Tis the season for tradition. My favorite part about the holidays is hands down the stuffing – the more I can stuff into my face, the better!
I grew up looking forward to Thanksgiving the MOST out of all of the holidays. Not only does it line up with my birthday (meaning I got the best family birthday parties when I was a kid!) but it also meant tons of delicious food and lots and LOTS of Stovetop Stuffing.
While my love for Thanksgiving has only grown over the years, my love for stuffing has also unwaveringly increased to embrace ALL kinds of stuffing, not just the cheap boxed stuff.
Don’t worry – I still make a batch of boxed stuffing every year for sake of keeping the traditions alive; but now I also make a batch of homemade stuffing that is equally as good.
Making a CLASSIC Holiday Stuffing
You only need a few simple ingredients to make a knockout stuffing side dish for the holidays.
- bread cubes – I recommend using plain sourdough breadcubes for this recipe; but feel free to use your favorite brand.
- PRO TIP: enhance the recipe with pre-seasoned bread cubes!
- chicken broth – use a bouillon cube or your favorite premade chicken broth
- onion broth – adds a crazy amount of savory, umami flavor! If you don’t want to buy onion bouillon (affiliate link) sub in extra chicken broth.
- celery, onion, carrots – the perfect mirepoix to add flavor and texture to the stuffing
- cranberries – whole cranberries are combined with savory flavors to pull out sweet notes
- rosemary & sage – warm, wintery herbs; be sure to use FRESH herbs
- eggs – to glue everything together
- butter – for adding color and salty flavor to the stuffing while it cooks
Baked to Perfection
Because this stuffing starts with a long soak in broth, there is a lot of liquid to cook off to create a fluffy, stable stuffing.
In order to increase the surface area of the stuffing to encourage the liquid to cook off evenly, I recommend using an ice cream scoop to scoop individual mounds of stuffing into the baking dish. Not only does this help create single portions for serving options, it also exposes more of the tops of the stuffing to the heat, creating a crispy crunchy crust and a soft, melt-in-your-mouth stuffing interior.
When ready, the stuffing should have a golden brown color on top and look dry all the way to the edges. Cover it with a tent of foil after cooking to continue to soften the soft bready insides of the stuffing mounds.
Best EVER Baked Stuffing
- Pour the bread cubes into a large bowl. Pour the broth over the bread cubes and let soak for one hour.
- Use a food processor to chop and blend the cranberries, celery, onion and carrots along with the rosemary and sage.
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the cranberry and vegetable mix to the skillet and saute until the celery has turned a bright green and the onions are just beginning to soften – about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl then add to the bowl with the soaking bread cubes and stir gently. Fold in the sauted veggies.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking dish lightly with cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to create individual mounds of stuffing, enough to fill the entire tray. It’s okay if the scoops overlap slightly. Place a single pat of butter on top of each mound of stuffing.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the top of the stuffing is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and tent with foil until ready to serve. Serve with your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Happy Holidays!