I never liked dressing when I was growing up… then one day I as I got older I tried Stovetop and it was the best! I dunno… homemade dressing often tasted like bread with seasoning while Stovetop was a flavor explosion filled with salt, butter and potentially crack.
With that said I set-off on an expedition to make my own dressing that was similar to Stovetop but of course homemade and better tasting. The basic dressing recipes are great and all but I wanted to make sure I made the best tasting dressing for the Stovetop lovers and also for the purists. After much trial and error I came up with the Tesla of dressing recipes (see what I did there… Hybrid… Tesla… not funny I guess).
Now, if you want a dressing recipe that has walnuts or cranberries or peaches or halibut then I ask you now to leave… stop trying to ruin a good thing… like you people trying to tell me Kale tastes good… no mom, it doesn’t, go to your room.
So how do you make the best easy dressing recipe? Well sit tight and let’s make it happen. As with most recipes I make, this one is pretty easy, just get some ingredients and follow a few instructions!
What is the difference between dressing and stuffing? Great question… it really is just how it is prepared as stuffing is “stuffed” inside the bird and cooked that way. Where dressing is just the dressing cooked any way outside of the bird. With all of that said… let’s get you to the best simple dressing recipe you will find.
Fresh or Dry Herbs?
Fresh is always best of course… however if you are in a rush or just want to make it simple and easy then definitely feel free to use your herbs from your little canisters. Fresh will taste slightly better but then again some people overly use the fresh herbs and it tastes like potpourri… so you won’t overseason with dried herbs if you go that route!
How do you substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs? Well, the general rule is to use 1/3rd the dried amount that you were using fresh. So 1 tablespoon of fresh basil would be 1/3 a tbsp of dried basil… or a tsp since 3 tsps equals 1 tbsp. Thus, the fresh herbs to dried herbs ratio is 3:1.
What bread do you use for dressing? Well… you really can use any you would like and for the sake of this website’s mantra (quick, easy) I am using cheap whole wheat sandwich bread. You can of course use baguettes, sourdough, french bread or really anything standard from the bakery… but simple & cheap grab that $1.50 grocery store whole wheat bread and let’s get cooking.
Do You Need To Dry The Bread?
Short answer is yes… if not it will get too mushy and I love mushy but, it will still be perfect and moist don’t you worry.
To dry the bread: cut your bread into 1 inch cubes and ideally leave it out for 24+ hours. OR you can toast it and put them on a baking sheet at 250 degrees for 45 minutes. With that said, I want ALL of my dressing to be moist so I lean on drying less than more thus I normally will leave it out for 24 hours vs. toast it in the oven.
Extra Tip: If making a turkey, normally it is at 350, so I will place the dressing on the top rack for the last 50 minutes. I also will baste the dressing with a few squirts of the turkey juices when you are basting the turkey.
Classic Dressing Recipe For Dummies
- 1 loaf whole wheat bread Be sure to see above regarding drying it and types of bread.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup butter
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 1/2 cups celery, diced thin
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely minced Or 1/3 of that if using dried.
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely minced Or 1/3 of that if using dried.
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely minced No sticks! Or 1/3 of that if using dried.
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely minced No sticks! Or 1/3 of that if using dried.
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3-4 tbsp water from turkey roasting pan
Bread Drying (The Day Before)
- Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.Dry bread for 24+ hours in a bowl on the counter. OR bake it at 250 for 45 minutes the day of or day before then put it in a large bowl.
Day of Dressing Creation
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease (or use cooking spray) a large baking dish.
- Melt butter on a large skillet and over medium heat and saute vegetables until softened, around 5 minutes. Pour into the bowl with the bread and add the herbs & seasonings then mix together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then add in the chicken broth and mix together then pour that over the bread as well and mix all together.
- Pour into the greased baking dish and cover with foil. Cook covered for 40 minutes and then remove the foil to cook for the final 10 minutes or until the middle is cooked and set.