Turkey Dressing with Gravy
This turkey dressing (or also called turkey stuffing) is a traditional recipe with bread, sautéed vegetables, butter and herbs, all baked together to golden brown perfection. A MUST make side dish for the holidays that can be made in advance. Serve with my delicious, no turkey needed, gravy.
Thanksgiving dressing aka Thanksgiving stuffing is made many different ways. I may be a bit partial, but in my opinion my grandma’s simple turkey dressing is the best. This recipe is very basic with nothing fancy, however it’s totally delicious and not to be missed during the holidays.
I can’t believe Thanksgiving is so close! I’m so ready for all of the yummy food and the fun family time. The turkey is alright, but it’s really all about the side dishes and desserts.
Now, let’s talk turkey dressing! This version is way better than what you’d find in a box from the grocery store. There’s nothing too complicated about the recipe either, so give it a try this year! Your family will thank you!
What Is The Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?
I’m using both the terms, stuffing and dressing, to describe this side dish. There’s no wrong or right term and not much of a difference between the two. I think what you call your recipe depends mostly where you’re from.
Dressing does seem to be the best description to use when the recipe is baked outside of the turkey. And like the name suggests stuffing is when the recipe is stuffed inside the turkey. Maybe it’s a Texas thing, but refer to it as stuffing even though I’ve never had it actually stuffed in a turkey.
What Bread To Use For Turkey Dressing?
There are many different types of bread that can be used for turkey dressing. I typically use French baguettes or sourdough bread. You can even totally use those bags of bread cubes sold at the grocery store, but it’s really easy to make your own and will make for a more flavorful recipe. Cube the bread into 1/2 inch pieces and either bake or sit out for about 48 hours or at least overnight to get stale. Instructions for baking the cubes can be found in the recipe notes, below.
How Do You Make Turkey Dressing?
A classic turkey dressing recipe includes a combination of cubed bread, sautéed onions and celery, herbs, chicken stock or broth, eggs and butter. All of the ingredients are baked together in a large casserole dish until deliciously savory and beautifully golden brown.
Tips For Turkey Stuffing:
- As I mentioned above, I like to use baguettes, sourdough bread or some other type of artisan bread for stuffing, but use whatever bread you like best. Other options are a multigrain loaf or even white sandwich bread. I know people that have even used leftover rolls, hamburger buns and hot dog buns.
- If you’ve set your bread out overnight and it still isn’t stale or you completely forgot, stick fresh bread cubes in an oven at 300°F to dry it out for about 30 minutes. Watch the bread closely, as it may take less time if you’ve already left it out overnight.
- There are 2 eggs in this recipe. They act as a binder, but it is not crucial that they are included. For an egg free dish, simply leave them out.
Can You Make Turkey Stuffing In Advance:
This whole stuffing recipe can be prepped ahead of time. Add everything to the baking dish and cover it with foil or plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you plan to cook it. When you’re ready to cook it, let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Then, bake according to instructions. It’s possible you’ll need to bake the stuffing a little longer because of starting with a cold dish.
How Do You Stuff A Turkey?
Fill the cavity of your turkey with this stuffing and cook. The cook time will most likely be increased because of the turkey cavity being filled up. Oven temperature of the stuffing should reach 165ºF, to ensure it is safe to eat. Personally, I would rather just cook my turkey and stuffing separately.
Turkey Dressing Variations:
- For a sweet and savory flavor, add about 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and a diced sautéed apple to the recipe.
- Many people enjoy a sausage stuffing. You can add about a pound of cooked ground sausage to the mixture.
Easy Gravy Recipe (no turkey needed):
This turkey gravy is super flavorful and creamy. You’re sure to love it! Homemade gravy really completes the holiday meal, and this version is so simple to make. You don’t even need turkey drippings!
Next, add the heated chicken stock and Cognac, and continue to cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Add cream, if desired, and serve with turkey dressing.
A delicious gravy is that finishing touch that elevates a good turkey dinner to a fabulous turkey dinner.
This turkey stuffing and gravy are classic recipes that everyone is sure to love. You’ll never want to eat stuffing from a box again after you try the homemade version!
More Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas:
Pumpkin Dessert Squares (my personal favorite recipe!)
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Turkey Dressing & Gravy
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1 loaf bread or 2 baguettes (about 21 ounces and 10-12 cups)*
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing baking dish)
- 1 cup onion, finely diced
- 2 medium stalks celery, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon marjoram leaves
- 3 ½ - 4 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
FOR THE GRAVY
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion, (2 onions)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + plus more to taste as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock, heated
- 1 tablespoon Cognac, Brandy or Bourbon, (optional)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING
- Bread should be stale. Either leave out overnight or place cubes in the oven at 300ºF, tossing on the baking sheet occasionally until they are crisp or about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Butter a 9x13-inch (2-3 quart) casserole dish; set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for about 8 to 10 minutes and until tender. Add the garlic, parsley, sage, thyme and marjoram leaves; cook for 1 minute more. Remove skillet from heat. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
- Place bread cubes in a very large bowl and add the onion mixture, eggs, chicken broth/stock, salt and pepper to the bowl. Stir well to completely coat the bread and combine all ingredients. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
FOR THE GRAVY
- Melt butter in a large skillet over a medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes and until the onions are lightly browned and soft. Onions should be cooked slow and you will want them fully cooked for best results.
- Stir in flour in with onions. Then add the thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the heated chicken stock and Cognac (if using), and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Add the cream, if desired, and serve.