Homemade Stovetop Stuffing
This homemade stovetop stuffing is so easy and delicious! And it proves to me that stuffing this good should be enjoyed year-round, not just on Thanksgiving!
The Saturday before Thanksgiving.
And I’m posting a stuffing recipe.
Who am I and how did I get here?
Not only do I never, hardly ever, post recipes on Saturdays, but I know I’m pushing it with the whole Thanksgiving menu timeline as I shove another brand, new (dare I say, best ever?) Thanksgiving recipe at you.
Is it too dramatic to say that you should probably ditch whatever stuffing you were planning on making and make this homemade stovetop stuffing instead?
I guess what I’m saying is: if I’m posting a recipe on a Saturday, you better sit up and take note.
As you probably know, my thoughts, feelings, and overall views on homemade stuffing are complicated and slightly messy.
As someone who detests soggy bread in any form, stuffing is a little tricky.
I grew up on the boxed stovetop stuffing, and while I never minded the flavor, I just couldn’t deal with the mushy texture.
Over the years, I’ve mostly used this fabulous classic stuffing buried deep in the archives.
I really like it because I can make it a little crispy, crunchy on top while still keeping the integrity of a soft, tender bread stuffing underneath.
And Brian, who actually really despises stuffing (based on a dramatic story of gagging in his childhood after his mom made him eat his stuffing in order to get pie), will even eat that archived version.
This more recent pretzel and sausage stuffing is another great stuffing recipe that produces, in my opinion, the perfect stuffing texture. Plus, hello, pretzel rolls.
So why the need for a new stuffing recipe? To be posted on a Saturday of all things?
Well, many, many of you have asked for a stovetop stuffing knockoff to free up some of that oven space for other Thanksgiving day baking ventures.
AND. A homemade stovetop stuffing recipe has been on my bucket list for a while.
I’ve tried several variations out over the years, and when I tested out this latest variation last week, I knew that I needed to post it ASAP.
Finally! The perfect method to achieve a tender, flavorful stuffing that a) doesn’t use the oven during prime time hours, b) takes only a few minutes to make, c) isn’t mushy and soggy, and b) tastes AMAZING.
The trick for me is using a sturdy loaf of bread that is not too fluffy, and then cutting the bread into larger cubes than the classic boxed stuffing.
This helps keep a little chewiness in the bread without it becoming completely saturated with broth.
Also, toasting those bread cubes is key for those of us that want to minimize the mushiness (and this step can be done days ahead of time!).
That’s a step you could totally skip if you don’t mind a bit of sog-factor to your stuffing (no judging; there’s room in this world for all levels of bread sogginess tolerance).
Really, this homemade stovetop stuffing is crazy delicious.
Because I made it in advance of Thanksgiving to test it out, we had it for a night or two with our regular, every day meals.
I have to admit, it was surprisingly delicious with these Skillet Swedish Meatballs. Strange combo, I know, but it worked.
I really couldn’t get over how tasty this stuffing is! It made me so excited to eat stuffing all year long…and I don’t really think I’ve ever been that excited about stuffing before.
If you are on the fence about what stuffing to make for Thanksgiving, this stovetop version should win out simply because it’s ridiculously easy, and honestly, the taste and texture is spot on perfect.
Homemade Stovetop Stuffing
- 1 loaf (about 454 g) crusty French or Italian bread (see note)
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, more if you like softer stuffing
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter
- 1 cup (170 g) finely chopped yellow or white onions
- 1 cup (170 g) 3-4 stalks finely chopped celery
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch (or slightly smaller) cubes. Lay out the bread pieces in an even layer on a baking sheet. Place the bread in the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly toasted, checking often so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the oven and set aside (this step can be done days in advance; just let the bread cool and store in a ziploc bag until ready to use!).
- While the bread toasts in the oven, pour the broth into a microwave-safe bowl/cup or into a small saucepan and heat until very warm.
- In a large 4- or 5-quart pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, and salt, and cook, stirring often, for 7-8 minutes until the celery is tender and the onions are translucent.
- Stir in the poultry seasoning, thyme and sage, and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the bread cubes and stir everything well so the bread is coated with the butter/vegetable mixture.
- Gradually add the warmed broth and stir to evenly moisten the bread. Add additional salt to taste, if needed.
- Cover the pot, remove it from the heat, and let the stuffing sit for 10 minutes or so before serving.
Recipe Source: adapted a little from this recipe at The Kitchn
43 Comments on “Homemade Stovetop Stuffing”
Omg I made this and it’s literally the best stuffing I’ve ever had. I added an extra tablespoon of butter. Added chicken stock to the onion/celery/garlic blend. I didn’t heat the additional stock, but I did add an egg to help hold everything together. Then I baked it for 30 minutes at 350. Delish!!!!
My family thought this was the best stuffing they’ve ever had. I made this a day ahead and then baked in the oven on Thanksgiving Day. So good! Thanks for the recipe!
Forgot to leave a rating!
I was scouring the internet to find a vegan stuffing and you happened to post this recipe! . Really easy to veganize! When make this again you have to add some walnuts! It adds a wonderful crunch! Thanks for the recipe Mel!
What the WHAAAT?! Is it even possible to create flawless, perfect, tasty stovetop stuffing? It is now. This was a huge hit and I love how quickly and easily this came together on Thanksgiving day. (Also, who else can you trust but Mel to provide you with a perfect recipe that you KNOW you don’t even have to try before the big day?!) I didn’t make this before Thanksgiving. I just went for it… and I’ll never look back!
🙂 So happy you loved it, Marek!
This was delicious and easy to make. I needed to make it earlier in the day and reheat it at someone’s home for our Thanksgiving dinner. I was thrilled when it was served and it was fluffy, light and not clumpy. I always trust your recipes Mel and I don’t even feel the need to try them out first before I make it for a group function. I am truly thankful for you and your website.
I’m so glad it worked out to make this ahead of time, Thanks for letting me know!
For those that are Celiac or gluten-free this recipe was stellar when I used the Franz gluten free hot dog buns — as those are the most “crusty” type of bread I could find local (for us, Wal-Mart) My husband is gluten free, not by choice, and loves bread. We usually have to give up stuffing as a menu item for Thenksgiving but not now. So glad we finally have found something that tastes like the real deal. As always, Thanks Mel! <3
Thanks for the gluten-free report, Bethany!
This is the first time I’ve ever made homemade stuffing , and it was a hit! No more store-bought stuffing for me! I had forgotten to buy the poultry seasoning, so this is what I mixed up: 1 tsp sage, 3/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp marjoram, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp black pepper. Thanks, Mel!!
Thanks for detailing that adaptation, Sheree!
Just made this, I’ve never made homemade stuffing before! It’s simple and delicious. Thanks for the recipe.
Glad you loved it, Joy!
Can I put this inside my bird as well? I have family members who like the mushy stuffing from the bird. 🙂
Could certainly try, Carrie!
Hi Mel! I had cubed 9 1/2 cups of bread I had made last week, intending to use it for your classic stuffing recipe on Thanksgiving, but just happened on this recipe when I went to print the other. Egg free and stove top?! I’m sold. One question though-do you know how the quantity of bread in the classic stuffing compares to the amount called for in this stove top recipe? Curious how many cups 16 ounces of bread equals when chopped? Thanks for your wonderful recipes, your site is always my go to when I’m in need of a new recipe 😀
Hey Kristy – I’m not sure exactly, but I’m guessing it’s about 4-5 cups? A lot will depend on how small or big the cubes of bread are in the measuring cup.
Just made this to test it before Thanksgiving and it is sooo good! We live in Mexico and are doing the big traditional meal with other Americans so the pressure is on to get it right. It’s hard to find a lot of ingredients here but once I saw this recipe I knew I could get it all, so I signed up for the stuffing. I’m on “Team Soggy Stuffing” so I just added more broth and it’s perfect. Love that you can customize it that way! Thanks!
Thanks for the report back, Cassie!
Hi Mel, I’m so excited to try this recipe! We are bringing the stuffing this year, but have to travel and there will not be any stove top space for me. Do you think it would work in a slow cooker? How long do you think it would need to cook? Thanks!
I haven’t tried it, but several have commented that they’ve made stuffing in the slow cooker. I’d make it per the recipe and then transfer to a greased slow cooker to stay warm (on low). Good luck!
First of all, thank you so much everything you do and for sharing so many great recipes. We have rarely been near family during Thanksgiving but often share the meal (and work) with friends. This year, however, we are hosting some poor students at our house and as such are on tap for the whole meal. We currently live in Amman, Jordan and have an easy-bake sized oven so some of your recipes are going to be life savers in terms of time and oven managment (like the overnight rolls, crock pot mashed potatoes, and this stuffing)! I can’t thank you enough! I do have a question about the stuffing though. Should the thyme be ground or the dried leaves? And what about the sage (ground, rubbed)? I already have rubbed sage and ground thyme on hand (they are really old though and I wish I could replace with a new bottle) but couldn’t find any type of dried sage/thyme in the local store. If those aren’t the right form, I think (fingers crossed) that I can actually get fresh sage and thyme. What would be best?
Hi Juliet – I use the dried thyme leaves (not ground) and I also use rubbed sage (not ground). Having said that, I think the recipe is pretty adaptable. If using ground, use slightly less as the flavor is more compact and potent. And fresh would be amazing, too, if you can find it (if it were me, I’d use about triple the amount for fresh).
Thank you! I’m so impressed with the way you blog and how kind you are to take the time to answer questions. It really sets you apart!
Thank you so much, Juliet!
This is almost identical to one I do in the slow cooker. Its so simple! I’m printing this and your roll recipe. 🙂 Thanks Mel!
Love the idea of the slow cooker!
Yay yay yay!!! So glad I signed up for your emails or I might have missed this! Loving it! Thanks, Mel!
That stuffing looks wonderful! I may stick with a more soggy dressing/stuffing for Thanksgiving, because you well know how even a little change can throw Some People for a loop on a holiday, but we roast a turkey every few months, so I will be giving your recipe a try with the next bird we have! It is rather convenient using bags of commercial stuffing bread when making stuffing, but making it with a favorite crusty bread really ups the taste level and is well worth doing. I’ve printed your crusty bread recipe to give that a try too! And, I may not even wait until the next bird, since I often make Swedish meatballs either for a Chistmas Eve or New Year’s Eve smorgasbord, so may pair your stuffing with those first! Glad you’d mentioned how well it went with those!
Hope you and your family have a very special Thanksgiving. You will be present in spirit at many of our holidays and gatherings every year, by way of your Overnight Cinnamon-Sugar Roll recipe, since those will be present in many guises and incarnations (as those rolls, as cheese Danish, as fruit-filled Danish, etc.) for most of our celebrations. I am extremely thankful this year for having discovered your posting of that recipe, since it not only ended a decades-long search for exactly the type of dough I’d been searching for, but also because it had introduced me to your excellent blog! Happy Thanksgiving, Mel!
Thanks so much, Wynn! Loved your comment. 🙂 I’m making those overnight rolls as well for Thanksgiving AND Christmas breakfasts (and I agree, the options are endless!). You are right, changing up tradition (i.e. going for a less soggy dressing) can be very traumatic (and dramatic)! Happy Thanksgiving!
Which recipe do you prefer between this and your other stuffing that gets baked?
This is definitely the highest on my list right now. It’s the one I’m making for Thanksgiving because it is so simple.
Yes! Thanks Mel! I love stuffing (called dressing in my family), but no one on my husband’s side really likes it the way I grew up eating it, and they’ll be with us this year. I hate the branded stove top stuff (soggy/mushy!), but really miss stuffing for my gravy. I’ve got crusty loaves on my grocery list for today! Checking this off my list. I’ve getting out my instant pot to make your cranberry sauce right now.
Thanks, Lynn – I hope this stuffing-slash-dressing fits the bill for what you are after. Happy Thanksgiving!
This is just the recipe I needed for Thanksgiving! I had a couple of stuffy recipes pinned, but I wasn’t thrilled about any of them. My husband likes stovetop stuffing, but I’m not the biggest fan (because it’s too soggy, of course) and this will be the perfect compromise. Thank you!
Hope you love it, Emilee! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks Mel for all the tips and recipes! My dad was the stuffing king in our house. Growing up it was always drilled into us that you had to have two people at the critical broth adding step. One drizzling and one fluffing the bread cubes with two large spoons to ensure no pockets of mushy bread or over moistening the mixture. I can still see him directing my mom on the rate of broth drizzle. Mind you the only time of the year he ever cooked was the turkey and stuffing. Lol.
I shortcut the oven toasting by using the toaster and then cubing the bread. Just a thought for those who are on the fence about toasting the cubes. A little less risky or more hands off than the oven, although one or two sides of the cube will not be as toasty.
I love the idea of not heating it in the oven.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Haha, I LOVED that visual of your dad directing the important broth step for the stuffing (I had no idea that the rate of broth drizzle was a thing, but man, I believe it now!). That is awesome. Great idea on the toaster – thank you!
I like your addition of the sage and thyme, going to do that, thank you.
Your recipe is quite similar to ours. Made up our stuffing recipe about 25 years ago using half French bread and half homemade OR good dense whole wheat bread. We skip toasting it since we like it on the tender side, but it’s never been mushy. ( I cook up the neck and inner pieces in water, this is the broth we use instead of chicken broth, then the dog gets his thanksgiving meat off neck and other cooked pieces.) My family has to have this stuffing every year, and if we are not all together, I get calls for the recipe. I don’t put stuffing in turkey; but just use chunks of celery, onion, garlic, and one orange cut in wedges. Then rub skin with poultry seasoned garlic butter.
Love the addition of a hearty whole wheat bread to your stuffing, Janet!
Mel- I’m so glad you decided to post this. This year for the first time in about 15 years we are not hosting a crowd. It will be just our little family of 5 for Thanksgiving. I still want to have the traditional spread but was going to skip the stuffing since I am the only one in our family that really likes it. However, I would miss having this staple at the table. Seeing this recipe has convinced me that I shouldn’t skip it, this is easy enough to prepare to make it worth adding one more dish to the list. Thanksgiving is already going to feel a little sad and different for us this year without other family around, but having all the familiar dishes at the table will certainly help things feel a little more normal. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Erin
Erin – your situation sounds so similar to mine! My brother, who was planning on coming into town with his family, had to cancel, so our Thanksgiving is REALLY small (just us, really, and my sister’s small family). I was going to ditch a Thanksgiving meal altogether but we didn’t do one last year for the same reason, so I’ve decided to still do it, and just like you, I would have nixed the stuffing if it wasn’t for this recipe. It is SO good! Happy Thanksgiving!