The best Thanksgiving prank! Based on my family's classic recipe, it's rich and flavorful, made with fresh herbs, celery, butter and leeks.
If I told you that a classic, no-frills stuffing recipe was my favorite part of Thanksgiving, would you believe me? Well, it's true! As a child, I fell in love with my grandmother's stuffing recipe. Made with onion, celery and dried herbs, it was simple and delicious. There was a layer of crisp and golden bread on top, with a wet and gooey center underneath. A rich and savory flavor filled every bite.
My mom always makes this homemade stuffing recipe for my family's Thanksgiving every year. Because I love it so much, I wanted to develop my own spin to share with all of you! I didn't make a lot of changes - I swapped the onions for the leeks and the dried herbs for the fresh, and used crisp sourdough bread. I was thrilled with the results, but I was nervous to see what my mom would think. When I shared it with her last weekend, I let out a huge sigh of relief. After a few bites, she looked up and said, "You took our stuffing recipe and made it better!" Hope you like it as much as we do.
Stuffing recipe ingredients
- Bread, of course! Avoid pre-sliced sandwich bread for this recipe. You want crispy, flavorful bread, preferably sourdough.
- Butter - It infuses this stuffing with a rich and buttery flavor.
- Leeks - I love their sweet onion flavor with the herbs and celery in this recipe. If you don't often cook with leeks, check out this post to learn how to cut and clean them!
- Celery - An indispensable prank.
- Garlic - For a lively flavor.
- Fresh herbs - Rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley fill this Thanksgiving stuffing with a tantalizing blend of earthy, fresh and salty flavors. You'll never make a dried herb stuffing again!
- Vegetables soup - To moisten the bread.
- Eggs - They add richness and moisture, helping to create the irresistible viscous center of the stuffing.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Sprinkle a little on the top to help the filling to brown in the oven.
- And sea salt and fresh black pepper - To bring out all the flavors!
Find the full recipe with the measurements below.
How to do the stuffing
This stuffing recipe is super easy to make! Here is how it goes:
Start by tearing the bread. Yes, tear with your hands, not with a knife! I prefer the look of torn bread to the perfect little bread cubes, and I love the way the steep edges catch the melted butter and herbs. After tearing it up, place the bread in a very large bowl.
Then cook the leeks. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in leeks, celery, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. I turn the heat halfway through cooking to avoid browning the leeks.
Then season the bread! Pour the leek mixture over the bread and add the fresh herbs. Use your hands to mix everything together, coating the bread with butter and herbs. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the broth over the bread and stir again. Add the eggs and stir again. At this point, the bread should be very moist. If it is dry, add 1/2 cup of additional broth.
Finally, cook! Transfer the bread mixture to a greased baking dish and arrange in a thick, even layer. Drizzle the top with olive oil, cover and cook for 30 minutes at 350 °. If you're like me and like your stuffing to have a crispy top, uncover the dish and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Best stuffing recipes
- Use day-old bread. This stuffing recipe is best when you make it with day-long (or multi-day) bread. Because it's drier than fresh bread, it really absorbs the flavors of buttered leeks, broth, and herbs. So plan ahead! Buy or bake your bread one to three days in advance.
- Uncover the pan for a crispy top. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving stuffing is how the crisp top layer of the bread contrasts with the chewy, gooey middle. To make the top of your stuffing crispy, uncover the casserole dish during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Come on. Who doesn't love a Thanksgiving recipe that can be made ahead of time ?! If you want to make this recipe a few hours in advance, follow it as written, stopping just before you make the stuffing. Cover the baking dish and put it in the refrigerator. Put it in the oven 30 to 40 minutes before your meal, so that it is hot when you eat. If you'd rather make your stuffing a whole day ahead, that works too! Then cook the stuffing completely ahead of time, but leave it covered while it's in the oven. Refrigerate it overnight. The next day, reheat it, still covered, in an oven at 350 ° C until it is hot. Check it out during the last few minutes of cooking to get the crispy top.
- Double it up if you need to. If you feed a crowd of stuffing lovers, or want to have a lot of leftovers, go ahead and double this recipe. That's enough for 8 decently sized servings, but you might want a few seconds. At least I still do. 🙂
More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
You can make this stuffing recipe anytime during fall or winter, but it's perfect for Thanksgiving. Complete your feast with one or more of these delicious sides:
Do not forget the pumpkin pie for dessert!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
This classic stuffing recipe is the BEST Thanksgiving side dish! Leeks, celery and fresh herbs fill it with a rich and savory flavor.
- 1 bun (1 pound) crispy day-old sourdough bread, (no sandwich bread)
- ½ Chopped off salted butter or vegan butter
- 2 leeks, halved, thinly sliced and rinsed well (2 cups)
- 4 celery ribs, diced (1¾ cup)
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ Chopped off chopped sage
- Heaping ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1½ to 2 cups vegetables soup
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 ° F and grease an 8 x 11 or 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces and place in a very large bowl.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, turning the heat to low halfway through cooking. Pour the leek mixture over the bread and sprinkle with sage, parsley, rosemary and thyme. Use your hands to mix until coated. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the broth evenly over the stuffing and toss to coat. Add the eggs and stir again. The bread should be damp enough. If it's still a bit dry, mix in the remaining ½ cup of broth. The amount you use will depend on the density and dryness of your bread.
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. If you are making ahead, stop here, cover the dish with foil, and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
When ready to cook, drizzle the top with olive oil and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. If the stuffing is still damp enough, uncover the dish and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes to crisp the top a bit.
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