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Rustic Bread Stuffing


Soon Thanksgiving will be upon us, so it’s time to talk about sides, aka, the best part of the meal.  And I’ve always thought that stuffing is the King of sides.  If we’re going to get specific, I guess it’s kind of hard to call this stuffing since it’s not put inside the bird.  Actually, I don’t think I’ve actually had stuffing stuffed into the turkey since I was about eight.  So I guess this is technically dressing.  But old habits die hard.  The word dressing just feels too much to me like something you pour on salad.

What’s your favorite side?  When Thanksgiving rolls around my plate is half stuffing and half mashed potatoes because CARBS.  I’ve never met a carbohydrate that I didn’t like.  And of course if you look real hard you’ll find a little bit of turkey on that plate.  But not too much.  I have to save room for dessert, right?  😀

I’ve also recently become fond of sweet potato casserole with candied pecans on top.  We never had sweet potato anything for Thanksgiving when I was growing up.  We were all pumpkin people.  But now I’m a convert.  I’ve seen the beauty that is the sweet potato, and now there’s no turning back. 😉


But back to this stuffing.  It’s filled with delicious sage goodness, and I love it because it’s not too mushy.  You dry the bread out in the oven before cooking the stuffing, just to ensure that it I has a lovely texture and doesn’t have that gummy bread thing going on.  That would make us all sad pandas, right?

I hope you like this stuffing as much as I do.  There’s something about the smell of stuffing in the oven…it immediately smells like Thanksgiving, even if you’re just making it as a side some other time of the year.  Ahh, the magical powers of stuffing.  It’s like some kind of love potion.  I’m telling you, it’s those carbs. They love ya!  😄


From Cook’s Illustrated, Number 137, November and December, 2015.

Rustic Bread Stuffing
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 10 ounce baguettes, bottom crust and ends trimmed and discarded
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 large onions, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and make sure the rack is in the upper middle part of your oven.
  2. Grease a 9x13 pan with 1 tbsp. of butter and set aside.
  3. Tear baguettes into bite size pieces (you should end up with about 12 cups of bread) and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss until coated.
  4. Toast in the oven for five minutes. Stir bread, then toast for another five minutes. Once out of the oven, drizzle the broth over the bread and stir to combine.
  5. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add celery, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, or until celery begins to soften. Add onions and cook until vegetables are soft, but not brown, about 8 more minutes. Add cranberries and sage and cook for 1 more minute.
  6. Add vegetable mixture to the bread and toss until completely combined.
  7. Place the stuffing in the 9x13 pan and spread in an even layer.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir with a spatula to turn the crisp edges inward, and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in parsley and walnuts, and serve.


{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen November 8, 2015, 9:44 pm

    Stuffing is my favorite side by far! Love that you added cranberries and nuts. Looks so good!

    • Amanda November 8, 2015, 10:06 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Mir November 9, 2015, 6:06 am

    So I haven’t been able to get into the sweet potato casserole, but I do love all stuffing, all the time! This looks fantastic, and it’s definitely getting me into the holiday spirit!

    • Amanda November 10, 2015, 3:59 pm

      Thanks! The whole sweet potato casserole thing took me a long time to embrace. 🙂

  • Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat November 9, 2015, 8:18 am

    CARBS. OH EM GEE. So Good! Stuffing is totally my favorite part, but it has to be inside the bird. We fight over it in my house!

    • Amanda November 10, 2015, 4:00 pm

      I would love to try it inside the bird again sometime. And I can totally understand fighting over it! 😉

  • Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary November 9, 2015, 10:00 am

    Stuffing (or dressing) is totally the jam! It’s by far my favorite part of Thanksgiving.. well that and that potatoes. And the brussels. And the bread. Plus the gravy. 😉 LOVE your rustic style stuffing! Looks fabulous and delicious, perfect for any holiday table! Cheers, girlfriend!

    • Amanda November 10, 2015, 4:02 pm

      Thank you so much! So yeah, carbs and I are pretty tight. 😉. I’m sort of fantasizing about making an epic Thanksgiving sandwich the day after which features all the carbs I love, and cranberries.

  • Ashley | The Recipe Rebel November 9, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Mushy stuffing is the worst! That’s probably one of the reasons I’m not a really big stuffing person — it all seems mushy and unappetizing! This, on the other hand, looks delicious!

    • Amanda November 10, 2015, 4:04 pm

      Oh, man, I have had SO many mushy stuffings in my life. I take a bite and I’m like “Nope!” And then I have to move it around my plate so I look polite, like I actually ate it. 😀

  • Jess @ Sweetest Menu November 9, 2015, 3:09 pm

    This rustic bread stuffing looks delicious! Perfect for the thanksgiving table!

    • Amanda November 10, 2015, 4:04 pm

      Thanks so much, Jess!

  • Rachel @ Bakerita November 9, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving and this looks like it would be a standout recipe!

    • Amanda November 10, 2015, 4:05 pm

      Thank you, Rachel! Long live stuffing! 😃

  • Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen November 13, 2015, 7:26 am

    This stuffing looks and sounds divine, Amanda. Addition of cranberries and nuts sound intriguing!

    • Amanda November 16, 2015, 2:59 pm

      Thank you! Growing up we never had nuts in stuffing, but now I really love it.

  • Megan - The Emotional Baker November 19, 2015, 2:46 pm

    My family never used to have stuffing until I started making it a couple of years ago. Now it’s one of my favorites! I love your version with cranberries and walnuts. Yum 🙂

    • Amanda November 21, 2015, 4:06 pm

      Yeah, it’s funny some of the things you never have at Thanksgiving that other people always have. We never had sweet potato casserole until a couple years ago, which is against the law to some people!🙂

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