This is seriously the only herb stuffing recipe you’ll want to use from now on! We’re using two kinds of bread for the best texture and loading it up with tons of aromatics and fresh herbs. Move aside roasted turkey; this stuffing (dressing) recipe will be the hit of the Thanksgiving table!

baked herb stuffing it white baking dish

Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes; am I right? 

I love a slow-roasted herb turkey recipe but I enjoy making turkey sandwiches more the next day than I do filling up my plate with it on Thanksgiving. Nope, that prime real estate is reserved for the green bean casserole, this herb stuffing, roasted garlic asiago mashed potatoes, fresh focaccia bread, homemade cranberry sauce, and creamed spinach or creamed corn. And pour my gravy all over the plate and you’re set.

Stuffing is definitely my jam. In the past, I’ve made a caramelized onion version where I’ve swapped out the stale bread cubes for butter croissants and it was *chefs kiss* I always do it a little differently each year. But this is one recipe that I keep coming back to. And I’m sorry I’ve kept it from you as long as I have. This one is my traditional stuffing recipe loaded with butter-sauteed leeks, lots of onions, celery, and all the herbs. It’s a little piece of my heart. It’s aromatic; it’s golden; it’s everything a good stuffing recipe should be.

Speaking of stuffing, before we get too far into this thing. Do you call it stuffing or dressing? I should clarify that I’m calling it stuffing because that’s what I’ve always called it. I guess it’s actually dressing. Because we’re not actually cooking it inside the bird. That’s just not my thing. But if that’s what you like to do, it’ll truly be stuffed stuffing indeed.

piece missing out of stuffing dish

Ingredients for Traditional Thanksgiving Herb Stuffing:

  • Stale bread: I specifically like to use stale bread for stuffing because it crisps up beautifully. Using fresh bread that hasn’t had a chance to dry out will result in a softer texture. See FAQs below if you have fresh bread.
  • Butter: We’ll start by sauteeing the onions, celery, and leeks in a little melted unsalted butter. This is the base of the stuffing recipe.
  • Celery: Make sure to chop the celery up finely. If you’re prepping for Thanksgiving, you can easily chop the celery and onions 1 day ahead of preparing the stuffing or you can buy prechopped onions and celery.
  • Onions: Yellow onions and leeks give the stuffing a deep flavor. The celery mixture goes into the same bowl as the bread once you’ve cooked it all down.
  • Leeks: Make sure to season the celery, onions, and leeks with a big pinch of salt. This draws out all the excess moisture and softens them without browning.
  • Garlic: I’m using a whopping 8 cloves to make sure this stuffing is anything but bland! You can press the garlic or mince it up finely. I highly suggest fresh garlic, though. The stuff from the jar just isn’t as potent.
  • Fresh herbs: I’m using four different kinds – fresh sage, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and flat-leaf parsley. It truly wouldn’t be an herb stuffing without the abundance of fresh herbs! We’ll add these into the pan so that they infuse the butter with all that flavor and so that it carries through the casserole.
  • Eggs: We’ll use large eggs once we’ve sauteed the veggies. You want to make sure that the eggs are at room temperature along with the chicken broth and the sauteed aromatics.
  • Chicken Broth/Stock: This is the liquid for the stuffing. If you’re preparing this for vegetarians, feel free to use vegetable broth instead.
sautéed onions, celery, and leeks in cast iron
bread and sautéed mixture in bowl with parsley

How to make thanksgiving herb stuffing:

  1. Start by prepping. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it. Cut the bread into cubes and let it hang out in a large bowl while you grease a casserole dish. Set these aside for now; we’ll come back to them.
  2. Saute the aromatics. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Then add the celery, onions, and leeks. Season them with a 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper so that they start to release water and soften. Stir them often because you don’t want them to burn. When the onions are halfway done, add the garlic and let them go for another 5 minutes. Then add the sage, thyme, and rosemary. The fresh herbs will bloom in the butter and carry that flavor throughout.
  3. Combine the stuffing. Transfer the sauteed celery mixture over the bread and sprinkle in the parsley. Once it’s cool enough to handle, using your hands or a wooden spoon, evenly coat the bread in the mixture. Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth and allow the bread to soak it all in. Then add the beaten eggs. If the bread is looking a little dry, add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth. I usually always need it because my bread is bone dry!
  4. Bake it until golden. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Bake immediately or cover with foil and refrigerate for the next day. Just be sure to pull the baking dish out of the refrigerator an hour prior to baking! 
unbaked stuffing in white baking dish

FAQs about this recipe

What kind of bread works best for stuffing?

Using a variety of bread creates textural interest. I use a 50:50 mix of sourdough bread and a rustic Italian loaf.

I don’t have stale bread; how do I make it stale?

Cut the bread into cubes and place it on a baking sheet, and allow it to toast and dry out for 12-15 minutes at 350ºF or until toasted and dry. Then, you can pick up from the recipe as if your bread was stale all along.

Why do people put eggs in their stuffing?

Eggs are added as a binding agent. They basically hold all the other ingredients together like glue!

How do you freshen up stuffing?

You can sprinkle a little water on it and reheat it in the oven to crisp it back up. You can also just zap it in the microwave if you don’t mind a softer texture.

What is Thanksgiving dressing vs stuffing?

Stuffing and dressing typically contain the same ingredients. The only difference is whether you bake it inside the turkey or in a baking dish. Stuffing is stuffed inside the turkey and dressing it baked on the side. The term is also used interchangeably!

Can you make the stuffing ahead of time?

If you’re preparing this recipe ahead of the serving day, simply cover the dish once the ingredients are mixed and refrigerate. Remove the stuffing an hour before baking so that it comes to room temperature, and then bake.

piece missing out of baked dressing

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

prepared thanksgiving dressing in white dish
Yield: Serves 8-10

Best Herb Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

This is seriously the only herb stuffing recipe you’ll want to use from now on! We're using two kinds of bread for the best texture and loading it up with tons of aromatics and fresh herbs. Move aside roasted turkey; this stuffing (dressing) recipe will be the hit of the Thanksgiving table!

Best Herb Stuffing for Thanksgiving


  • 20 ounces day-old bread cubes (see notes)
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 leeks, halved, rinsed and thinly sliced (~2 cups)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2-2½ cups chicken broth or vegetable


    1. PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray; set aside for now. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. Add the bread cubes to a large bowl; set aside.
    2. SAUTE: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, and leeks. Saute for 1 minute before seasoning with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the sage, thyme, and rosemary and allow them to bloom in the butter for 30-45 seconds.
    3. COMBINE: Transfer the sautéed mixture over the bread and sprinkle with parsley. Once cool enough to handle, use your hands or a wooden spoon to evenly coat the bread in the mixture. Pour 2 cups of broth over the stuffing and toss. Add the eggs and combine again. The bread should feel wet. If it’s still dry, add the remaining ½ cup of broth. The broth amount varies based on how stale the bread you used is.
    4. BAKE: Transfer the stuffing mixture to the baking dish. If baking immediately, bake in a preheated oven for 45-55 minutes. If at any point the stuffing starts browning too much on top, loosely tent with a piece of foil.


  • Bread: I use a 50:50 of Italian and sourdough. This is typically ~12 cups.
  • Make ahead: If you’re preparing this recipe before serving day, simply cover the dish in step 4 with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake. Remove the casserole 1 hour before. baking. Follow the baking instructions in step 4. Baking time may increase slightly if you’re baking this at fridge temperature.
  • If you don't have stale bread: Check the text in the blog post for a solution!

Have you made this recipe?

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