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Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

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Norma Jean’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe was always the hit of the party during my childhood. This family recipe combines crusty bread, shredded chicken, sautéed veggies, seasonings including sage, and a broth to bring it all together.

Family recipes passed down through the generations are the special ones. Our holiday table also includes my mother’s Creamy Corn Casserole, the most delicious Make Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and her Chewy French Bread!

Overhead shot of a casserole of Thanksgiving stuffing with chicken.

Norma Jean’s Dressing

Oh the memories of Mom’s Dressing. It was always the highlight of our Thanksgiving dinners, and she’d make double this recipe because there were A LOT of us. She also loved to have leftovers and when we moved away from home, we often took a small to-go container with us.

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been meaning to document and get this recipe posted. It has all the nostalgia that family recipes should have. I even had her hand-written recipe imprinted on a cutting board that sits in back of my stove. Don’t you love that cursive handwriting? I do!

A cutting board with Mom's stuffing recipe written in her cursive handwriting.
I purchases this from an Etsy shop. There are lots of shops selling them!

While the base of this recipe is straight from Norma Jean’s Kitchen, I made a few simple changes to it.

  • I used leftover homemade bread that has accumulated in my freezer. A combo of Mom’s Chewy French bread, some Overnight Sourdough Bread, and my latest Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread were the base of this stuffing. Mom used regular store-bought bread, but you can use whatever you have!
  • While Mom used a fresh farm-raised chicken (that we cleaned ourselves, back in the day), I bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded it. Make sure you use a nice combo of both dark and white meat!
  • I went a bit light on the ground sage. Mom used at least twice as much as I used, simply because I’m not a huge fan. You could also use a combo of other herbs, even some fresh ones (like rosemary and thyme)!
Closeup on a spoonful of Thanksgiving dressing.

Ingredients Used

  • Bread – Use any type of bread you prefer. However, I recommend a crusty bread (and used a combo of homemade bread that I had in my freezer). Make sure you use DRIED and cubed bread for a nice texture.
  • Chicken – A rotisserie chicken works really nice for this recipe. Use a combo of white and dark meat.
  • Butter – You’ll use about 1/4 cup of butter to sauté the veggies. If you want to add additional butter, feel free.
  • Veggies – A simple combo of onion, celery, and garlic.
  • Seasonings – Ground sage, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Eggs – Three eggs were used.
  • Broth – I always use a lower-sodium chicken broth. You’ll want to have extra on hand in case the stuffing dries out while baking. Just add more and keep baking.

TIP: Keep extra broth on hand to add as the stuffing cooks. You may also decide to add more to the actual recipe before baking, depending on what bread you use.

A tray of stuffing ingredients.

How to make Thanksgiving stuffing

Step 1
Dry the bread. You can dry the bread over the course of several days, if you have time. Simply place the bread on a cooling rack and cover with a towel. Let it sit on the counter until it’s dry. You can also speed up the process by cubing it, placing on a baking sheet, and baking it on 250 degrees until crunchy.

Step 2
Shred chicken. Shred a rotisserie chicken and use about three cups for your stuffing. Use the remainder for a nice Green Chili Chicken Soup or a BBQ Chicken Pizza!

Step 3
Saute veggies. In a non-stick skillet, add butter and then chopped celery and onion. Sauté until softened. Then add the garlic, salt, pepper, and the sage – and cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly.

Step 4
Combine ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted bread, chicken, and sautéed veggies. Add the eggs and then about half of the warmed chicken broth – and stir. Add a little broth at a time instead of dumping all of it in. You can add more broth as you need it – before you bake and/or during the process.

Step 5
Prep for baking. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour the stuffing mixture into a prepared casserole dish. (This one is equal to a 9×13 pan.)

Step 6
Bake. Bake the stuffing in the preheated oven, covered, until warmed throughout. This may take an hour to an hour and a half. Check the stuffing while it bakes and add more broth as needed. Remove foil for the final 10-20 minutes to brown the top, as necessary.

Step 7
Serve. Serve this stuffing hot with your turkey and the works. Enjoy!

Side shot of a wooden spoon serving a helping of stuffing.

Other Thanksgiving sides to make

In addition to the corn casserole, mashed potatoes, and bread mentioned above, I’ve got lots of ideas for you to add to your special meal!

FAQs

Why do I need to use dried bread?

The dried bread is the base, or the structure, to stuffing. If you use soft bread, your stuffing will be mushy. You want some “bite” to each bite!

Is adding the chicken a must?

No, you don’t have to add chicken. You can leave it out completely. (But it’s not Mom’s dressing without it!)

What other herbs can I use?

In addition to sage, I recommend using rosemary and thyme! But the sky is the limit. Use your favorite herbs.

Can I prep this in advance?

Yes, you can mix this up a day in advance and store in the refrigerator overnight. You can also freeze it unbaked. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator for several days.

What do I do if this dressing is dry when baking?

You’ll need to add chicken broth to the dressing if it gets dry. I usually check it periodically and add more broth as needed.

Can I keep this on warm until other sides are done?

You can turn down your oven and keep this on warm until other sides are done, if need be. Just make sure it’s covered and add more broth to keep it moist.

A serving plate of turkey and dressing.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

Overhead shot of a casserole of Thanksgiving stuffing with chicken.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe with Chicken

Norma Jean's Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe was always the hit of the party during my childhood. This family recipe combines crusty bread, shredded chicken, sautéed veggies, seasonings including sage, and a broth to bring it all together.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: stuffing recipe with chicken, turkey dressing
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 351kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter – melted
  • 1 cup celery – diced
  • 1 cup onion – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 teaspoon sage – or more, to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1 ¾ pounds sourdough or French bread (or any crusty bread) – dried and cubed (about 12 cups, cubed)
  • 3 cups chicken – shredded
  • 3 large eggs – beaten
  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth (warmed) – or more (don't add all at once)

Instructions

  • Dry the bread. You can dry the bread over the course of several days, if you have time. Simply place the bread on a cooling rack and cover with a towel. Let it sit on the counter until it’s dry. You can also speed up the process by cubing it, placing on a baking sheet, and baking it on 250 degrees until crunchy.
  • Shred chicken. Shred a rotisserie chicken and use about three cups for your stuffing. Use a combo of white and dark meat.
  • Sauté veggies. In a non-stick skillet, add butter and then chopped celery and onion. Sauté until softened. Then add the garlic, salt, pepper, and the sage – and cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly.
  • Combine ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted bread, chicken, and sautéed veggies. Add the eggs and then about half of the warmed chicken broth – and stir. Add a little broth at a time instead of dumping all of it in at once. You can add more broth as you need it – before you bake and/or during the process.
  • Prep for baking. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour the stuffing mixture into a prepared 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Bake. Bake the stuffing in the preheated oven, covered, until warmed throughout. This may take an hour to an hour and a half. Check the stuffing while it bakes and add more broth as needed. Remove foil for the last 10-20 minutes to brown the top, as necessary.
  • Serve. Serve this stuffing hot with your turkey and the works. Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can mix this up a day in advance and store in the refrigerator overnight. You can also freeze it unbaked. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator for several days.
  • You’ll need to add chicken broth to the dressing if it gets dry. I usually check it periodically and add more broth as needed.
  • You can turn down your oven and keep this on warm until other sides are done, if need be. Just make sure it’s covered and add more broth to keep it moist.

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 291IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

5 Comments

  1. Norma Jean with all of the goo stuff. Pretty cool to have the handwritten recipe. A classic.

  2. Oh stuffing of my childhood and who’s kidding my adulthood too, how I love(d) you. I will be making this however it will never be as good as having Mom’s homemade.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You can do it Shari! 🙂

  3. Jackie Thill says:

    The stuffing of my childhood memories. I’ll be making it.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yay! LMK how it turns out, Jackie!

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