This homemade Dressing Recipe is so much better than the boxed kind! Use it as a holiday side dish or as stuffing for a turkey.
Of all the side dishes at a Thanksgiving dinner, the dressing or stuffing is right up there near the top of my favorite dishes! I will pick stuffing over mashed potatoes any day. I love all of the varieties from the boxed to the homemade. This year I decided to make a homemade dressing recipe for Thanksgiving dinner.
What is the difference between dressing and stuffing?
The difference between dressing and stuffing is the way that it is cooked. Dressing is cooked in a separate dish while stuffing is stuffed into the turkey to cook. It is one of those topics with lots of opinions surrounding it!
To get fully cooked stuffing (the center of the stuffing needs to reach 165˚F) there is a chance that the turkey could become over cooked. Therefore many people choose to cook their stuffing in a casserole dish, which then technically makes it dressing.
Cut enough of a loaf of Italian bread into cubes to make 10 cups of cubed bread.
Spread the cubed bread out on a ungreased, rimmed baking sheet and bake at 325˚F for about 5 minutes to lightly toast the bread. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
Brown the ground pork sausage and discard the grease. Adding the sausage is optional but it gives this dressing recipe some added flavor!
Put the cooked pork in the bowl with the toasted bread cubes and set aside.
Use the same pan (no need to wash it beforehand) to melt the butter over medium heat. Then, add the chopped onions and chopped celery and cook until tender.
Remove from heat and stir in the chicken broth, minced parsley, poultry seasoning, and beaten egg.
Don’t have any poultry seasoning on hand? You can find my poultry seasoning recipe here.
Pour the broth mixture over the bread cubes and sausage in the bowl.
Use a fork to lightly toss the dressing to moisten the bread cubes.
Transfer the dressing to a greased 2.5-3 quart casserole dish. Or use this dressing recipe as stuffing for a turkey.
Cover the casserole dish and bake the dressing at 375˚F for 20 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until toasted on top.
Can I make this dressing recipe in a slow cooker?
Oven space is always at a premium on Thanksgiving day so using a slow cooker to make the dressing is a great option. Prepare the dressing recipe as directed but spread in a slow cooker instead of a casserole dish. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours until it reaches 165˚F on a thermometer.
What else can I add to this dressing recipe?
One of the wonderful things about dressing and stuffing is that it is very versatile and can be adapted or changed as you see fit. Here are a few popular variations:
- Bread: Use a mix of different breads from cornbread to sourdough.
- Apples: Add chopped apples when cooking the chopped onions and celery in butter.
- Mushrooms: Saute mushrooms along with the onions and celery.
- Nuts: Stir in toasted pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts.
Looking for more Thanksgiving side dishes? Here are some of our favorites:
Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole is the EASIEST way to make this classic side dish. Plus, cooking green bean casserole in a crockpot frees up oven space!
This easy, homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe is WAY BETTER than store-bought and is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, it can be made ahead of time!
This classic, easy-to-make Sweet Potato Casserole is as delicious as a dessert with a brown sugar and pecan crumb topping. A MUST MAKE for Thanksgiving!
This Corn Casserole recipe, aka corn pudding, is a traditional Thanksgiving side dish. It’s a creamier, cheesier version of cornbread!