Savory and delicious, this French Bread Stuffing is a twist on the traditional and will become your new favorite dish at every holiday table.
This truly is the best stuffing recipe I’ve ever had!
If there is one thing I know, my readers love stuffing. And they sure made a point of letting me so in a recent survey I took. The info was so helpful and the very next day I started making this easy and delicious French Bread Stuffing, I made it a few times and enjoyed every bit of testing it over and over… yummy!
I’ve even included a video below showing just how easy it is to make this recipe.
It’s that time of year again when we recreate our favorite holiday dishes and sit down to gobble them up. And one of the most-loved foods is stuffing, or dressing depending on where you live.
I always thought stuffing was cooked in the bird and dressing was cooked outside the bird, but I was wrong. It’s more of a North-South, Mid Western term than where the delicious savory baked bread mixture is cooked.
Stuffing is a favorite for good reason… there are written records as far back as 1836 here in the Americas. However if you decide to do further digging, between the 2nd and 1st century B.C., a chef by the name Apicius created a cookbook which included recipes for stuffed chicken, rabbit, pig, and even mouse (squeak!)
Unlike our forefathers, today’s stuffing recipe is cooked outside of the animal as opposed to inside (thus the name stuffing). And though I don’t have any recommendations for holiday mouse, I do have a great recipe for Turkey to go along with your stuffing! In fact, I have a few to pick from, like my Overnight Turkey that takes all the heavy lifting out of roasting! Or Spatchcock Turkey – which if you didn’t know cuts your cooking time in half.
Yep, I love a recipe that saves me time and is so yummy!
So, let’s spice up your stuffing with a new take on this age-old dish. I have included suggestions for those who like stuffing sweeter with cranberries or apples, and those who like things a bit meatier, with sausage, or you could use ground turkey. I even have something for the seafood lover with oysters or even a nice vegetarian option with mushrooms and of course the option to add walnuts or pecans. There is a twist for everyone.
Why french bread… because it has a thin crispy outer edge that gives a great texture and the inside is slightly fluffy and dense all at once, once it’s dried it will absorb the liquid well and then bake up nicely. You can use other bread, but first, give the french bread a try… it’s really delicious and I did make many batches to see what type of bread I liked best.
1 Large Loaf French Bread ( about 14x4x3″ is the approximate size of the bread I buy it’s pictured above)
Let’s get cooking.
Preheat oven to 350°
Cube your french bread and place the pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. (look here for my homemade French Bread recipe if you have want to make the French Bread yourself)
Bake for 5 minutes, then stir to turn over and cook for another 5 minutes.
Alternatively, you can leave the bread out on the counter uncovered for at least 48 hours – this will produce a dry stale bread that does not need to be cooked.
Gather all the ingredients so it’s easy for you to put this recipe together in a timely manner.
Next, saute your chopped onion and celery in 1 tablespoon butter for 2 minutes or longer to your desired softness. Like a crunch – 2 minutes will do! If you want it a little softer – go longer.
Add poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper, if desired.
Measure out 2 cups of chicken broth and add to the onions and celery. Take your pan off the heat. Set aside.
Put the bread in a bowl that is large enough to mix without throwing your bread and ingredients on the counter.
Beat your eggs in a separate bowl then pour over the bread.
Add the onions and celery mixture to your bread and stir to coat. Be sure to mix well so everything is incorporated.
Place into an 8×8 or 13×9 casserole dish that is either buttered or sprayed with nonstick spray.
If you’re adding any additional items, such as cranberries and pecans or one of my other suggestions, add them to your bread mixture and stir, before putting the mixture into the baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered in foil then remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until desired firmness on top.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and sage if desired
A note on stuffing add-ins and tips:
- If using the fruit, I would exclude adding sage as it lends itself to savory ingredients such as the sausage.
- I prefer my stuffing more fluffy and less dense. If you prefer your stuffing to be more dense or heavier like a southern dressing, add an additional ½ cup chicken broth.
If you’re looking for more side dishes be sure to check out these and more here!
I don’t have french bread – can I use something else like a Ciabatta?
Yes, you absolutely could. Just know that different breads are going to have different textures. Though, ciabatta was the Italian’s answer to french bread.
Texas toast will also be a great option.
I’ve also included in the recipe you can use 1-14oz. Package Pepperidge Farm unseasoned stuffing.
One of the best parts of this stuffing recipe is the texture and denseness of the french bread, but in a pinch, you can use any bread you have.
I sliced my bread in larger chunks, but you can also cut them into smaller pieces if desired.
Can I replace the eggs, and if so, with what?
If cholesterol is the issue, then egg beaters are an excellent option. But you don’t want to eliminate eggs, they are the binding agent and they help create a golden color as your stuffing cooks. And it really makes the stuffing taste and texture better. So use either eggs or egg beaters.
Could I use this recipe and cook it inside the turkey?
Cooking stuffing inside the turkey can be difficult- you risk either overcooking the turkey or undercooking the stuffing – both are dangerous. I don’t recommend it – however you could take some of your turkey drippings and mix those in, that would really add a lot of turkey goodness. A turkey will take way more time to cook than the stuffing will, so it’s best to bake it in a casserole dish separately. Alternatively, you can cook it in a slow cooker if you don’t have room in your oven.
I want to make cornbread stuffing, can I still use this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute half or all of the bread called for in this recipe with baked cornbread. Be sure to dry it out as you would with the bread by leaving it out, sliced, or heating it in the oven, so it absorbs the liquid well without becoming too mushy.
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
Yes, prepare the slow cooker pot with shortening or butter, then place the stuffing mixture into it and turn the slow cooker on high for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to low and cook for 3 hours or until desired doneness.
This stuffing was baked in an 8×8 square pan, it’s thicker and great for a smaller gathering, a smaller space taken up on the table and oh the leftovers are delicious!
French Bread Stuffing
- 1 large loaf French Bread. Cut into 1” cubes
- 1 +2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon sage
- 1 cup chopped onion ½ large onion
- 1 ¼ cup chopped celery 4 stalks
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley when it comes out of the oven
- Sprigs of fresh sage
- If you want to reduce salt use unsalted chicken broth
- If you want more of an herb flavor in the stuffing add some parsley sage, thyme, marjoram, garlic, or your favorite herbs, rosemary is nice too.
- Options for flavors
- 1 lb sauteed ground sausage hot or mild
- 1 cup fresh cranberries or ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup diced apples
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 lb oysters sauteed in butter and garlic
- 1 lb mushrooms chopped (additional garlic is great with this mixture)
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Place cubed bread on a baking sheet in a single layer and allow it to bake until dry
- Usually, 10 minutes total, 5 minutes, stir to turn over, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can leave the bread out on the counter to go completely stale at least 48 hours.
- Saute onion and celery in 1 tablespoon butter for 2 minutes ( if you prefer your stuffing softer cook the vegetables longer)
- Add poultry seasoning and sage and salt and pepper if desired
- Add 2 cups chicken broth to the onions and celery.
- Put the bread in a bowl.
- Pour the beaten eggs over the bread, then pour or the onions and celery mixture and stir to coat it all over the bread.
- Place into an 8x8 or 13x9 casserole dish that is either buttered or sprayed with nonstick spray
- If you’re adding any additional items, add them before putting the mixture into the baking dish and stir.
- I would not age sage if using the fruit as I prefer the sage on the savory versions.
- If you prefer your stuffing to be more dense or heavier add an additional ½ cup chicken broth.
- I prefer my stuffing more fluffy and less dense.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered in foil then remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until desired firmness on top.
- Top with fresh parsley and sage if desired
Be sure to take a look at my slow roasted turkey post, it’s FULL of great info to be sure your turkey turns out delicious.