The warm dish winner of holiday dinners is, without a doubt, stuffing. Salty, simultaneously soft and crunchy, and delightfully easy to make, how could you not love it?
This is the perfect topping for macaroni and cheese (if you want a proper American Thanksgiving meal), or if you just want a classic stuffing to enjoy on the side or inside of a turkey. You could use some of your own sourdough bread that you’ve made, or simple pappy white bread if that is what you like, and boost it with whatever fresh herbs you have available in your garden or kitchen. This is an adaptable and easy recipe, and can also be as butter-tastic or as vegan-ized as you so desire.
Before starting, set your oven to 200ºC, or 400ºF. Get a nonstick skillet at the ready. And get your best chopping knife and cutting board at your disposal.
You want to take one full, big yellow onion and dice it very finely, and around 5-6 sticks of celery also finely diced. There are plenty of chef tricks to dicing things finely, and without ending up a weeping mess. If you want to get really good at dicing an onion, I suggest watching this video on YouTube. Then take that bread that you like so much, whether that be a fresh loaf or pre-sliced deliciousness, and pull out about 8 slices (around 4 cups or 230g). Cube the bread as well. Prepare about 250mL (about 1 cup) of vegetable broth, warm and ready to use in a few steps. Again – the mise en place will make your life easier!
Take a good sized pat of butter (or butter alternative) and heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add your celery and onion and season with salt – a generous pinch of salt. Cook this vegetable mix until it is good and caramelized, adding butter as needed. Once it is cooked and done, throw the vegetables on top of the bread in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix this all together. If you are going to serve this stuffing alone, you can toss in some herbs such as fresh sage, thyme and rosemary. If using as a delicious mac and cheese topping then stop there. Less is more.
Add the vegetable broth little by little to the vegetable-bread mixture until the bread is soggy but not wet. You want the veggies and bread to stick together in little clusters without having to press too hard, but they also won’t permanently stay clustered. It is a fine dance to play, and you certainly will not use all of the veg stock. Make sure everything is combined and good, get your nonstick skillet back on the heat, and add another pat of butter to melt down.
Toss the bread and vegetable mix in the pan until it is all caramelized together. You will be cooking off some of the moisture of the broth while still leaving the bread in a nice and soggy, flavourful state. Remove from the heat, transfer to a baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven for 10-20 minutes, or until the bread is slightly crispy. Once you’ve removed it from the oven you can whack it on top of the mac and cheese mixture (don’t worry, I will stop teasing and say: this recipe will be coming soon) OR just serve is straight away as it is.
I loved Stove Top stuffing as a child, eating it with my hands straight out of the microwaved casserole dish, Truly, I don’t think anything can beat the delicious saltiness of the American Thanksgiving classic. That said, once I started making my own stuffing I realized that, like cranberry sauce, it was just THAT EASY and so much fun to do. I encourage you to give this a try at your next holiday meal – especially tossing in some chopped sage if you are going to serve it as a side. And as always, let me know how it goes!
- 1 whole large yellow onion, diced finely
- 5-6 sticks of celery, diced finely
- 8 slices of bread (around 4 cups or 230g), cubed
- at least 4 Tbsp (60g) butter or butter alternative
- 1 cup (250mL) vegetable broth
- optional but highly recommended: fresh chopped sage and thyme
- Preheat oven to 200ºC, 400ºF.
- Finely dice the onion and celery, cube the bread slices.
- Over medium-high heat, melt a knob of butter in a nonstick pan. Add celery and onion, season with a generous pinch of salt, and cook until caramelized, adding butter as needed.
- Remove from heat and mix vegetables with cubed bread in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in the chopped fresh herbs if using. Slowly incorporate vegetable broth with the mixture, until soggy but not wet and forming clusters.
- Put back into the nonstick, add more butter, and cook over medium high heat until again caramelized.
- Place onto baking tray and cook in oven for 10-20 minutes, until the bread is slightly crispy.
- Serve! Can be easily reheated just before the meal or served immediately.