This Dressing recipe is a Thanksgiving family tradition, going back several generations! It’s always the first dish that disappears! Trust me, you’ll want to make extra! I have all the tips for you to make this simple and easy. This Thanksgiving Dressing will be the highlight of your turkey dinner!
The Thanksgiving table wouldn’t be complete without an array of more sides than you could ever fit on one plate! It’s hard to choose which ones are going to make the cut! One thing is for sure though, there’s always room for Dressing!
This Dressing recipe is one my family has enjoyed for generations. It’s simple and easy, and of course delicious! With so many competing foods to choose from, does your dressing really need a bunch of add-ins like nuts, fruit or sausage? We’re keeping it simple and fuss free. It’s a favorite on our table and we definitely have to make extra, because it’s always the first side dish to disappear.
Stuffing vs. Dressing
Did you know that stuffing and Dressing are not created equal? Ask a few people and you will get very polarizing opinions about which one is better. It’s almost like Team Edward or Team Jacob! Which team are you on?
- Stuffing is basically the same thing as Dressing, but it’s cooked inside the cavity of the turkey. The juices from the turkey hydrate the bread crumbs. (I will not use the “M” word) Many believe that stuffing the turkey will yield a more juicy bird.
- Dressing is prepared and baked in the oven in its own casserole dish. It is hydrated with chicken broth.
So…NOW which team are you on? If you said team Stuffing, then I’m not sure we can take our relationship to the next level. Just so we’re clear, the correct answer is Dressing. I just don’t like the idea of eating bread crumbs that were baked inside the cavity of a bird. If that’s your opinion too, then read on because this recipe is for you!
Every good dressing starts with good bread. I’ve used lots of different kinds of bread in my dressing, even combining different kinds. Here I’m using my homemade Kamut bread (which is amazing), but I’ve also used a combination of white and wheat breads and artisan breads. Basically, you just want a really good quality bread (definitely not a soft, thinly sliced loaf like Wonder Bread).
Drying out the bread is key to a great Dressing!
If you’re going to do this the traditional way, you’ll need to start drying out your bread 2-3 days before you make your dressing. Slicing it up and putting it on a cooling rack will help them dry out really well. You want that air circulating all sides! Allow them to dry out on the cooling rack for one whole day. Then, cut them into cubes and let them dry out even more for another day, stirring them periodically. Drying your bread will allow all the chicken broth to get absorbed later when you assemble your dressing. If your bread is not properly dried out, you will end up with a very mushy dressing and nobody wants that!
My tip for speeding things up…
If you got a late start and don’t have three days to make Dressing, you can speed up the drying process by baking your bread crumbs in the oven. Spread them out on the baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them! You aren’t necessarily toasting them. You’re just drying them out. You can do this the day of and it will still turn out delicious!
We’re just using the simplest of ingredients here. Chopped onion and celery compliment the spices we will add and always taste so good with turkey! Before you begin mixing things together, get everything chopped up and set aside so that you can add it easily to your Dressing.
One reason this recipe is so good is because it’s got a good helping of butter. Saute your onions in the butter until tender and pour over those bread crumbs. Toss them around until coated.
Add your celery and seasonings and toss again. Get all that yummy bread covered with the delicious herbs and spices! Add your chicken broth slowly and mix as you go. Depending on how much your bread absorbs that liquid, you may not need to add all of it.
Spread out in a casserole dish and cover with a lid or foil. You’ll remove that cover after 20 minutes and bake an addition 10-15 minutes, or until you see that delicious Dressing slightly golden!
It’s really so easy! You may want to double or triple it, because it’s going to go fast!
This dressing recipe is a Thanksgiving family tradition, going back several generations! It’s always the first dish that disappears! Trust me, you’ll want to make extra! I have all the tips for you to make this simple and easy. This Thanksgiving dressing will be the highlight of your turkey dinner!
- Prep Time: 48 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 48 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: one 9x13 casserole dish 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery (stalks and leaves)
- 8 cups coarse, dry bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 2/3 to 1&1/3 cup cup chicken broth
- Dry bread crumbs out. Two days before baking Dressing, slice bread and let dry on a wire cooling rack for 24 hours. The next day, cube the sliced bread with a knife, place in a large bowl and allow to continue to dry for another 24 hours. Toss them throughout the day to make sure they are all getting enough air to dry. *See note for quicker drying process.
- In a large pan, melt the butter on the stove top on medium heat.
- Add onion and cook until tender.
- Remove from heat and pour the butter and onions over the bread crumbs. Stir until all the bread crumbs are covered with the melted butter.
- In a separate bowl, combine the salt, pepper, sage, thyme and poultry seasoning. Sprinkle the mixture over the bread crumbs and toss until all the bread crumbs are coated.
- Add the chopped celery and toss until just combined.
- Add the chicken broth, a little at a time. Stir the bread crumbs as you go. Add just enough chicken broth to completely moisten the bread crumbs. Too much broth will make mushy Dressing.
- Spread into a 9×13 casserole dish. Cover with a lid or foil.
- Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the lid or foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden.
- If you got a late start and don’t have three days to make Dressing, you can speed up the drying process by baking your bread crumbs in the oven. Spread them out on the baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them! You aren’t necessarily toasting them. You’re just drying them out. You can do this the day of and it will still turn out delicious!
- Good dressing starts with good bread! Use a quality bread like French, Sourdough, Artisan or Homemade Loaf Bread. Avoid using cheap, store bought bread that is too soft and thinly sliced. Also avoid using bread with grains and seeds.
- Adjust the amount of chicken broth you use, depending on how moist you want your Dressing to be.