Preparing bread cubes for stuffing is a super simple, important step and ensures perfectly moist, never-soggy stuffing. Savvy cooks cut the bread up into bite-sized pieces and let it dry out in advance, or you can dry it in the oven at the last minute.

Cubes of bread on a baking sheet to try out for stuffing.

Throughout culinary history, stuffing has been one of the best ways to use up leftover, day-old bread. Combined with eggs or milk, savory herbs and a little bit of this and that from the kitchen and baked. Few things are more delicious.

Today, not every household has lots of stale bread sitting around, and classic stuffing is usually saved for the holidays when big groups gather. That means you have to buy a loaf or two of freshly baked bread and let it dry out. Why? Dry bread has more power to soak up all the broth and flavor as it bakes.

This technique is the best way to cube and dry out bread, and it couldn’t be easier.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. How to Make Bread Cubes for Stuffing Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Bread: You can use almost any type of high-quality bread: unsliced French or Italian bread, sturdy sandwich loaf, brioche, challah, or even corn bread. Avoid overly-soft or fluffy white sandwich loaves.
A loaf of Challah bread with a few slices cut off.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Two to three days before you plan on assembling the stuffing, take a serrated knife and slice the loaf into rough 1/2-inch cubes, crust and all. You can also tear the loaf into pieces by hand for a more rustic look.
  2. Spread the bread chunks out on a baking sheet and drape with a clean kitchen towel. Let them dry out at room temperature over the next couple days.
  3. If you don’t have the time, you can speed up the drying-out process by using the oven. Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and bake in a low oven set for 225 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until dry.
Cubes of bread on a baking sheet to try out for stuffing.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: A 1-pound bread loaf usually makes 10 cups of bread cubes, enough for a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish of stuffing, or 10 to 12 servings (assume 1 cup stuffing per person).
  • Make ahead: The dried cubes can stay at room temperature up to 4 days in advance. Keep them in a dry, cool place.
  • 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.
  • Bread pudding: Savory or sweet bread puddings also start with dried bread.
Baked bread stuffing in a 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! This stuffing is rich and savory, soft but…

1 hour 10 minutes
View Recipe

More recipes with bread cubes

Cubes of bread on a baking sheet to try out for stuffing.

How to Make Bread Cubes for Stuffing

Preparing bread cubes for stuffing is a super simple, important step and ensures perfectly moist, never-soggy stuffing. Savvy cooks cut the bread up into bite-sized pieces and let it dry out in advance, or you can dry it in the oven at the last minute.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 2 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 560

Ingredients 

  • 1 large loaf bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 pound, see note 1)

Instructions 

To dry bread cubes on the counter:

  • Cube and dry the bread up to 3 days in advance. Keep covered with a dry kitchen towel on counter.

To dry bread cubes in the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place cubes in an even layer and bake until bread is dried out, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Notes

  1. Bread: You can use almost any type of high-quality bread: unsliced French or Italian bread, sturdy sandwich loaf, brioche, challah, or even corn bread. Avoid overly-soft or fluffy white sandwich loaves.
  2. Yield: A 1-pound bread loaf usually makes 10 cups of bread cubes, enough for a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish of stuffing, or 10 to 12 servings (assume 1 cup stuffing per person).
  3. Make ahead: The dried cubes can stay at room temperature up to 4 days in advance. Keep them in a dry, cool place.
  4. Small batch: Stuffing for two is perfect for a couple.
  5. 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.
  6. Bread pudding: Savory or sweet bread puddings also start with dried bread.

Nutrition

Calories: 560kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 17gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 1284mgPotassium: 457mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1961IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 5mg
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