Simple Sourdough Stuffing
This sourdough stuffing recipe is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving table! The sourdough bread gives it a unique depth of flavor that will elevate this classic side dish.
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Component Used: Sourdough Bread
This easy recipe combines sourdough bread and fresh herbs making it the best stuffing! For this recipe, you can use homemade sourdough bread or store-bought. You can also add sausage if you prefer sausage stuffing!
Why I love this recipe
- This version using sourdough bread makes it unique in flavor and one of my favorite things!
- The open crumb structure makes sourdough bread ideal for stuffing because it soaks up all the butter and stock, packing each bite with tons of flavor.
- Stuffing is recommended to be made in advance which helps when planning ahead.
- This recipe can be made with homemade sourdough, store-bought, or a different type of bread entirely!
- Sourdough stuffing takes a classic side dish up a notch to make your holiday meal really special.
Vegetarian: To make this recipe vegetarian, simply change the chicken/turkey broth to veggie stock.
Vegan: To make this recipe vegan, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and leave out the egg (no substitutions needed). Replace the butter with 2/3 cup of canola oil or vegan butter.
Other Bread Types: You don’t have to use sourdough bread with this recipe. Try challah, sandwich bread, baguettes, cornbread or even store-bought dried bread cubes.
Sausage and Apple Stuffing: Apple goes so well with sausage! Simply add 1 pound of cooked ground sausage to the mix and add 1-2 cored and chopped tart apples (like Granny Smith) to the bowl with the bread, sausage, and veggies. This variation is a great way to elevate your Thanksgiving meal.
How to make sourdough stuffing
Step 1: Dry out the Bread Cubes
Whether you are using homemade sourdough or store-bought, you’ll need to dry out the bread. If you don’t dry it out the fresh bread the stuffing will be very soggy and turn into a bread pudding-type of consistency.
Slice the bread into 1/2 inch (1 1/4 cm) cubes for a traditional stuffing texture, or 1-inch cubes for more of a rustic texture as pictured. Spread the bread out onto a baking sheet. Leave it sitting out at room temperature for 1 or 2 days to stale. Use a spatula to flip the cubes over halfway through. Alternatively, you can bake the cubes at a low temperature for a couple hours. This will speed up the process of drying out the cubes.
Step 2: Prepare the Stuffing
Gather all of the remaining ingredients. Dice the onion, celery, and garlic. Grate the carrot. Chop the fresh parsley, sage, and rosemary.
In a large skillet on medium heat, melt the butter and cook the onions and celery for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the carrot and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped sage and rosemary and cook for a couple more minutes until you start to smell the fragrance from the fresh herbs. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Step 3: Assemble the Stuffing
In a large bowl add the dried bread cubes and the entire pan of butter and veggies. Sprinkle the fresh parsley, salt, and pepper over the top. Gently stir to combine.
Add in the beaten eggs and slowly start to pour in the chicken broth. Do not pour it all in at once. Start with the lesser amount listed and stir to combine. I suggest using 2 large spoons to gently toss the mixture like a salad or toss by hand. Add in just enough broth to moisten every bread cube but not soak them. You may or may not need the entire amount listed.
Pour the stuffing mixture into an oil-sprayed baking dish and top with aluminum foil. I suggest placing the dish in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 2 days) before baking so that the flavors combine and become more intense. It also helps the bread to stick together and not fall apart after baking.
Step 4: Bake the Stuffing
Bake the stuffing with aluminum foil on top for 30 minutes on 350°F/ 175°C. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes to get a golden brown, crispy top. Serve warm.
What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing?
Stuffing and dressing are essentially the same thing as they are made with the same ingredients: bread, vegetables, broth, and herbs. The only difference is that stuffing is literally stuffed inside a poultry cavity before baking and dressing is served on the side.
For this recipe, I’m calling it a “stuffing” even though it’s not stuffed inside a bird because it tends to be the more common term for this Thanksgiving dish.
Can you use any bread for stuffing?
There are several types of bread you can use for stuffing. It just needs to be a high-quality bread like sourdough, French, Italian, challah, brioche, or even cornbread! Some say that fluffy white sandwich bread is to be avoided because it’s too soft but as long as you properly dry it out, white sandwich bread can make a great stuffing.
Can I bake the stuffing immediately after assembling?
You can bake stuffing immediately, however, I suggest storing it in the refrigerator overnight or longer. This gives the bread time to fully soak in the broth and start to stick together.
Prep & Storage
How to prep ahead: Stuffing only benefits from prepping ahead! In fact, I recommend it. Make the stuffing as written but do not bake it. Cover it in aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before baking. This step helps the flavors to come together and allows the bread to adhere to each other.
How to store in the freezer: You can freeze unbaked or baked stuffing for up to 3 months. It does not need to thaw before baking. In fact, I suggest you do not thaw it as it can affect the texture of the bread and become soggy. It’s best to bake it straight from frozen! Because of this, do not freeze in a glass or ceramic casserole dish as moving it from the freezer to the oven will cause thermal shock. Instead, use a metal baking pan.
Unbaked stuffing can go in the freezer wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. When ready, remove the plastic wrap and replace with aluminum foil and bake from frozen. Bake on 350°F/ 175°C for 40 minutes, remove foil, and bake another 15-20 minutes.
Baked stuffing can go in the freezer after it’s been completely cooled. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. When ready, remove the plastic wrap and add aluminum foil and refresh in the oven. Bake on 325°F/ 163°C for 15 minutes, remove foil, and bake another 5 minutes.
- 454 grams (1 pound, 16 ounces) sourdough bread, homemade or store-bought
- 130 grams (1 cup) yellow onion, finely diced
- 230 grams (4-5 stalks) celery, finely diced
- 80 grams (1 medium) carrots, grated
- 15 grams (4-5 cloves) garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh sage, chopped
- 170 grams (¾ cup) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 360-480 grams (1 ½ -2 cups) chicken broth or chicken stock
Dry Out the Bread Cubes
- With a sharp serrated knife cut the sourdough bread (454 grams) in ½ inch (1 ¼ cm) cubes. Try not to smash the bread too much as you cut.
- Spread the cubes onto a baking sheet to dry out. You can leave them on your counter for 2-3 days or bake them in your oven at 200°F/ 93°C for 1-2 hours to dry out. Toss them about halfway through.
Prepare the Stuffing
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 175°C.
- Prepare a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish by spraying with non-stick oil.
- Finely dice the onion (130 grams/ 1 cup) and celery (230 grams/ 4-5 stalks). Grate the carrot (70 grams/ 1 medium) and squeeze it out tightly using a paper towel. Mince the garlic (15 grams/ 4-5 cloves). Chop the parsley (¼ cup), rosemary (1 tablespoon), and sage (¼ cup).
- In a large saute pan on medium heat, melt the butter (170 grams). Add the onions and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the carrot and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the sage and rosemary and stir just until it starts to wilt and releases its flavor and scent. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside.
Assemble & chill
- Pour the dried bread cubes and entire saute pan of butter and vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the fresh parsley, salt (1 teaspoon), and pepper (½ teaspoon) over the top and toss again.
- Add in the beaten eggs (2 large) and then very slowly pour in the chicken broth starting with 360 grams (1 ½ cups) and stir gently. Do not pour all the broth in at the same time to prevent soggy spots. Add more broth in as needed (a little bit at a time) to moisten every piece of bread but stopping before it gets too soggy. You may not need the entire 480 grams (2 cups).
- Pour the bread mixture into the prepared baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.
- OPTIONAL: Refrigerate the stuffing overnight (or up to 2 days) before baking.
- When ready to bake: Bake for 30 minutes with foil covering the top. And an additional 15-20 minutes uncovered.
- Store leftover stuffing covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- If using salted butter instead of unsalted, use a low-sodium chicken broth.
- You can replace the sourdough bread with store-bought dried bread cubes.