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Loaded with flavorful vegetables and the perfect herbs to complement your dish, this classic bread stuffing will go great at your Thanksgiving feast.
It’s officially official, friends. We have less than a week until that wonderful holiday that’s all about eating and spending time with family and friends and being so gosh darn thankful for everything we have that we must eat and drink until our eyes fall out.
Right? Isn’t that how it works?
I don’t know about you and your holiday plans, but ours have changed significantly over the years. Up until 2 years ago, we always spent Thanksgiving with Matt’s family and it was a 30 person ordeal.
PLUS, my parents would come too, so we killed two birds with one stone and didn’t have to go all over the place to spend time with everyone we wanted to see.
Don’t get me wrong, it was so much fun, but it was always an insane day, preceded by an equally insane week. Several days of prep, cooking and baking things ahead of time, keeping things outside in the cold garage or in every nook and cranny of every fridge and freezer in the house, and just generally spending all of our energy on one day.
Two years ago, Matt’s parents said “we’re going on a cruise, see ya!” and they ditched us and the 30 people party. And you know what? I don’t blame them one bit.
That year, I was newly pregnant and my dad had just started chemo for his lung cancer (hey, longggg story short, he’s cancer free and doing AMAZING!), so we were down for a chill holiday.
Matt and I had just my parents over for dinner, and then we had a handful of friends over in the evening for drinks and dessert. It was casual, didn’t involve a ton of running around, and it was great! Last year, we had a 5 month old, so we did the same thing and this year, we’re headed for a 3-peat.
Just my parents, us, and the toddler. And we’re so excited!
Make no mistake, we have a bit of prepping to do, but it’s nowhere near what it used to be. Our menu will include:
•roasted turkey breast from our local grocery store
•mashed potatoes (thinking of trying Brown Eyed Baker’s version this year!)
•some sort of green vegetable (we’re usually Brussels people)
•canned cranberry sauce (because of course)
•mulled cranberry sauce (the by-product of this amazing mulled sangria)
•November’s Cake of The Month (to be done this weekend)
•various 12 Days of Christmas Cookies I’ve made over the last couple months (in preparation for this year’s cookie party!) and frozen (SCORE)
And then… The star of the show… This traditional bread stuffing.
What? The star of your show isn’t the stuffing? Because GIMME ALL THE STUFFING. ALL OF IT.
How do you like your stuffing? Traditional? Sausage? With or without corn? With fruit or no fruit? With cornbread? Tell me, I love talking about carbs.
I have always been and probably always will be all about the traditional stuffing, and this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated has morphed over the years in our house to be the recipe I have for you today.
Classic white bread cubes, butter, celery, onion, herbs, and chicken stock. Very basic, but make no mistake, it does not skimp on flavor, presentation, sturdiness, or everything Thanksgiving.
And you know, you can totally eat stuffing any time of year, because WHY NOT, RIGHT?
What I love about this stuffing is that it can be (and probably should) be assembled up to 24 hours in advance. I’ve taken to getting it together the night before Thanksgiving and then popping it in the oven while the turkey finishes up.
It takes about an hour to bake, so if you time things right and find the space, you can get this bad boy finished just in time for that bird to get carved and served and everyone is happy about that happening at the same time.
Plus, assembling ahead of time allows all those veggies and herbs to get all up in each other’s business and create the greatest flavor to accompany all those tasty sides that make Thanksgiving the best holiday ever.
Nothing fancy, no frills about it, and sure to please all those who gather at your table this holiday season. Whether you’re celebrating with 2 people or 40 people, make it a great one and remember all that you are thankful for.
Including all the stuffing.
Traditional Bread Stuffing
- 24 ounces plain dried bread cubes
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 medium stalks of celery chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- ¼ cup dried parsley leaves
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 32 oz chicken stock
- 2 eggs beaten lightly
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly spray a 9" x 13" casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Place the bread crumbs in a very large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 8-10 minutes). Add the parsley, sage, thyme, and oregano, and continue to cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
- Add the butter, vegetable, and herbs mixture to the bread cubes. Add the chicken stock, eggs, salt, and pepper, and stir with a rubber spatula to distribute until everything is coated and distributed evenly.
- Pour the coated bread cubes into the prepared casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until golden brown, about 25-30 more minutes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
- Made ahead: this stuffing can be assembled and wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before baking. When you are ready to bake the stuffing, allow the stuffing to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and proceed with baking directions.