Homemade Stuffing Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (2024)

Homemade Stuffing Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (1)

By: Becky Hardin

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Homemade Stuffingis a must-make for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Your holiday table wouldn’t be complete without it,and I’m here to show you how to make stuffing. You cannot go wrong with this homemade stuffing recipe during the holidays. This turkey stuffing has so much flavor, crunch, and goodness!

Homemade Stuffing Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (2)

Table of Contents

What’s in this Homemade Stuffing Recipe?

I love putting a new twist on old recipes for the holidays, but sometimes the traditional recipes are best, and this stuffing is proof of that. This homemade stuffing will make you think of home and feel the comfort of years gone by, plus it perfectly compliments the other Thanksgiving side dishes.

  • Dry Bread Cubes: Form the base of the stuffing. You’ll want to prep these 1 day ahead of time to ensure they are dry and crispy. This will keep the stuffing from turning out mushy.
  • Olive Oil + Unsalted Butter: Help the veggies cook without burning and add richness and moisture to the stuffing.
  • Mirepoix: A Mixture of carrots, celery, and onion that gives the stuffing a well-rounded, deep vegetal flavor.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the stuffing.
  • Chicken Broth: Adds moisture and a rich umami flavor to the stuffing. You can also use chicken stock or vegetable broth.
  • Spices: Fresh sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg, and black pepper give this stuffing an herbaceous flavor and a touch of warmth. In a pinch, you can use 2 tablespoons of dried poultry seasoning in place of all of the spices.
  • Eggs: Add moisture to the stuffing and help bind it together.

Yes, it’s technically turkey dressing. You can call it whatever you like but I’m pretty confident you’ll be calling it delicious and perfect by the end of the holiday season.

Cooking Methods for Turkey Stuffing

This turkey stuffing recipe can be cooked in a baking dish as a dressing or cooked more traditionally in the bird as a stuffing. I personally prefer to cook it in a dish so that the edges turn crispy golden brown and the stuffing doesn’t turn out too moist or mushy. However, the flavor is delicious either way, so go with what you love!

Keep in mind that if you do cook it inside the bird, you will need to ensure that the stuffing reaches 165°F in the center before serving it. This is because it is cooking inside of a raw turkey, and those raw juices will drip into the stuffing as it cooks. We need to ensure those raw juices are fully cooked to prevent food poisoning!

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Is it better to make stuffing with fresh or stale bread?

Slightly stale bread absorbs moisture better than fresh bread, so always use day-old or toasted bread!

What bread makes the best stuffing?

You can use any type of bread you like for this stuffing. I chose French bread for mine. When I’m going for a fully homemade stuffing, I use this easy no knead bread recipe!

Why put eggs in stuffing?

Eggs help hold the stuffing together, and they also add moisture!

Is chicken broth or stock better for stuffing?

Both work equally well!

Should stuffing be covered when baking?

I like to bake mine uncovered so it gets nice and crispy, but if you notice yours is browning too much, you can tent it with foil.

How do you keep stuffing moist when baking?

This recipe has plenty of moisture added to it from the chicken broth, butter, and eggs. But if yours is starting to dry out, you can pour a little more chicken broth over the top during baking.

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How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover homemade stuffing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven covered with foil for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until hot.

How to Freeze

Freeze homemade stuffing whole or in individual portions in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this turkey stuffing with Thanksgiving turkey, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, crockpot sweet potato casserole, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, and soft dinner rolls.

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Homemade Stuffing Recipe

3.83 from 52 votes

Author: Becky Hardin | The Cookie Rookie

Prep: 15 minutes minutes

Cook: 40 minutes minutes

Total: 55 minutes minutes


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This Turkey Stuffing Recipe should be on every Thanksgiving Table! Learn how to make homemade stuffing with this easy recipe.

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  • 13 cups dry bread cubes (must be made 1 day in advance– see instructions)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (¼ stick)
  • 3 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • cups unsalted butter melted (3 sticks)
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten

**2 tablespoons dried poultry seasoning can be substituted for all of the following herbs and seasonings**

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


At Least 1 Day In Advance…

  • Make the bread cubes. Cut or tear 1-2 large Italian bread loaves into 1-inch cubes. Allow the cubes to dry out on a baking sheet for 24-48 hours. Toss the cubes a couple of times so they dry out evenly. The stuffing tastes best if the cubes are dry but not too crispy. (See notes for day-of cooking instructions).

    13 cups dry bread cubes

The Day Of…

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.

  • Heat a large skillet set over medium-high for 1 minute. Add the oil and 2 tablespoons of butter, and heat until the butter has melted.

    2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Sauté the carrots and celery until fork-tender, about 3-5 minutes.

    3 carrots, 1 cup chopped celery

  • Add the diced onion, stir, and cook until the translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

    1 yellow onion

  • Place the dried breadcrumbs in a very large mixing bowl and add the cooked vegetables, melted butter, salt, chicken broth, and seasonings. Mix well. Add the eggs and mix well again.

    1½ cups unsalted butter, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage, 1½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon minced fresh marjoram, 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Pour the dressing/stuffing into the prepared dish and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn golden.


    Stuff the turkey cavity, then roast the turkey until the stuffing reaches 165°F internally.

Last step! Don’t forget to show me a pic of what you made! Upload an image or tag me @thecookierookie on Instagram!

Becky’s tips

  • If you forgot to prep the bread ahead of time, preheat the oven to 200°F, spread the bread cubes out on a greased baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp.

  • If cooked in the oven, the stuffing (dressing) will be a little drier with crispy edges. If cooked inside the turkey, the stuffing texture will be like soft bread pudding (the turkey stuffing from my youth).
  • If cooked in the turkey, stuff the turkey just before you roast it (not the night before), never put uncooked meat inside the uncooked bird, and always use a meat thermometer to ensure the center of the stuffing reaches at least 165°F.

Storage:Store homemade stuffing in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 654kcal (33%) Carbohydrates: 48g (16%) Protein: 13g (26%) Fat: 47g (72%) Saturated Fat: 25g (156%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 146mg (49%) Sodium: 929mg (40%) Potassium: 326mg (9%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 7g (8%) Vitamin A: 5120IU (102%) Vitamin C: 4mg (5%) Calcium: 153mg (15%) Iron: 4mg (22%)

Did You Make This?I want to see! Be sure to upload an image below & tag @thecookierookie on social media!

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More Stuffing Recipes We Love

  • Vegetarian Stuffing
  • Sausage Stuffing
  • Apple Stuffing
  • Wild Rice Sausage Stuffing
  • Butternut Squash Stuffing

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Homemade Stuffing Recipe - The Cookie Rookie® (2024)


Should you put an egg in stuffing? ›

The most important ingredient of stuffing may be the binder, which keeps all the other elements in place. For a fluffy texture, use eggs. Stock is the most-used binder. Less conventional possibilities include fruit juice (such as apple or orange) and alcohol (wine or liqueur).

How wet should stuffing be before baking? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture. If the mix is still dry and crumbly, add more liquid and toss gently until it starts to clump together.

Is it better to stuff a turkey or not? ›

Current best practice advises not stuffung your turkey, because it takes so long for the stuffing to reach a safe temperature that the breast meat is, inevitably, overcooked and dry.

What can you use as a binder instead of eggs in stuffing? ›

16 egg substitutes
  1. Mashed banana. Mashed banana can act as a binding agent when baking or making pancake batter. ...
  2. Applesauce. Applesauce can also act as a binding agent. ...
  3. Fruit puree. Fruit puree will help bind a recipe in a similar way to applesauce. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Gelatin. ...
  6. Xanthan gum. ...
  7. Vegetable oil and baking powder. ...
  8. Margarine.
Mar 30, 2021

Is it better to make stuffing with fresh or dry bread? ›

Any attempts to make stuffing with soft, fresh baked bread will result in a bread soup with a soggy texture. Follow this tip: Stale, dried-out bread makes the best stuffing.

Why does my stuffing come out mushy? ›

If the stuffing came out too wet and soggy (aka bread soup!) try not to over mix it, otherwise it'll turn into mush.

Can you prepare uncooked stuffing ahead of time and refrigerate? ›

If you don't plan on stuffing the bird, but preparing the dressing as a side dish, you can prepare uncooked stuffing ahead of time as long as you freeze the stuffing immediately after mixing the wet and dry ingredients. USDA recommends that you never refrigerate uncooked stuffing.

Should I leave bread out overnight for stuffing? ›

If you use soft, fresh bread, you'll ultimately wind up with a soggy, mushy stuffing. So, how do you dry bread for stuffing? There are two ways to go about it. If you've planned your Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time, you can cut your bread into cubes and leave them out to become stale overnight.

How do you know when stuffing is done? ›

Since it's cooked inside the turkey, you know that it's done when the internal temperature of the stuffing is 165° F. Anything less and you risk salmonella from turkey juices that have seeped into the stuffing during the cook. You need a thermometer.

Why can't you refrigerate uncooked stuffing? ›

Because stuffing is an excellent medium for bacterial growth, it's important to handle it safely and cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer. Here are some common ques- tions consumers ask. Stuffing should not be prepared ahead.

How do you crisp stuffing in the oven? ›

Heat the oven to 350°F and transfer the stuffing to an oven-safe dish (or, you can keep it in the dish that it was originally cooked in). If it seems dry, you'll want to add a splash of broth. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake again until crisp, 15–20 minutes.

What are the cons of stuffing a turkey? ›

6 Reasons You Should Never Stuff Your Turkey
  1. It Could Give You Salmonella Poisoning. ...
  2. It's The Reason Your Turkey's So Dry. ...
  3. It Turns Gummy. ...
  4. You Could Overstuff the Turkey. ...
  5. It Can Be a Huge Time Suck. ...
  6. It Keeps You From Getting Your Aromatics On.
Nov 15, 2023

Can you put cold stuffing in a turkey? ›

Give stuffing a head start by heating it up before placing inside the turkey. Like the turkey, stuffing needs to reach the 165 degree mark. If the bird is done before the stuffing, remove stuffing from the cavities and continue to cook in a baking dish.

What can I put in a turkey instead of stuffing? ›

Citrus fruits: Stuffing a turkey with citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, or limes can add flavor and moisture to the meat. Herbs and spices: You can stuff a turkey with herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and garlic to infuse the meat with flavor.

Why is my stuffing so moist? ›

If the stuffing came out too wet and soggy (aka bread soup!) try not to over mix it, otherwise it'll turn into mush. Curtis Stone says to pour it on a large sheet tray and spread it out. Bake it on high heat to crisp it up, but make sure it doesn't burn.

What is traditional stuffing made of? ›

Classic stuffing made with bread cubes, seasonings, and held together with chicken stock and eggs. A holiday staple!

Why do we need to apply egg yolk in some dressing? ›

You can use boiled egg yolks in scratch-made dressings or whisk them into store-bought dressings for the ultimate creamy upgrade. Boiled egg yolks can thicken a dressing without breaking or clumping while creating a silky consistency that thoroughly coats your salad ingredients.

How do you make stuffing moist after cooking? ›

Add Butter and Broth Before Reheating

Often upon refrigeration, the stuffing will soak up any excess moisture and will appear drier than when originally served. Depending on the amount of stuffing you plan to reheat, drizzle a few tablespoons or up to 1/4 cup of chicken or turkey broth into the stuffing to moisten it.

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