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Homemade Stovetop Stuffing Recipes With Easy Variations

Karen Frazier
Stuffing in a bowl

It's easy to make a variety of moist and flavorful stuffings on the stovetop. Regardless of your culinary tastes or your dietary needs, there's a stovetop stuffing to suit your tastes and needs.

Traditional Stovetop Stuffing

Sure you can buy stovetop stuffing in a box, but it will never be as good as when you make it homemade with your own herbs, spices, and flavorings. This traditional version is tasty and reasonably easy to make. This makes four to six servings.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 2 tablespoons fat (duck fat, bacon grease, lard, chicken fat, or avocado oil)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven until the bread is golden brown, about five minutes. Cool completely before proceeding.
  3. In a large pot, heat the fat on medium-high until it shimmers.
  4. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, about five minutes.
  5. Add the butter and cook until melted, just a minute or two.
  6. Add the bread and cook, stirring, until the bread is coated with the fat.
  7. Add the broth, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for one minute, stirring, to allow the bread to be coated with the stock. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to stand for ten minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the parsley just before serving.

Variations and Tips

  • Using a combination of white, sourdough, and whole grain breads adds texture and flavor.
  • You can also use an equal amount of cornbread cubes. Or, combine cornbread with white and/or wheat breads for variations in taste and texture.
  • Add 1 peeled, cored, and chopped apple when you add the vegetables.
  • Before adding the vegetables, cook ½ pound chopped bacon in the pan, omitting the 2 tablespoons of fat. Remove the bacon from the fat in the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a platter. Proceed with the recipe as written using the bacon. Return the bacon to the pot just before serving or serve the stuffing sprinkled with the bacon.
  • Add ½ cup of toasted pecans to the stuffing just before serving.
  • Keep a little extra unsalted butter and/or broth on hand and use it to adjust the moisture of the finished stuffing by adding it after the final step to get stuffing that meets your requirements for moisture.
  • If you love mushrooms, then try a simple variation to add great mushroom flavor to your stuffing. Before you begin cooking, bring the chicken broth to a boil and remove from the heat. Stir in one 1-ounce package of dried porcini mushrooms, cover, and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the broth and chop them. Add the chopped mushrooms with the vegetables in step 4, and then add the mushroom broth in step 6.
  • Add ½ cup of dried cranberries to the pot in step 7 when you add the broth.
  • Fresh herbs add the best flavors, but you can also use dried herbs. Reduce each to 1 teaspoon and add them in step 4 when you add the vegetables.
  • Like spice? Add chopped andouille sausage and red bell peppers. Cook the andouille in the fat in step 3 before you cook the vegetables and cook the veggies. Remove it from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside tented with foil to keep warm. Add 1 seeded, chopped, red bell pepper to the vegetables in step 4. Return the andouille to the pan in step 7 just before you allow it to rest. This is especially good with cornbread stuffing.
Andouille stuffing

Low-Carb or Keto Stovetop Stuffing Variation

If you have a favorite keto bread, then you can replace the bread in this recipe with a commercial keto bread or make your own. You'll also need 1 pound of sage breakfast sausage.

  1. Omit the fat (second ingredient).
  2. Instead, in the large pot, cook the sausage, crumbling with a spoon, until it is well-browned, about five minutes.
  3. Remove the sausage from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate, tented with foil to keep warm.
  4. Continue the recipe from step 4 above using the fat from the sausage to cook the vegetables.
  5. Put the sausage back into the stuffing after you take it off the stove and before you cover and rest it.

Gluten-Free Stovetop Stuffing Variation

It's easy to make the stuffing gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free sandwich bread. All other steps and ingredients are the same.

Dairy-Free Stovetop Stuffing Variation

If you're allergic or intolerant to dairy, then you can replace the butter with a dairy-free butter alternative, such as a vegan butter like Earth Balance vegan butter. Other than this simple substitution, follow the recipe above as written.

Vegan Stovetop Stuffing

It's easy to adjust this stuffing to make it vegan, as well.

  • Use avocado or coconut oil as the first ingredient.
  • Choose a vegan bread, such as Dave's Killer Bread to make the bread cubes.
  • Use low-sodium vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Replace the butter with a vegan butter alternative, such as Earth Balance.

Stuffing on the Stovetop for Everyone!

There are so many ways you can adjust a basic stovetop stuffing recipe that it's easy to make one that suits your family's tastes and dietary needs. There's no need to sacrifice flavor when you don't have time to cooking stuffing in the oven. These easy recipes allow you to make delicious stuffing you'll be proud to serve.

Homemade Stovetop Stuffing Recipes With Easy Variations