Thanksgiving, it’s time to think outside the bird… This year, make a stuffing that is cooked in the oven, not inside the turkey, for a new side that everyone will love, Thanksgiving dressing. The delicious flavors in this chicken dressing recipe make a cozy, carb-filled side dish that will make your mouth water.

Outside the Bird Stuffing | Kita Roberts

As much as I love a carving of juicy turkey, there’s something so satisfying about loading my plate up with all of the incredible side dishes on Thanksgiving. But let me tell you, this Thanksgiving Dressing has me wanting to load up my plate with only dressing. Nothing else. It’s that good. 

Seriously, once you try this incredible Thanksgiving Dressing, you won’t be serving it only over the holidays. You’ll be finding every excuse to make it! Need a side dish for meatloaf? Dressing. Want something to serve alongside chicken or pork chops? Stuffing. Needing a delicious snack? Stuffing.

What’s the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

When you’re cooking it inside the turkey, stuffing is used as a filling for the bird’s cavity. The mixture of bread and veggies provides a hearty side dish that keeps your Thanksgiving guests full all night long.

If you’re serving outside the bird, it’s dressing! This means that traditional Thanksgiving dressing takes on a life of its own and is transformed into the ultimate comfort food. It’s sweet, savory, and incredibly filling. The top is crispy while the inside is the perfect texture.

What You Need For Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Because this chicken dressing recipe only needs a few common ingredients, it makes for a great cheap Thanksgiving recipe. The best part is that it’s super-easy to double or triple if you’re cooking for more people. What you want to gather:

  • Cubed Bread – a hearty country white bread is perfect for your thanksgiving dressing recipe.
  • Butter – use unsalted butter so you can control the saltiness of the finished product.
  • Onion and Celery – create an aromatic flavor base for our dish.
  • Garlic – four cloves of freshly minced garlic adds the perfect kick of flavor.
  • Seasoning – I use Bells seasoning, but if you can’t find it feel free to swap it out for a mix of sage and thyme.
  • Chicken Broth – I recommend a low-sodium chicken broth so it’s not too salty.
  • Soy Sauce – a little bit of soy sauce adds just the right amount of umami flavor.
  • Eggs – eggs help hold everything together to make the dressing into more of a casserole.
  • Half-and-Half – adds tons of richness and moisture.
  • Parsley – use fresh parsley for the best flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper – brings out flavor and adds just a touch of extra heat.

How to Make Thanksgiving Dressing

Distribute the breadcrumbs evenly between two baking sheets. Bake at 325ºF until golden, stirring and switching pans halfway through. Set aside to cool.

Outside the Bird Stuffing | Kita Roberts PassTheSushi

In a skillet, melt butter and add the onions and celery. Cook until softened, then add the garlic and seasoning followed by the broth and soy sauce. Simmer until thickened, then cool for 10 minutes.

Outside the Bird Stuffing | Kita Roberts PassTheSushi

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and half-and-half. Whisk in the broth mixture, then add the breadcrumbs. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Pour the whole mixture into a greased baking dish, then bake for 50 minutes. 

Outside the Bird Stuffing | Kita Roberts PassTheSushi

What Are Some Things You Can Add to Stuffing?

This Thanksgiving dressing is delicious as-is, but if you’re looking to add some other flavors feel free to sauté peppers or mushrooms with the onion and celery, add a sprinkle of cooked bacon at the end, or play around with herbs and spices to customize.

Tips and Notes

  • Cube the bread into ½” chunks. This is the perfect size to soak up the moisture without becoming way too soggy. 
  • Bake in an even layer. We want all the bread cubes to get a little bit toasty, so make sure they’re all getting some heat.
  • Rotate the pans. Halfway through the baking time, swap each pan from the bottom rack to the top rack and vice versa for even baking.
  • Make it vegetarian/vegan. Simply swap the chicken broth for veggie stock and use your favorite vegan butter.

What Should I Serve with Thanksgiving Dressing?

Just like any other classic Thanksgiving side dish, this stuffing is perfect served next to a big roast turkey (of course), a delicious pumpkin pie martini, and any of your favorite holiday sides. Here are a few of my favorites:

Can You Make Dressing the Day Before Thanksgiving?

You can definitely make this dish a days in advance. Just cover the dish with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to store. You can then bake it when you’re ready for dinner!

Because this recipe bakes in a casserole dish, it’s easy to keep warm without burning or drying out. If you want to serve this for a party, you can also heat up the stove and keep the dish warm in a pot.

How do I reheat this stuffing recipe?

Leftovers can be placed in a microwave or oven-safe baking dish and warmed on a low heat until thoroughly rewarmed. If it is a bit dry you can bring it back to life with a bit of vegetable broth.


How do I store my leftover stuffing?

Leftover stuffing will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

When you’re ready to reheat, place the leftovers into a microwave or oven-safe baking dish and warm on low heat until cooked through. If it’s a bit dry you can bring it back to life with a splash of veggie broth!

More delicious recipes to try

If you’ve tried this recipe or any other recipe on please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivoreTwitter Facebook.

Outside the Bird Stuffing | Kita Roberts PassTheSushi

Thanksgiving Dressing (Stuffing outside of the bird)

This Thanksgiving Dressing is an outside-the-bird recipe and an incredibly satisfying holiday side dish. It’s a delicious, cozy, carb-filled dish that will make your mouth water!
4.92 from 46 votes
Print Pin Rate
Author: Kita Roberts
1 hour 25 minutes
Serves: 10 servings


  • 24 oz loaf hearty country white bread - cut into 1/2? cubes
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 onions - chopped
  • 3 celery stalks - trimmed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves - minced
  • 3 tsp Bells seasoning - if you can’t find Bells, use a mix of sage and thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup fresh snipped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper


  • Adjust the racks in your oven to the middle top and middle bottom position. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  • Arrange the bread cubes on two baking sheets in even layers. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden. Stir the bread and switch pans halfway through baking. Set aside to cool. 
  • Meanwhile, grease a 9 x 13" pan and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, melt 4 tbs butter over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook for 10 minutes, until starting to softened and turn golden. 
  • Add the garlic and Bells seasoning. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. 
  • Stir in the broth and soy sauce. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool 10 minutes.
  • Whisk the eggs, half and half, and parsley in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the broth mixture. 
  • Fold in all of the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat all. Let sit for 20 minutes until bread is soaked with the liquid mixture (some will still be in the bowl).
  • Pour the bread mix into the prepared pan. 
  • Melt the remaining butter and drizzle over the stuffing. 
  • Bake on lower middle rack for 50 minutes, until top is crispy. Serve warm.


Cook’s Holiday Entertaining


Serving: 1g | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 1202mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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dressing in white dish


  1. I didn’t grow up with stuffing and haven’t ever enjoyed it because if not cooked properly it can be so slimy and mushy. That’s one reason I like the whole dressing thing better. It’s those crunchy cubes of flavored bread that just make you want to pick them off the baking dish before it hits the table. I made some dressing yesterday and had an epiphany while I was photographing it … breakfast. Top a serving of stuffing with a sunny-side up egg. Yeah, I’m good.

  2. Yes, it’s always called stuffing! Stove top is called stuffing and that most certainly was never inside of a turkey!

    1. I just cracked up at the idea of someone putting stove top in a bird. I guarantee it’s been done more than once.

  3. I definitely call it stuffing no matter what. To me dressing is what you put on a salad. And don’t worry I got the Super Troops/Willy Wonka reference

  4. Well call ours stuffing too, but we don’t stuff with it. Guess I never thought about that til just now. Dressing just sounds not food-ish, right? Any-who this looks to die for! Loving the big chunks of bread!!

  5. 5 stars
    No more stuffing that poor bird n it’s what’s on the outside that makes this bird so yummy n evenly cooked!! I did a trial run before I made it for the family n relatives !! We had 22 people for our day of thanks n even my bird was thankfull by tasting so good n then the stuffing was a hit outside the bird!! No one at our table will ever bake their stuffing inside their bird!!! It’s guaranteed not to send you to the hospital just reheated untill none is pelt!! Thank for sharring your recipe n keeping Thanksgivings safe n delicious n all the furture turkeys thank you tooo!!! Gobble Good!!!!!! Have a Wonderful tasty Thanksgiving !!!!
    Cheryl n Ron

  6. 5 stars
    Just tried this recipe for Stuffing outside the Bird at a FriendsGiving feast as the host usually smokes the turkey. Was received very well. Was afraid it would be too ‘mushy’ as we really soaked it, but it came out of the oven wonderfully golden brown and crispy on top. Everyone loved it, including the host, who usually hates stuffing but makes Stovetop for his wife every year!

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