Growing up, my mom’s choice of stuffing for Thanksgiving was Stove Top from a box. I think that she liked that, once her kids were old enough, they could mix it up instead of her – taking one holiday meal prep task off her list. Cooking is stressful for my mom, so that was appealing to her.
It wasn’t until I spent my first Thanksgiving with my husband’s family that I experienced homemade stuffing for the first time. Talk about night and day! Sure, stuffing from a box is fast. But that’s all it really has going for it. There’s no crunch to it, no variation in flavor – it’s just moist flavored bread.
Homemade stuffing, on the other hand, is full of sauteed onions and celery, plus lots of bread cubes and fresh seasonings. It’s got crunch from the vegetables – and from baking, if you choose to bake it instead of stuffing the turkey with it – and it practically melts in your mouth. Win-win.
What you need:
- 3/4 c. finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 c. chopped celery
- 1 c. unsalted butter (plus additional as needed – add 1/2 stick extra if using homemade bread)
- 9 c. soft bread cubes (from about 1 loaf, store-bought or homemade)
- 2 t. salt
- 1 1/2 t. sage
- 1/2 t. pepper
- cutting board
- serrated knife and chef’s knife
- large skillet and spoon
- large bowl
- 13″x9″ casserole dish and foil, OR a ready-to-roast turkey
Time: 20 minutes prep + 30 minutes baking (for baked)
Multiplying the recipe: Yes, it’s easily multiplied to feed the hungry masses.
Cut the bread into slices. Stack about 4 slices neatly and slice them into strips. Turn the bread and slice the strips crosswise into cubes. Set aside.
Chop the celery and onions. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until softened. Stir in about a third of the bread cubes. Dump the sauteed mixture into a deep bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing to coat. (If using homemade bread, the mixture may require a bit more moisture. Simply melt additional butter in the skillet and add to the bowl.)
If stuffing the turkey, do so immediately before roasting. This amount of stuffing will stuff a 12-pound turkey. Roast as appropriate for your size turkey.
If baking, dump the stuffing into a 13″x9″ casserole dish and press it down evenly with your hands or the flat bottom of a measuring cup. Cover it with foil and bake for 325F for 30 minutes.