Gimmee your yummy, not too fussy, bread stuffing recipe?
December 23, 2013 6:24 AM   Subscribe

After years of making only rice dressing for our Christmas turkey, I no longer have even the bones of a recipe for bread stuffing in my head – care to share yours?

I'm especially interested in tasty but not terribly complicated methods that don't rely on unusual ingredients, since I don't necessarily have access to exotic items.

What I already have on hand: a loaf of (white) baked bread that's a few days old; corn meal (and know-how) for cornbread; giblets; chicken broth; walnuts; almonds; raisins; dried cranberries; regular and green onions, green peppers; garlic; celery; fresh sage; fresh rosemary; fresh basil; fresh dill; fresh ginger root, and most standard dried spices... (and apples, pears, and tangerines, if it's relevant).

I can get any typical vegetable, but not, for example, Mexican peppers, and I can't get pecans. I'll be cooking in a pan (not inside the turkey). Do you have a delicious stuffing/dressing recipe for our table?
posted by taz to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'll just leave this here. [Their recipe for stuffing looks good too]
posted by jangie at 6:30 AM on December 23, 2013

Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples. Makes enough for a small army, so you might want to halve the recipe.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:44 AM on December 23, 2013

The fontophilic family recipe is all by eyeball. It's half regular bread, half cornbread. It's dead simple.

1. The day before: cook, cool, and cube a 9in round pan of cornbread. Cube up an equal amount of regular bread. Scatter over a few cookie sheets, and leave them in the oven overnight with the light on. The idea is to get them nice and stale.

2. Make (or buy) stock. You could doll up that box o broth with the turkey neck, onion, bay leaf.

3. Take the biggest pot you have. Chop up equal parts carrots, onion, celery and cook in an entire stick of butter (maybe more! It's Christmas!) until very translucent. Add any seasonings you like and a heavy amount of salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and let cool. Once cool, mix in cubes of bread, and splashes of broth until you get something moist, cohesive, but not gloopy. Hands are the best mixing tools here.

4. Put into a casserole pan. Cook covered for 30ish min, then remove cover for another 15 or 30.
posted by fontophilic at 6:52 AM on December 23, 2013

I've been making stuffing recently with bacon and mushrooms, in addition to celery and onion, and it's amazing.

I do this in a 30cm cast iron pan, but you could fry first and transfer to a baking pan if you don't have a skillet that large

1 large onion diced
4 stalks celery also diced
about 10-15 cremini mushrooms, quartered
6 pieces of bacon
bread, cut into about 1cm chunks and toasted/broiled til a little crunchy (about enough to almost fill the pan you're using. It will compress some when mixed with wet ingredients.)
about 1 cup chicken broth

Chop bacon into small pieces and fry in the cast iron skillet

Remove bacon, reserve most of the bacon fat leaving a few tablespoons in the skillet

Fry mushrooms in bacon fat til brown, remove from pan

Add another couple of tablespoons of bacon fat, sautee celery and onion til the onion is translucent or begins to brown a little. (Towards the end of this step, I'd add a little rosemary and sage, since you have it.) Remove onions and celery.

Deglaze the pan with half of the chicken broth.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, adding first the pan drippings, and then the rest of the broth if needed - you want the stuffing to be moist, but not wet. Salt and pepper to taste.

Refill mixture into pan - you can pack it down a little, and it's also ok if it mounds up above the top. (Sometimes, I dot the top with a tiny amount of butter, because I don't want the bacon fat to get lonely.)

Bake on whatever the oven is on for about half an hour. Usually about 425 for me, but it's pretty flexible. Finish with a broil if you want a crispy top.
posted by mercredi at 6:54 AM on December 23, 2013

I made this sage and apple stuffing for Thanksgiving, and it was very easy and very delicious.
posted by dizziest at 7:02 AM on December 23, 2013

Not fancy, but delicious - The Pioneer Womans Thanksgiving stuffing.

Very traditional, very tasty, very easy.
posted by domino at 7:03 AM on December 23, 2013

This is my favorite.
posted by emkelley at 7:13 AM on December 23, 2013

My mom's turkey dressing is really simple, but delicious. I don't have exact proportions here, but it consists of stale white bread, onions, celery, s&p and dried thyme, with melted butter to moisten.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:19 AM on December 23, 2013

I like Mark Bittman's Bacon Nut Stuffing, a delicious bacony variation of his Favorite Bread Stuffing recipe, which also comes with several other non-bacony variants.
posted by KatlaDragon at 7:49 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Pioneer Woman's dressing linked above is, except for the weird inclusion of thyme instead of sage, the same as my Memaw's and that is the only true dressing.

Though I did make it vegan with veg stock and olive oil this year and that was fine.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:04 AM on December 23, 2013

My dad's stuffing is my favorite food-related part of Thanksgiving, so when I first moved into my own apartment and started cooking for myself, I e-mailed him and asked for the recipe. Here it is, unedited. It's easy, delicious and easy to customize. (As he always says, cooking is an art, not a science.)

2 sticks butter
2 medium white or yellow onion chopped
3 or 4 or 5 ribs celery sliced
1/4 cup parsley
8 oz package sliced mushrooms
either one can sliced water chestnuts or small package chopped walnuts (optional, but either makes a good texture)
2 packages stuffing bread cubes (seasoned or unseasoned...not a biggie)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
2 to 4 cups liquid....water, white wine, veggie broth....whatever in some combination...or just water to start is fine. if you were not veggie, the recepie would call for chicken broth. no biggie here.
2 well beaten eggs

melt butter in skillet and then saute (low to med.) onion, celery,parsley,'srooms and water chestnuts or walnuts. you don't want to cook the crap out of this....just one or two steps beyond stir fry veggie consistancy.
Pour this over the bread cubes in a very large bowl or pan or whatever will hold 2 packages of breadcubes. add the seasonings and the eggs.....then start adding liquid to moisten. toss the mixture to mix the ingredients and the liquid. you don't want to drown the mixture...but want it moist enough to mush it together somewhat. pack all this lightly into a GREASED (either with butter or a spray goodie like Pam) crockpot. cover and set to HIGH for 45 minutes....then reduce to LOW for about 3 to 4 hours. if you have leftover, don't try and cram it all into the crockpot. put any remainder in an overproof cassarole dish and bake in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes or until top is like golden brown. or just throw it away and plan better
for the next stuffing crock pot extravagana.

posted by shirobara at 8:05 AM on December 23, 2013

As long as you have butter, you have all the ingredients for Mark Bittman's Favorite Bread Stuffing, as mentioned above. I make this every year, either in the original or mushroom variation. It's easy and full of buttery deliciousness!
posted by flying kumquat at 8:20 AM on December 23, 2013

Here's a very basic recipe, but it is actually very very tasty. As written this is for a 12-14 pound turkey, but it scales up (or down) very easily. You want to figure about 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound of turkey.

Bread Stuffing

12 cups cubed bread (you can use regular store bought sliced bread, but pick one that is not too soft or it will get to mushy when cooked. We often use oatmeal bread, and 2 slices of normal sandwich bread makes about 1 cup cubed)
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced celery (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chicken broth (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle on a dash or so of poultry seasoning to taste - poultry seasoning is a very finely ground spice mix of thyme, sage, savory, allspice, black pepper and a bit of coriander.

Melt butter in skillet and stir in the onion. Cook over low heat until onion is soft. Add this mixture to bread and celery and toss lightly. Add chicken broth and toss lightly. Season to taste.

This is moist cooked in the turkey, but may need some extra chicken broth if cooked instead in a casserole dish (use a relatively wide shallow pan) in the oven - about 25 minutes or so in a 350 F oven should do it, but check it, as different breads can cook at a different rate.

Serve with gravy.
posted by gudrun at 8:26 AM on December 23, 2013

Cornbread Dressing with Andouille Sausage

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound andouille, diced
1 1/2 sweet onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 skillet of cornbread
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 cups chicken stock

Brown sausage in pan, then add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook for a couple more minutes. Transfer to bowl and let cool.
Crumble cornbread into bowl, then add all other ingredients except chicken stock. Mix well. Slowly add chicken stock a bit at a time until dressing is moist but not soggy.
Transfer mixture to buttered 9x13 and bake, covered, at 350F for 25 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
posted by bradf at 8:36 AM on December 23, 2013

OK, you probably don't want to do this entire dinner... but the red chile sage dressing part of this meal is simply fantastic. Every time I make this it disappears quickly.
posted by azpenguin at 9:32 AM on December 23, 2013

I love sage-y sausage bread stuffing/dressing. I just wing it, but my recipe is similar to this one.
posted by nobejen at 9:58 AM on December 23, 2013

Sausage and Apple Stuffing.

I have to make 2 pans of it for 5 people as it is even better as leftovers the next day.
posted by wwax at 10:36 AM on December 23, 2013

My recipe follows gudrun's, but with the addition of diced apples. I do it in the oven, not the turkey.
posted by pemberkins at 2:01 PM on December 23, 2013

It looks like you have everything you need! Make cornbread. Saute bell pepper, onions, and celery in butter until translucent. Mix in with cornbread and herbs (I prefer sage and thyme). Stir in the fatty part of your chicken stock, enough to make it really mushy. Then pour in some more. Top with pats of butter and bake until you can't take it anymore and must eat it.

I make my own stock to use, with plenty of fresh sage and thyme in it, as well as my trinity and some carrots. I also add in a good bit of marjoram. I take the meat off the bones once it is cooked and continue boiling the bones and skin for 2 more hours. I then run it through a sieve and let it cool just enough to get the fatty parts off the top.
posted by myselfasme at 5:48 PM on December 23, 2013

Wow! Thank you all so much! I read every recipe, and it totally bolstered my confidence to put something together, and it happened... with a bit of a hitch.

Husband vetoed cornbread or half cornbread, enthusiastically upvoted bacon as an ingredient, and didn't reject mushrooms, so I decided to go with mercredi's and/or shirobara's dad's recipe (LOVE the idea of using the slow cooker to free up oven space), but I threw out the celery I had because it was fairly elderly and the leaves were kinda grody, and we bought some more at the last minute, along with chestnuts, mushrooms, parsley, and I'm not sure what else – and somehow ended up leaving that particular bag behind at the store. Which was closed by the time we realized. *sigh*

So, here's what I ended up making: I sauteed chopped bacon, then sauteed a chopped onion and one chopped green pepper in the bacon grease (plus a wee bit of olive oil), mixed in chopped giblets some pine nuts, chopped walnuts, some dried cranberries, some raisins, fresh chopped sage and rosemary, poultry seasoning (from a nice "grinder style" seasoning blend I found)then scraped this mixture over the cubed dried bread I had prepared, then blended a cup of chicken broth with an egg, poured that over and stirred and mushed it all up together in my hands, piled it into in a baking dish, and cooked until it was brown and toasty on top. It's very good! (even better after it sat for a few hours.) The lack of celery is definitely a loss, though, and we decided we'll probably make another stuffing to go with whatever we have for New Years. And we'll try it in the slow cooker, which I didn't manage to do this time, because I ran late putting it together.

I feel like favoriting all answers, but I know that's annoying, so I'm going with the two main ones I used / planned on... but I'll be trying several of these over time, and I appreciate them all. Thanks again!
posted by taz at 2:12 AM on December 26, 2013

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