Whole Grain Classic Homemade Stuffing Recipe (2024)

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This classic homemade stuffing recipe is a healthy take on the traditional. Featuring whole grain bread and olive oil, it’s even more delicious!

Whole Grain Classic Homemade Stuffing Recipe (1)

With Thanksgiving creeping ever nearer, we wanted to continue to share some holiday-related recipe ideas — though they can just as easily be enjoyed without the holiday as an excuse!For Alex and me, stuffing has always the highlight on the Thanksgiving table. It’s funny to think about mushy bread being something to write home about, but there’s something about the savoriness of the mush that can’t be beat. We’ve enjoyed everything from stuffing straight from the box, with those perfectly symmetrical cubes, to my grandparents version withgiblets(which I always picked around).

How to make this classic homemade stuffing recipe

This year, we wanted to create a classic homemade stuffing recipe with a healthy twist. We wanted to redo our traditional family recipe without the gobs of butter and flimsy white bread! So for our classic homemade stuffing recipe, we used an artisan whole grain bread instead of the typical white typical white bread.

Instead of butter, we went for a healthy fat: olive oil! (This also makes it a plant based / vegan stuffing.) We also cut down on the fat quantity by compensating with bringing up the flavor of the celery and leeks.The entireclassic homemade stuffing recipe has only 2 tablespoons olive oil. With reasonable portion sizes, it’s a good option for a healthy Thanksgiving table.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving treat? Or, if you’re not based in a country that celebrates this holiday, a favorite food for a holiday celebration meal?

It’s also a vegan stuffing recipe!

Now that vegan and plant-based eating has become more popular, there are more people asking us for vegan Thanksgiving recipes. This recipe is also a vegan stuffing recipe, since it’s made only with olive oil: no butter or other dairy! It’s a great choice for holidays since it can work for many diets around the table. For gluten-free, use the highest quality gluten-free bread you can find.

Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes?

This classic homemade stuffing recipe is one of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Here are a few more Thanksgiving recipes on A Couple Cooks:

  • Pumpkin Sage Stuffed Shells
  • Pumpkin Goat Cheese Baked Gnocchi
  • Roasted Cauliflower and Apples with Dill
  • Pumpkin Pecan Parfaits
  • Apple Pomegranate Galette
  • Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
  • Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

This whole grain classic stuffing is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.


Whole Grain Classic Homemade Stuffing Recipe (2)

Whole Grain Classic Stuffing

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
Print Recipe


This classic homemade stuffing recipe is a healthy take on the traditional. Featuring whole grain bread and olive oil, it’s even more delicious!



  • 1 loaf artisan whole grain bread, cubed (9 to 10 cups)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut bread into cubes. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 25 minutes until browned and toasted, stirring and checking occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the onion and celery.
  3. Chop the leeks (watch the video!): Chop off the dark green stems and the root of the leeks, then slice them in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin half-moon shapes. Rinse thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt. Chop the sage and parsley.
  4. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion and leeks with a few pinches kosher salt; cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs.
  5. Place the bread cubes and vegetables in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper, and mix to combine.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and add 3 cups vegetable broth. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake for about 25 minutes, until browned.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Stuffing, Classic Stuffing, Homemade Stuffing Recipe, Thanksgiving, Healthy, Whole Grain Bread, Vegetarian


Published on / Last updated on

Categorized In:

Tagged with:

  • Autumn
  • Bread
  • Celery
  • Christmas Recipes
  • Fall
  • Healthy
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Thanksgiving Recipes
  • Vegetarian Recipes
  • Winter

About the authors

Whole Grain Classic Homemade Stuffing Recipe (3)

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

About Us

Whole Grain Classic Homemade Stuffing Recipe (2024)


What is traditional stuffing made of? ›

Classic stuffing made with bread cubes, seasonings, and held together with chicken stock and eggs. A holiday staple!

Should you put an egg in stuffing? ›

The most important ingredient of stuffing may be the binder, which keeps all the other elements in place. For a fluffy texture, use eggs. Stock is the most-used binder. Less conventional possibilities include fruit juice (such as apple or orange) and alcohol (wine or liqueur).

Is it better to make stuffing the night before? ›

Absolutely. Most Thanksgiving stuffing recipes can be made at least partially in advance since: A) They're easily assembled a day or two ahead of Thanksgiving Day; and B) They're often baked using a two-step process (once covered with foil to cook through, then uncovered to achieve a crispy top).

How do you keep stuffing moist? ›

Typically, baking the stuffing inside the bird helps keep the mixture moist. “I prefer stuffing (in the bird) to dressing (outside of the bird) because all those delicious drippings that come off the turkey gets absorbed right into the stuffing,” Bamford says.

In what did recipes did people originally use stuffing? ›

So how far back can we find stuffing used in cooking? Some time between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD, a chef by the name of Apicius created a cookbook entitled, “Apicius de re Coquinaria.” In its pages are recipes for stuffed chicken, rabbit, pig, and even dormouse.

Is it better to make stuffing with fresh or dry bread? ›

Any attempts to make stuffing with soft, fresh baked bread will result in a bread soup with a soggy texture. Follow this tip: Stale, dried-out bread makes the best stuffing.

How soggy should stuffing be before baking? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture. If the mix is still dry and crumbly, add more liquid and toss gently until it starts to clump together.

What can you use as a binder instead of eggs in stuffing? ›

16 egg substitutes
  1. Mashed banana. Mashed banana can act as a binding agent when baking or making pancake batter. ...
  2. Applesauce. Applesauce can also act as a binding agent. ...
  3. Fruit puree. Fruit puree will help bind a recipe in a similar way to applesauce. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Gelatin. ...
  6. Xanthan gum. ...
  7. Vegetable oil and baking powder. ...
  8. Margarine.
Mar 30, 2021

Is white or brown bread better for stuffing? ›

You can use any kind; store-bought white bread works well and would probably be my #1 suggestion for stuffing. You could also try using cut up dinner rolls, sourdough bread (actually this would be my personal first pick), challah, or anything else you want to experiment with.

Should you toast bread before making stuffing? ›

We start by cubing our bread—for traditional recipes, we favor a simple white sandwich-style loaf—then toast it in the oven at a low 275°F for about 45 minutes, tossing it every now and then to help it dry evenly.

Why shouldn't you use stale bread for stuffing? ›

"If you're using stale bread and adding liquid, there will be nowhere for the liquid to go," says Seixas. "It's like when you're trying to cram more people into a fully booked flight. There's no space for extra moisture to fill." As a result, your stuffing will have a soggy texture.

Can you leave uncooked stuffing out? ›

If stuffing is prepared ahead of time, it must be either frozen or cooked immediately. To use cooked stuffing later, cool in shallow containers and refrigerate it within 2 hours.

How can you tell when stuffing is done? ›

Since it's cooked inside the turkey, you know that it's done when the internal temperature of the stuffing is 165° F. Anything less and you risk salmonella from turkey juices that have seeped into the stuffing during the cook. You need a thermometer.

How do you dry bread overnight for stuffing? ›

Cut the bread into the cube size you want. Spread them out in a sheet pan, single layer. Two choices, one is to just leave them out for a few days to dry, two would be to put the sheet pan in a 300F oven for 30–60 minutes.

What is traditional stuffing made of turkey? ›

Stuffing most often uses dried bread, herbs, and vegetables that are reconstituted with liquid, stuffed into the turkey cavity, and baked until it is firm and finished cooking. In addition, stuffing can also be cooked separately in a casserole dish in the oven, which would then be considered dressing.

What is the difference between Thanksgiving dressing and stuffing? ›

"Stuffing is cooked in the cavity of the turkey, so the juices soak into the ingredients, making it more flavorful. Dressing gets cooked on its own and needs extra liquid to make it flavorful." So stuffing is cooked inside the bird. Dressing is cooked outside the bird, usually in a casserole dish.

What is stuffing made of Thanksgiving? ›

The BEST traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe is easy to make dried bread cubes, sausage, diced vegetables, and chicken broth. It's a great side dish to make ahead of time and it definitely tastes best homemade! Pair this easy homemade stuffing with our popular turkey recipe, homemade rolls, and Thanksgiving pie.

What is the origin of stuffing dressing? ›

The term dressing, per the History Channel, originated around the 1850s, when the Victorians deemed stuffing too crude for the dish to be named. This happened around the same time that the term “dark meat” began to refer to chicken legs and thighs.


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