A scaled-down version of the classic, Bread Stuffing for Two is scrape-the-pan-delicious, and just the right size for smaller holiday gatherings.
There’s a lot to be thankful for during any holiday season. Most Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes are made to feed a huge family and then some, so this year I wanted to develop some recipes for smaller festive dinners.
First on the list: my mom’s recipe for bread stuffing; so moist and buttery, you might just wish you made more…
- Chicken broth: A little homemade chicken broth goes a long way, but store-bought is fine, too.
- Parsley, sage, thyme, marjoram: All classic Thanksgiving herbs that taste delicious with poultry. Fresh is ideal (and should be easy to find around the holidays) but dried will work in a pinch.
- French bread: You can also use brioche, challah, or another egg bread as well. Cube and dry the bread up to 3 days in advance. Keep covered with a dry kitchen towel on counter. Or, slice and dry in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Before you begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan (a cast iron pan works, too.) Next, melt some butter in a skillet until foaming. As soon as it foams, add the celery and chopped onion and sauté until soft and translucent– only 7 to 8 minutes.
- While the onions and celery are working, find a mixing bowl and beat the egg in the bottom of it. Then pour in the broth and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Add the fresh herbs to the vegetables in the skillet and stir; cook just until you can smell them–only 30 seconds. Then remove from heat and pour the vegetables into the bowl with the broth and beaten egg; mix everything together well. Then add the bread chunks to the bowl and toss everything together gently. The mixture should be moist but not soaking wet.
- Transfer the stuffing into the buttered baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges turn crispy and the top turns golden.
Recipe tips and variations:
- Yield: This recipe makes enough for two, but you can scale up easily.
- Storage: Serve right away, or let cool completely, cover with foil, and refrigerate.
- Leftovers: Refrigerate any leftovers, but you may not have any.
- Freezing: Freezing for later? Bake, then let cool, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350-degree oven until hot throughout.
- Make ahead: Make a couple days before you need it and it will be fine. Bake, let cool, then wrap in foil and refrigerate. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake tightly covered with foil until mostly heated through, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crispy edges form, about 10 to 20 minutes longer.
More Thanksgiving for Two recipes:
- Cornish hens with bread stuffing (shown above)
- Mashed potatoes for two
- Green bean casserole for two
- Mini pumpkin pies
Bread Stuffing for Two
- 1/4 cup butter (½ stick) plus more for buttering dish
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 2 ribs celery halved lengthwise and chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup chicken broth (see note 1)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced (see note 2)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage minced, or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme minced, or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh marjoram minced, or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 1/2 large loaf French bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes and dried overnight on counter (about 8 ounces, see note 3)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish with butter.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming. Add onion and celery and sauté until translucent, about 7 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk the egg. Stir in broth, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- To the skillet, add parsley, sage, thyme, and marjoram until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the bowl with the eggs and mix well. Add bread cubes and toss to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake until mostly heated through, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crispy edges form, about 15 to 20 minutes longer.
- Chicken broth: I keep jars of homemade chicken broth in the freezer (it’s a delicious by-product of poaching a chicken), but store-bought is also good. Or use turkey broth if you have that.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs taste the best in this stuffing, but dried work too. I rarely find fresh marjoram and almost always substitute dried.
- French bread: You can also use brioche, challah, or Italian bread. Dry the bread up to 3 days in advance (keep it covered with a dry kitchen towel on counter, or slice and dry in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes).
- This recipe makes enough for two very generous servings (2 cups each). For a larger batch, see my classic bread stuffing recipe (serves about 10).
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make ahead: After you’ve assembled the stuffing, refrigerate it up to 1 day in advance. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Keep stuffing tightly covered with foil and bake until mostly heated through, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crispy edges form, about 10 to 20 minutes longer.
- Stuffing a turkey, chicken, or hen: For food safety reasons, and for a more evenly cooked bird, most modern recipes don’t encourage stuffing a turkey. If you decide to stuff your turkey, make sure the stuffing is warm when it goes in so it has a head start in cooking (either because you just finished making it, or because you made it in advance and reheated it). Use a large spoon or your hands to loosely stuff the body and neck cavities (do not pack it tightly because the stuffing expands while it cooks). Truss the main cavity with trussing pins to keep the stuffing inside. The stuffing must register 165 degrees on an internal thermometer to be safe to eat.