Now I have never been a big fan of stuffing. I am more of a cranberry girl myself, but boy oh boy does Derek love stuffing. When taking pictures I sort of messed up my mom’s original recipe (or so I thought) and I’ve never seen that man more excited about having to remake something. He loves my mother’s stuffing. So what are you waiting for, don’t you want to know how to make the best stuffing in the world?
This stuffing is a great Thanksgiving compromise. It is easy but has just enough extra to make it over the top delicious. You still use a package of stuffing mix for ease but add sausage, herbs, and the rest of the standard fare. Now, if you’re gluten-free I also got you covered. I made this recipe using gluten-free bread, and it follows the standard recipe with just a few changes (you can also use your own bread, gluten-free or not, instead of the pre-made package of bread cubes my mother uses).
Now, one of my mother’s requirements for making this recipe is that you can’t be going around making it all mushy. She said that stuffing is supposed to have some large chunks of broth-soaked bread, not bread paste shoved up a turkey’s a…well, y’know. The key to avoiding a giant paste ball of stuffing is to add the right amount of liquid, fold the ingredients while mixing, and to mess with it for as short a time as possible. Moving it around too much will make it very mushy and is worse than too much liquid.
If you are dreading paying for all the fresh herbs individually, I recommend checking your local grocery store’s fresh herb section for something called a poultry blend. It includes all the fresh herbs needed for the recipe (sage, rosemary, thyme) and is the same price as one package of herbs. One should be enough for this recipe.
How to Use Your Own Bread/Make this Gluten-Free
My mother uses a premade stuffing mix that comes with the bread cubes and adds her own spin on it. If you are gluten-free or just want to use your own bread cubes, here are the recipe modifications:
I used a loaf of Udi’s 14oz Multi-Grain bread for my stuffing, but you can use whatever bread you would like.
- Slice bread into small cubes and place onto a baking sheet in one even layer.
- Dry out/toast bread in a 300°F oven for 15-20 minutes stirring well every 5 minutes.
- You can leave the bread loosely covered on the counter overnight to dry out more or use the broiler to get the bread extra crispy/dried out.
- Continue with the recipe as normal replacing the stuffing mix with your own bread. You may want to reduce the broth by 1/4-1/3 cup to make sure it doesn’t become too moist/mushy. I also recommend adding a 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to the sausage to make up for the extra seasonings in the premade stuffing bag.
I don’t have much else to say about stuffing, so here’s the recipe!
Traditional Stuffing Recipe (gluten-free option)
A classic stuffing with sausage, fresh herbs, and a whole lotta goodness.
If using your own bread instead of the recommend stuffing package below, modifications are above.
If using dried herbs you will need to half or even quarter the amount as dried herbs can be stronger. See this link for more info.
- 1 package Pepperidge Farms Stuffing (my mother uses this, so that’s what I included)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (my mother prefers Pacific brand)
- 1/2 tube of Jimmy Dean’s maple sausage (can use a different one if you would like, but the added sweetness puts this recipe over the top)
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 a yellow or white onion (about 3/4 cup), finely diced
- 4 stalks of celery, rinsed, ends chopped off and cut into 1/4 inch thick ‘smiles’ (mom’s wording)
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 leaves of fresh sage (about 1-1.5 inch long or 1/2 tablespoon packed after being chopped), finely chopped
- 1/2 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/2 tablespoon lightly packed, maybe a bit less), roughly chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tablespoon lightly packed, maybe a bit less), removed from the woody stems
Directions1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Heat broth. While the oven preheats start warming up the broth in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming and warm. Once warm add 2 tablespoons of butter and melt. Keep broth warm but not simmering or bubbling.
3. Cook sausage and vegetables. While the oven preheats and the broth is warming up start browning the sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once all the sausage is browned and broken into crumbles pour over the maple syrup and quickly stir to coat. Cook the syrup on the sausage for an additional minute before adding in the last tablespoon of butter (if your sausage is really greasy add less or no butter). When the butter has melted, add in the onion and celery. Stir occasionally until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
4. Add herbs to the broth. When the vegetables are almost done, drop the temperature of the broth to low and add in the sage, rosemary, and thyme for a few minutes until they become fragrant. Salt and pepper the sausage and vegetables to taste.
5. Add everything to the bread cubes. Once the broth has become fragrant and the vegetables are soft, remove them both from the heat. In a large bowl pour in your bread cubes/stuffing bag contents. Add the sausage mixture over top and give a quick stir. Pour the warm broth over the bread and sausage and stir/fold gently to combine. Give a quick taste and add more salt and pepper if desired (stir very gently to avoid making mush).
6. Cook stuffing. Butter a 9×9 glass pan (or something similar sized that you want to serve in) and pour the stuffing into the pan. Flatten gently into one even layer. Cover with foil and cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes or until browned on top (can use the broiler instead).
7. Enjoy! Let the stuffing rest for 10 minutes outside of the oven before devouring!
8. Leftovers and reheating. Leftover stuffing can be refrigerated for up to five days. To reheat, place the stuffing into a casserole dish, sprinkle a teaspoon of water on top, and cover with foil. Heat until warm in a 350°F oven. You can heat up individual portions in the microwave just cover the bowl/plate with a moist paper towel when microwaving and stir halfway through.
For More Autumnal Recipes:
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂
*I am not affiliated with nor do I get any money from any products/companies mentioned in this post.*