It’s hard to believe I have been sharing recipes here for over seven years and somehow a stuffing recipe has never graced the pages of this site. I suppose it is because with all of the different variables – the type of bread used, veggies and herbs, type of meat or lack thereof – the possibilities are nearly endless. I have tried numerous recipes over the years and they have all been good in completely different ways. I’ll share more of the less traditional variations in the future, but many of you have requested a classic stuffing recipe so we are starting here.


Unfortunately I don’t have many clear memories of the things my mom cooked when she was alive – just scattered glimpses here and there. I do have vague memories of the Thanksgivings that she hosted and that I loved her stuffing. Whenever I have had classic mushroom stuffing over the years, it reminds me of those past holidays. After making so many variations on this theme over the years, I have determined what I prefer to include in my ideal version. Italian bread is ideal thanks to its sturdy but soft texture and its mild flavor. I like to include lots of mushrooms with just a bit of sausage, but the sausage can be easily replaced with more mushrooms for a vegetarian version. Onion, celery, garlic and fresh herbs round out the flavors of this simple, classic stuffing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 10 oz. sliced mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, and/or shiitake
  • ½ lb. pork sausage
  • 1 lb. Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh sage
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper

Directions

  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic to the pan. Sauté about 3-4 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large mixing bowl and return the pan to the heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until browned and no longer pink. Remove to the bowl with the mushroom mixture.

  • 02

    Add the bread cubes to the bowl with the sausage and mushroom mixture. Stir to combine. Add in the broth, eggs, herbs, salt and pepper and stir until evenly combined. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared casserole dish. Transfer to the oven and bake, rotating halfway through baking, until browned, warmed through and set, about 60 minutes total. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

  • 03

    Notes: 

    • I find that slightly stale bread works best. I prefer to use a loaf of bread about 2 days old. 
    • If you can find it, sausage with fennel, sage and thyme is my favorite for this recipe. If you talk to the butcher they can usually make it for you. In a pinch, sweet Italian sausage also works. 
    • It is best to use at least two types of mushrooms for added depth of flavor.
  • I’ve never tried mushrooms in stuffing but it sounds fabulous!

  • Liz N.

    This looks so, so good! I think I may have found the perfect stuffing! LOVE THIS.

  • Amber

    Thank you for continuing to come up with wonderful thanksgiving dishes (and a meal plan!) for us readers, even as your own plans/traditions have been disrupted these last couple of years. This is the first time I’ll be in charge of the thanksgiving meal, so I’m a bit nervous (especially with the turkey!), and I’m grateful for all your suggestions you’ve thrown out to give us ideas. I’m thinking and praying for you during this season.

  • Loretta

    I was thinking of making this with cornbread, ( recently diagnosed with celiac ) should I change anything else
    I think it would taste great with a hint of sweetness from the corn bread.. Thoughts??

  • Amanda Smith

    This looks great, and I’m looking forward to trying it! Thanks for being so responsive to requests!

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure. You may need to adjust the amount of broth you use because the texture of cornbread is different, but I’m not sure whether you would use more or less…my inclination is less. You may have to experiment a bit. Good luck!

  • annieseats

    Thanks Amber. I appreciate it! Don’t worry, you will do great with your meal and I’m sure everyone will love it!

  • Kerry @ Kerry Cooks

    This looks so good Annie! I’ve never actually made stuffing from scratch, I think I’ll have to change that!

  • Trisha

    This looks amazing and makes me, once again, so sad that I have such go-getter family members that take care of all of the holiday cooking and don’t allow “my generation” to do any of the work. They stick to the traditions year after year, which are great too, but I may just have to have my own Thanksgiving shindig so I have an excuse to serve this!

  • Kathy

    Ironically, the stuffing recipe you posted as part of your Roasted Turkey Roulade post is my very very favorite. It’s amazing! (This sounds good, too!) http://www.annies-eats.com/2009/01/02/roasted-turkey-roulade/

  • annieseats

    I agree, that one is good! I have textural issues with it though which is why it isn’t my all time fave :)

  • Rachel Buetens

    Can you provide any guidance or your advice for making this ahead of time (one day before), then cooking on the day of? Your historical planning posts have been so helpful as this is my first time hosting, so thank you so much for those! There is now a 3-tabbed excel document involved in my preparations!

  • I can’t wait to try this version of stuffing! I love the play of different textures you used here.

  • annieseats

    Sure! Stuffing is a great option for a make-ahead side dish. I make up to assembly, cover and refrigerate. Then just bake as normal on Thanksgiving, maybe adding a few extra minutes to account for the chill from the fridge.

  • Rachel Johns Braun

    I made this yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner. It was the star of the table! Thank you graciously for sharing!

  • annieseats

    Yay! So glad to hear it :)

  • I love how this stuffing can easily go meaty or meat-free depending on the crowd your serving. This way you can please everyone!