I didn’t grow up with stuffing. Well, I take that back. I grew up with something “like” stuffing. My mom is from Norway, and they do not have anything that resembles stuffing in their Holiday meals, so to please dad, she threw together one of those prepackaged stuffing mixes that you can buy at the grocery store, added a few things, and called it a day. It was way down on the priority list. Hence I grew up not very fond of stuffing; that is until we made it from scratch and learned that stuffing is, in fact, absolutely delicious. Even mom likes homemade stuffing for the holidays now.
What Made the Difference with our Homemade Stuffing?
So, what made the difference? I think it is a combination of things. First, we know what is in it, always a plus. We can season it to our taste, but maybe most importantly, we can use our favorite bread. Sometimes we make the stuffing with sourdough bread, and sometimes with homemade whole wheat bread; both are delicious but different in flavor. I challenge you to make your own stuffing this year. It is so easy and well worth it. We marvel that it took us so long to figure this out. You can dry the bread ahead of time and store to make it easier on the day you have to cook a large meal. We often have a bag of cubed, dried bread ready to go when we need it for a recipe. It’s a nice way to use stale bread. We keep ours in the freezer, though I think it would probably keep just as well on the shelf. Another recipe we make with dried cubed bread is garlic croutons.
Everybody Likes a different Stuffing Variation
But having become a “stuffing” enthusiast, I take this role quite seriously. From what I can tell, stuffing, sometimes called dressing, are almost as diversified as this vast country of ours. Some prefer stuffing with corn, some with white bread, whole wheat, or sourdough; some people even like theirs with a potato filling. What an exciting variety of options! Some people stuff their meat (or meat substitute), and some like it as a side dish; either way, you have a lot more control when you make it yourself. You can make it to fit your taste, and it’s so easy. It is such a neat American tradition. Nobody knows if the pilgrims served “stuffing” in their first Thanksgiving meal, and most are doubtful that they did, but I think they must have; what is Thanksgiving without stuffing.
Below is our simple homemade stuffing recipe. We will occasionally change it up a bit, but this is the basic recipe. I hope you enjoy it.
Here are some recipes I love to make with this stuffing recipe:Print
Homemade Stuffing (Gluten-Free option)
- Yield: Serves 4
- 4 Slices of bread (use GF bread for a GF option)
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 cup vegetable stock or water
- 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon (GF, Vegan Chicken style seasoning powder)
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (add as needed)
- Cut the bread into cubes
- Toast bread in the oven at 300F for 15 min.
- In a saucepan, sauté onions in olive oil until soft, then add garlic and celery.
- Sauté for a few minutes.
- Next, add water, Better Than Bouillon (or GF option), pecans, sage, thyme, and salt.
- Bring to a boil.
- Remove from the stovetop.
- Add dried bread and fresh parsley.
- Toss gently.