A simple sage stuffing (AKA dressing) recipe for your Thanksgiving table that tastes better than the boxed version! This traditional recipe will also go well with other meals during the holiday season!
Confession: I have a special place in my heart for boxed Stove Top bread stuffing. It’s kind of a family tradition. Granted, my mom doctors it up quite a bit with wild rice and turkey, but there’s just something about it that says “Thanksgiving” to me.
I’ve always wanted to try making stuffing from scratch. Though tasty, boxed dressings are often loaded with unnatural ingredients. But making it myself always seemed a bit daunting. How are you supposed to find a recipe with just the right amount of spices so it’s tasty and liquid so it isn’t soggy?
Then I decided to jump right in and give a Thanksgiving dressing recipe a try. To my surprise, it was uber easy and no-fuss.
Will it replace your beloved Stove Top? No. But what could without using high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and MSG?
Is it a good natural, healthy alternate? Definitely yes! I personally think it tastes better because it tastes more real.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this sage dressing:
- 1 loaf good bread: The kind of bread you use is up to you! You can use whole wheat, white bread, or whatever you please! You could also opt for a soft sourdough bread for a bit of added tang. However, it might compete with the other mild flavors of the dressing. The bread should but sliced or torn into bite-size pieces to make about 8 cups. You’re going to want dry bread, which we’ll discuss below.
- 2 tablespoons butter: I’m partial to grass-fed butter, but whatever you have on hand will work! You’ll also need a bit plus for the baking dish and foil.
- 2 celery stalks: You’ll want to give this a quick dice.
- 1/2 large onion: You’ll want dice this a similar size to the celery.
- Coarse salt and ground pepper: Since the amount of salt you need will vary depending on if you use unsalted butter or low-sodium chicken stock, you should add the seasoning to your own personal preferences.
- 1-2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage: The amount of sage you use will depend on how “sagey” you like your dressing. I like mine to have quite a strong sage flavor. You could also use fresh sage if you prefer, but you’ll want to at least double and possibly triple the amount since dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh herbs. You could also add a tablespoon of fresh parsley if you’re partial to that flavor.
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed: This simple ingredient really packs a flavor punch! I don’t recommend skipping it.
- 1 egg: This is what helps to bind the dressing together after it bakes.
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or turkey stock: You could use my homemade chicken broth or chicken feet bone broth recipe, or opt for a low-sodium store-bought version. Thrive Market carries an organic turkey broth.
Okay, let’s make this!
Start by preheating your oven to 350° F (175° C). Butter a 13×9-inch pan, casserole dish, or a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
Place the bread crumbs on two rimmed baking sheets and bake in preheated oven until nice and dry, about 14 minutes, stirring & rotating the pans halfway through baking. Set aside to cool.
Make Ahead: These can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
You could also just use dry, stale bread if you already have that on hand!
In a medium or large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery to the melted butter in the pan, season with salt + pepper to taste, and cook until nice and tender, about 8 minutes. Add the sage and celery seeds and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Place the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl and add the onion mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken broth and egg. Add to the bread crumbs and toss together until evenly moistened. If you’re using homemade or low-sodium chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more salt at this point.
Transfer the stuffing mix to the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 until warmed and the bread has soaked up the broth, about 25-35 minutes.
If you prefer a slightly moister interior, make sure to cover the baking dish with aluminum foil while baking.
Make ahead: You can also store the un-baked dressing in the refrigerator and then bake it off the next day.
Store any leftover stuffing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s a great canvas for your culinary creativity. You could so easily add your favorite ingredients to make your own personal version of this classic sage stuffing:
- Wild rice
- Sage sausage
Here’s a suggested timeline of making this to make your Thanksgiving day go smoothly!
- 1 Week Ahead: Cube the bread, toast it, and store in an airtight container.
- Thanksgiving morning: Sauté the vegetables and stir together the dressing. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
- 45 Minutes before the meal on the big day: Place the stuffing in the oven to bake.
So that’s how to make my Stovetop-style stuffing! This truly is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving feast!
More Thanksgiving Recipes:
- Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
- Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing
- Chicken Wild Rice Stuffing Casserole
- Organic Cranberry Sauce
- Gluten Free Cheesy Potatoes
- Sourdough Pie Crust
- Spiced Pear Pie
- Perfect Pumpkin Pie
- Easy Baked Pumpkin Custard
- Sourdough Dinner Rolls
- Pumpkin Sourdough Dinner Rolls
- Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree
- Homemade Whipped Cream
Simple Sage Stuffing from Scratch
A simple Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing recipe that you can easily make from scratch!
- 1 loaf bread whole wheat, white, or whatever you please torn into bite-sized pieces to make about 8 cups
- 2 tablespoons butter plus more for baking dish and foil
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1/2 large onion diced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage depending on how “sagey” you like your dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1) Preheat your oven to 350° F (175° C). Place the bread crumbs on two rimmed baking sheets and bake in preheated oven until nice and dry, about 14 minutes, stirring & rotating the pans halfway through baking. Set aside to cool (these can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 week).
2) In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery, season with salt + pepper to taste, and cook until nice and tender, about 8 minutes. Add the sage and celery seeds and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
3) Place the bread crumbs in a bowl and add the sauted vegetables. In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken broth and egg. Add to the bread crumbs and toss together until evenly moistened. If you’re using homemade or low-sodium chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more salt at this point.
4) Place the stuffing in a buttered 13×9-inch pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet and bake at 350 until warmed and the bread has soaked up the broth, about 25-35 minutes. You can also store the un-baked dressing in the refrigerator until ready to heat.
adapted from Martha Stewart
So there you have it! A simple sage stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, or any time of year!
Here are some more Thanksgiving recipes for you:
This post, entitled Simple Sage Stuffing/Dressing from Scratch, was originally published on November 19, 2012 on Cooking for Seven. Stuffing is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, so I’m re-posting it here!