The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing
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The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing

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This is the best Thanksgiving dinner stuffing recipe you’ll ever taste! It’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. This is my mother-in-law’s recipe which makes it even more special to our family. As we get close to the Thanksgiving holiday and meal preparation, I wanted to update this post so it’s fresh on my readers’ minds.

It’s easy to make with the most simple ingredients you probably already have at home. You may have to dry some bread cubes, but you get the idea. The flavor is not too strong, and every family member loves this recipe. Yes, some of the grandkids still want Stove Top Stuffing which tastes good as well.

The thing with this classic recipe is you know what’s in your homemade dish, right? There are no preservatives, just really good ingredients, including herbs, mixed together.

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing


  • Butter: Helps to keep the stuffing from crumbling. It prevents the chicken broth from evaporating, which creates moist, soft, and fluffy Thanksgiving stuffing. Some cooks will use unsalted butter. I prefer salted sweet cream butter for most of my recipes.
  • Onion: Both white and yellow onions have a very distinct spicy flavor that adds a lot to a savory soup, casserole, or side dish. White onions tend to be a bit stronger and pungent in flavor than yellow onions.
  • Celery: Refreshingly crisp, light, and delicious! High in antioxidants, and the fiber in celery is great for the digestive and cardiovascular systems.
  • Chicken Broth: A poultry seasoning that is created from simmering water with meat and bones for a short length of time. It has a light luscious chicken flavor that works perfectly in soups and casseroles.
  • Salt: Salt is used to help enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Pepper: Pepper adds flavor and helps to bring all of the flavors together.
  • Rubbed Sage: Dried whole sage leaves are rubbed together to create a light and fluffy mixture; whereas, ground sage is finely ground dried sage leaves. Like other herbs and spices, make sure you use fresh sage and that the “use by” date hasn’t been reached.
  • Bread Cubes: Delicious bread that has been sliced, cubed, and then dried to be used in a variety of dishes.
Read More of My Articles  French Bread In One Hour

Kitchen Items You May Need:

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing

Step One: Gather the Ingredients

I gathered the ingredients and then started to sauté the vegetables before I took a picture of all the ingredients. Just giving you the heads-up here.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Ingredients

Step Two: Sauté the Vegetables

This recipe is so easy to make and the happy memories just flood in while you melt the butter and then add the chopped celery and onions in a large skillet, or in my case, a 6-quart saucepan. Do this over medium-high heat.

Sauté the Vegetables

Add the Seasonings

Oh my gosh, when you add the rubbed sage it smells so good. I really wish we could have Thanksgiving together and cook in the kitchen as friends. I love hearing what your Thanksgiving traditions are, so please share your thoughts.

What’s nice about making a classic or traditional stuffing recipe is you get to decide how much salt and other seasonings you want to add to your recipe.

Add the Seasonings

Simmer Until Slightly Cooked

Simmer the vegetables until tender, but still a little crunchy.

Simmer Until Slightly Cooked

Step Three: Add the Dry Bread Cubes

Turn off the heat on the stove. Add the dry bread cubes over the vegetables in the pan. Some people call it stale bread, either way, you get the drift.

Add the Bread Cubes

Step Four: Add the Chicken Broth

Now, add the chicken broth which will be absorbed by the dried bread cubes. I don’t use chicken stock. Stock is a thicker liquid, whereas chicken broth is a thinner and more flavorful liquid, which is what we are going for.

Add The Broth

Mix Thoroughly

Then, I used a Danish whisk to fold all the ingredients together.

Mix Thoroughly

Step Five: Scoop Mixture into a Greased Casserole Dish

Now, scoop the mixture into your greased baking dish and cover it with foil before you place it in the preheated oven.

Scoop Into The Baking Pan

Step Six: Bake Covered (350°F) = (176°C) degrees 

Bake covered with foil at (350°F) = (176°C) degrees for about 45 minutes, or until heated through and golden brown.

Bake Until Heated Through

Finished Product:

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

5 from 6 votes
The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing
Loosli Family Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing/Dressing
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Author: Linda Loosli
  • 1/2 cup oleo (I use butter – you can tell this is a really old recipe now)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cups chopped celery
  • 1-1/2 14-ounce cans of chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons RUBBED ground sage
  • 6 cups dried bread cubes
  • Giblets (chopped (optional), I never use them
  1. Gather all of your ingredients.

  2. Sauté the onion, celery, giblets, salt, pepper, and sage in a small skillet in the butter.

  3. Combine this mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. (I just added the bread cubes and broth to the saucepan).

  4. Add one-quart broth, add more liquid if the mixture is too dry. You don't want it soupy. I used 1-1/2 quarts, it will always depend on the kind of bread you use.

  5. Bake covered in a greased pan at (350°F) = (176°C) degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until heated through. I have cooked this in my slow cooker on low as well.

What breads can I use to make the dried bread cubes for the best Thanksgiving stuffing?

I usually buy store-bought dried bread cubes to simply make the stuffing. I used to make my own dried bread cubes when my daughters were younger. Now, I’m all about simplifying!

Read More of My Articles  Thanksgiving Trimmings: Side Dishes

If you’re interested in making your own bread cubes, I recommend using French bread or sourdough bread. I know that many Southerners use cornbread in their stuffing and call it cornbread dressing. I’ve never tried that though.

It’s actually really simple to make your own bread cubes for stuffing. Start by cutting up the loaf of bread that you have chosen into the desirable size of cubes. Spread the bread cubes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Then, leave it on your counter and allow it to dry at room temperature for a couple of days. If you’re short on time, you can bake the bread cubes at 225 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the bread has dried out to the texture you like.

This stuffing shouldn’t have too many calories as you try to enjoy all the foods generally prepared during this holiday. When you add some turkey to the meal you’ll for sure get the protein you need.

What dried or fresh herbs can I use to make the best Thanksgiving stuffing?

I really, really love the flavor of the rubbed sage! The smell and taste are unbelievable in this homemade stuffing recipe! Some cooks will add extra black pepper to their recipe for a unique flavor option.

If you’re interested in trying a different herb or variation, I would recommend thyme, rosemary, or fresh parsley. Another unique addition some people like is to put some sausage in this stuffing. I’d cook it first just to make sure it’s properly cooked through. Eggs are sometimes added too. Just stir in cooked eggs as you add the various ingredients together.

What pairs well with Thanksgiving stuffing?

Do you love this Thanksgiving recipe? Check out some of my other favorites!

My Thanksgiving Tip for the Best Thanksgiving Stuffing!

I’ve done this for years. Laminate your recipes and grab some cookie sheets. Place all of the measured ingredients on each cookie sheet for each recipe so those who are helping with the meal can make each recipe with ease.

Organize Your Recipes

Final Word

Please let me know if you try my best Thanksgiving stuffing recipe! There is something amazing with how the flavors of the chicken broth, rubbed sage, butter, bread cubes, onion, celery, salt, and pepper all come together to create the most delicious and best stuffing recipe!

It is absolutely perfect for a Thanksgiving feast or Christmas dinner! I hope you and your family enjoy your time together creating memories and traditions, whether new or old! May God Bless this World, Linda.

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  1. 5 stars
    My Grandma’s dressing was similar, but started with bacon. Chop it up(I use scissors) cook, then saute veggies in the bacon grease, then melt in the butter, pour over, overnight dried, sourdough bread chunks, pour over enough hot turkey broth(add hot water if you need more) to make it moist, but not soggy. Put in a baking dish and bake uncovered until very hot and top bits are crunchy– you have to taste! I am not eating pork or wheat, but I still make for the family…

    1. Hi Jan, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! Now, I need to try the bacon trick!! I love bacon, this is a great idea! I love making it with sourdough bread, this recipe is so good!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Linda

  2. Linda!
    This is the very same (so good) turkey stuffing recipe my Mother made when I was growing up and that I have made for my family the past 58 years now. My grown daughters also use this recipe exclusively and have taught their grown daughters who are now teaching their daughters. Oh, let me clarify my family of daughters…3 amazing daughters, 10 beautiful granddaughters, 2 handsome grandsons and their beautiful wives, and 4 sweet, sweet great granddaughters….haha, we are so “The House of Estrogen”!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you Linda, your family and your readers.

    1. Hi Katherine, oh my gosh, I love hearing this!!! 58 years and still making it!!! It’s so good! I love “The House of Estrogen”!! Best story ever!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, my sweet friend!! Linda

  3. That sounds really yummy. I make my Irish Great Grandmother’s dressing with apples, celery, onions and yes raisins.I melt a stick of butter in a 4 cup measuring cup and add turkey/chicken broth till it measures 4 cups of liquid, pour it onto the bread(cubed), mix it up with the herbs and spices and then stuff the heck out of the bird. The giblets, kidney and heart are cooked and my two (spoiled rotten) cats get their “thanksgiving ” feast. I don’t use sage as a couple of the family can’t have it, allergies(bummer). So I use white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder,thyme, and basil in my stuffing, I don’t use salt , a hold over from when my MIL and FIL were alive. But no one seems to miss it though, I do have salt and pepper on the table if anyone needs it

    1. Hi Kathy, oh my gosh, this recipe sounds so good!!! I love hearing how people make their stuffing/dressing or any recipe for that matter. This is what makes cooking from scratch so fun, we can adjust the recipe, any recipe! I bet those two cats love their feast!! I love this! Linda

      1. They sure do enjoy their “feast”. DH’s sister hosts Thanksgiving now as she said when GRD1 was born Christmas at Gramma’s!!, so we switched holidays. I now host Christmas. So haven’t done turkey in awhile. SIL is doing ham this year, so I will be doing my turkey and fixings for Christmas. Poor DH , we have a grandson that is vegetarian so I’ve been trying out vegetarian meats, so far not so good not sure what I’m doing wrong. IF any out there are vegetarian what would a good substitute for the turkey be. What other brand(s) would you recommend. We have tried the tofurky, didn’t go over too well last time GRS1 was here. It was nasty, all he could eat was the rice stuffing and a lot of the veggies we had. I(thankfully) had a veggie burger that I could quickly make up for him. Thanks in advance for any and all recommendations.

        1. Hi Kathy, oh my gosh I got the giggles over the tofurky! Oh my gosh, I have never heard of that!! We have several family members who are vegan. No animal or dairy, just plant-based food. They will eat everything but the turkey. I have tried several vegan plant-based types of meat, nope, I gagged on all of them. We do not serve meat or any fake meat to them. If they want it, they have to bring it. I have some veggie burgers for those who are vegan when we BBQ regular hamburgers. You are not doing anything wrong, they taste nasty to me as well. I would love some ideas too! Linda

          1. I had to take our older cat to the vet the other day, she’s fine by the way. The vet tech was telling me she’s been vegetarian for 5 years now and pointed me to a recipe that she thinks she got off of Allrecipies, called Tofu Turkey II. It uses tofu of course but has a store bought (vegan/vegetarian) dressing mix to mold the tofu over. I’m going to try it and let ya all know how it turns out. Looks fairly easy to do.

  4. I make cornbread dressing. It’s very similar to this, but calls mostly for cornbread. It’s all over ever eaten. So, good. I make it like my grandmother used to make.

  5. 5 stars
    This is exactly how my mother made her stuffing. I trade off between this recipe and stove top!! With pricing this year, however, I am doing the stuffing the old-fashioned way. We will have 3 families together plus me this year. Each family is bringing food. One family is bringing turkey and mashed potatoes; one is bringing all dairy free due to allergies; daughter is doing a roast and pies; and I am bringing stuffing, veggie platter and another snacky dish. This will be an all day affair! At least 12 kiddos will be there – CHAOS!!!

    1. HI Leanne, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! Oh my gosh, the more the merrier to me! My daughter from California is flying in I can’t wait to pick her up at the airport on Thanksgiving Day (less traffic)! Yay! It’s so fun when others bring some dishes, life is so good! Linda

  6. Sorry I can’t leave 5 stars. We eat cornbread dressing. It uses cornbread, stale bread, celery onion, eggs, poultry seasoning and butter or margarine. It’s what I grew up eating. I tried the other and it wasn’t to my taste. I’m not making it this Thanksgiving, but will make it for Christmas. We’re having ham, mashed potatoes, corn casserole and green beans. And diet chocolate cake with diet frosting for dessert.

    1. HI Deborah, oh I love cornbread dressing but my family doesn’t! I got a recipe from my friend and I loved it but my family said, don’t make this again! LOL! I’m glad you can have diet chocolate cake and frosting, that sounds yummy! I love anything chocolate! Linda

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