A black pan full of stuffing.

Stove Top Stuffing Recipes for the Holiday Season

The holidays are a wonderful way to celebrate around the table with friends and family, but the real fun starts in the kitchen! No recipe box is complete without cherished homemade stove top stuffing recipes. Why buy store-made when, with a few ingredients and some technique, you can have your very own signature stuffing recipe that everyone will ask for year after year?

What Is the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

Generally, there is only one region in the U.S. where stuffing is referred to as “dressing”. The south calls it dressing, but the difference between stuffing and dressing is that dressing is purely in the cooking process. Dressing is baked in a casserole dish outside of the turkey, whereas stuffing is lightly packed into the seasoned turkey cavity and roasted along with the bird. But since dressing and stuffing are the same recipe, either can be baked outside of the turkey.

Basic Stuffing Recipe

Cubed bread is the foundation for a savory stuffing. Choose challah, French, sourdough, even cornbread cubes for their ability to soak up the butter, seasonings and savory turkey juices. (Pro tip: Place cubed bread on a baking sheet and let it dry out overnight or bake in a “slow” oven on 250F for about an hour until the cubes are stale. This allows them to be retain their shape during the prep and baking process.)

  • Serves: 6
  • Time:40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced (discard the white ends)
  • 1 cube of butter (or bacon grease)
  • Bouquet Garni (herbs tied together with kitchen twine)
  • 1 sprig of fresh sage
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig of fresh parsley
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 cups of bread cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Sauté diced celery and onion in butter or bacon grease. Add bouquet garni and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add 2 cups of broth to the saucepan and let it simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove bouquet garni (do not discard).
  3. Add bread cubes and mix thoroughly until the bread has soaked up the seasoned liquid. Add more broth, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread stuffing in a greased casserole dish with bouquet garni on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 40 to 45 minutes at 350F. Remove foil and bouquet garni, fluff stuffing with a fork and let set about five minutes before serving.
  5. Alternatively, loosely stuff the turkey cavity with chilled stuffing and bouquet garni. Truss turkey legs and follow roasting instructions on turkey packaging. Discard bouquet garni before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  6. Pro tip: Stuffing can be made up to a day in advance and can be covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to bake or added to a turkey. Simply fluff it with a fork before cooking or adding to the turkey cavity.

Experiment With Regional Ingredients

No matter where you are from, you can create a stuffing recipe that is uniquely yours. Here are some ideas from all across the country to inspire you:

  • East coast style: crumbled Italian sausage, chopped basil, chopped sundried tomatoes, diced green bell peppers and grated parmesan cheese.
  • Northeastern style: oysters or clams, chopped parsley, sliced, mushrooms, diced apples, raisins, or dates.
  • Southern style: cornbread cubes, chopped sage, bacon bits, canned (drained) chestnuts, diced pears and cranberries.
  • Midwest style: cornbread cubes, chopped parsley, cooked and crumbled maple sausage, diced walnuts, cranberries.
  • Northwest style: French bread cubes, chopped sage, shallots, chopped hazelnuts and freshly zested orange peel.
  • Vegan/vegetarian: sourdough bread cubes, sliced artichoke hearts, cooked wild brown rice, chopped walnuts and red and green grapes sliced in half./li>

How to Store Leftover Stuffing

Thanksgiving leftovers are always better the next day, and stuffing is especially delicious topped with leftover gravy. To avoid food contamination, always scoop out the stuffing from the turkey carcass before storing. Place the stuffing from the in a covered container. It will keep about four days in the refrigerator. To reheat, fluff with a fork, and reheat in the microwave, or spread the stuffing out on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for about four minutes for a crispier reheat. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Stuffing can be frozen in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to a month. Reheat per directions above.

Basic Stuffing Recipe Nutrition Facts

  • Servings: 6
  • Calories per serving: 166
  • Total fat: 16 grams
  • Saturated fat: 9.9 grams
  • Cholesterol: 40 milligrams
  • Sodium: 499 milligrams
  • Total carbohydrate: 3.2 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.7 grams
  • Total sugars: 1.5 grams
  • Protein: 2.9 grams
  • Vitamin D: 53%
  • Calcium: 1%
  • Iron: 2%
  • Potassium: 4%