Thyme and fresh sage leaves give this sourdough stuffing recipe a deliciously herbal note, while good broth lends a deeply savory element.
Sourdough stuffing is a perennial favorite on our table during the holiday season. It's an easy way to use up leftover bread, and we love the way good broth and plenty of butter enrich the stuffing while fresh herbs lend a beautiful, vibrant flavor.
This stuffing recipe is easy to make in advance, so your Thanksgiving meal prep is much faster.
Why this recipe works
- It's a great way to use leftover sourdough bread.
- Plenty of fresh herbs, celery, and onions lend delicious flavor, making this the best Thanksgiving stuffing.
- You can make it ahead so that you have even less to worry about when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner.
- Sourdough bread tends to be easier to digest and better for blood sugar balance.
- It's a classic stuffing recipe that you can adjust to your family's preferences.
- Sourdough bread gives the stuffing its bulk. Homemade no-knead sourdough bread is a good option, but you can also purchase day-old bread from a local bakery. Sourdough bread, with its pleasant chewy texture, is perfect. You'll find it lends the best flavor and texture to the recipe.
- Onions give sourdough stuffing a sweet, savory element. Yellow onions work the best, but you can also swap in red or white onions, depending on what you have in your pantry.
- Celery lends a pleasant, vegetal note to the stuffing, and it works well with both onions and fresh herbs to give the stuffing its deep flavor.
- Butter contributes richness to sourdough stuffing and also enhances browning. You'll use plenty of it, too, so pay attention to quality. Cultured grass-fed butter is optimal for this recipe because it has the richest flavor.
- Broth provides the liquid element to the recipe, transforming stale sourdough bread into a luscious and moist stuffing. If you're serving sourdough stuffing with Thanksgiving turkey, plan to use a good turkey bone broth. Although both homemade chicken broth and vegetable broth work, too.
- Fresh herbs include sage and thyme. These herbs help heighten the flavor of the stuffing, especially if you're also using the herbs in other dishes at the meal.
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Tools You'll Need
A baking sheet lined with parchment paper is helpful for drying out and toasting the bread.
In addition, a large mixing bowl is essential. You'll also need a large skillet for sautéing the vegetables and a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish for baking the stuffing.
You'll also need aluminum foil to prevent the stuffing from drying out while it bakes.
- If you're planning a large holiday meal or have several dishes to make, you can prepare the bread up to 5 days in advance. And you can prepare the bulk of the stuffing up to 1 day in advance and finish it in the oven just before serving.
- If you want a more uniform texture, consider slicing the crust off your bread before you make the stuffing. While the bread crust can give the stuffing a fantastic crisp texture, some people prefer a more uniform approach.
- If you prefer a more rustic texture, consider tearing the bread apart instead of cutting it into 1-inch cubes.
- Add fruit, nuts, and more herbs to make the recipe uniquely yours. Just keep the ratio of turkey broth, butter, and bread the same.
- Gently press the stuffing into the baking dish with a wooden spoon instead of mashing it. Pressing the stuffing too hard into the dish before baking will produce a texture-less mass.
- Consider baking it in individual portions. You can spoon the stuffing mixture into muffin cups, bake in individual portions, and freeze leftovers easily.
- Covering the stuffing with aluminum foil helps to prevent it from drying out while it bakes. Remove the foil partway through cooking for a pleasantly crispy top without losing moisture. Ten minutes is usually sufficient to crisp the stuffing without drying it out.
- Don't stuff the bird. While stuffing is traditionally cooked inside roasted turkey and chicken, it poses a food safety risk. Additionally, the stuffing risks becoming soggy. You'll also lose out on that gorgeous golden-brown color and any crispy edges.
How to Serve It
Homemade sourdough stuffing is the perfect side dish for the Thanksgiving table. Partner it with slow-roasted turkey with gravy. You can also serve other Thanksgiving classics, such as cranberry compote or relish, green beans with bacon, and mashed potatoes.
If you're after a little something fresher, a nice celery and apple salad is a good companion to heavier holiday meals.
This stuffing is also excellent served at more simple dinners. Consider making it with chicken stock and serving it as a companion to an Easy Roast Chicken dinner.
Variations + Substitutions
Fresh herbs add so much flavor. If you only have dried herbs, you'll need to reduce the volume called for in the recipe. Instead, use 1 tablespoon of dried sage, 2 teaspoons of dried thyme, and ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary.
Fresh parsley is an excellent addition to the herb mixture as it's in the same family as celery and complements its flavor. A few tablespoons is a good addition.
For sourdough stuffing with sausage, consider adding cooked turkey sausage or mild Italian sausage to the stuffing recipe.
Fruit and nuts are delicious when added to sourdough stuffing. Consider sautéing an apple with the onion and celery.
You can also stir chopped pecans or walnuts to the bread mixture. Fresh or dried cranberries can be tasty additions and complement holiday meals.
Consider substituting dry white wine for some of the broth. Just a little wine can bring a burst of flavor to the recipe. complementing sourdough's natural acidity.
If you prefer a stiffer stuffing, beat two eggs into the broth before incorporating it into the bread mixture. Eggs will add a structure to sourdough stuffing and give it a texture similar to a strata or bread pudding.
For a dairy-free version, consider substituting chicken schmaltz for the butter. You can also use olive oil in a pinch, too.
More Thanksgiving recipes you might like
What's the best bread for stuffing?
Day-old artisan-style crusty sourdough bread is delicious and makes the best stuffing.
Its pleasant acidity adds complexity and gives the stuffing a good flavor. In addition, sourdough bread tends to be more nutritious than bread leavened with commercial yeast.
That's because it is easier to digest for many people and has a better impact on blood sugar balance.
How long does it keep?
Store any leftover sourdough stuffing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat it, pour in a little broth and set it in a 325 F oven to warm until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
Can I freeze it?
Yes. Freeze any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost them overnight in the fridge. Then warm the leftover stuffing in a 325 F oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
Can I make it in advance?
Yes. Sourdough bread stuffing is an excellent choice for advanced holiday meal prep. You can bake the cubed bread up to 5 days in advance.
Additionally, you can prepare the stuffing the day before your meal and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Dot it with additional butter just before transferring it to the oven to bake.
If the stuffing is still cold when you transfer it from the fridge to the oven, allow additional baking time.
Can I use it to stuff a turkey?
While popular, stuffing turkeys poses a food safety risk, and I don't recommend it. Additionally, it can produce mushy, soggy stuffing. Instead, I recommend baking sourdough stuffing in its own dish.