A traditional herb stuffing made with crispy french bread, cheddar cheese, tender veggies, and an extra dose of herbs. A simple side dish for holiday dinners.
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About Cheesy Herb Stuffing
When it comes to big holiday dinners, there’s nothing more classic than a baking dish full of cheesy herb stuffing.
And, you guys, this recipe has been a dinner-saver on more than one occasion. I’ve whipped this recipe out for the past few of those family dinners, and so far, it’s been a hit every time.
You just can’t go wrong with this traditional herb stuffing recipe.
Is there a difference between stuffing and dressing?
If you want to get technical, “stuffing” is supposed to refer to whatever is actually stuffed inside the main dish (such as stuffing the cavity of turkey or chicken). And by classic standards, a bread-based side that’s baked in a dish is usually called “dressing.”
But despite that, you’ll find areas all over the United States who will prefer to call this stuffing so that it isn’t confused with a liquid sauce dressing (like ranch, thousand island, etc). And then you’ll find whole pockets of the southern United States who will refuse to use the word “stuffing” because of how unpleasant it sounds.
So, what should you call a dish like this, then?
In the end, you can call it whatever makes the most sense to you. Neither is wrong and everyone will know what you mean. And this is exactly what I do when I cook stuffing for company: we all use our favorite word, multiple times a day, as if there’s a competition going on (there is) and whoever says their word the most wins (I will totally win).
How should you prepare the bread?
One of the keys to making delicious stuffing is a simple trick:
Cut the bread into bite-size pieces, then leave it out, uncovered, overnight.
This will allow the bread to dry out some, which is very important for the texture and flavor of stuffing. Even using slightly stale bread is okay. It gives the bread some crunch (but not too much) and encourages the bread to absorb flavors without becoming too mushy.
Can you make herb stuffing in advance?
Stuffing is typically made for big holiday dinners, and one of the keys to success is timing. With limited counter space and oven room, the more you can make in advance, the better.
You can make this recipe in advance, but it’s best to store it in parts. Such as:
- Store the bread separately. This should be easy, since you can leave the bread on the counter overnight so that it dries out (see point above about bread). If the bread has dried out to your liking but it’s not ready to cook yet, just store it in a bag or sealed container until it’s time.
- Cook the veggie ingredients per recipe instructions (olive oil, onion, salt, pepper, carrots, parsley, and dill). Once prepared, transfer the ingredients to a sealed container, allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to move forward.
- Hold off on doing anything with the eggs or chicken broth. Those are mixed in just before baking, so there’s nothing you need to do in advance.
When you’re ready to cook, heat the veggies either on the stovetop (you can add about 1/2 cup of the chicken broth or a little more olive oil to the skillet so that nothing sticks or burns) or in the microwave until warm, then move forward with the recipe by tossing all of the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
Can you freeze stuffing?
Yes, you totally can!
Once prepared and cooled to room temperature, herb stuffing can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for one to three months.
notes & tips for this herb stuffing
- For most stuffing recipes, you’ll need a trusty 9×13 baking dish. I like this one because not only is it good quality but it also makes a pretty serving dish.
- You’ll also need a large bowl for this recipe. I like this 13 quart mixing bowl because it’s light, easy to handle, and more than big enough for all the ingredients.
How to make traditional herb stuffing from scratch
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and toss in the yellow onion. Season with salt and pepper, then cook until the onion is tender.
Step 2 – Add the celery and carrots to the skillet, then cook them until tender.
Step 3 – Toss in the parsley and dill, then mix until veggies are coated. Remove the skillet from heat and set it aside, allowing it to cool a little.
Step 4 – In a large mixing bowl (I like using a 13 quart size), add the dried bread, chicken broth, egg, and cooked veggies. Stir everything together until the bread is coated.
Step 5 – Add cheese to the bowl, then gently toss to mix.
Step 6 – Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, then pour in the prepared stuffing. Sprinkle the top with more cheddar cheese.
Step 7 – Bake!
Step 8 – Serve and enjoy!
Cheesy Herb Stuffing
- 1 loaf french bread, (about 1 lb) cut into 1/2 inch pieces, left out overnight
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 cup celery, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
- 3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions to skillet and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add celery and carrots to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until carrots are tender, about another 15-20 minutes.
- Add parsley to skillet. Stir to coat veggies, then cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove skillet from heat. Add in dill and toss all ingredients together, then set skillet aside.
- Add dried out cubed french bread to a 13 quart mixing bowl. Pour chicken broth on top of and toss bread until all broth has been completely absorbed by the bread.
- Add beaten egg to bowl and gently fold into bread. then pour cooked veggies and cheddar cheese into bowl. Thoroughly stir all ingredients together.
- Pour stuffing mixture into prepared baking dish, spreading out into an even layer.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the top layer of bread begins to turn golden brown.
- Serve stuffing immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.