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Classic Herb Bread Stuffing

November 22, 2010

By Kath Dedon


My Classic Herb Bread Stuffing is a recipe that’s adapted from the bag of Grand Central Baking Company’s Rustic Stuffing. I believe one of the reasons it works so well is because it starts with top quality bread. Grand Central Bakery, with locations in Seattle and Portland, makes outstanding artisan bread. I am glad that they turn some of their bread into toasted croutons for stuffing!


I bake the stuffing in a casserole instead of stuffing the turkey. It is so much easier – easier to get the turkey ready for the oven, and easier to serve the stuffing. Besides, a stuffed turkey can be overcooked by the time the stuffing inside reaches a safe temperature of 165˚. I have the casserole of stuffing ready for the oven by the time the turkey is done. While the turkey is “resting”, I bake the stuffing.

There is one major change that I make to the recipe on the bag; I use twice as much broth. Plus, I use a bulb baster to get some of the broth under my roasting turkey and add it to the stuffing. The extra broth and the flavorful turkey drippings make the stuffing very moist and my Classic Herb Bread Stuffing tastes very much like it has been baked in the turkey.

In the past, I have added the optional 2 cups of toasted pecans to the stuffing and we enjoyed that version. I chose to leave them out this time, and the stuffing was still fantastic. If you love pecans, you might want to include them.

I usually make broth with the giblets (gizzard and heart, but not the liver) and the turkey neck. This time the turkey included the neck, but no giblets. I used the neck, along with part of an onion, a carrot, and a stalk of celery in 2 cans of chicken broth to make a more “enriched” broth. I simmered it, covered, for a couple of hours and then had 2¼ cups of broth to use for the stuffing.

Onion, celery, and carrot for the broth

Turkey neck, vegetables and 2 cans of chicken broth


Classic Herb Bread Stuffing

(Adapted from the recipe on the bag of Grand Central Baking Company’s Rustic Stuffing)


Serves 8, doubles easily


(print the recipe)



1 (12-ounce) package of Grand Central Baking Company’s Rustic Stuffing (or about 10 cups bread stuffing)

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), plus more for greasing the casserole and dotting the top)

2 ¼ cups diced yellow onion (about 1 large)

1 1/3 cups diced celery (about 3 large stalks)

2 large cloves minced garlic

1½ tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

¾ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

4 cups broth (1¾ cups of the broth was taken from the turkey roasting pan)

Salt, to taste


Optional: 2 cups of toasted pecans


If your oven isn’t already in use for the turkey, preheat to 350˚.

1. Sauté the celery and onion in the 8 tablespoons of butter until it is softened.


2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Stir in the sage, thyme, parsley and poultry seasoning.


4. Add the stuffing, broth (best if some of it is from the turkey roasting pan), and toasted pecans, if desired. Gently stir until the stuffing is well combined.

Using a bulb baster to get some broth from the turkey pan


Everything combined in the pan


5. Put 1 tablespoon of butter in a large casserole and spread it around with a paper towel.

6. Put the stuffing in the casserole. Dot the top with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350˚ for 30 minutes.


20 Comments leave one →
  1. phylliskirigin permalink
    November 22, 2010 5:11 pm

    Kath, Reading this post is like reading my own blog! This is my favorite dressing that I make every year. This year I’m adding, not nuts, but cooked and crumbled Italian sweet sausage. I just wrote a “turkey tips” post in which I suggested adding drippings from the turkey to give the dressing in the casserole that roasted turkey taste. Great recipe, isn’t it? I’m not familiar with the bread you use. It’s important, of course, to use a really good artisan bread.

    Phyllis, aka

    • November 23, 2010 9:06 am

      I really like sausage in stuffing, too, Phyllis. And the turkey drippings do make a big difference, don’t they?

      I think if I couldn’t buy Grand Central Baking Company’s stuffing, I would buy the best artisan bread available and toast my own croutons.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

    • November 21, 2011 4:54 pm

      I just came across another good tip. If you make your own croutons for stuffing, don’t dry them out by placing them on the counter overnight. The bread doesn’t really lose its moisture. It just gets stale. Instead, dry them out in a very slow oven. They will lose their moisture and taste much better in the stuffing. And, as you point out, use a good artisan bread, never sandwich bread.

  2. November 22, 2010 7:07 pm

    I don’t know about you…but stuffing is my favorite part of my Thanksgiving meal. My grandmother uses a recipe that has been handed down through generations, but your recipe looks mighty tasty too (and it actually has quite a bit in common!) Thank you for sharing with me…I hope you have a wonderful week of feasting, friends and family!

    • November 23, 2010 9:08 am

      I think the stuffing is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, too, Monet! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  3. January 9, 2011 8:32 am

    I found this site looking for a great dressing recipe. Where can I purchase the Rustic Stuffing mix.

    Thank you.

    • January 9, 2011 5:30 pm

      Hi Cam,

      Grand Central Bakery’s products are available in many stores in the Seattle and Portland area. The Rustic Stuffing is a great product made with their fabulous artisan bread; I buy it for the convenience. There are no other ingredients in it, other than the bread, so you could just get a good quality loaf of bread and make your own. That’s what I would do if I couldn’t buy the Rustic Stuffing.

      According to Joy of Cooking, a 1 pound loaf of Italian or French bread will yield about 10 cups of bread cubes. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes (I’d leave the crust on). Spread them out on a large baking sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned.

      • January 10, 2011 8:52 am

        Thanks for your reply. I like the prepared dressing mix better since they are more crusty. I used to buy Bond dressing mix available here, but I haven’t seen it in years. I have almost a year to practice getting crusty results with French bread.


  4. Margaret permalink
    November 24, 2011 5:58 am

    Can leftover stuffing be frozen. Not many in my family like stuffing as I so. I hate to throw the left over out. I eat it cold for a few days then I get tired of it.

    • November 24, 2011 9:54 am

      I’ve never had enough leftover stuffing to try freezing it, Margaret. It might work.

    • David Friedlander permalink
      November 24, 2011 12:08 pm

      I’ve frozen it, tastes fine (just wrap it tight)

      • November 24, 2011 12:14 pm

        Thanks so much for your comment, David! It’s good to know that it can be successfully frozen. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. November 7, 2014 6:39 am

    Any tips in making this in advance (earlier in the same day) for a potluck-style Thanksgiving?

    • November 7, 2014 7:06 am

      You could make the whole thing ahead of time using chicken broth (or homemade turkey broth – you can buy turkey parts, like wings and backs, to do that). Put it in the casserole as directed and bake it at the potluck party while the turkey is resting. Or, you could bake it ahead of time and put it in a microwave-safe serving dish and reheat it that way.

  6. Ra1der5 permalink
    November 24, 2020 10:01 am

    Classic simple stuffing with fresh herbs! We bookmarked this page and have been making this recipe for about three years now. We make it the day before and reach perfection by adding a pound of chopped roasted chestnuts.

    Thank you!

    • November 24, 2020 12:57 pm

      I love your idea of adding chestnuts! Thanks so much for your comment.

  7. February 18, 2023 4:53 pm

    Good reading your posst


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