Traditional Turkey Stuffing Recipe
At the risk of putting out a post with the same recipe as 90,000 others are posting this week, I thought I'd share this easy traditional turkey stuffing recipe, which is from my Mom.
And she got it from another relative I believe, you know how that happens with great recipes. There just might be someone out there who wonders how to make it, or how to make it more nutritious. We had it today and it actually wasn't for a turkey. Kent put a chicken in the oven, and we decided to make stuffing since we had a “bomb” loaf of bread to use up. (Yes, I had another bomb when trying a new recipe – I should've stuck to my original Bosch homemade bread recipe.)
Traditional Turkey Stuffing Recipe (or is it “Turkey Dressing”?)
- 12 Tablespoons butter Butter is good for you, especially pastured butter! Don't believe me? Read more here about healthy fats.
- 1 onion chopped small
- 3-4 cloves garlic chopped (optional)
- 3-4 stalks celery chopped small
- 2 carrots chopped (optional)
- Handful of parsley chopped, if desired
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon sage or more to your taste
- 1 beaten egg, optional for more nutrition
- About 1 1/4 cup broth — homemade broth is best — use more if you like it more moist.
- 1 pound/16 ounces bread of choice, preferably sourdough or bread at least with no preservatives. No one eats the bread ends around here so I throw them into the freezer and use them for homemade croutons, bread crumbs for recipes, or this time of year, for homemade stuffing!
- Melt butter in a cast iron pan or a medium sized pot. Add veggies and parsley, salt, pepper, and sage.
- Sauté on medium heat until vegetables are soft, 10 minutes or so.
- While that's cooking, break up a loaf of bread into cubes into a mixing bowl.
- When veggies are done, pour all of that over the top of the bread and stir well. Add a beaten egg if desired, for more nutrition & moisture. Add enough broth to get it as moist as you like. We like it moist but not wet.
- Stir until it's all mixed in, then transfer to a buttered dish or stuff your bird once it's cleaned out well.
- Bake 30-40 minutes on 350*, OR if you're stuffing a bird, it will take much longer, obviously, since it depends on the weight. See below for more on that.
- Use organic ingredients and pastured turkey whenever you can.
- Here's a whole list of side dishes and desserts that you could serve with your Thanksgiving dinner, including recipes for things like basic mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade rolls, etc.
- Even though it tastes best stuffed in a bird, you don't have to do that. As mentioned above, sometimes we just put it into a shallow buttered baking dish.
- When my Mom makes a turkey dinner, she always boils the neck and other pieces while the turkey cooks, and then uses that broth for the gravy. Be sure to save all of your bones when you're done so you can make delicious broth! Here's how to make pressure cooker broth.
- AMOUNTS: If you're using it as a stuffing, Mom's recipe says that a 1 pound/16 ounce loaf of bread makes approximately 8 cups of stuffing, and that you need about 1 cup of dressing for each pound of turkey you're stuffing. But we made 4 batches and that was enough to stuff 2 birds (18# & 22#) with a medium-sized extra bowl to bake. (1 batch stuffs an 18# bird nicely.)
- VARIATIONS: Some people like to add some cooked, ground sausage for more flavor, or some wine, or maybe real cream…what about you, what do you put in your stuffing recipe? (Don't say raisins, yuck!)
- NOTES ON COOKING A TURKEY: Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird is fresh or frozen. Plan on approximately 20 minutes per pound at 350* for a defrosted turkey and about 15 minutes per pound for fresh. We start at 350* then turn down to 325* if it starts to brown up too quickly. Add water to the bottom if not much liquid is forming, because you want lots of goodies & drippings for making gravy! Instructions for making gravy are here. Be sure to baste now and then to get those yummy juices over the top of your bird. My notes to self: in 2017 it took about 5 hours (on 350* at the beginning–for 40 minutes or so, then down to 325* for the rest of the time) for 18# and 22# turkeys. If ever your turkey cooks more quickly, either turn it down to warm until the rest of the meal is done OR pull it out to a platter and cover with foil.
- We use a turkey roaster like this one to free up oven space for things like baking rolls, squash, extra stuffing, etc.
- Notes for future reference on making mashed potatoes, amounts, etc., are in this Thanksgiving side dishes post.
More you might like:
- Don't wait 'til January 1st!
- Need some good and easy breakfast recipes? Or here's my complete list of recipes
This sounds very similar to my mom’s recipe, except in the south we make it with cornbread! She always cooked hers either in a baking dish or a crockpot. Both are delicious and the crockpot saves oven space on that busy day. I remember as many as 3 crockpots lining the kitchen counter on Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
I’ve thought about trying it with cornbread, maybe I will this year! 🙂
Denise Sandlin Wilson says
Looks like “dressing” to me
Flo LaDuke Richards says
Sounds yummy, Kelly! I think this might be helpful for our Thanksgiving!
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
You’ll love it Flo!
deborah wilson says
can you use sprouted spelt bread or would that taste bad?
I’ve never tried it, buy if you like sprouted bread in other things, you’d probably like it in this, too.
David Michael says
The basic recipe is what we use as well but to kick it up a notch, heavily season the vegetables as they cook with sage, rosemary and thyme. Homemade stock will kick it up another notch. We have sometimes cooked a smaller turkey a couple of weeks ahead of Thanksgiving just to make stock.
Here in the south (Georgia) – pecans! Adds a crunch and OH SO GOOD! Of course, I put them on the side because most of my family doesn’t like nuts (???).
Also mushrooms, sauteed in butter – again, have to do it on the side for the silly folks who don’t like them (no offense to mushroom-haters.)
Inger Grape says
I like water chestnuts for a nut-free crunch.
Andrea Jones says
Ours is similar but with the giblets added to it in tiny pieces (we boil them with the neck and, like your mom, use the broth for moistening the stuffing). We also add tiny pieces of dark meat to the finished stuffing and add some milk along with the egg. Best. Stuffing. Ever!!!
Inger Grape says
Sounds awesome — I will try those tips, using coconut milk (in the can, no fillers) due to dairy allergy. Sounds brilliant to add giblets and dark meat to deepen the flavor of the stuffing.
My mother’s Irish/English family in San Francisco and my father’s Belgian/English family in San Francisco both used a grated Granny Smith apple or two in their stuffing along with onion, celery and butter. So I don’t know if this is a San Francisco thing or an English thing. I wouldn’t think of doing it any other way, except I like half corn bread and half toasted bread cubes in mine. This year, because of GMO issues, I will be skipping the corn bread.
My husband is from Cumberland, Md. His mother made a stuffing very like your recipe, but she said a lot of her friends used sauerkraut! Cumberland is a German and Irish town, but sauerkraut is just too strange for me!
Hmmmm, yeah, I’ve never heard of adding sauerkraut, but the apples sound great! 🙂
This is pretty much how I do it as well…….but I add Poultry Seasoning. 🙂
We call it stuffing around here. I like to use some rosemary and thyme once in awhile and experiment with other herbs. use whatever you prefer.
This is so neat. It’s exactly the way my mom taught me to make it.