Best Stuffing Recipe

The BEST Thanksgiving stuffing! Based on my family's classic recipe, it's rich and savory, made with fresh herbs, celery, butter, and leeks.

Best stuffing recipe

If I told you that a no-frills, classic stuffing recipe was my favorite part of Thanksgiving, would you believe me? Well, it’s true! As a kid, I fell in love with my grandma’s stuffing recipe. Made with onion, celery, and dried herbs, it was simple and delicious. It had a crisp, golden layer of bread on top, with a moist and gooey center underneath. Rich, savory flavor filled every bite.

My mom still makes this homemade stuffing recipe for my family’s Thanksgiving every year. Because I love it so much, I wanted to develop my own spin to share with all of you! I didn’t make many changes – I swapped the onions for leeks and dried herbs for fresh ones, and I used crusty sourdough bread. I was thrilled with the results, but I was nervous to see what my mom would think. When I shared it with her last weekend, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. After a few bites, she looked up and said, “You took our stuffing recipe, and you made it better!” I hope you love it as much as we do.

Homemade stuffing recipe ingredients

Stuffing Recipe Ingredients

Unlike the stuffing recipes I’ve shared in the past (see here or here), this one is fairly traditional. I make it with these basic ingredients:

  • Bread, of course! Steer clear of pre-sliced sandwich bread for this recipe. You want a loaf that’s crusty and flavorful, preferably sourdough. Stale bread works best here, so I recommend buying it one to three days in advance.
  • Butter – It infuses this stuffing with rich, buttery flavor.
  • Leeks – I love their sweet, oniony flavor with the herbs and celery in this recipe. If you don’t cook with leeks often, check out this post to learn how to cut and clean them!
  • Celery – A stuffing essential.
  • Garlic – For sharp depth of flavor.
  • Fresh herbs – Rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley fill this Thanksgiving stuffing with a mouthwatering mix of earthy, fresh, and savory flavors. You’ll never make stuffing with dried herbs again!
  • Vegetable broth – To moisten the bread.
  • Eggs – They add richness and moisture, helping to create the stuffing’s irresistible gooey center.
  • And sea salt and fresh black pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Crusty bread in a mixing bowl

How to Make Stuffing

This Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is super simple to make! Here’s how it goes:

First, tear the bread. Yes, tear with your hands, not cut with a knife! I prefer the look of torn bread to perfect little bread cubes, and I like how the craggy edges catch the melted butter and herbs. After you tear it, place the bread in a very large bowl.

  • Tip: If your bread is not stale, spread the torn pieces in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a 350°F oven to dry them out a bit. Then, proceed with the recipe!

Sautéed leeks in a skillet with wooden spoon

Next, cook the leeks. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the leeks, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. I turn the heat to low halfway through to avoid browning the leeks.

Crusty bread and herbs in a mixing bowl

Then, season the bread! Pour the leek mixture over the bread and add the fresh herbs. Use your hands to toss it all together, coating the bread with the butter and herbs. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the broth over the bread, and toss again. Add the eggs, and toss again. At this stage, the bread should be very moist. If it feels dry at all, add an additional 1/2 cup broth.

Hands mixing crusty bread with herbs, leeks, and celery

Finally, bake! Transfer the bread mixture to a greased baking dish and arrange it in a thick, even layer. Drizzle the top with melted butter, cover, and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. If you’re like me, and you like your stuffing to have a crispy top, uncover the dish and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more.


Homemade stuffing mixture in a bowl

Best Stuffing Recipe Tips

  • Use day-old bread. This stuffing recipe comes out best when you make it with day- (or days) old bread. Because it’s drier than fresh-baked bread, it really soaks up the flavors of the buttery leeks, broth, and herbs. So plan ahead! Buy or make your bread one to three days in advance.
  • Uncover the pan for a crispy top. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving stuffing is how the crispy top contrasts with the moist, gooey inside. To get the top of your stuffing nice and crisp, uncover the casserole dish for the last few minutes of baking.
  • Make it ahead. Who doesn’t love a Thanksgiving recipe that can be made ahead of time?! If you want to prep this recipe a few hours in advance, follow it as written, stopping right before you bake the stuffing. Cover the baking dish, and stick it in the fridge. Pop it in the oven 30-40 minutes before your meal so that it’s hot when you eat. If you’d rather make your stuffing a full day in advance, that works too! Then, fully bake the stuffing ahead of time, but leave it covered for the entire time it’s in the oven. Refrigerate it overnight. The next day, reheat it, still covered, in a 350°F oven until it’s warmed through. Uncover it for the last few minutes of baking to get the top nice and crisp.
  • Double it if you need to. If you’re feeding a crowd of stuffing lovers, or if you want to have plenty of leftovers, go ahead and double this recipe. It’s enough for 8 decent-sized portions, but you might want seconds. At least, I always do. 🙂

Thanksgiving stuffing recipe

More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

You could make this stuffing recipe anytime during the fall or winter, but it’s perfect for Thanksgiving. Round out your feast with one or more of these delicious side dishes:

Don’t forget the pumpkin pie for dessert!

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Best Stuffing Recipe

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 263 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 8
This classic stuffing recipe is the BEST Thanksgiving side dish! Leeks, celery, and fresh herbs fill it with rich, savory flavor.



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8x11 or 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces* and place in a very large bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, turning the heat to low halfway through. Pour the leek mixture over the bread and sprinkle with the sage, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Use your hands to toss until coated. Pour 1½ cups of the broth evenly over the stuffing and toss to coat. Add the eggs and toss again. The bread should feel pretty wet. If it’s still a bit dry, mix in the remaining ½ cup of broth. The amount you use will depend on how dense and dry your bread was.
  • Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. If making ahead, stop here, cover the dish with foil, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  • When ready to bake, drizzle the 1 tablespoon melted butter on top and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. If the stuffing is still pretty wet, uncover the dish and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes to crisp the top a bit.


*If your bread is not stale, spread the torn pieces in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a 350°F oven to dry them out a bit before proceeding with the recipe.


4.99 from 263 votes (221 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Mariah

    5 stars
    I’ve made this stuffing a few times now and it’s always a crowd pleaser! Definitely recommend good quality sourdough when making it to just take it to the next level!!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Mariah, I’m so glad you love the recipe!

  2. Azienda Solutions

    🙂 Excellent Article, Excellent Blog , Excellent Site ✅✅✅

  3. Annette

    5 stars
    Omgomgomg! I’ve been trying 2 new vegetarian stuffing recipes per year for the last 20 years and this was the best ever!!! What a beautiful, unexpected flavour this had! I liked that there were no sweet elements, since the Xmas table has enough sweet on it. The only thing is that I would prefer a crustier texture instead of moist and spongy – but I think that can be accomplished by dehydrating the bread cubes a bit more. I only needed 1 cup of stock. Delicious!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this:)

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Annette, I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Lin

    Can you provide your modified recipe with the onion substituting leeks & dried spices instead of fresh ones? Thank you!

    • Lisa

      Sounds great to me and others!

  5. Jill Ramsay

    Can you put this inside a turkey, like traditional stuffing?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jill, you can, although I prefer to bake it separately to make sure the eggs cook through.

  6. Kimberly Smith

    I would love to see if anyone has added nuts or cranberries to this recipe.? We usually have southern cornbread dressing. Wanted to try something different for Christmas a more traditional stuffing recipe. Thanks.!

  7. Chris R

    5 stars
    Delicious! This is the BEST stuffing recipe. It is the 3rd year in a row that I’ll be making this! It’s a hit with everyone; indeed, as mentioned by others, the few leftovers are even tastier! Thank you!

  8. Kate

    Could I make it without eggs, would I need a substitute?

  9. Bette

    5 stars
    This was a huge hit and my husband has already asked when we can have it again. I used one huge leek and subbed chicken broth for the veggie but otherwise followed the recipe. Will def make it again (probably this weekend b/c my husband seriously can’t stop talking about it).

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Bette, I’m so glad the stuffing was such a hit!

  10. Jeff

    5 stars
    Phenomenal! This was easy to make and not a belly bomb which was just what I was looking for. I followed your recipe to the letter and the whole family loved it. Leftovers were even better.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Jeff, I’m so glad you loved the stuffing!

  11. Barbie

    5 stars
    This was the best stuffing ever! I made it exactly as written except used dry thyme since that’s what I had. It was exceptional – creamy, crusty, herby, buttery, garlicky – all the things. I made it the night before, refrigerated it unbaked, then baked it covered the next day for 30 minutes, and then another 10 uncovered. Thank you so much. Going into rotation for every year forward.

  12. Ann

    5 stars
    Best stuffing1 I have never been a stuffing fan, my husband’s family always had stovetop..Over the years I have tried different recipes, but he always went back to stovetop, Have you read the ingredients – Yuck. So this year, I decided to make your recipe . Everyone agreed this is the best they have ever had. I loved it too, for both the flavor and texture. Thank you! This will become a family favorite!

    • Ellen B

      5 stars
      The best stuffing I have ever tasted. It was kicking. My family very hard audience. Everybody loved it.

      Thank you,

      • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

        Hi Ellen, I’m so glad the stuffing was a hit!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.