Monday, January 12, 2009

Homemade Herb Bread Dressing (Stuffing)

For those who aren't fond of cornbread dressing, and yes, there are some even here in the Deep South who don't, this bread and herb stuffing mix will fill the bill!

Homemade Herb Bread Dressing (Stuffing)

Is it stuffing? Or is it dressing? Does it really matter? Course not!

It's really the same to me - just depends on the presentation, as far as I'm concerned. I say if it's cooked in the bird, it's "stuffing;" if it's cooked in a separate dish, its "dressing." Whatever you call, we sure love it!

I don't generally stuff the bird these days since all those warnings about it - they say because the stuffing supposedly doesn't reach a high enough temperature for long enough, which after sitting inside of a raw turkey ... is a breeding ground for bacteria. Still, my Mama always stuffed the bird, and to me that was the BEST stuffing ever, so I ate it growing up all my life and well, I never got sick and I'm still here walkin' and breathin' to talk about it! Still, I guess just to err on the side of caution, we all seem to just stuff the bird with herbs and aromatics these days and keep the dressing/stuffing as a separate side casserole.

Now. Let me clarify something here first. This is basically the way my Mama always made her bread stuffing, using the Pepperidge Farm seasoned stuffing package and some freshly sauteed veggies. Yes. I said bread stuffing. Stuffing because she stuffed her bird and put the rest in a side dish. Bread, not cornbread. She just did not make cornbread dressing, and yes, she was a born and bred true southerner, so before y'all start throwing down that Southern Shame Card that "no real southerner would make a bread dressing,", I invite you to go read this. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Now that we've cleared that up, let's carry on shall we? Mama didn't have the Bell's seasoning of course, and until recently (Walmart carries it during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season) I have been making a homemade copycat version, or ordering mine online at Amazon, but she did use some of the same basic seasonings that Bell's contains, so while it may not be a perfect match to Mama's it's pretty close.

If you're one who does not care for cornbread dressing, and even if you're a southerner, understand that's okay! I hope that you'll enjoy this version instead. Of course dressing usually graces most tables during the holidays, but you don't have to wait until then to serve it because it goes just as well along side a beef roast or a roasted chicken or hen, so go ahead and enjoy it anytime! Just halve this recipe for a regular meal sized side dish.

Be sure to check out my 7 Top Tips to Perfect Your Holiday Stuffing and the rest of my Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas recipes. Just click on any of those links.

For more of my favorite dressing and stuffing recipes, pop over to my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Homemade Herb Bread Dressing (Stuffing)

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Bell's seasoning, or the copycat seasonings below
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 5 to 6 cups turkey or chicken stock, more or less
  • About 10 cups crumbled, dried breads (or 2 (14 ounce) packages herb seasoned stuffing mix like Pepperidge Farm)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9 x 13 inch glass baking pan; set aside.

In a pot or tall sided skillet, saute the onion and celery in the butter until soft but not browned. Stir in the pepper, Bell's seasoning, and poultry seasoning. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place the breads or stuffing mix in a large bowl, add the veggie mixture, stir and pour two cups of the broth all over. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the beaten eggs and mix well. This is where you fix the consistency, adding more broth as needed. If you want a fluffy stuffing like that above, you'll use less broth. If you prefer a wetter stuffing, add additional broth as needed to reach desired consistency. Remember that the dressing will puff up while cooking. Lightly spoon it into the casserole dish, but do not pack!

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until heated through. For a moister stuffing, baked covered. For a drier stuffing with a crunchy top, bake uncovered.

Cook's Notes: Mama loved Pepperidge Farm so that's what she used. If you use equal parts of well toasted leftover rolls, biscuits or bread, or toasted slices of store-bought sliced bread, roughly crumbled, taste before adding the eggs to see if you need to bump up the seasoning since you are not using the pre-seasoned crumbs. Use the seasonings below for a total of 2 teaspoons, taste and adjust.

How to fix a too dry or too wet cooked stuffing: If you find your stuffing is too dry, add additional warmed broth to it, stir well, and return to the oven, checking periodically. If the stuffing is overly wet and too gummy, cook it uncovered for a bit longer, checking periodically.

Bell's Seasoning Copycat
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

4-1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
4 teaspoons dried oregano
3-3/4 teaspoons dried sage
3-1/2 teaspoons ground dried ginger
3 teaspoons dried marjoram
2-3/4 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper

Mix together and grind to fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder.

Bell's seasoning is great as a seasoning for meats and is excellent in meatloaf and burgers also!

Makes about 1/2 cup


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©Deep South Dish

Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern Cornbread and Oyster Dressing
Chicken and Cornbread Dressing
Posted by on January 12, 2009

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