Grandma’s Old Fashioned Stuffing

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As a child, I counted the days to Thanksgiving. You don’t have to tell me this is unusual.

As far as holidays go, most kids would agree Christmas is the best, with its presents, cookies, and long break from school. Shopping malls and radio stations also rush to December, bringing out music and promotions just after Halloween.

Throw away those boxed stuffing mixes full of god awful spices and stale bread and make your own - the way your Grandmother did. Get our tasty (and simple) recipe now at Foodal!

But, in this holiday’s defense, I offer one word: turkey.

Before I was old enough to know how the bird was cooked, I understood that slicing the crispy brown skin of one fresh from the oven would reveal white, tender meat perfect for a week’s worth of sandwiches.

A close up of a white porcelain baking dish containing old fashioned, made from scratch, bread stuffing | Foodal

Coupled with all the trimmings, Thanksgiving turkey makes a meal worth anticipating. And this year, for the first time, I’d be the one making it.

The star of our feast was an eight-pound turkey breast (because we prefer white meat, and because we’d be out of town, so smaller would be easier) filled with my grandma’s recipe for moist bread stuffing. It’s the most delicious thing I eat every year, and so easy to make.

Leave those stuffing boxes on the store shelves this year and make your own from scratch. Homemade beats store bought every time! Get the inside scoop at Foodal now!

Once you’ve made this recipe, it’s going to be hard not to run head-first into the StoveTop grocery aisle, grabbing the arms of unsuspecting shoppers, tossing their boxes on the floor, shouting that it’s for their own good.

The Recipe

From my lovely grandma, Caroline, who taught me to bake.

A close up of a white porcelain baking dish containing old fashioned, made from scratch, bread stuffing | Foodal
Grandma's Old Fashioned Stuffing
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A super savory stuffing for Turkey.
Servings Prep Time
24 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
24 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 24 hours
A close up of a white porcelain baking dish containing old fashioned, made from scratch, bread stuffing | Foodal
Grandma's Old Fashioned Stuffing
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A super savory stuffing for Turkey.
Servings Prep Time
24 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
24 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 24 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups butter 3 sticks
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups chicken broth about a 32 oz container of stock
  • 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 24 cups dried bread cubes
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook butter, onions, parsley, and celery over medium-low heat.
  2. After a while, the mixture will begin to bubble; add the chicken broth. Bring it back to a boil, and add the seasonings and stir.
  3. Remove from heat, let cool just a bit and pour the still-warm mixture over the bowl of bread cubes. Stir it around, using your hands if necessary, to thoroughly coat each piece of bread.
Recipe Notes

*If you are using store bought chicken stock, you may want to hold off adding any additional salt until the end. Commercial chicken stock contains lots of added sodium.

Nutritional Info*

Nutrition Facts
Grandma's Old Fashioned Stuffing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 527 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 1646mg 69%
Potassium 209mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 53g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 6g
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 25%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 8%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep the Bread

When you make my grandma’s turkey stuffing, the first thing you must have is bread.

A loaf of Italian bread being made into bread chunks. A Shun bread knife is in the foreground.

Note: If you’re cooking a small bird, or just a breast, you’ll halve her recipe, and so you’ll need a total of 12 cups of bread cubes instead of the 24 called for in the recipe above.

Any loaf will work, but dry, crusty bread is particularly good for soaking up the stock and juices, and it’s a great way to make use of day-old bread.

Bread chunks on a black drying rack | Foodal

Cut your bread into chunks using a good bread knife and leave on a cooling rack overnight to harden.

Step 2 – Mise en Place

Gather all of your ingredients into one spot and chop up your veggies on a cutting board using a good chef’s knife.

Misono Gyuto Chef Knife in the foreground and chopped celery in the background. Sitting on a Epicuran cutting board | Foodal
The featured chef’s knife here is a Misono UX10 Gyuto, one of Foodal’s favorite Japanese kitchen knives.

Place all of your breadcrumbs into an extra large mixing bowl, or a large mixing bowl for a half batch.

The various ingredients gathered into one place for easy reach or mise en place | Foodal

Step 3 – Prepare the Liquids

Start by sautéing butter, diced onions, chopped parsley, and chopped celery in a large frying pan (preferably a deep dished one with a helper handle) on medium heat. Leave it like this for a while.

 Close up of veggies being sauted in butter | Foodal

This was where I did some dishes, wiped down the countertops, and had another bite of breakfast. You’ll choose your own distractions.

As you go about your business, a buttery fragrance wafts, slow and strong, through the room, heady with cooking onions. The pan will sizzle, bubbles popping and appearing amidst simmering juices.

Close up of a stainless steel frying pan with stock and spices added to the butter/veggie mix | Foodal

Stir the mixture around, and you’ll find the ingredients limp, like your arms when you’re dreaming deeply or tulips that are past their prime. At this point, add salt, pepper, and a bit of poultry seasoning; then pour in chicken broth.

Stir it together, and let the spices soak in until the liquid boils again.

Note!

You’ll want to add the salt only if you are using homemade chicken stock with no additional salt added. If you are using store bought, then little to none may be required as it generally contains a bunch of sodium. You can reserve all salt additions for the final step if you don’t know how to judge it at this point in the recipe by taste.

Step 4 – Pour and Combine

Pour the entire mixture over the breadcrumbs.

Close up of a ladle being using to pour over the butter and chicken stock mixture over the bread crumbs.
Note: I used the ladle at first and then found my intestinal fortitude (and the helper handle on the frying pan) and slowly poured the entire skillet’s contents over the bread crumbs.

Stir the breadcrumbs swiftly, letting the hot liquids soak into all the crevices, making every dried piece a soaked morsel. It’s best to begin with a large spoon and then, if you’re brave, work everything together with your hands.

Close up of a large spoon being used to mixing the igredients together | Foodal

Strewn between your fingers, the stuffing will feel hot, wet, messy—a lot like a science project you might have attempted in junior high. When all the bread is thoroughly coated, it’s ready to be stuffed into your turkey, plated and served, or put away in the refrigerator or freezer.

Top down view of bread stuffing in a mixing bowl ready to be served or placed inside of a Turkey | Foodal

Step 5 – Pack the Turkey or Plate and Serve

You may want to pack inside of turkey right away if you are doing a traditional roast, but if you are dry brining or wet brining, the added moisture from the stuffing is not required for a tender and juicy tukey.

You'll never reach for a box of prepackaged stuffing again once you've tried Grandma's secret recipe. Fresh bread chunks and homemade stock means MUCH more tastier stuffing. Get the recipe on Foodal today!

In this case you can plate and serve with some parsley as garnish. You can also pack and chill in the refrigerator a couple of days ahead of your scheduled feast, or it can even be frozen weeks in advance.

For a crisper, browner finish, you can also broil in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Side shot of homemade bread stuffing in a white, ceramic serving dish | Foodal

What about you? Do you have any tips on perfecting the ultimate bread stuffing recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

And remember to check out all of our Thanksgiving recipes now!


Don’t forget to Pin It!

Do you love made from scratch, homemade stuffing like grandma used to make? If so, this recipe is right up your alley. Get it now and wow your friends and family.

Photos by Mike Quinn, © Foodal / Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published December 1st, 2008 by Shanna Mallon. Revised and updated November 14th, 2017, with additional writing by Mike Quinn.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.

11 thoughts on “Grandma’s Old Fashioned Stuffing

  1. I love mixing up the stuffing, too! There’s something so satisfying about getting every last piece of bread coated and moist. 🙂

  2. I couldn’t stop smiling reading this love letter to turkey and Thanksgiving! 🙂 So glad that you had a good time and important things (read: the food) turned out well.

  3. There is nothing like recipes from Grandma. Yours looks very very yummy. (and your first Thanksgiving very successful, congratulations!)

  4. I have to say, the victory of making something well—particularly something you were intimidated by—is very, very sweet.

    Thanks, Lan! I had so much fun. 🙂 And my grandma really was wonderful. I read something this weekend about how everyone thinks their grandmas are wonderful and it’s boring material. But you know what? She was, and I think everyone should know! I love reading about your grandma, too. 🙂

    Amy: You and me, both, friend. How can you go from so hungry to so full so fast?

    Jacqui: Right? Very sloppy and wet, and fun. 🙂

    Kelley: I’d love to hear about your Thanksgiving. Your menu was so inspiring–how’d it all go? BTW: remember our plans to read a new book? Have you read M.K. Fisher? I was thinking her. I’ll e-mail you soon.

    Thanks, Carrie. In my defense (or not, depending on how you look at it), I have been known to make MANY MISTAKES, so the fear was grounded, though thankfully, unneeded. 🙂

    Joie de vivre: Thanks again for stopping by… I enjoyed reading about your Thanksgiving and how you got your boys involved. Thought it was so adorable.

  5. That looks amazing! And how clever to cook just the breast which is really the best part! Thanks for sharing your post! Looking forward to seeing more 🙂

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