apple-herb stuffing for all seasons Recipes

apple-herb stuffing for all seasons

I have several stuffing-related confessions to unload today:

My first stuffing love was found at a friend’s house, when her mother served us an apple stuffing from a Pepperidge Farm mix that is no longer made, I presume because it’s not 1989. My god, did I nag my mother (who wasn’t terribly keen on packaged foods, meanie) to make it too. Sometimes she’d cave, though never often enough, but it didn’t stop me from growing up thinking that the dreamiest stuffing includes tart apples, celery, lightly caramelized onions and herbs, a dream I was repeatedly denied as a child and yes, I’m requesting a very tiny violin.

torn-up bread. cornbread works too.
apples, celery, onion, bread, herbs

I think if you’re limiting your stuffing consumption to a single day in November, you are missing out. When you snip stuffing free of its holiday-specific tethers, it doesn’t take long to realize how welcome it could be speared onto your fork the other 364 days a year, a category it shares with latkes (as awesome at cocktail parties as they are for weekend breakfasts topped with a lacy-edged fried egg, and especially fitting this year), yule logs (for Thanksgiving or just the mega-Yodel of it) and fairy lights, which you should not even pretend aren’t as awesome strung across a yard on a July evening as they are outlining shutters and fire escapes in December. I would eat stuffing every week of the year if everyone would stop looking at me so strangely about it.

apples, celery and onion, sauteed in butter

mixed with the torn bread
piled into a pan

I am so insistent that stuffing tastes amazing during the breakfast meal with a loosely cooked egg on top, at lunch, aside a salad, instead of a roll, or dinner on days that are not Thanksgiving, in lieu of a grain or potato, that I went to extensive lengths to develop a recipe called Breakfast Stuffing (but really a Stuffing For All Meals) for The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, something of an herbed and savory but not really eggy breakfast strata, studded with my favorite stuffing flavors. I tested and tested and tested this. We enjoyed and enjoyed and enjoyed it. But, nobody else could get their head around it. Every person I mentioned it to said, “Yeah? Breakfast Stuffing, huh?” in that oh-that-scribble-was-a-dinosaur? voice. I know the oh-that-scribble-was-a-dinosaur voice. So, I pulled it, and it has lived on my computer since, hoping to one day find a home.

apple and herb stuffing

It’s been four years. Maybe it’s time?

So, here is my favorite stuffing for all days of the year, but especially next Thursday. It includes all of the apples and celery and onion I was denied as a child, sometimes cornbread too, and sometimes, I even put some breakfast sausage in it, but it’s not a requirement. It’s very easy to make — just torn bread, gently toasted, some chopped stuff lightly sauteed in butter, then baked in a pan and stuffed, uh, places* [clutches pearls]. It reheats well. It’s a flexible recipe, in case you detest one ingredient but can’t live without, say, chestnuts. And if you’ve ever wanted to eat stuffing for breakfast on day that are not the day after Thanksgiving, well, you’re among friends.

sometimes we slice and toast it, too
sometimes i put an egg on top

Thanksgiving recipes: My favorites are listed here, but if you think I’ve missed something, head to the search box (top left, under the logo) and type in the ingredient — I bet we have something. Unless you’re looking for a whole turkey recipe… um, next year, I promise. [Thanksgiving Recipes]

More Thanksgiving this week: I realized near the end of last week that I had five Thanksgiving dishes left to share with you, and wouldn’t it be fun to post each day this week about one? So, Monday was Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions. Today is stuffing. And if all goes well (so many tiny inconvenient things — meetings and tests and tours and a pesky case of laryngitis — are plotting against us this week), but I’m going to persevere. I love these dishes too much to keep them from you any longer.

Apple and Herb Stuffing* for All Seasons

6 cups torn chunks French, sourdough or country loaf, torn into bits (I use 2 7-ounce demi-baguettes)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large Spanish or sweet onion, chopped small
1 large or 2 small stalks celery, diced small
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small firm, tart tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced small
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 sage leaves, minced
1/2 to 1 cup cup turkey, chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1 large egg

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread bread cubes in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool in pan while you prepare the other ingredients.

Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish (a 9×5-inch loaf, 8- or 9-inch square dish, etc.) with 1 tablespoon butter. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, thyme, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper and cook for 2 minutes, until becoming translucent. Add celery and cook for 2 more minutes. Add apple and saute until a bit tender, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Place bread in large mixing bowl. Scrape contents of skillet on top. Whisk egg and 1/2 cup broth or stock together and pour over. Stir in parsley and sage. Spoon into prepared pan. If mixture looks a little dry, pour remaining 1/2 cup broth over it. [This is a good place to pause, if needed. Nothing bad comes of the stuffing absorbing the liquids for longer.] Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until brown on top and no liquid appears if you insert a knife vertically into the center of the stuffing pan and turn it slightly. Serve immediately, or reheat as needed.

* On a technical note, I insist upon calling stuffing what is actually dressing, even though I know it is wrong. Although they use the same recipes, stuffing goes inside the bird, dressing is baked outside, and I insist that it is better outside the bird. When making stuffing to, uh, stuff, uh, places, one must cook the bird to a higher-than-normal temperature to ensure that the stuffing inside is free from undercooked poultry drippings. Seeing as most turkey is dry enough, I see no point in helping it along.

Variations:

  • Apple, Herb and Cornbread Stuffing: You can replace two cups of the bread chunks with chunks of cornbread. This recipe is a good basic one for croutons.
  • Apple, Herb and Sausage Stuffing: Brown a half-pound of breakfast sausage, cut into 1/2-inch coins, in the pan, before adding the apple. Cook it until it’s just cooked through (it will have lots of time to finish in the oven). Remove it from the pan and add the apples and remaining ingredients as directed above.
  • Breakfast Stuffing: Bake this stuffing in a buttered loaf pan. Let it cool. Slice it off with a serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion (it’s going to break up a bit; it doesn’t matter) and toast each slice until a little brown on the cut sides. Top with a fried egg.

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193 comments on apple-herb stuffing for all seasons

  1. This is perfect, actually – just the nudge of inspiration I was looking for. Question – how many people should this feed? Alas, I cannot make my favorite stuffing as it involves oysters and my father-in-law is kosher. Ditto re: sausage… This, however, is exactly what I’ve been thinking of and hadn’t even realized! Thank you!

  2. You’re not alone in your stuffing love, Deb! My favorite stuffing of all time is Stove Top. As in, the stuff in a box. I am not ashamed. However, I trust all of your recipes, so I may have to try this.

  3. Margaret

    This is very similar to the stuffing my mom makes but she includes raisin bread as well, which gives it an insanely delicious hint of sweetness. She also makes it in much, much larger quantities. It is my favorite food on earth.

  4. Valerie

    :) You’re not crying in the wilderness all by your lonesome. My husband’s step-dad is famous throughout the family for his day-after-Thanksgiving omelets filled with turkey and stuffing, with gravy poured over the whole.

  5. Gabrielle

    YES! A kindred stuffing spirit! I also make it all year long, and call it stuffing but bake it in a pan. Cornbread, dried cranberries, and mushrooms all make occasional appearances, and mixing in pumpernickel makes a cute black-and-white composition.
    PS: In NC, you can get Thanksgiving-style food anytime at K&W cafeteria restaurants. Mmmm, comfort!

  6. Colleen

    I had fried stuffing for breakfast every holiday breakfast. whatever didn’t fit in the turkey was fried in butter. My Mom’s recipe also had apples in it, the seasoning similiar by way of Bell’s seasoning, but the texture was much more of a mush. Fried stuffing mush crisped in the pan, watching the Macy’s Parade, boy does that bring me back!

  7. Amy

    I love stuffing – one of my favourites is pork sausagemeat with apricots and almonds. It’s great just roasted and served with potatoes and things!

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what to sub celery for? A relative’s just found out about a celery allergy, and I’m trying to work out workarounds as it’s such a staple ingredient!

    1. deb

      Amy — You could skip it or maybe try a little diced fennel… or parsnips? They have a celery-ish vibe. Is this person allergic to celeriac root too? Similar flavor. All three would benefit from a longer cooking time. I’d add them sooner to the pan.

      Olga — Yikes, I am so bad at estimating portion sizes, but I’d guess 6 to 8. Possibly more if there are a lot of things on the table, but not a lot more.

      Doubling — Nobody asked, but I should mention that this could be easily doubled in a 9×13-inch or lasagna pan.

  8. Tara

    I like the Breakfast idea for stuffing. Almost as good as pizza the next day. How about using the loaf and making savoury frenchtoast? Do you think that would work?

  9. Erica

    As a non-American married to an American most of the traditional Thanksgiving food means very little to me (plus, I’m a vegetarian) – but he LOVES stuffing/dressing and green bean casserole and I actually think I can love them the way you make them.
    I foresee many, many goodwife-points in my future :)

  10. HK

    I should have probably prefaced my question with my Thanksgiving generally consists of about 40 family members (plus two to four canine family members).

  11. Elisheva

    I’ve never tried the traditional bread-based stuffing but it has always sounded like my kind of carb. Would this work with leftover challah or do you think the flavour would be off?

  12. Jen

    I am of the belief that dressing/stuffing should be baked outside the bird because, honestly, I don’t like it cooked inside the bird. It’s too mushy for my taste.

  13. Sarah

    Just a note: the “more Thanksgiving this week” paragraph is missing the end parenthesis. And I’m so very glad I’m not the only stuffing-for-breakfast person. I guess I can now admit to eating stuffing for all three meals last Friday. Apples, fennel, crimini mushrooms, butternut squash, brussels sprouts…mmmm… This one also looks divine!

  14. Julianne

    My family cooks stuffing in muffin tins (Stuffing Muffins!) which maximizes the crunchy top and corner bits in the loaf pan, they are amazing. So good we have to hide a bag of them when we host so that we’ll be sure to have leftovers.

  15. kathy

    I also add toasted almond slivers and sliced fresh water chestnuts (Asian markets have them, not fun to peel, they stay crunchy, give them a try).

  16. Suzi

    This sounds delightful! Can I make this the night before, refrigerate, and then bake on Thanksgiving afternoon like I would with my traditional stuffing?

  17. Susan

    I’ve always called it dressing even as it was stuffed into the turkey. I was told that the dressing was stuffed into the fowl to season it and keep it moist from the inside. Well, that’s what I was told but we ate it, too! I’ve baked it separately for many years now because it sucks up too much of the juice that I want/need for gravy. Plus, inside the bird it turns this very unappetizing brownish color. What’s that about? Is it me? Like you, I could eat it any time, too. Hated it as a kid; love it now.

  18. Jane M

    Oh this stuffing for breakfast could have been a Seinfeld episode! But seriously YUUUUM! I’ve got my thanksgivingakuhah latkes on the menu this year! Sweet!

  19. avis

    “no liquid appears if you push insert a knife vertically”
    Should it be push or insert but not both?

    This stuffing sounds amazing.

  20. FACT: There is no better smell in the world than onions, celery and sage sauteeing away in butter. Seriously… I would buy this candle in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Will have to try the breakfast variety!

  21. Erin

    These are all my favorite dressing ingredients (plus maybe toasted almond slices)! Quick question: is the consistency just-barely-holding-together-crumbly or more chunky-bread-pudding-esque? And if it’s the former and we prefer the latter, do you suggest adding another egg? More stock? Thanks so much – your recipes never let me down!

  22. Tina

    This looks very similar to the stuffing I make. I also add walnuts to the mix. I am curious about adding the egg with the broth. Is this a texutual thing or for better binding?

  23. Melanie

    You are my cooking guru. I cannot look at this blog without an intense desire to immediately procure all ingredients I see and try to produce the same! So far this month I have consumed great quantities of wing broth (had a cold-so it was perfect!) made several pizzas, amazing cranberry-orange rolls which we intended to freeze–so surprising when there were none left the next day–and now I must race to the basement to see if I have any green beans left in the freezer from the garden, and get out some bread to thaw for stuffing…oh my, this day has suddenly become very busy!

  24. LCA in RIC

    Yes and yes! Our family is actually doing Thanksgiving brunch this year due to crazy work schedules and Iwouldn’t dream of doing it without Ina’s herb and sausage stuffing (very similar to this delicious looking one!) I am also in the stuffing-year-round camp and requested it for my birthday this year (in, ahem, mid-June). It was magnificent!

  25. deborah

    Breakfast dresstuffing? (okay..we can work on the name later). With an egg yet? Be still my heart! This just leapfrogged over the other things on my Must-Eat list to #1. Not even going to wait for next week. I’m making this Sat to have for Sunday brunch.

    Thanks for making my day. What else got pulled from the book that you have not shared here yet??

    deborah

  26. Lucy

    I get the stuffing-on-it’s-own thing. My family has a similar stuffing to this which we eat cooked on its own on Christmas Eve, then we eat any leftovers (hah!) in sandwiches on Boxing Day. Dinner on Christmas day could be anything – beef, duck, ham, almost never turkey – but the Christmas Eve stuffing is obligatory.

  27. Suzy

    I will be happy to make this — a lot! I totally heart stuffing for breakfast! — but I remain baffled by the weirdness around real STUFFING. My mom’s turkey is always safely cooked and never dry! Never. We use the traditional Scottish stuffing (oatmeal and onions sauteed in butter with salt & pepper) so no worries about meat or egg going bad by cooking too slowly, but you DON’T have to overcook the turkey. In nearly 130 years of our family history alone, no one’s ever been sick from Thanksgiving. (And I’ve made several turkeys with the oyster stuffing inside, too.) If you’re nervous, use a frozen turkey. (Properly thawed, of course.)

  28. Jennifer F.

    What is the make ahead status of this? Can I make it a day or two ahead and reheat the day of? Or will it be dried out and bad. I have never made stuffing, but suddenly find myself hosting a huge Thanksgiving feast (due to the coincidence of Hanukkah being the same day).

    1. deb

      Jennifer — It reheats well. You could also soak it overnight then bake it on Thanksgiving.

      If you’d like to skip the egg — It is, indeed, about binding the stuffing a bit together; I like clumpy stuffing. It’s not essential, unless you wanted a better chance of being able to slice it, loaf-like. Have a little more broth on hand if you’re going to skip it.

      Erin — Just holding together a little. Add another egg if you’d like it to be more pudding-ish.

      Avis — Yes, now fixed. Thanks.

      cyndi — Just use olive oil or another neutral oil.

      Amber — Nope, that’s a typo.

      Erika — Indeed. But this one actually had the bits of apple in it. It was probably gross. I’m so glad I didn’t care.

      Julianne — That is inspired.

  29. Erica

    Can I just say how much I love you? That’s not weird, right? This is the exact stuffing recipe I have been looking for to make for my husband since his recent admission that he really doesn’t like the stuffing I traditionally make (that is a recipe from my great grandmother, that everyone loves, that people sing about and fawn over!! But no, I’m not bitter, why would you say that?).

  30. Janelle F.

    This sounds lovely! Stuffing is one of my very favorite thanksgiving foods :) and i should make it more often! why not?? I have to confess I’m not a big parsley fan though…what could I substitute?

  31. Dahlink

    This looks very much like the family stuffing my husband and I invented in the 70s as newlyweds–except that ours uses a ton of chopped shallots instead of onions, and we add sliced mushrooms, a little fresh thyme, and pecans. Our apple of choice for this recipe is Rome Beauties, but they are getting harder and harder to find here. Our coup de grace is a good swig of Calvados stirred in just before it goes into the bird to emphasize the flavor of the apples. Also we cook it inside the bird and have never had a dry turkey.

    My sister has been eating our stuffing for breakfast the morning after for decades. So–been there, done that! We can recommend it.

  32. BenK

    Because of the challenges of getting roast turkey every week of the year, I hypothesize that chicken wings or thighs or drumsticks could be cooked in a layer atop ‘dressing’ to get the drippings and juice into the bread.

  33. One of the reasons I feel so lucky to be a Brit – stuffing is a staple addition to the Sunday roasts, or at least it was in my family. (Not in the MILs – maybe it’s a class thing? Us poorer folk bulking out the meal with a stale bread-based thing).

    Of course, I think UK stuffing is rather different anyway – we press it into a tin or roll it into balls to bake, as it’s not as loose and crumbly as the stuff I’ve seen over the pond. And of course, the stuffing we get most often is the dried-stuff-in-a-packet that gets rehydrated, shaped into balls and then cooked. Although my nan sometimes enhanced it with chopped bacon, onions and fresh garden herbs.

  34. Stuffing for breakfast?! Sounds perfect. I started making stuffing with apples and Italian sausage which just amps up the flavors of the stuffing my mom makes. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Maybe even tomorrow. Thanks for the permission to eat stuffing year round :)

  35. Sally

    I can help with the dry turkey–keep it in mind for next year. It needs a strong person on hand. Season the bird with salt and pepper a couple of days ahead of time. Stuffing inside or not, as you please. Start it roasting at 325° breast DOWN and turn it over halfway through the roasting time. We have best luck doing this by protecting hands with mitts and protecting mitts with folded paper towels. No basting of any kind needed at any time. Start checking for temperature an hour before you think you need to.

    Since so much of the fat in a turkey is in the back and thigh area, starting it breast down means that it bastes the vulnerable breast meat. Turning it over means that all the skin gets crisp and brown. My ideal turkey would be one that is 36″ on a side and an inch thick!

  36. Sally

    No!! I’m sorry I was unclear. If you stuff the turkey, do it immediately before it goes into that oven. Both turkey and stuffing should be cold, as in, straight from the fridge.

  37. Marcia

    In my copy of Craig Claiborne’s NY Times cookbook is a page full of greasy, oniony smudges around a recipe for “New England Dressing”..my go to stuffing since 1966 ,(!) when the school I taught in gave me a Turkey for Christmas. Not too many other cookbooks available then…It is full of my notes and tweaks , but is basically the same..just no egg.
    No one has ever complained..This is what stuffing tastes like, Right?

  38. Ale

    This sounds amazing! Since I did not grow up in the States, I had no idea what a Thanksgiving meal exactly included in addition to the turkey. The first time I tasted stuffing, it had been cooked inside the bird and I found it… yucky. It was a mushy, soggy, flavorless mess that I though I’d never want to try again! A couple of years later, a friend of mine properly made a pan of celery-apple-chestnuts dressing that I absolutely loved, just as much as I enjoy the rest of the Thanksgiving staples. By the way, your cranberry sauce recipes are awesome too!

  39. Allana

    You’re not alone in your love of stuffing for all meals and seasons! Here in Canada, the smart folks in Newfoundland have a dish called “chips, dressing and gravy” – which is, as it sounds, French fries topped with stuffing and gravy.

  40. If I wasn’t from Georgia! and married to cornbread dressing, I would SO make this. Hmmm. Guess I’ll just have to anyway, since I trust you completely.
    :-)

  41. Limit to one day in November? No, stuff game hens, whole chickens and porch chops. That would be sad, like limiting french fries to burgers, and never having the joy of putting them in an omlette, Latin Quarter style.

  42. Eliott

    Isn’t it cruel to have a cook-at-home-mum? I totally understand! Anyway, as our oven here in Shanghai is too small to roast anything larger than a pigeon, we will just make the stuffing! Thanks so much for the idea!

  43. Lauren

    HOT breakfast stuffing????? I’ve always eaten it cold- right out of the refrigerator – the next day. Kind of like pizza leftovers… who can wait to heat it up??????? This egg idea will make me do that this year, maybe… Loved the comment from the raisin bread person…now wouldn’t that be just like my all time favorite dessert- Bread pudding? The potential here is amazing!!!

  44. Staci

    Yay!!! I’m making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year and I’ve been dreading making the stuffing. This recipe looks simple and delicious. You’ve saved the day again! Thanks so much!

  45. Michelle

    Every year for the past six or seven years (for as long as I’ve been hosting Turkey day), my breakfast is a generous sample the just-mixed stuffing (prior to the addition of the raw egg!!). I love it. It’s usually late in the morning, after my prep work has been completed but before my guests have arrived. It’s such a happy moment– the satisfaction of my work being done and the anticipation of the day to come. I say stuffing for breakfast should be enjoyed more often, and thank you for the post. :)

  46. Lisa

    I will happily eat stuffing any time of year, and I think having for breakfast is genius (since I’m always grabbing a little piece every time I open the fridge)!
    I always make mine with apples, too, but I also like to add in some dried cranberries or raisins. I love the savory poultry seasoning with the sweet/ tart fruit. :)

  47. Linda Borland-Fitzgerald

    What ever happened to traditional, sage, poultry seasoning, bread cubes, celery and onion.. stuffing/dressing? It’s all about cornbread or sausage or chestnuts, apples, etc. I want the old fashioned, dark and savoury dressing. Mom always (as did I) cook it inside the bird, but now that I buy only the breast (just 2 of us eating but want the leftovers) so I need to cook the dressing outside of the bird – what’s a full proof way to keep it (the savoury style) really moist???

    1. deb

      Linda — This is exactly what you described (well minus poultry seasoning, which I’m unfamiliar with), plus some tart apples. The cornbread and sausage options are just variations for people who prefer their stuffing that way. To keep it more moist, add more broth.

  48. Barbara

    I make a very similar stuffing (cooked in a pan, because it needs to be crispy and I brine, and also yuk, can not take the mushy and possible food poisoning, but I digress). Must have sausage added.

    I comment because I seriously thought I was the only person who looked forward to left over stuffing for breakfast! I make it with scrambled eggs and just mix it all together. Heaven on a plate! I stopped telling people about it because of the strange looks, so I am glad to know I am not as alone as I thought I was.

  49. Loving these Thanksgiving recipes! I was actually just browsing your site the other day looking for a good stuffing recipe, so I was so happy to see this in my inbox this morning! Just wondering -I was hoping to make this a day ahead, any tips for success?

  50. In college, I decided that those canisters of Stove Top stuffing that allowed one to make single servings were manna from heaven. I had also been a child begging for stuffing with non-Thanksgiving meals, so being able to have it for dinner WHENEVER I wanted was the best part of being an adult.

  51. bea

    Ok.
    I just realised, reading this recipe, that until now I had NO IDEA what stuffing was.
    This, from down here (italy), looks like some sort of savory bread pudding.
    I thought it was simply the stuff you put inside the bird, turns out, there’s a whole world of possibilities. Could I use stale bread for this?

  52. Margaret

    This sounds great; my recipe is similar but without the apple and egg. My husband is such a fan of bread stuffing that I always have to make it when we go to potluck Thanksgiving dinners so he is sure of having his beloved stuffing rather than cornbread, or bread with miscellaneous ingredients such as chestnuts, etc. :).

    Linda, I often make it when I’m not stuffing a bird…I just put a lid on it to keep it really moist; sometimes I cook it in a crockpot when I need to feed an army (or the rest of the rv park).

  53. This looks and sounds delicious. I grew up in a house where stuffing (from a mix) was a usual Sunday Roast accompaniment. I don’t necessarily associate it with Christmas (I am in the UK so no Thanksgiving here)…

    My idea of stuffing is solely based on Paxo stuffing mix, add hot water, bake….

    This post has opened my eyes, so do excuse me while I toddle off to my kitchen to tear up some bread and see what happens.

  54. Shelagh

    We love, love, LOVE stuffing in our house. My dirty little secret is that I always start with our favourite Stove Top (reduced salt) and add whatever sauteed veggies and/or fruit to it that strike me that day. Guests always rave about my stuffing and I just smile and accept the praise. The way some people like anything in pastry, my family likes anything with stuffing. Like you, I call it stuffing even though I bake it in a casserole dish in the oven.

  55. Mary B.

    This post brought a tear to my eye. My late father used to stir leftover stuffing into scrambled eggs; it was comfort food at it’s finest!
    Although my mom is past making it anymore, I have her recipe (more of a formula, really) for stuffing – that with giblet gravy is by far my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.
    I’m thankful for you, Deb! Your posts bring a smile to my mornings, and your recipes bring a smile to our tummies. :)

  56. Renee

    I always resist saying this, so as to not seem the creepy stalker type, but I insist that you read my cooking mind!! Just last night I was lying in bed thinking about what I had to make for Christmas (who doesn’t do this at 11pm?…), one of which is stuffing, and I thought, “I don’t think Deb has a stuffing recipe. She said she would try to post a new recipe each day this week. Maybe she’ll cover stuffing.” Come the next morning…. Thank you for always coming through on my recipe needs!

  57. Adrienne

    Thank you for bringing a smile to my face so early in the morning. I learned to make stuffing from my grandmother and it was similar to this one today ( no apple ). My basic recipe hasn’t changed. I do embellish each edition with variations like: apples/mushrooms/toasted hazelnuts for Thanksgiving or mandarin oranges/dried cranberries/toasted pecans for Christmas. And always lots of fresh chopped sage,parsley and thyme.

  58. Susan

    This sounds like the stuffing recipe I’ve always wanted. And I see no reason why one should not eat it for breakfast… I remember when I took a trip to Israel and the things the hotel served for breakfast were unlike anything I’d ever eaten. That experience opened my eyes, and I’ve been much more open to interesting breakfasts ever since.

  59. Carri

    Oh my word – I am obsessed with stuffing too! I eat it as often as possible, but your breakfast stuffing just doubled my excitement about how delicious it is! I can’t wait to try it.

  60. Gail

    Amy, for most recipes, you really can just leave celery out. Anytime you need a mirepoix, for example, just do onion and carrots. Never substitute celery root – it typically causes a worse reaction than the stalks. Please also be careful about celery seed/salt (and celery seed/salt in spice mixes), store-bought stock/broth, and canned soups. They might not be a problem for all people with allergies, but worth checking.

    That said, since in my family we always have both dressing and stuffing anyway, we do one with celery and one without.

    And thank you for being so accommodating! Celery allergies are so often dismissed as not “real” in the U.S.

    (And Deb, this looks delicious! Everything is better with a fried egg on top.)

  61. Came across a Stuffing Waffle recipe on Serious Eats. Oh, how I hope to have leftovers of THIS recipe to turn into a stuffing waffle. Or stuffing muffin. Or stuffing hash. ANYTHING to enjoy Stuffing as Breakfast using this very recipe!

  62. Emily

    I made this last night because I couldn’t wait. I didn’t have thyme, but it was still totally delicious. I’ll have to double it (and add some cornbread) for thanksgiving!

  63. Betsi

    This is the classic Pennsylvania Dutch stuffing recipe which I learned from my grandmother and wouldn’t ever think of changing it on Thanksgiving. It reminds me of the generations before me that made it the same way. And everyone that eats it love sit. It’s great smothered with homemade turkey gravy, but then again, what isn’t?

  64. Izzy

    This sounds a lot like my favorite-ever stuffing: the Cornbread Apple (?) stuffing from Martha Stewart’s “Entertaining” (1982). She includes brandy-soaked currants (though we always sub raisins). So yummy!

    I fully support your heroic efforts to normalize stuffing for regular meals! :)

  65. Dani

    This recipe is almost exact to my mothers. She is 65 and her mother made Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing for every thanksgiving since as long as she can remember, adding sautéed celery, onions and green apple, and ever so often a clove of garlic. All my life ( I’m nearly 30) we’ve had Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing, everybody loves it despite being a family of gourmet mavens, and it’s precisely the same now as it was 50 years ago.

  66. Jean Woessner

    Stuffing in or next to turkey. Stuffing in pork chops. Stuffing in sandwiches, especially turkey, and stuffing even for….breakfast. This stuffing is a LOT like one I have been making for years. It’s always, always delicious. If stuffing a bird, I leave out the egg. If not, and cooking in a pan, I add an additional egg, to lighten the mix and the rise. This year we are going to have stuffing with an egg on top, for sure! Thanks, Deb!

  67. Carolyn

    This is exactly my deceased MIL’s recipe, the one that gave me anxiety for promptly abandoning my mother’s stuffing. Although neither liked to cook, this is my MIL’s legacy, presented with fanfare each Thanksgiving, the only thing my kids remember from her table.
    And I always make an extra pan for breakfast – love the thought of egg on it!

  68. Dahlink

    While we are in stuffing confessional mode, I will recall the first Thanksgiving we had after our older son went off to college. He came home professing a great desire for Mom’s home cooking. And what, in particular? Stovetop. I was mortified, to say the least. When he was older and living on his own, he did email me for the traditional family stuffing recipe, so I felt vindicated then.

  69. Kirsten

    As a child raised by a single father who couldn’t cook. I never liked stuffing I took over cooking thanksgiving dinner at 15.now at 23, I have quite proudly mastered “my” stuffing. And it looks so similar to yours! This makes me so happy as I am such a big fan of yours!

    Mine has well browned sweet Italian turkey sausage, apples, onion, celery sautéed in butter with a bay leaf, fresh sage, and thyme. After that cools, I mix the veggies with sweet cornbread(I’m from Texas but just can’t *do* salty cornbread), and Peter Reinhardt’s buttermilk bread(well toasted) and moisten it with lots of homemade turkey stock. Season with more sage and bake.

    Sorry for the long comment but I’m passionate about stuffing. I love your site!

  70. bea

    Thank you Deb!
    I’m adding this to the “what to do with stale bread” list. It will be a nice change from ribollita and pappa al pomodoro! Plus, not having thanksgiving, I can do it whenever I need!

  71. Pat S

    I love stuffing and bread pudding. I’ll have to try this. I’m not making a turkey for thanksgiving … maybe this will serve as a good substitute. :D

  72. Stuffing was always my favorite part of the THanksgiving meal and now that I run my own kitchen, we eat it OFTEN. I’m especially partial to cornbread dressing.

    I LOVE your breakfast idea! I’m going to do that. I much prefer savory breakfasts. In fact, my favorite time to eat risotto is breakfast (I use Ina Garten’s oven method and sometimes I use barley, too, instead of rice).

  73. AB

    Oh my goodness, did you read Dinner A Love Story today? Are you all conspiring to start a breakfast stuffing revolution?? How am I going to wait a whole week to try this?

  74. Beth

    This is our family dressing recipe– yes, from the back of the Pepperidge Farm bag. My mom, sister, and I have been making it since I was 14 or so (35 years)(!). Yum yum yum. We usually just make a second little plate of Thanksgiving dinner for breakfast the next morning. Except for my sister– she has cold pumpkin pie for breakfast. Also yummy.

  75. Monica

    I must confess I’ve been making a version of this stuffing for 30 years.I found it on a recipe card for a Holly Farms roaster. I think it was called a Sunday roaster. It had a sausage, apple stuffing made with Pepperridge Farms herbed Stuffing Mix. I started using either French or Ciabatta (more crust ratio) about 15 years ago adding my own herbs. Over the years I’ve made it with various local pork sausages from different parts of the country that we have lived. I’ve made it with venison sausage a few times from deer my husband killed and plan on making it with wild hog from this years annual hunting trip to South Carolina. I’ve researched over the years and have come up with a slightly different technique from the original recipe but it still holds true to that 1st Thanksgiving stuffing I ever made. I still have the little Holly Farms recipe card from the grocery store and pull it out and look at it every year…just one of my traditions. Can’t wait for next Thursday. Oh, and always outside the Turkey, crusty and moist at the same time. Not all soggy and undercooked!

  76. Sally

    I’m getting hungry for stuffing other than turkey-flavored! But it *needs* that taste. Outside the turkey I’ll baste it with giblet stock to help keep it moist inside. My dad used to insist that day-old stuffing should be fried to crisp it up. Our favorite bread for stuffing is stale rye bread, preferably the caraway-flavored kind. Onions, celery, parsley, sage, thyme, all softened in butter, a bit of stock added, tossed over the rye bread cubes. We make it a day ahead and store it in a plastic bag once it’s cold; it drapes easily over more bulky items (turkey, for example) in the fridge. Or the bag can be wedged into the oddest corners of the fridge. Very space-saving!

    And then there’s Thompson’s Turkey Stuffing, but that’s better in a duck.

  77. Hillary

    I have been expressly forbidden from making anything besides pepperidge farm on Thanksgiving. My family has consented to try this at some point during the year, and will weigh in before thanksgiving 2014!

  78. Mai

    I LOVE stuffing for breakfast. Back in college I worked at a bakery and had tons of bread on hand so stuffings and bread puddings became my staples (the spinach-cashew-bacon stuffing for your roasted stuffed onions was a favourite). I miss those days of extreme excesses of great bread. This looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it. Sadly I’m banned from making stuffing at Thanksgiving because I “put too much weird stuff in them” (lies!), plus if I didn’t make veggie dishes then my family would only have turkey, potatoes and dessert, but I will definitely be giving this a try.

  79. Liz

    Hi, this sounds great and I’m planning to make for Thanksgiving. Just noticed that salt is listed twice, wasn’t sure if that was intentional? Also, I know you commented that this reheats well–if I make it ahead of time, does it need more liquid when reheating? Thanks!

  80. deb

    Oops! The salt is indeed listed twice, but should only be used once. Now fixed. You can add more liquid when reheating (how dry it is will relate to the bread you used, how much liquid you added in the beginning, how you like it, etc.) but I don’t usually. No harm in doing so, however. Thanks.

  81. Heather

    Deb, I test-drove this recipe over the weekend, using the breakfast sausage, and OMG it was so delicious! My goal was to find a recipe that was so good people would eat it without gravy on top; my husband ate a bowl of it the next day as his lunch, so I declare it a success! Given that I ate at least half of it myself within 24 hours I definitely need to make a double batch so my other guests can try it too. :)

  82. Erica

    I really enjoyed this stuffing! Made it for breakfast, largely to use up a bunch of stuff in the fridge/freezer and I budgetized it by forgoing the fresh herbs (buying a package of sage for 3 leaves is not economical in my opinion). I used 1 tsp dried type, a healthy pinch of dried ground sage, and left the parsley out. And I can’t say I missed them one bit.

    PS, have you ever considered separate comments sections for recipe related notes vs just general gushing? I realize people say beautiful things, but looking thru 100 “this looks wonderful”‘s to try and find if anyone posted about using dried herbs was also not time-economical.

    1. deb

      Erica — I have, but I haven’t found any other systems I like. In the meanwhile, try doing a word search (it’s what I do here), Ctrl-F or Apple Key-F. I searched for “dried” which led me to Comment #117 where Betsy asked what amount I recommend if substituting dried — which I apparently missed! So, Betsy, meet Erica. And for dried herbs, the most common recommendation is to use a 1/3 volume of dried. However, I’d go with 1/4 volume; you can always add more if needed.

  83. Jestep

    Might try deglazing the pan, right before adding the apples, with some white wine like a chardonnay or pinot grigio. Used this at a company gathering with homemade stock, and it’s pretty amazing.

    1. deb

      kristi — It can be made the night before. It can either soak overnight unbaked, or be baked and then rewarmed the next day. If it seems a little dry in the morning, add a little more stock.

      Peter — You can add them with everything else if they’re already cooked. You might need a touch more liquid if they’ve added a bit of bulk.

  84. Janet

    I’m making this the day before Thanksgiving. Do you think it would be a good idea when reheating to drizzle a bit more chicken broth over to prevent it being to dry?

  85. Claire

    Did you know that Suzanne Goin had a thanksgiving spread in Bon Appetit last November? It included a stuffing with kale and fennel that looks amazing.

  86. Julie

    This is how I make mine – here’s a little embelishment that does not change the flavor – only enhances it – when you are sauteing onions, celery, parsely, etc. Add about 1/3 – 1/4 cup of brandy or cognac – it makes it spectacular. Been doing this for years – you do not taste the alcohol – just enhances the aromatics. Try it – you’ll love it

  87. Janae

    Made this tonight ahead of tomorrow’s madness and of course I tried a little piece (arranged the stuffing back over the missing corner, ha) and it was great! I usually make GOOP’s classic stuffing recipe, but wanted to try something new this year; thanks for a wonderful recipe.

    Also, is it just me who was surprised that you tore the bread into chunks instead of cutting them into perfectly symmetrical squares??? That’s not the Deb I’m used to! :)

    1. deb

      Janae — Ha! Look at me all loosening up with age! (The Martha’s Mac-and-Cheese with the diced breadcrumbs on top actually makes me cringe and we didn’t terribly care for it at the time, so it’s funny to me when I see other people make it that way. And charming.)

  88. Erika

    This had really good flavor. I made exactly as directed and even poured the extra stock on top but it was still kinda dry. But once you pour a half cup of gravy on top it doesn’t really matter anymore =) Excited to try with an egg in the morning.

  89. Hi Deb, I made this today (doubled in a 9×13) and wanted to pop by and say thank you! We were all really pleased with it. Tomorrow morning’s breakfast will be stuffing with a fried egg! Happy Thanksgiving!

  90. Dahlink

    I’ll let others have stuffing for breakfast. My morning after turkey day breakfast was your cranberry/pear/gingersnap crumble with a big dollop of plain yogurt. It doesn’t get any better than this!

  91. Shari

    Fabulous success! Our small group (5 people) on TG LOVED it. There was none left, although we are not big eaters, so I would say it serves 5 max. This blog saved me with Thanksgivakkah, because I made the latkes from here the night before for Hanukkah, and this stuffing the night before for TG. The stuffing was a bit of work/time in all the prep and chopping but seemed very foolproof. I used 1/2 a round sourdough, trying not to get too much crust for my crew. Pictures were so great to make it perfectly clear how the bread should be. Next time I’ll be doubling it. Thank you!!

  92. Thanks for the recipe… another winner but I am not suprised. We always love your stuff!

    #63 answered all of my questions about consistency and making it ahead.

    And lastly, it IS very good for breakfast with a poached egg. I just ate some!

  93. Chia-Yi

    last year i tried talking my bf into making a stuffing with apples but he didn’t want the sweetness from apples affecting the savoriness of the the stuffing. when i saw this recipe, i realized it was exactly what i wanted to have last year and promptly informed my bf that an executive decision had been made and this was the recipe we were going with. (last year i acquiesced to his wish for stuffing with sausage, which i think is an abomination. no other meat should distract from the turkey!) i made it with sourdough baguette and pink lady apples (granny smiths are way too tart for my tastes). i happy to report it was such a huge success that that barely any remained (half a serving). my bf gushed how perfect it was and dubbed me “the stuffing queen” traditionally we make a thanksgiving casserole the next day with all the left overs but i’m gonna have to whip up another batch before that can happen. my estimate that this recipe is a good amount for 4 people assuming that there’s a total of 4 sides. deb, i’m new to your site but i want to thank you for making such delicious recipes more accessible to an unskilled cook like me. i agree with a previous posted that your in between pictures are so helpful. they assuage my fears of my apple is too small and maybe there’s too much celery?!?

  94. Deb,

    I made your recipe with Challah this year in honor of Hanukkah – WOW was it fabulous, I’ll be tempted to prep rip up an extra Challah every friday night for stuffing the following week.

  95. Rebecca

    Wow — This was wicked good! My husband said it was the best stuffing I ever made!

    I, too, used Challah, as well as some whole-wheat rolls that I had on hand. I doubled the herbs, mixed it all up, and put it in the fridge overnight so the flavors could blend.

    This recipe is going into the notebook of “Mom’s Recipes for Thanksgiving.” :)

  96. michelle

    This was sooo delicious without being overly indulgent! The herbs were really aromatic, and I loved the tartness that the apples provided. I let the onions brown a bit to add some sweetness. Since it’s post-Thanksgiving, I cut back on the fat, using 1 T. butter with 1 T. olive oil…didn’t miss the fat one bit. Will be making this again soon!

  97. erb

    i call it stuffing regardless of where i bake it because it stuffs /me/, even if it doesn’t end up stuffing the bird. ;) thanks for the recipe!

  98. Lisa

    I made this for Thanksgiving, using your cornbread modification. It was delicious, and my Mom mentioned it again yesterday. I bought too much bread, so I froze the extra. Now I’m trying to decide how soon is too soon to make another batch, since I have the ingredients already.

  99. Sue

    made this for thanksgiving, it was a huge hit! because i was making apple pie as well, i sub the apples for pears! i wasnt sure if it was going to work, but it did! i made the stuffing again this week for dinner AND breakfast! thank you!

  100. AnnaJaye

    My favorite dish from Thanksgiving this year! So delightful! I loved the tang of the apples melded with the many savory flavors. Thanks for the lovely recipe & post.

  101. Jennifer. M

    Made this for TG…sooooo good! I added bout a cup of roughly chopped chestnuts in with the apples and celery And onions, and probably an extra half cup of stock….perfect. Thanks Deb, your recipes are my go-to move these days!!

  102. Hi – I made this for Thanksgiving. WOW. So good. I made quite a bit – and WOW – so good ! I made it ahead of time, baked it, and then reheated it when the Turkey came out of the oven. So delicious. needless to say, when I showed your photos to my wife, she decided that she wanted an egg on hers. Instead – the next morning I made a Thanksgiving Benedict for her – the stuffing on the bottom, a slice of turkey, an egg, and topped it with the creamed onions that I made for Thanksgiving. Side with cranberry sauce for the tart sweetness. Of course she ate it before I could get a picture ! Next time :)

  103. Julie

    My family loved this recipe! Thank you. In reading the others comments – I think I forgot to put the egg in? Anyway it was fabulous – I added sausage. The men here require meat (in everything…)but I too enjoyed the savoriness of the baked apples and sausage. Its on the books for next year and I will be making it again in a couple weeks for Christmas. Happy Holidays from Colorado!

  104. Joel

    The breakfast loaf idea is great. Does this freeze well, would it be suitable to make a loaf, slide it and freeze it for later use?

    1. deb

      Emily — No, this is actually a loaf pan! I bought it from Giada’s collection at Target a few years ago. Not the best quality stuff, but I love the clean lines. (I also bought a pie plate. Wait, who has my pie plate?! aargh.) This isn’t something I get a lot of use out of, but that handle-less lasagna pan from Amazon — you must get it. It’s really the best one, at the best price. I’m obsessed.

  105. Cody

    Made this for a Holiday party and it was a hit. I doubled the recipe but didn’t quite double the bread, it made for a really moist stuffing and it was the first thing to disappear from the table. The apple is subtle but you definitely notice the sweet, tartness. Thank you for the recipe and this website which is such a great resource for me.

  106. Claudia

    I have been stalking your blog since I saw it on Yummly. You are hilarious and everything looks soooo good all the time. I LOVE stuffing. I had never had any that didn’t come from a box until I got married and your recipe sounds almost exactly like my in-laws’. I too enjoy stuffing on a year-round basis!

  107. Sara Harris

    I am a newbie, hello Deb, and I LOVE the way you write, the delicious recipes and your cookbook which I have just bought…after reading it for over an hour in Barnes & Noble. I was so engrossed my coffee went cold! This stuffing recipe sounds perfect for a group of fussy Thanksgiving guests! They aren’t fussy at all really, but so many dietary requirements make the holiday cooking very stressful. This one sounds easy, possibly do-ahead and full of lots of traditional flavours. THANK YOU…looking forward to reading more Thanksgiving suggestions.

  108. Naomi

    For the people with challah questions – this looks very similar to my mom’s stuffing recipe, which is with challah and either pears or apples (and dried apricots). It’s great with challah.

  109. Priya

    Longtime reader here…Thanks for all you offer, Deb! Trying to do as much as possible before Thanksgiving. Question: Do you think this stuffing can be made the night before and refrigerated/reheated without compromising, or is freezing optimal for advance preparation? Happy Thanksgiving!

  110. Sara

    Hi Deb–I know I’m over a year late on this, but I plan to make your stuffing this week and I’m wondering if it could be baked (or if not baked then reheated) in a convection oven. We only have one true oven and the turkey will be in that. So I’m hoping to either bake it or reheat it in the microwave, which is also a convection oven. Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. deb

      Sara — I don’t see why it couldn’t be baked or reheated or both in a convection. However, I have virtually no experience with them because I’ve never had one at home. The only thing I do know is that they can cook a lot faster/more efficiently, so do keep an eye on it. Happy thanksgiving to you too.

  111. Ale

    This is my first time hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, so sorry if the question is silly but can the stuffing be completely made a day ahead and then simply reheated?

  112. Sandy

    i am surprised that no one makes this stuffing recipe with unsweetened applesauce in lieu of the apples and broth. My BFF’s mother’s recipe and that is the only change. You’ll never go wrong. Stuffing for breakfast is simply brilliant!

  113. Joyce

    I tried this recipe with Challah and it was a huge hit at a gathering of 30 people!! I am directing several of my friends to your website for the recipe.

    I used 2 14-ounch challah and vegetable broth, doubling all the quantities in your recipe and baking in a 9×13 baking pan. I thought it needed a bit more liquid to make it more moist for my taste, but everyone else thought it was perfect. Happy belated Thanksgiving.

  114. Priya

    Congratulations on your growing family, Deb! We, including our almost three year old son, hope to follow in your footsteps! Thanks for all that you share on the personal front… It’s appreciated as much as your wise culinary inspiration :-)

    Thanks too for responding to my make ahead question about this dish on the eve of last Thanksgiving. I did end up making it the night before Thanksgiving, refrigerated it, and reheated it for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone said this stuffing was the best part of our meal!

  115. Sarah

    I made this tonight to test it out for a dinner I am hosting next weekend. I should know better by now that your recipes don’t need testing out. I followed it exactly and it was absolutely perfect (of course!)

    Thank you so much for another winner – your recipes never disappoint!

  116. Brett

    I have someone who won’t touch onions. Is there a substitution that will work? If not, I’m thinking two baking dishes – one with onions and one without. Thanks!

  117. Victoria

    If I doubled (or tripled) this recipe in a larger dish, how long would you suggest baking it for, or would the bake time remain unchanged? Thanks Deb, it looks delicious!

  118. Bess

    I wanted to adapt this recipe for a gluten free family member using a g-free cornbread mix for the bread (Bob’s Red Mill brand). Do you think using all cornbread would be OK or will the texture be all off?

  119. Michelle

    A year or two ago on a radio program I was listening to, Thomas Keller recommended serving leftover stuffing in slices lightly pan fried with a poached egg on top, an idea that changed my life (in a good way). Now I wonder if he borrowed the idea from you!

  120. stephanie

    i’m making this tonight (thanksgiving style stuffing in spring? yes. also…it snowed last night and into this afternoon today, so.) and as such was reading the comments for tips and i just had to say that #162 jamie’s “thanksgiving benedict” comment from three years ago sounds *amazing.* i am totally mentally bookmarking that. lucky wife. :)