I can barely resist devouring this stuffing recipe straight out of the pan! Made with grainy bread, herbs & veggies, it's a delicious Thanksgiving side.
I enjoy green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach, but without question, my favorite Thanksgiving side dish is the stuffing. I’ve always loved my mom’s stuffing recipe. She never makes it from a box, but uses fresh bread, lots of butter, onions, and celery. It’s richly flavorful, soft in the middle, and crisp on top, and it’s always the first dish I reach for at Thanksgiving dinner.
Her Thanksgiving stuffing recipe inspired this one. I keep the traditional celery, onions, stock, and crusty bread, but I use a generous amount of olive oil instead of butter, which adds robust flavor. Then, I increase the veggies. Along with the onion and celery, I add a hefty amount of shiitake mushrooms, kale, and tons of fresh herbs. Sautéed with a splash of balsamic vinegar, the mushrooms make this a deliciously savory stuffing – it took everything I had to keep from devouring it straight out of the pan!
With all these hearty veggies, this homemade stuffing recipe could even be a vegetarian main course at your Thanksgiving dinner – it’ll definitely be at the center of my plate this year!
How to Make Stuffing
This Thanksgiving stuffing recipe comes together with just a few simple steps:
- First, sauté the veggies. Cook the onions until they become translucent. Then, add the mushrooms and cook until they soften. Stir in the garlic, celery, sage, and rosemary, and cook a few minutes more.
- Then, add the bread, along with a big glug of olive oil. Toss in the kale and cook until it wilts. Before you transfer the bread stuffing to a baking dish, pour 1 cup of stock into the pan, and stir to combine.
- And bake! Pile the mixture into a greased baking dish, and pour more stock on top to moisten it. Sprinkle it with dried cranberries and bake until it’s golden brown and lightly crisp on top. Before digging in, let it sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature. (I like it better the longer it sits!)
Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe Tips
- Swap the mushrooms. While I love the savory flavor of the shiitakes in this stuffing recipe, it’s also delicious with different mushroom varieties. Try making it with cremini mushrooms, or with a mix of shiitakes and creminis.
- Use your favorite bread. I call for ciabatta and nine grain bread in this recipe, but it works just as well with any good crusty bread. French or sourdough bread would both be excellent. And if you need to make your stuffing gluten-free, sub in the best loaf of gluten-free bread you can find!
- Buy your bread a day ahead of time. If you’ve never made stuffing from scratch, you might be surprised to learn that using dried bread will actually make it better! Dry, day-old bread cubes will soak up the olive oil, stock, and mushroom juices like a sponge, which makes for extra-tasty stuffing.
- Make it in advance. Like any great Thanksgiving side dish, this stuffing recipe is even better if you make it ahead of time. I like it more the longer it sits, and it’s still delicious on the second day! To reheat it, add a little extra stock and bake at 350 until it’s warmed through and lightly crisp on top.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
If you’re looking for more recipes to add to your Thanksgiving dinner, you can’t go wrong by trying one (or more!) of these:
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Farmhouse Farro Salad
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Simple Roasted Beets with Citrus
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples & Sage
- Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
And don’t forget the pumpkin pie for dessert!
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cipollini onions
- 3 cups chopped & stemmed mushrooms (mix of shiitakes & creminis)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- ¼ cup chopped sage, plus 8 leaves for garnish
- 2 tablespoons minced rosemary
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 5 cups cubed bread (mix of ciabatta & a hearty nine grain)
- 3 lacinato kale leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
- 2 cups vegetable broth, plus more for reheating
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8x12 or 9x13 casserole dish.
- In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper, and let the mushrooms cook until they begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Add the garlic, celery, sage, and rosemary, and cook until everything is soft and the mushrooms are golden brown, 8-10 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, stir, and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the bread and the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and toss to coat. Add the kale and cook until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the broth and stir.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and pour the remaining 1 cup broth evenly over the stuffing.
- Sprinkle with the dried cranberries, remaining whole sage leaves and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for at least 15 minutes or until ready to serve.
pictured: Staub Cast Iron 12 x 8 Roasting Pan