Try this Classic Stuffing recipe to stuff your next turkey or to bake in a casserole dish.
This stuffing recipe originates from my Mom. She always made stuffing from scratch when I was growing up. That means she never bought boxes of seasoned bread cubes. Instead, she dried out her own chopped bread, added her own seasonings and went from there. Her classic stuffing recipe was always so good, so I simply had to share it with RecipeGirl readers.
Mom has Celiac disease now and is unable to eat her classic stuffing, so I make her my Gluten-Free Cornbread and Bacon Stuffing. The rest of the family still gets to enjoy Mom’s Classic Stuffing!
How to make Classic Stuffing:
Mom always added finely chopped onion, celery and mushrooms– sauteed in butter. My husband and I like mushrooms a lot, so I usually add quite a bit more mushrooms than this recipe calls for!
A little bit of sweet Italian sausage is a nice flavor addition too.
Dried bread cubes are used as the base for the stuffing. There are plenty of dried seasonings added in too.
What’s the best way to prepare the bread for stuffing?
We like to use French bread. Grab a loaf of bread from the store a couple of days before making this stuffing, chop it up and let it sit at room temperature to turn the bread cubes into dry bread cubes. If you don’t have time to do that, you can dry them out on low heat in the oven until they’re crispy. Just spread the cubes evenly on a baking sheet and bake them at about 250 degrees F. until dried out. Just keep an eye on them until they’re pretty crispy.
Mom uses white wine, broth and egg to blend the bread cubes and the veggies together. If you don’t like to cook with wine, you can opt to use just broth and egg.
Do you have to stuff the turkey with this Classic Stuffing?
No! If you bake stuffing in a casserole dish instead of stuffing it inside the turkey, it’s technically supposed to be called, “dressing.” Mom always did both with her Classic Stuffing recipe. She’d stuff the turkey with some of it, and then she’d put whatever didn’t fit in the turkey into a casserole dish and bake that separately. And if you’re deep frying your turkey, don’t stuff it with stuffing before deep frying!
How do you make your stuffing? I’ve tried all different kinds of stuffing recipes- cornbread, mushroom, gluten-free, vegetarian, etc. But this one has always been my absolute favorite!
BIG TIP: My Mom always liked to slow-cook (simmer) the giblets and liver for a long time, and she chopped some of that up and added it to the stuffing too. What do you think of that idea? I like to do it too. It adds another element of flavor to the stuffing, and it reminds me of the stuffing I ate as a child.
If you’re looking for some traditional Thanksgiving recipes, you might like to take a peek at my Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu.
Here are a few more stuffing recipes you might like to try:
- Low Fat Sausage Stuffing
- Sausage- Herb Stuffing with Butternut Squash and Cranberries
- Vegan Stuffing
- Portobello Stuffing
- Gluten-Free Cornbread and Bacon Stuffing
Be sure to check out my Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes recipe too. It’s a very popular side dish choice for the holidays!
- 1½ cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) salted butter
- 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 8 cups stale, unseasoned bread cubes (one or two days old is perfect)
- 1 teaspoon salt, more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (use more, as needed)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- In a small pan, sauté the onion and celery in butter over medium heat until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a separate, larger skillet, cook the sausage and mushrooms until the sausage is no longer pink. Drain the sausage fat. Add the onion and celery (and the butter it was cooked in) and stir together.
- In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and seasonings with the sausage/vegetable mixture. Moisten with wine and broth. Add the egg and mix well. If the stuffing seems too dry, mix in more broth. You want it to be pretty moist- it will dry out more in the oven.
- Use this stuffing to stuff your turkey, or place in a greased 9x13-inch casserole dish and bake (covered) at 375 degrees F. for 40 minutes- then remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- You can certainly use all chicken broth in place of the white wine.
- Mom likes to slow-cook (simmer) the giblets and liver, and she chops some of that up and adds it to the stuffing too.
I loved it super delicious
I made it test for thanksgiving, my first time cooking and it was a huge hit! Very delicious ?
If I have a 20 pound turkey would you change the qty of ingredients? I’m stuffing my turkey and want to make this recipe but not sure if I need more ingredients.
I think that should be fine. The stuffing probably won’t all fit inside of your turkey, so plan to cook some of it alongside the turkey!
How can this best be made ahead of time?
I made this last year and it was delicious!
I think I’d prep everything but not put it all together until the day of serving.
My grandmother always added chicken livers to her stuffing. It’s still my favorite stuffing memories. I like the idea of adding it with the sausage. Making it this year.
Love the sausage in this!! It has great flavor & is so soft & savory! Great all year long!
Nothing beats a good homemade stuffing! This one was a huge hit!
Yummy! This stuffing looks amazing and super easy to make. Thanks for sharing!
Can you prepare this the day ahead and bake the day of?
I’d be a little hesitant to do that since the stuffing tends to soak up the broth like crazy. Next day baking might be dry.
What am I doing with the 3/4 C butter? Is all that just for cooking the celery and onion? TIA!
Yes, and then that will all be scraped into the stuffing and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients.
Can this be put in a slow cooker instead of baking it in the oven? Looks so much like the dressing my Grandma made…with the chopped giblets, too!
I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker, so I’m not sure!
how big of a carton of broth do you use?
The recipe calls for 1/2 cup… maybe more.
Hi Lori – May I ask what brand of Italian sausage you use for this recipe. I have only used Italian sausage once and when it was cooking the smell was so horrible that I had to throw it out. I haven’t had the stomach to try it since. Thanks, Paula
Hi Paula, I usually just buy “sweet Italian sausage” when I make this!
I recommend DRY, not stale, bread for this recipe. 🙂
This is similar to what I make, and my mother before me, however the egg is new to me. What does the egg do?
It’s just a binder.
What kind of white wine do you use = dry or sweet?
Can I substitute sage sausage instead of sweet Italian as listed? Will it totally change recipe or flavor or will if he okay?
I think that would be totally fine!
Hi! Are the herbs dried or fresh? I will be using dried, will the amounts listed in the recipe be good? Thanks!
How many servings does this recipe make? And do you use fresh or dried herbs? Thank you!
15 servings– and use dried herbs.
Try putting pine nuts in a fry pan to bring out the oils then add to dressing mix with cooked sausage. It is soooo good.
Thanks for the tip!
Can this be made ahead of time and baked a few hours later? Thanks!
how big a pan does this recipe require please?
9×13-inch – sorry, I will fix that in the instructions!