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. Jamie

    5 stars
    First time ever making stuffing for Thanksgiving. I got so many compliments!! Have shared this recipe with multiple family members!

  2. Megan Euker

    5 stars
    Great. I used some leek top broth from the Love and Lemons cookbook instead of the vegetable broth. Everyone really liked it and it was my favorite dish.

  3. Ruth Getsinger

    5 stars
    Your stuffing was the hit of our Thanksgiving dinner today. Didn’t change a thing. The leeks and fresh herbs are a must. Everyone LOVED it and I’ll definitely make it again.

  4. Jill Edwards

    5 stars
    Made it for Thanksgiving dinner today. We loved it!! I couldn’t find any leeks but did use sweet onions. Very little leftover for tomorrow. Will be a staple on future dinners.

  5. Suzanne

    5 stars
    Jeanine – help! I made this last year and it was divine but I didn’t really let my bread dry out. This year I’m tripling the recipe, and in my attempt to do some early prep, I cut up three loaves on Monday night and laid them out to dry out. It’s now two days later and they are BONE DRY cubes… as dry as the bread in a bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing. IS THIS GOING TO WORK? Am I going to need more broth, more eggs? Help! I’m not a natural cook so I need advice here. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Suzanne, I think it’ll still work – if you’re mixing it together and it feels too dry, just add some extra broth.

  6. Suzanne

    5 stars
    Can I triple this recipe by exactly tripling the ingredients? Or do the proportions break down when you more than double it? I made this last year and it was a huge hit! But I’m making it for more people this year.

  7. Maggi Byrnes

    This is like my stuffing recipe except I call it Simon and Garfunkel stuffing. Parsley sage rosemary and thyme

  8. Wendy

    Can you cook this in a crock pot? And how long would you cook in for in the crock pot?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Wendy, I’m not sure, we haven’t tested it in a crockpot.

  9. Kristen

    Can you use chicken broth instead of veggie broth?

  10. Jules

    5 stars
    I’ve made this multiple times. It’s my go to stuffing recipe. No alterations, it is PERFECT!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you’ve loved it!

  11. Audra

    What size baking dish do you use? Thank you.

    • chef boyardi

      I usually use my bath tub as I make these in big batches, but whatever pan that fits will work well. Just stay away from the cursed 9×9.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      9×13 or similar!

  12. Tammy

    5 stars
    Without a doubt, this is the best stuffing ever, and the only one for my feast! My kids love the leftovers. The next morning for breakfast, they place a sunny side egg on it for breakfast!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Oh yum, what a great way to use the leftovers!

  13. Hanna

    5 stars
    I thought this was a great backbone for veg stuffing! For a bit more color and chew/texture I added mushrooms, rehydrated (previously dried) whole cranberries, and one peeled apple. I also used ciabatta bread for the denser crumb, 3 eggs and 2 cups of veg broth for a more custardy final product.

    Thank you for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      That sounds so delicious!

  14. Jana

    5 stars
    Can you substitute something for the eggs to make it egg-free?

  15. Danielle Postell

    can I make this the day before

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Danielle, yes! Bake the stuffing for 30 minutes, covered, 1 day ahead and store it in the fridge. On the day of your meal, warm the covered dish in a 350°F oven until heated through. Uncover it for the last few minutes of baking to crisp the top.

    • Lis

      Wish this question was answered

  16. janet

    I am making this to bring to my family’s house, which is about 30 minutes away. I’m afraid that the kitchen/oven will be pretty occupied and I won’t get to bake it there. Can I par-bake covered at home a couple of hours before and then pop it in their oven right before serving? Uncovered? How long? Thank you!

  17. Rebecca Zbuchalski

    I really want to make this for Thanksgiving and wanted to know if gluten free bread would work?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Rebeccca, I haven’t tried it with any type of gluten free bread so I’m not sure. I’d just make sure to try a bakery-type loaf that’s crusty vs. packaged sandwich bread.

  18. Yurika

    Can this stuffing be stuffed in the Turkey?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Yrika – my mom does, but I like to cook it separately so that the eggs cook thoroughly.

  19. Anna Gaeta

    5 stars
    In the oven now! So eager to try. I added in some sweet ground sausage in the mixture and used a mix of brioche and farmers bread dried in the oven. Definitely added a bit more salt, pepper and spices! I think it will be a hit! Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I hope you enjoy!

  20. Simone

    Could I cover with a baking sheet? I don’t have foil.

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.