Make Ahead

Best Old-Fashioned Turkey Stuffing Ever

November  6, 2009
7 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

My mom learned the recipe from her mom who learned it working as a housekeeper/cook/maid in the 1930s. It used sage and poultry seasoning, which is key. My brother was the pickiest eater ever and he loves this stuffing, so it's kid-friendly too. —Yateski

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 2 loaves of white bread cubed and put in a large container for mixing
  • 1 liver from the turkey washed off a bit
  • 2 cups chopped celery, remove the strings
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup whole milk (more may be needed later depending on the softness of the stuffing)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sage, plus more to taste (it will smell right when you mix them)
In This Recipe
  1. (Assuming the oven is preheated to the turkey package directions and the turkey is rinsed clean inside and out, patted dry and waiting in the roaster already.) Cube the bread and put it in the large container for mixing. This is something kids can help with. You can cube 3 to 4 pieces stacked at the same time to speed up the process.
  2. Put bread aside. Chop liver into small pieces along with the onion and celery and saute all three in frying pan. Use small pat of butter to get it sauteing. Cook until the onions and celery are getting transparent. Pour sauted items right into the container of bread, melted butter and all.
  3. Crack egg into a small bowl and beat with the cup of milk to make a mixture liquid. Pour this over the bread also.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, sage and parsley to the bread mixture sprinkling on top. You can add more or less of any of these seasonings to match your taste, my mom doesn't measure them, its my best approximation of the quantity. It should smell good to you when the seasoning is right.
  5. Mash all the ingredients together with your hands. Yes really. Until everything is evenly distributed and moist. If the stuffing isn't kinda sticky, add a splash more milk until it gets soft and gooey.
  6. When everything is mixed in properly and smells good, stuff the bird. We pack it in pretty tightly and it ends up expanding a little, but its always a lot better in the bird than in the casserole dish. (adding chicken stock instead of extra milk can help the stuffing if you are not making it in a bird). If you have a small turkey you will have stuffing left over, put this in a casserole dish next to the turkey in the oven. Watch the stuffing so it doesn't burn, and cover with foil, it may only need 30 minutes to cook, but check to make sure its cooked through.
  7. We don't dress the bird in any fancy way, just sprinkle skin with salt, pepper, sage and poultry seasoning and a drizzle of melted butter and then in the oven it goes, as directed by the turkey packaging. You can tie up the legs and other fancy stuff if you like. Happy Thanksgiving!

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