Without a doubt, Thanksgiving dressing is one of my favorite side dishes. Heck, I love it so much that I make it year-round. No frills or fancy ingredients here, just good ‘ol comfort food.
In my own personal opinion, no holiday meal is complete without dressing. Thick chunks of toasty bread mixed with spices, celery, onions, and aromatic herbs. Who could resist? It’s the ultimate side for any family gathering.
So, what’s the difference between Thanksgiving Dressing & Stuffing?
To be short and to the point, dressing is prepared and baked in casserole dish. While stuffing is the exact same thing, but stuffed and cooked inside of the turkey. I personally prefer dressing, but this recipe works for both options.
I also love the textures of mixing both cornbread and a crusty Italian bread when making dressing. The cornbread gives you this fluffy texture (similar to Stove Top), while the thick, toasted chunks of Italian bread give the dressing a hearty bite. You’re going to love the combo, I promise.
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- 1 loaf of Cornbread (sometimes called a Johnny cake), cut into cubes
- 2 loaves of Crusty Bread (I did 1 Ciabatta + 1 French Bread), cut into cubes
- Olive Oil, as needed
- ½ cup Butter
- 4 stalks Celery, chopped
- 1 Carrot, shredded & chopped
- 1 Large White Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 6 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp. Dried Basil
- 1 tbsp. Fresh Thyme
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- ½ bunch Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425F. Cut cornbread into small cubes and spread them onto a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until dried and crumbly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove cornbread and cut two loaves of crusty bread into cubes. Toss cubes with 1 - 2 tbsp. olive oil and place flat on 2 baking sheets. Toast in the oven until browned and crisp, about 5 - 8 minutes. Make sure to flip half-way through.
- Melt butter in a large skillet. Add celery, onions, carrot, and garlic, then sauté for 5 minutes. Next you'll add chicken broth, dried basil, fresh thyme, ½ the chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
- Place all the toasted bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add broth mixture, in batches, to the cubes and toss until combined. Depending on your moisture preference, you may or may not use all of the broth mixture. Taste and adjust salt + pepper, if preferred.
- Transfer dressing to a large casserole dish. Turn heat down to 375F and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.
OPTIONAL ADD-IN INGREDIENTS:
- I almost always include a pound of ground sausage to this recipe. Simply cook it separately, drain and add to the mix after step #4.
- Some folks prefer fruit in their stuffing (I’m an either-way kind of gal); dried cranberries or cherries would work nicely here. Like above, add these to the mix after step #4.
- Rosemary is a nice addition for some extra herbal oomph. Add a 1/2 tbsp. of fresh rosemary at step #3 if you have some on hand.
- To make this fully vegetarian, substitute the chicken broth for vegetable.
WANT MORE HOLIDAY INSPO?
Appetizer: Jessica Gaddy’s Homemade Pimento Cheese
Side Dish: Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Side Dish: Roasted Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts
Leftover Ideas: Ross Gellar’s Leftover Turkey Sandwich
Leftover Ideas: Turkey Salad
Dessert: Apple Streusel Wonton Bites
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