Stuffing (or dressing) is a classic side dish, especially for holiday dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas! Traditionally the stuffing would actually be stuffed inside the turkey and cooked there but there never seems to be enough so I like to make more! The base of stuffing is bread that is cut into cubes and the best stuffing has bread that is a little crispy on the outside but nice and moist on the inside, without being soggy! The trick to getting a nice texture to your stuffing is to dry out the bread a bit before using it. I like to bake it in the oven at a very low temperature after dicing it and then leaving it out on the counter overnight to let it dry out more. The quintessential aspect of stuffing is the aroma and it comes from the herbs: sage, rosemary and thyme! I like to use fresh herbs but dried work as well. Next up are some veggies including onions and celery and finally we have broth and eggs which keep the stuffing nice and moist and help it hold together. Everything is placed into a casserole dish and baked until the top is golden brown and crispy and the inside is cooked. As it bakes the aroma of the Holidays will spread through your kitchen and house!
The recipe given below is for a very basic, or traditional stuffing and you can add tons of different things like apples, pears, fennel, sausage, chestnuts, bacon, nuts, etc. Please feel free to add what you wish and make this suffing your way!
Super easy stuffing with all of the classic flavours; the aroma of the holidays!
- 1 pound Italian loaf (or French loaf), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups chicken broth – link this
- Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 200F/90C until dried out, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat, add the onions and celery and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the sage and cook until fragrant, about a minute, before removing from heat.
- Mix the parsley, rosemary and thyme into the cooked veggies and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the egg into the broth before mixing into the veggies and gently tossing with the bread cubes.
- Place the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until lightly golden brown on top, about 40 minutes.
Option: Add 1 tablespoon garlic to the pan along with the sage.
Option: Replace the fresh herbs with dried herbs using 1 teaspoon dried herb in place of 1 tablespoon of fresh.
Option: Replace the fresh herbs with 2 tablespoons dried poultry seasoning.
Option: Add a diced apple to the pan along with the onions and celery!
Option: Add a diced pear to the pan along with the onions and celery!
Option: Add 1 cup diced fennel to the pan along with the onions and celery!
Option: Add 8 ounces diced mushrooms to the pan along with the onions and celery!
Option: Add cooked wild rice!
Option: Add 4 ounces cooked and crumbled Italian sausage!
Option: Add 4 ounces cooked diced chorizo!
Option: Add 4 ounces cooked diced andouille!
Option: Add 4 ounces cooked and crumbled bacon or pancetta!
Option: Add chopped chestnuts!
Option: Add chopped walnuts!
Option: Add raisins!
Option: Add dried cranberries!