Traditional turkey dressing recipe perfect for serving with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Bread cubes, butter, and classic sage seasoning meet up in this classic dressing. This recipe isn’t just for holidays, it’s simple enough to make year-round. Try serving it with chicken or pork chops!
Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a skillet and add onions, celery, and ground sage. Cook until the celery has just turned a brighter color of green.
Add chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the bread cubes to a large mixing bowl and carefully pour in the hot broth. Stir until combined.
There may be some excess liquid in the bowl, it’s fine. Allow the dressing to sit in the bowl for a few minutes, stirring occasionally and all that liquid will be absorbed.
If there are any dried pieces left, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of hot water or broth. Mix it in and allow it to sit for another few minutes
Add the stuffing to a baking pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.
Bake in a 350⁰F oven until the edges are browned and crispy, about 30 to 45 minutes. For a super moist dressing, baste with turkey drippings every 10 to 15 minutes.
I don’t add any additional eggs to my turkey dressing. Instead, I baste my dressing with turkey drippings and giblet broth* for moisture.
Dressing and stuffing are not automatically egg-free. When I say dressing without eggs, I just mean no eggs added with the other ingredients. Many breads and stuffing mixes have egg in them, so check those ingredients if you are trying to avoid eggs completely.
Our crusty bread recipe is egg-free. You could bake that up two days early. Cut it into cubes and allow it to dry out for a couple of days and use that.
*To make giblet broth simmer the giblets in a bit of water or chicken broth. The cooked giblets can be diced and added to the dressing. Any giblet broth not used can be added to your turkey gravy for an extra pop of flavor.
Adding More Ingredients
I’m a purist and only add the traditional sage, celery, and onions. That doesn’t mean that this dressing recipe can’t handle additions.
If you don’t think your favorite ingredients won’t fit in with celery or onions, feel free to leave them out. Just heat the broth and butter until hot and add to the bread cubes.
Once the bread cubes have been moistened, you can add your favorite additions in the amounts you see fit.
Here are a few ideas for dressing additions;
- Cooked and crumbled sausage
- Turkey giblets, cooked and diced small
- Poultry seasoning
- Fresh parsley
Make It Ahead of Time
Turkey dressing can be made ahead of time. Simply make it the day before you want to serve it and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator until it’s time to put it into the oven. You could even go ahead and put into the baking dish and seal tightly with foil.
Stuff a Turkey
Do not stuff a turkey with stuffing or dressing early! I don’t even recommend stuffing a turkey. I prefer my turkey dressing served outside the bird. The risk of ruining Thanksgiving from foodborne illness is just too high.
There is also a huge chance of drying out your turkey while waiting for the stuffing to come up to temperature.
If you insist on stuffing a turkey, make sure the dressing is cooled before stuffing and only packed into the turkey lightly. The more packed the stuffing is, the denser it will be and it will take longer to get the dressing up to temperature.
Promptly refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container. Leftovers should be used or frozen within 3 days.
Refrigerate leftover dressing can be microwaved or placed back into a baking dish and cooked at 350⁰F until heated thoroughly.
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Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe
- 12 cups dried bread cubes
- 5 stalks Celery including leafy tops
- 1 large Onion white, yellow, or red
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground or rubbed Sage poultry seasoning can be substituted
- 4 cups chicken broth or water
- Place bread cubes into a large bowl and set aside.
- Place butter into a large skillet and melt butter over low heat.
- Clean celery, reserving as much of the leafy top as possible while discarding any dried out and brown tops. Place into a skillet with butter.
- Clean onion and chop into large dice. Place into the skillet with celery.
- Turn heat up to medium.
- Cook celery and onions until the celery begins to turn a brighter green.
- Add sage and chicken broth or water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. The celery and onions should still be slightly crunchy.
- Scoop out all of the celery and onions and place into the bowl with the bread pieces.
- Dump about half of the liquid in the pan into the bread pieces.
- Mix well until there is no liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
- Add the rest of the liquid and again stir until there is no liquid left in the bottom of the bowl.
- The mixture should be fairly moist with little to no dry bread pieces.
- If there are dry bread pieces, add 1 cup of water to the skillet and bring it to a boil, stirring well to catch any leftover bits of goodies left in the pan.
- Dump this over the dressing mix. Mix until the water has all been absorbed. Even if there are dried pieces of bread left at this point, I would not recommend any more liquid.
- Spray a baking pan with baking spray and place dressing into the pan.
- Bake the dressing in a 350°F oven until the edges are browned and crispy, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- 2 bags of dried cubes, such as Pepperidge Farms Country Style or Seasoned stuffing cubes can be substituted for bread. The liquid will need to be increased by 4 or more cups.
- For a super moist dressing, baste with turkey drippings every 10 to 15 minutes during baking.
- Promptly refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container. Leftovers should be used or frozen within 3 days.
- Refrigerated leftover dressing can be microwaved or placed back into a baking dish and cooked at 350⁰F until heated thoroughly.
- Turkey dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- DO NOT stuff a bird early. If using this dressing recipe as a stuffing, place it into the turkey just before putting it into the oven. Cook until a cooking thermometer reads 165⁰F.
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