Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker//Shutterstock
The last year has changed how we celebrate holidays — having to limit travel and personal interactions, finding different ways to connect, and making the best of it by starting new traditions. The holidays for me and mine are about family and food. So, I started a new holiday tradition last year by making my own Thanksgiving stuffing for the first time. It turned out so well that I will never buy the boxed stuff again! I’m sharing my homemade stuffing recipe below for anyone else who wants to try a delicious new dish this year with their families.
Healthier Stuffing From Scratch
Around the holidays, boxes and bags of premade stuffing start popping up in the grocery aisles. For as long as I can remember, my family made boxed sage stuffing with which to dress the turkey. It was always tasty and I never had any complaints … until I read the nutrition information. Boxed stuffing is loaded with sodium (the package I bought had over 200% of a person’s recommended daily sodium!), which is not what I wanted to serve at my table. Just last month, the FDA set new lower sodium guidelines for Americans, illustrating why limiting sodium intake is more important than ever. We all know sodium is in salt, but it can sneak onto our tables in the form of food preservatives, too. Finding new ways to make simple recipes like stuffing from scratch can cut down on food additives and improve our health overall.
Affordable Everyday Ingredients
Stuffing is a very simple recipe made with bread, vegetables, and spices, many of which you may already have in your refrigerator and pantry. The great thing about this recipe is how versatile it is — you can use any kind of bread you prefer. I’ve made this stuffing using homemade sourdough (yum!) and my 4-Ingredient No Knead Bread recipe, but any kind of fresh bakery bread works. Use a gluten-free bread if you don’t eat wheat, or mix it up and use rye or pumpernickel bread for a deeper flavor.
All the vegetables and spices in this dish are inexpensive and affordable. This stuffing recipe is made with low-sodium vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian, but you can use chicken or turkey stock as well. Traditional stuffing can also be made with ground sausage, so feel free to brown a pound of sausage and mix in it. You’ll get all the flavors of traditional stuffing with this recipe — even boxed stuffing purists will love it.
Serve Stuffing All Year Long
It’s my goal to make homemade stuffing a side dish all year long, not just for Thanksgiving. As someone who leapt on the sourdough bandwagon last year, I always have a loaf of homemade bread on the counter or in the refrigerator. Since this stuffing can be made with fresh or stale bread, it’s a great recipe to make with a dried-out loaf. Aside from turkey, you can serve this stuffing with store-bought rotisserie chicken, homemade veggie chili, or a grilled/roasted pork tenderloin.
Simple Homemade Stuffing Recipe
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence or dried thyme
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground sage
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 6 cups bread, cubed (my easy 4-Ingredient No Knead Bread recipe is here!)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over low heat and sauté the onion, celery, and garlic for 4 to 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the vegetable stock, Herbes de Provence, garlic powder, sage, parsley, and bread. Mix well until the vegetable stock has absorbed into the bread.
To bake in a dish: Transfer to a 13x9 baking dish and top with crushed walnuts. Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. If you want a crispier stuffing, remove the foil halfway through cooking.
To bake in the turkey: If you are stuffing this inside a turkey, spoon the stuffing into the cavity and bake. Make sure you follow “stuffed” turkey cooking times, instead of “unstuffed” — stuffed turkeys take longer to bake.