Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe: Stuffing Recipe

Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Thanksgiving is a time for sharing and creating memories with loved ones. And what better way to do that than with a delicious, homemade old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe? This classic dish has been a staple of Thanksgiving feasts for generations, and it’s easy to see why. With its comforting flavors and nostalgic charm, old fashioned dressing is the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table.

Whether you’re looking to recreate the flavors of your childhood or start a new tradition with your own unique twist, this old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe will take you back in time with every bite. So, get ready to experience a classic dish that will elevate your Thanksgiving feast to the next level.

Key Takeaways:

  • Old fashioned dressing is a beloved Thanksgiving dish with a rich history.
  • This recipe is the perfect way to recreate the nostalgic flavors of the past.
  • With a few simple ingredients, you can create a homemade dressing that will impress your guests.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different breads and seasonings for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
  • Whether you bake it in the oven or cook it in a slow cooker, old fashioned dressing is sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving table.

The History of Thanksgiving Dressing

Thanksgiving dressing has been a beloved holiday dish for centuries, with its origins dating back to the early settlers in the New World. In those days, traditional sage was a common herb used in stuffing, and bread stuffing was the norm.

“Stuffing is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. It’s like a warm hug on a cold day.” – Unknown

However, as the years went by, different regions of the country began to develop their own unique spin on the dish. In the South, for example, old fashioned cornbread became a staple ingredient in dressing, while in other areas, bread dressing was preferred.

Despite these variations, the classic elements of Thanksgiving dressing remain the same: bread, herbs, and seasonings all combined to create a delicious and comforting side dish that is perfect for any Thanksgiving feast.

The Traditional Sage

Sage is a key ingredient in traditional Thanksgiving dressing and has been used as an herb since ancient times. It is known for its warm, earthy flavor and pungent aroma, making it a perfect complement to the savory bread stuffing. Sage is also believed to have several health benefits, including improving digestion and strengthening the immune system.

Bread Stuffing and Old Fashioned Cornbread

Bread StuffingOld Fashioned Cornbread
One of the most common types of Thanksgiving dressing, made with cubed bread, herbs, and seasonings.A Southern twist on dressing, made with crumbled cornbread, eggs, and spices like onion and celery.
Bread stuffing can be made with any type of bread, such as sourdough, white, or even cornbread.Old fashioned cornbread is typically homemade with cornmeal, flour, milk, and eggs.
Can be baked inside the turkey or separately in a casserole dish.Usually baked separately in a casserole dish.

Today, dressing recipes can vary widely, incorporating different types of bread, meats, and even fruits and nuts. But no matter how you make it, Thanksgiving dressing remains a beloved and delicious part of the holiday feast.

Essential Ingredients for Old Fashioned Dressing

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like the warm and comforting flavors of old fashioned dressing. This traditional side dish is a staple on holiday tables across America and is a must-have for any classic Thanksgiving recipe. Here are the essential ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect old fashioned dressing:

Day-old bread10-12 cups, cubed (roughly 1 loaf)
Butter (unsalted)1/2 cup
Chopped onions1 large, finely chopped
Chopped celery2 cups
Eggs2 (beaten)
Chicken or turkey broth2-3 cups
Poultry seasoning1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper1 tsp each
Dried Sage2 tsp
Dried Marjoram1/2 tsp
Fresh Parsley2 Tbsp
Dried Thyme1 tsp

The key to making a perfect old fashioned dressing is using the right type of bread. Day-old bread is the perfect texture for dressing, as it is not too soft or too hard. You can use any type of bread, but white or sourdough bread works best. You can also use cornbread for an old fashioned cornbread dressing.

Once you have your bread, it’s time to add the aromatic vegetables. Chopped onions, celery, and garlic are must-have ingredients for any dressing recipe. They add a depth of flavor and give the dressing its classic taste.

Chicken or turkey broth is another essential ingredient that adds moisture and flavor to the dressing. You can use homemade or store-bought broth, but make sure it’s unsalted. If you use salted broth, be sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Poultry seasoning is the quintessential spice blend that gives the dressing its signature taste. It typically contains sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg. You can make your own poultry seasoning or use a store-bought blend.

Finally, salt and pepper are essential to season the dressing to taste. Be careful not to over-salt, as the broth and poultry seasoning already have some salt content.

Once you have all the ingredients, it’s time to start making your old fashioned dressing. Follow our recipe or add your own personal touch to create a delicious and nostalgic side dish that will be the highlight of your Thanksgiving meal.

Preparing the Bread for Dressing

One of the essential ingredients for old fashioned dressing is bread. Whether you prefer white bread, wheat bread, or cornbread, the bread you choose will greatly affect the texture and flavor of your dressing. Here are some tips to prepare the bread for your old fashioned dressing:

  1. If using fresh bread, cut it into small cubes and allow it to dry out overnight. This will help prevent your dressing from becoming too wet and mushy.
  2. Another option is to use bread stuffing mix, which is already dried and seasoned.
  3. For an old fashioned twist, try using old fashioned cornbread in place of regular bread. This will add a unique flavor and texture to your dressing.

Once you’ve chosen your bread, it’s time to decide if you want to make bread dressing or bread stuffingBread dressing is made by adding broth to the bread mixture, while bread stuffing is stuffed inside the turkey and cooked that way. Both methods have their own unique benefits, so choose the one that’s right for you.

Mixing the Dressing Ingredients

Now that you have prepared the bread and chosen your ingredients, it’s time to mix everything together to create the perfect old fashioned dressing recipe. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a delicious stuffed dish that’s sure to impress your guests.

  1. Begin by melting 1 stick of unsalted butter in a large skillet. Add 1 cup of finely chopped onions and 1 cup of finely chopped celery, and sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 10 cups of dried bread cubes, 1 tablespoon of dried sage, 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well to combine.
  3. Add the cooked vegetables to the bread mixture, along with 2 1/2 cups of chicken or turkey broth. Mix everything together until the bread is moistened and the ingredients are well combined.
  4. If you prefer a denser stuffing, beat 2 large eggs in a separate bowl and then mix them into the dressing mixture.
  5. Transfer the dressing to a greased casserole dish or a large baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the top of the dressing is golden brown and crispy.

Feel free to adjust this recipe to your liking, adding additional herbs or spices for extra flavor. And if you prefer a bread stuffing recipe, simply swap out the dried bread cubes for your favorite stuffing mix. Whatever you choose, this old fashioned dressing recipe is sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving table.

Baking Old Fashioned Dressing

Now that you have your old fashioned dressing ingredients mixed, it’s time to bake it to perfection. Follow these steps for a divine Thanksgiving side dish:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Transfer your dressing mixture into a large casserole dish or a baking dish.
  3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  5. Insert a thermometer into the center of the dressing to make sure it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

If you prefer a moister dressing, you can add some chicken or turkey broth before baking. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Comparing a Bread Stuffing and Turkey Stuffing Recipe

Bread StuffingTurkey Stuffing
TasteMore flavorful due to added herbs and spices.Milder flavor due to cooking inside the bird.
TextureFirmer texture due to being baked separately.Softer texture due to the moisture from the turkey.
Preparation TimeQuicker and easier to make.Takes longer to prepare since it has to be stuffed inside the turkey.

Whether you prefer bread stuffing or turkey stuffing, the key is to make sure it is cooked thoroughly to prevent any foodborne illness.

Alternative Cooking Methods: Slow Cooker Dressing Recipe

If you’re short on oven space or want a more hands-off approach to cooking your old fashioned dressing, using a slow cooker can be a great option. The slow, steady heat allows the flavors to meld together over time, resulting in a moist and flavorful dressing that’s sure to please. Here’s how to adapt our old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe for slow cooker cooking:

  1. Prepare the bread as directed in Section 4, crumbling it into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the bread with the other dressing ingredients as directed in Section 5.
  3. Grease the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Spoon the dressing mixture into the slow cooker, smoothing it out into an even layer.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Once the dressing is fully cooked, give it a stir to fluff it up a bit. If the dressing seems too dry, you can moisten it with a bit of chicken or turkey broth.
  6. Serve the dressing hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

One of the advantages of using a slow cooker is that you can prepare the dressing ahead of time and let it cook while you focus on other aspects of your Thanksgiving meal. It’s also a great option for potluck dinners or other gatherings where oven space may be limited.

Tip: If you’re cooking for a large crowd, you may need to double the recipe and use a larger slow cooker to ensure there’s enough dressing to go around.

While the slow cooker method may not result in the same crispy top as oven-baked dressing, the convenience and ease of preparation make it a valuable alternative. Experiment with our old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe in a slow cooker and discover a new way to enjoy this classic dish.

Serving and Pairing Old-Fashioned Dressing

Once your old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing is perfectly baked, it’s time to think about serving and pairing it with other delicious Thanksgiving dishes. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your dressing:

  • Pair the dressing with roasted turkey for a classic and delicious combination.
  • For a vegetarian option, serve the dressing alongside roasted vegetables or a hearty salad.
  • Consider adding cranberry sauce to your plate to complement the savory flavors of the dressing.
  • For extra indulgence, top your dressing with gravy or a drizzle of melted butter.

No matter how you choose to serve your old fashioned dressing, be sure to give it the spotlight it deserves. This nostalgic and delicious dish is a beloved part of Thanksgiving history, and it’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of bread or additional ingredients to create a unique and personalized version of the old fashioned dressing recipe. The possibilities are endless!

Tips and Variations for This Turkey Dressing

Looking to put your own spin on an old fashioned dressing recipe? Here are some tips and variations to try:

  • Experiment with different types of bread, such as sourdough or rye, to add a unique flavor to your dressing.
  • Add some spice to your dressing with a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • Include some chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts, for added texture and flavor.
  • Make a cornbread dressing by substituting cornbread for the bread in the recipe. This is a classic variation that is popular in the Southern United States.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try combining some of these variations to create a truly unique and delicious dressing.

Tip: If you’re worried about your dressing becoming too dry, consider adding a bit of chicken or vegetable broth to the recipe. This will help keep the dressing moist and flavorful.

Whether you stick with the classic recipe or try one of these variations, an old fashioned dressing is sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving table. Enjoy!

Sticking a Fork in This Old Fashioned Stuffing Recipe

As we conclude our exploration of an old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe, we hope we’ve inspired you to try this classic dish. The aroma of sage, the taste of bread stuffing and old fashioned cornbread, and the pleasure of a homemade dressing will take you back to the good old days.

Tips and Variations for Old Fashioned Dressing

If you’re looking for a way to customize your old fashioned dressing recipe, consider some of these tipe:

  1. Bread Choices: While day-old white bread is traditional, feel free to experiment with other types such as cornbread, sourdough, or a mix of several types. Just ensure they’re slightly stale or toasted for the best texture.
  2. Add-ins:
    • Fruits: Consider adding dried cranberries, chopped apples, or golden raisins for a sweet touch.
    • Nuts: Toasted pecans or walnuts can add a delightful crunch.
    • Meat: Sautéed sausage or crumbled bacon can elevate the flavor profile.
  3. Fresh Herbs: If you have access to fresh herbs, use them! Fresh sage, thyme, and marjoram can replace the dried ones. Just remember to usually triple the amount when switching from dried to fresh.
  4. Vegetable Variations: You can add other vegetables like diced carrots or bell peppers for added color and flavor.
  5. Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare the dressing a day in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and bake it on Thanksgiving Day. This not only saves time but also allows the flavors to meld beautifully.
  6. Vegan/Vegetarian Version: Replace the butter with a plant-based alternative and use vegetable broth instead of chicken or turkey broth. Omit the eggs or use a vegan egg substitute for binding.
  7. Gluten-Free Version: Use gluten-free bread and ensure that any added ingredients or variations are gluten-free as well.
  8. Moisture Levels: Some families prefer a drier dressing, while others love it more moist. Adjust the amount of broth to suit your preference. Starting with less is always safer—you can always add more if needed.
  9. Cooking in Turkey: If you prefer to cook your dressing inside your turkey, remember that it will take on a lot of the turkey’s juices, so you might want to reduce the amount of broth you add initially.

Serving and Pairing Old Fashioned Dressing

When it comes to serving and pairing your old fashioned dressing, there are numerous options to consider. You could serve it alongside roasted turkey, or pair it with gravy for a delicious side dish. For vegetarian guests, it could be the star dish on the table. And for another option, you could bake it in a dish alongside other vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potatoes.


In conclusion, our old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe is a fantastic way to experience the charm of the past. With a blend of nostalgic flavors and traditions, this classic recipe can bring warmth and happiness to your holiday meal. We hope you enjoy creating and tasting it, and that it becomes a staple of your Thanksgiving traditions for years to come.


Can I make the old fashioned Thanksgiving dressing recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dressing ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. Just make sure to cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap.

Can I freeze the old fashioned dressing?

Yes, you can freeze the dressing. Once it has cooled completely, pack it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Can I add extra ingredients to the recipe?

Absolutely! The old fashioned dressing recipe is versatile, and you can add extra ingredients to suit your taste. Some popular additions include diced apples, cranberries, or even sausage for a savory twist.

Can I use gluten-free bread for the dressing?

Yes, you can use gluten-free bread to make the old fashioned dressing. Just make sure to choose a gluten-free bread that has a similar texture to regular bread for the best results.

Can I substitute poultry seasoning with other spices?

If you don’t have poultry seasoning on hand, you can create your own blend using a combination of dried sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. Adjust the amounts according to your taste preferences.

Can I make the dressing without eggs?

Yes, you can make the old fashioned dressing without eggs. Simply omit the eggs from the recipe, and the dressing will still turn out delicious. The eggs help bind the ingredients together but are not necessary for the overall taste.

How long does it take to bake the old fashioned dressing?

The baking time for the old fashioned dressing will depend on the size of your baking dish and the desired level of crispness. Generally, it takes about 30-45 minutes at 350°F (175°C) until the top is golden brown and the center is heated through.

Can I use the dressing as a stuffing for the turkey?

While the old fashioned dressing can be used as a stuffing for the turkey, it is important to ensure that the internal temperature of both the turkey and the stuffing reaches a safe temperature of 165°F (74°C) to prevent any foodborne illnesses.

Can I make the dressing vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can easily make the old fashioned dressing vegetarian or vegan. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and substitute butter with a plant-based alternative. Make sure to check the labels of any pre-packaged ingredients for animal products.

Can I reheat the leftovers?

Yes, you can reheat the leftover dressing in the oven or microwave. To reheat in the oven, cover the dish with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes until heated through. To reheat in the microwave, place a portion in a microwave-safe dish and heat at 1-minute intervals until desired temperature is reached.

Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Dressing

Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Savor the comforting flavors of Thanksgiving with this moist, herb-rich, old-fashioned dressing that pairs perfectly with roast turkey.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Thanksgiving
Keyword: Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe
Servings: 10 servings



  • 1 loaf day-old white bread cubed (about 10 cups)
  • 2 cups celery finely chopped
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried sage or to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram optional
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion; sauté until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine bread cubes, sautéed celery, and onions.
  • Stir in salt, pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram (if using), and parsley.
  • Gradually add broth to the bread mixture until moistened but not soggy. Adjust the amount of broth based on your preference.
  • Mix in the beaten eggs until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to the 9×13-inch baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.


Serve with roast turkey and other Thanksgiving favorites!
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