to add the broth if you are cooking the stuffing on its own and not inside the turkey.
  • Stuff your turkey the day you plan to cook for food safety reasons!
  • Make sure to dry out the bread ahead of time or use the quick oven method if you forget. It needs to be dry before combining with the other ingredients so it cooks properly.
  • If you only need to make half a recipe it will feed about 6-8 people. You can bake it in a large pie dish or 8x8 pan.
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More Holiday Dishes You'll Love

  • World's Best Homemade Crescent Rolls
  • Cranberry Salsa
  • Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe
  • Spiced Sparkling Pumpkin Punch

If you're looking for a gluten-free stuffing, check out this delicious recipe!

Keep In Touch!

If you tried this homemade traditional stuffing recipe or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget torate the recipeand leave us a comment below. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagramand Pinterestto see what else we’re getting up to!

The BEST Traditional Stuffing Recipe (13)

Traditional Homemade Stuffing

This is the BEST traditional stuffing recipe you will ever make! How do I know this? How can I prove it? Simple, it's been tried and test for decades. It's a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe that's been handed down through generations! What's even better is how easy it is to make! Let me show you how!

5 from 2 votes

Print Rate

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour

resting time: 1 day day

Total Time: 1 day day 1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 406kcal

Author:

Ingredients

  • 2 loaves white bread
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sage
  • 2 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs whipped
  • ½ cup melted butter

For baking outside of the turkey:

  • 2 cups broth chicken or vegetable

Instructions

Stuffing INSIDE the turkey

  • 24 hours before making the turkey tear the loafs of bread into small pieces. you can let it dry in a large bowl or on a cookie sheet.

  • Now that bread is dried grate (or food processor) onion, carrots, green pepper. Combine with spices.

  • Whip eggs and add to melted butter. Pour vegetables, spices and butter mixture over bread and stir until coated.

  • Stuff into cavity of turkey....really sqeeze and squish in there.

Stuffing OUTSIDE the turkey

  • 24 hours before making the turkey tear the loafs of bread into small pieces. you can let it dry in a on a cookie sheet. When dried completely Place in large bowl.

  • Grate onion, carrots, green pepper and combine with spices.

  • Whip eggs and add to butter.

  • Pour both mixtures over bread.

  • Pour in broth and mix well.

  • Stir until coated very well.

  • Place in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.

  • Bake 325°F (160°C) for 1 hour- or until top is slightly brown.

Notes

  • Use a quality bread! It really makes a difference to the overall flavor of the stuffing. I recommend a French or Italian loaf.
  • Don't forget to add the broth if you are cooking the stuffing on its own and not inside the turkey.
  • Stuff your turkey the day you plan to cook for food safety reasons!
  • Make sure to dry out the bread ahead of time or use the quick oven method if you forget. It needs to be dry before combining with the other ingredients so it cooks properly.
  • If you only need to make half a recipe it will feed about 6-8 people. You can bake it in a large pie dish or 8x8 pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 971mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2962IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 4mg

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Tina Gray says

    The BEST Traditional Stuffing Recipe (14)
    Absolutely yummy! I would like to add another small pro tip for the out of the bird stuffing, to increase the moisture and add a little bit more flavor for some people. I add a bit of celery or diced tart apple or 1 or 2 med size red skin potatoes. It helps it from drying out as quickly when you reheat it. Thank you for this great recipe! It's on top of my list!!!

    Reply

  2. Emily Kemp says

    The BEST Traditional Stuffing Recipe (15)
    I absolutely love stuffing and this version looks so easy and delicious, can't wait to try it!

    Reply

  3. Megan says

    What is the serving size for the recipe that's cooked outside of the bird?

    Reply

  4. Nataly says

    Hello,
    The loads of white bread, are they just regular sandwich bread loafs that come in a package?

    Reply

    • Desarae says

      yes! It is about a pound of bread.

      Reply

  5. Diane says

    I'm confused with these instructions .. Are these two separate recipes or one?

    Reply

    • Desarae says

      Its one recipe and two different methods to cook it. Some people don't like the idea of cooking stuffing in the cavity of the turkey- so there are instructions to bake it separately if desired.

      Reply

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