An easy Bread Stuffing made with all the classic flavors. Baked outside the bird but still buttery and moist, this recipe tastes just like Mom used to make!

Classic bread stuffing in a white baking dish.

This stuffing is rich and savory, soft but with crispy edges. There are some vegetables, but nothing so strange that it changes the overall texture.

There are no walnuts, pears, or gorgonzola. There are no jalapeños nor bacon. It’s traditional, like your mom’s or grandma’s maybe, and I hope you love it as much a I do.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for classic bread stuffing in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • 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).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with butter. In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming. Add onion and celery and sauté until softened, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Onion and celery cooking in a skilet.
  1. Meanwhile, whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
A bowl with chicken broth, eggs, and spices to make stuffing.
  1. To skillet, add parsley, sage, thyme, and marjoram until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with eggs and mix well. Add bread cubes and toss to combine.
Bread stuffing in a bowl before baking.
  1. 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.
Bread stuffing in a baking dish after baking.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe will serve at least 10 as a side dish.
  • 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.
  • Small batch: Stuffing for two is perfect for a couple.
  • Stuffing a turkeychicken, 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.
A plate of roasted trukey, stuffing, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberries.

How to Make Chicken Broth

For the best, most delicious homemade chicken broth, start with a whole raw chicken or chicken pieces and simple vegetables and herbs. At the end of it, you’ll have 4 cups of delicious cooked chicken and…

1 hour 40 minutes
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More Thanksgiving recipes

Classic bread stuffing in a white baking dish.

Classic Bread Stuffing

An easy Bread Stuffing made with all the classic flavors. Baked outside the bird but still buttery and moist, this recipe tastes just like Mom used to make!
5 from 33 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 10 servings, 1 cup each
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 231

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) plus more for buttering dish
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 celery ribs halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups chicken broth (see note 1)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley minced (see note 2)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage minced, or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced, or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram minced, or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 loaf French bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes and dried overnight on counter (about 1 pound, see note 3)

Instructions 

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-inch by 13-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, whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • To skillet, add parsley, sage, thyme, and marjoram until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with 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.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Herbs: Fresh herbs taste the best in this stuffing, but dried work too. I rarely find fresh marjoram and almost always substitute dried.
  3. 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).
  4. Yield: This recipe will serve at least 10 as a side dish.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. 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.
  7. Small batch: Stuffing for two is perfect for a couple.
  8. Stuffing a turkeychicken, 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 7gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 495mgPotassium: 194mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 701IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. I was pleasantly and extremely surprised by the flavour and how moist this recipe was. It seriously tasted just like my mom’s that I love, only she only ever cooked hers inside the turkey. Seriously, this was so flavourful and delish, I’m making it again for Christmas.
    Just wondering if this recipe can also be cooked inside the turkey or not?

    1. Hi Jacquie, I’m so glad you liked the stuffing! I do not recommend making the stuffing inside the turkey. The turkey and the stuffing would both have to be cooked to 165 degrees to kill any potentially harmful bacteria. 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. I hope you enjoy making it again and I hope you have a nice holiday! – Meggan

    2. Thanks for your prompt reply and information Meggan. So am I understanding that the main and only reason is because of the cooking temperature? It would not become too moist, gooey and uneatable ? I would think I could solve that by putting it in a pan and cooking it longer, while the turkey is cooling before carving. I have a very small oven and could possible cook both a turkey and stuffing in separate pans at the same time. What are your thoughts. Thank you.

    3. Hi Jacquie, it’s possible the stuffing could become gooey if the turkey is overstuffed and doesn’t have enough room to expand. Also, I wouldn’t take out the stuffing to continue cooking it because removing the stuffing from the turkey before it reaches 165 degrees could contaminate the cooked turkey. (The USDA recommends removing the stuffing from the turkey after it has reached 165 degrees and the turkey has stood for 20 minutes.) Sorry about that. If you made the stuffing ahead of time, you could reheat it while the turkey is resting and being carved. The stuffing can be reheated in a 350-degree oven, covered, for 30 minutes or until warm throughout. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you need anything else! – Meggan

  2. This recipe is my go to for classic dressing.. No need to change a thing. You can make additions as you wish but why mess with perfection.5 stars

  3. Hi Rose. Can’t wait to try this fir my Thanksgiving dinner this year. My husband has celiac so cannot put in turkey as is our tradition. One question, dies bell seasoning work as well in place of the fresh herbs used In your recipe ?

    1. Hi Martha, Bell’s seasoning appears to consist of rosemary, sage, thyme, ginger, and pepper so I think it would be fine if you substituted the thyme, marjoram, and sage in this recipe and omitting the fresh parsley. You can also use dried versions of the fresh herbs, the substitutions are in the recipe card. I haven’t tried this personally but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. – Meggan

  4. I Love this recipe. I’ve been making stuffing for years without eggs or broth but cooking it inside the turkey which makes it moist. I have not mastered stuffing in a baking dish until I found this recipe. I have one question though, when you refer to celery stalks are you referring to 1 rib or the whole stalk or bunch? I assume you mean 4 ribs? I always assumed a stalk was 1 rib but recently found out that a stalk is the whole bunch. I found many recipes use the terms stalk when they should really use the term rib.5 stars

    1. Hi Debbie, I’m so glad you like the recipe!!! Stalk = rib, I didn’t know a stalk was also a term for a bunch. I’ve always hated not knowing if I should say “stalk” or “rib” but now you’ve sold me – it’s rib! I’ll change it everywhere on the site LOL. From henceforth, stalks shall be ribs. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I just needed a reason to favor one term or the other. And more importantly – glad you love the stuffing! It uses 4 ribs! Thanks again for everything and take care. -Meggan

  5. I would like to make this the day before and then re-heat in the oven on Christmas Day. Any concerns with this Meggan? If not, how long and at what temperature would you recommend for re-heating? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rose, that sound be just fine! This is actually a great stuffing to make ahead; I’ve done it myself a few times. You cover the stuffing with foil after you make it, then keep it refrigerated. 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. I hope this is helpful! Thanks Rose and good luck! -Meggan

    2. I tried this recipe, it was delish!!! I’ve been trying to find recipe for bread stuffing in a baking dish… thank you for posting.. my family loves it.. and I used the stove top bread stuffing in box, not the fresh bread, still good and delish…thanks

  6. This is very similar to the family recipe we have used for over 50 years…only difference is I use poultry seasoning rather than marjoram. In addition, we have ‘held the eggs’ in favor of adding a little more butter…and for increased texture, we always add slivered almonds. I just cannot try other recipes because this one is just SO YUMMY!!!5 stars

  7. Prepared this stuffing per the recipe, but added Tennessee Pride sausage and chopped bacon. It was absolutely the best stuffing I’ve ever had! Excellent recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Joell! You add the chicken broth to the bowl with the eggs and the salt & pepper, step #3. Thanks! -Meggan

  8. Hi Meggan! Thanks for posting! This looks just like the stuffing I had at Thanksgiving dinner growing up. It’s my first year hosting and I’m going to take a crack at this recipe. Would french baguettes work for this recipe? I couldn’t find a larger loaf of french bread at either of the grocery stores I hit yesterday. I’m afraid the baguette will be TOO hard if I leave it out to “dry.” Thanks for any info!

    1. Hi Rachel, I’m making this today with your variaron and I’ll reply and let you know how French baguettes work out!

    2. Hi Rachel! The French baguettes work great! You’ll want 2 baguettes, 8 ounces each, to get 10 cups loosely packed bread cubes or 8 cups of firmly packed (as in smashing them down) cubes. I cut my baguettes into 1-inch or 1 1/2-inch cubes. I used to do 1/2 cubes but that’s super tiny and annoying, so now I do bigger pieces (and with baguettes you could even tear them if you want). Other information: I dried the baguettes in the oven per the method in the recipe (225 degrees for 30 minutes). When they came out, they were mostly like little rocks, so I understand your fear! But once you put them in the broth/vegetable/egg mixture, they soften just like regular bread. The recipe performs exactly the same as with French bread (I know this because I’m also making the French bread version today). I will say that the pieces of bread on top are drier than the ones on the bottom. If you pick off a cube of bread from the top and eat it, you might think “oh no! This is way too dry!” But honestly having those crispy-edged, slightly browned pieces on top is a really nice contrast to all the soft pieces underneath. When you eat them together, it’s perfect. A little bit of crunch here and there. :) And it’s not because it’s baguette – that’s just how the recipe is. If everything was soggy, you wouldn’t get any crunch. Okay, I’ve officially beaten this horse to death, so good luck and PLEASE let me know if you have any other questions! Good luck! I’ll email this message to you too, just in case my reply to the comment goes to your spam. Happy Thanksgiving! -Meggan

  9. This is really good. However, i add bell pepper, and shredded chicken breast, and omit the parsley, tyme, and marjoram. Everyone loves it!5 stars

  10. This is the same receipt my mother cooked for our family. Don’t know if it came from her mother or U of Wisc. in the early 1920’s. However she did not cover during baking…instead drizzling white wine or vermouth about every 1/2 hour or so while the turkey cooked. As my sons grew so did their appetite for dressing. One whole receipt was declared theirs and only theirs!5 stars

  11. This is the fabulous stuffing that my mom and my late wife both made.
    I’ve missed it every year, and now I can have it again. Just wish that I could cook it for them.
    Thank you for this recipe, Meggan! May you have a blessed Thanksgiving!5 stars

    1. Steven, your comment made me tear up!!! This is why I get up in the morning, just hoping that my random (but favorite) stuffing recipe might help somebody out. Your comment is more than I ever could have hoped for! Blessings to you and your family. I hope you had the most wonderful Thanksgiving. -Meggan

    1. Hey there! Yes! You can freeze the baked stuffing for up to 1 month. Store in an airtight container and reheat in a 325-degree oven, covered, for 30 minutes or until warm throughout (the baking time really depends on the amount of stuffing, whether it’s just leftovers or you made the whole thing in advance).