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There are many ways to make the Thanksgiving filling, and I usually alternate between my delicious cornbread dressing and this turkey filling. It is a simple but totally satisfying recipe and can easily be dressed with a variety of accessories to suit your family's tastes.
Thanksgiving is almost here, and as much as I like the turkey, I love the side dishes even more. This turkey stuffing is a classic recipe that is much better than you would get in a box or bag at the grocery store, and it turns out to be very easy to make.
How is turkey stuffing made?
The first step is to choose your bread. While you can definitely go for those bags of bread cubes they sell at the store, it only takes a few minutes to make your own bread cubes and you have much more control over the flavors of the finished dish. I cut the baguettes into 1/2-inch pieces, then toasted them or let them sit overnight to make them rancid. Bread cubes are paired with classic filling ingredients, such as sauteed onion and celery, fresh herbs, chicken broth, eggs, and butter. Everything is put in a frying pan and baked until golden.
Tips for stuffing turkey
- You can really use any bread you want in this recipe, some other great options are focaccia, ciabatta, multi-grain bread or even sourdough bread. You want to use sturdy bread that doesn't become mushy when baked.
- If the top of your filling starts to look too golden before the cook time ends, you can cover it with aluminum foil.
- Fresh sage is a must here: don't try to substitute dry sage.
Can you make turkey stuffing in advance?
You can assemble this entire recipe, cover it with aluminum foil, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours before planning to bake it. You may need to add more baking time to make up for a cold start.
How is a turkey stuffed?
You can put this stuffing in the cavity of your turkey and bake it if you prefer. Just be aware that it may take longer for your turkey to cook with the cavity full; the temperature of the filling must reach 165 degrees F before it is safe to eat it. I prefer to bake my filling on a separate plate. You don't get that same crispy topping when the stuffing is inside the turkey.
Turkey stuffing variations
- Apple and Cranberry Stuffing: Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 2 sautéed diced apples to the recipe.
- Stuffed Sausage and Fennel – Add 1 pound cooked minced sausage and 1 cup diced cooked fennel bulb to the recipe.
- Mushroom Lovers Stuffing: Add 1 pound of sauteed mushrooms to the recipe.
- Bacon Apple: Everything is better with bacon! Add 1/2 pound of cooked and minced bacon along with 1 cup of diced sautéed apples.
This turkey filling is a classic recipe that will surely delight everyone. You'll never want to eat stuffing out of a box again after trying the homemade version!
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More great accompaniments
- Corn pudding
- Sweet potato puree
- Glazed carrots
- Zucchini gratin
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Turkey Stuffing Video
This turkey filling is a classic recipe with bread, sautéed vegetables, butter, and fresh herbs, all baked together with golden perfection. The perfect Thanksgiving garnish that can be put together the day before a big meal.
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 Calories: 354kcal
- 2 rustic baguettes cut into 1/2 inch pieces (you want 8-10 cups total)
- 10 tablespoons split-use butter
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sage leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, divided use
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Cooking spray
- Leave the bread spread overnight on baking sheets to make it stale. Alternatively, you can bake your bread cubes at 225 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 1 hour of baking time.
- Coat a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Place the bread cubes in a very large bowl and add the onion and celery mixture.
- Add sage and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley to the bowl.
- Add the eggs, chicken stock, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Stir until the bread is well covered and everything is combined.
- Pour the filling into the prepared plate. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and drizzle on top.
- Cover the plate with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the dish, then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Chill for 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and serve.
Calories :: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 38 g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 624 mg | Potassium: 276 mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 770 IU | Vitamin C: 5 mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 3.2mg
This post was originally published on October 22, 2018 and was updated on October 23, 2019 with new content.
Thanksgiving for Turkey Stuffed