My Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing has stood the test of time. This buttery, savory, melt-in-your-mouth stuffing is the best stuffing recipe around!
Stuffing….or dressing? Which is it in your house? What is the difference between the two?
It’s simple…stuffing is “stuffed” inside the bird. Dressing is usually baked on the side. My mom usually stuffs the turkey. I usually stuff the turkey AND bake dressing on the side.
Call this recipe whichever you’d like and bake it whichever way you prefer. You’ll love this best turkey dressing (or stuffing) recipe either way!
Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing Recipe
Are you all so excited that Thanksgiving is almost here? I think I love Thanksgiving more than Christmas. And one reason why? The food, of course! It’s all about the corn casserole, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
Today we are sharing with you one of our classic family recipes that without fail, ends up on our Thanksgiving table: Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing.
This recipe was my Grandma’s recipe and was passed down to my mom. I grew up enjoying this savory Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, and now my kids are enjoying the tradition, too!
What spices do you put in turkey stuffing?
Our recipe has just a few key seasonings: poultry seasoning, salt and black pepper. You’ll also get flavor from the butter, onion, celery and chicken stock, but for the most part, all that savory flavor comes from poultry seasoning.
What does poultry seasoning have in it?
We use a pre-mixed poultry seasoning that you can buy in the spice aisle at the grocery store. You can mix your own if you’d like. It generally has sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, a touch of nutmeg and black pepper.
How do you make traditional stuffing?
If you’ve never made Thanksgiving turkey stuffing before, you may think it is difficult. Our recipe is very simple, though and calls for just a handful ingredients: bread, butter, onion, celery, chicken broth, eggs and spices.
You’ll want to start this recipe about two days beforehand. Cut fresh bread into 1″ cubes and put them in a big bowl. I like to use a heavier white bread (such as French or Italian bread). You can also use dried hot dog/hamburger buns. Sometimes I throw in whole wheat bread. Use whatever kind of bread you prefer.
**Note: We say to use 13-15 cups of bread cubes. Make sure the bread cubes are slightly packed into the cup. Don’t drop them in so there is a lot of air around them, but press them down into the cup. This will help make sure you have enough bread to soak up the liquid. If you like a drier stuffing, use more bread crumbs.**
Leave the bread cubes sitting out for about 48 hours so they dry out. Stir them once or twice a day so all of the bread dries out evenly. If you run out of time, dry the bread cubes in the oven preheated to a low heat.
When it comes time to make the stuffing, saute the onions and celery in butter over medium heat until the veggies are tender. This is the best aroma ever. Of all the smells of Thanksgiving dinner cooking, this is the one that always starts it all off. There’s just nothing better!
Why Put Eggs in Stuffing?
Pour this mixture over the dry bread cubes, then add the chicken stock, eggs and spices.
Why add eggs to bread stuffing? Many of you have asked this question. The main reason is because my grandma did it, my mom continued making stuffing this way, and there is just no better stuffing. 🙂 Simple, right?
I’ve never not put eggs in stuffing, but also, the eggs act as a bit of a binder. They prevent the stuffing from being crumbly.
Is it safe to stuff a turkey?
Mix it all up well and you’re ready to either stuff the bird or bake the stuffing in a casserole dish. It’s a big debate over who likes to stuff the turkey and who doesn’t.
Here’s my answer: Do what you’d like.
Are both methods safe?
Yes. If you stuff a turkey with bread stuffing, make sure the center of the stuffing cooks to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need a long thermometer to go through the turkey and test it. But it is safe to eat if cooked to the correct temperature.
**Our Thermoworks ThermaPen tests the internal temperatures of meats, breads and cakes INSTANTLY. This probe thermometer is AMAZING. Get it here.**
I like both stuffed turkeys and unstuffed. I prefer my stuffing just a little crispier, so cooking it in a casserole dish allows the top of the bread to get a little toasty. And who doesn’t like herbed, buttered, toasted bread?!
For food safety guidelines as far as stuffing the turkey, you can read some info from the USDA here.
How to Stuff a Turkey
It’s important to spoon the stuffing into the turkey loosely. You don’t want to pack it in. Plan about 3/4 cup of stuffing per 1 pound of turkey.
When to Stuff a Turkey
For food safety reasons, stuff the turkey immediately before you place it in the oven. Have the oven preheated and ready to go. Stuff the turkey, then pop it in the oven.
Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing
- 13-15 cups dry bread cubes* (We like to use a heavier bread so it soaks up more juice)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 large eggs
- In a frying pan, saute the onion and celery in the butter for 10-12 minutes, or until the onion and celery are tender.
- Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour the butter, onion and celery mixture over the breadcrumbs and mix. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Put the stuffing in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving turkey stuffing recipe as much as my family has over the past decades. Just read the reviews below to see how many people have loved this! It’s continually one of our most popular holiday recipes and we thank you for that.
Q: Do you have a recipe that has stood the test of time?
Looking for a cute way to serve stuffing? Take a look at these cute platters and dishes!
- “Let the Stuffing Begin” Casserole Dish and Spoon
- “Happy Thankstuffing” Serving Bowl and Spoon
- “Let the Stuffing Begin” Serving Spoon