Indulge in a perfect Thanksgiving menu experience with the most amazing French bread stuffing.
This simple recipe is a family favorite and switches up a traditional stuffing recipe with high-quality French bread, loved for its crispy crust and soft, fluffy interior.
Expert Holiday Cooking Tip: While we use French bread for its unique texture and flavor, this recipe can be adapted for various bread types, including Italian bread or standard loaves, ensuring a perfect fit for your family’s taste.
Not just “another side dish” for Thanksgiving, this stuffing brings a touch of a true home-cooked meal to your holiday table.
Make French Bread Stuffing for the Holiday
Our homemade stuffing is a yummy and easy version of a traditional holiday dish. You can prepare the bread days in advance, allowing the cubes to achieve the perfect consistency. This go-to recipe will have even grandma asking for seconds!
The entire amount of each ingredient and all cooking suggestions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- French Bread Loaf (or any bread for stuffing), cut into cubes
- Unsalted Butter, cubed
- Diced celery stalks
- Diced yellow onion
- Salt and Ground black pepper
- Poultry seasoning, Dried rosemary leaves, Ground thyme
- Chicken broth
Make Ahead: Cutting the bread into 1-inch cubes and airing them on a rimmed baking sheet overnight is a classic chef’s technique for perfect stuffing consistency. Stir the bread cubes the next day for additional drying.
How to make French Bread Stuffing for Thanksgiving
Begin by preheating your oven temperature to 350°F. Prepare a baking dish by greasing it with nonstick cooking spray and setting it aside.
Spread the cubed bread on rimmed baking sheets. Let them dry out for 1-2 days, stirring occasionally for best results. This process helps get the right texture (stale bread) for your bread mixture.
Once your bread is ready, transfer the cubes into a large mixing bowl.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced celery and yellow onion, cooking until they are tender. This should take about 6–8 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and pour the celery and onion mixture over the dry bread cubes. Toss well to ensure an even coating.
- Season the stuffing mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly with the poultry seasoning, dried rosemary, and ground thyme in the bread mixture.
- Pour chicken broth over the mixture, ensuring the bread is evenly moistened.Then, beat the eggs and add them, combining everything well.
- Transfer the bread mixture to your prepared baking dish, pressing gently to pack it evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30–35 minutes or until the stuffing is hot and browns on top.
- As a note, all ovens cook differently, and if your oven begins to brown the top too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil and remove it for the last 5 minutes.
- Let the stuffing cool slightly before serving.
This stuffing recipe offers a texture balance to a traditional bread stuffing—not too hard in the center, with a pleasing crust. If you prefer smaller bread pieces, cutting the bread into smaller bite-sized cubes is fine.
Alternative Breads for Stuffing
The flexibility of using different types of bread, like Italian bread or even leftover white bread, makes this delicious stuffing adaptable to your holiday meal preferences. Based on our experience with stuffing recipes, hearty breads can be easily substituted.
- Sourdough Bread: For a tangy twist, sourdough is an excellent choice. This artisan bread has a robust flavor and sturdy texture and holds up well in stuffing, absorbing flavors without becoming too soggy.
- Italian Bread: This bread brings a mild, slightly sweet taste to your stuffing. Its porous structure is ideal for soaking broth and herbs, resulting in a moist and flavorful stuffing.
- Whole Wheat Bread: For a healthier option, whole wheat bread provides a nutty flavor and dense texture. It’s fiber-rich and pairs well with various seasonings, making it nutritious and tasty.
- Rye Bread: Rye bread is your go-to if you want a bold flavor. It has a distinct taste, especially when combined with classic stuffing herbs. Its firm texture ensures it holds up well during the baking process.
- Good-Quality Day-Old White Bread: Don’t fret! Even if you only have old (not so old, it’s moldy, just older) white bread in the house, that works fine for stuffing as well.
Homemade Wisdom: Food is expensive, and no one has any to waste, so if you have leftover bread that isn’t used, repurpose it for a bread pudding recipe.
Storage Tips for Stuffing:
While we suggest this as a make-it-and-eat-it-same-day recipe, leftover stuffing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To reheat, warm it in a preheated oven until heated through. Remember that once stored in the fridge, recipes like stuffing tend to lose some of that golden brown crisp.
Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes Variations
- Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing: This recipe combines savory sausage with the tartness of cranberries, providing a real blend of holiday flavors. When it comes to stuffing recipes, this one is my personal preference.
- Homemade Sausage Stuffing: A classic choice, this recipe focuses on traditional sausage stuffing, offering a familiar expectation.
French Bread Stuffing
- Two baking sheets for drying bread
- Large mixing bowl
- 9×13 baking dish
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 loaves French Bread 1lb loaves of French Bread each, cut into 1" cubes
- 1½ cups butter
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 cup white onion diced
- 1½ cups chicken broth low sodium is best since seasonings contain salt
- 2 eggs
- 2¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp. Dried Rosemary Leaves
- 1 tsp. Ground Thyme
Prepare the Bread
- Cut the French bread into 1" cubes. Spread them evenly on two baking sheets. Allow to set overnight to dry slightly. The bread should be hard on the outside but slightly soft inside. The next day, stir the cubes occasionally to ensure even drying.
- Preheat and Prep: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease the 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
How to make French Bread Stuffing
- Start with the Bread: Place the dried bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
- Cook the Veggies: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced celery and onion. Cook, stirring often, until they are tender (about 6-8 minutes).
- Combine and Season: Pour the cooked celery and onion mixture over the bread in the bowl. Gently mix to coat the bread evenly. Add salt, black pepper, poultry seasoning, rosemary, thyme, chicken broth, and eggs. Mix thoroughly to ensure even coating and distribution of flavors.
- Bake the Stuffing: Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Gently press down to pack it into the dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the stuffing is hot and begins to brown on the top.
Tips and Suggestions:
- Bread Texture: Ensure the bread is not too hard; it should be slightly crispy on the outside and a bit soft inside for the best texture.
- Drying Bread: Letting the bread cubes dry for 1-2 days helps them absorb the flavors better.
- Even Cooking: Stir the bread cubes occasionally during the drying process for even drying.
- Taste Test: Adjust seasoning according to your taste, especially if using low-sodium chicken broth.
Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.