Classic Stuffing in Cast Iron

One more day! I cannot find one thing not perfect about the concept of stuffing. It’s bread that’s been doused in butter and rich stock, then tossed with softened vegetables and fresh herbs, then baked until crispy all over. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I am a Thanksgiving purist. You can keep your andouille sausage and dried fruits out of my stuffing, thank you very much. I define classic stuffing as if the Stove Top box were to magically turn into fresh versions of those ingredients.

Now, for all you food nerds, yes yes yes–I know this is technically called “dressing” because I didn’t make it STUFFED inside of the bird but come on, the picture below is what people associate with the word stuffing. Don’t make me call my dish, dressing.

Okay, how is my recipe any better or any different? The portions of all of these classic ingredients are weighted in a way to result in an extremely moist stuffing and it’s cooked with a method that results in a stuffing with the most crispy edges possible. You don’t want to have a crispy edge that came from a dry piece of bread. If the bread loses its moisture completely in the baking process, it will just continue to harden and become the texture of a super hard crouton. No one wants to break a tooth on Thanksgiving because of the bad kind of “crispy.” Instead, think of the edges of a deep dish pizza–crispy, chewy, and moist, all at the same time. All the while, the center of our stuffing remains almost bread pudding-like.

In order to achieve this glorious contrast of textures, I make my stuffing in a cast iron skillet. It reaches an amazing high heat yet allows the food to cook evenly throughout because it holds such consistent temperature as it bakes and gets no hot or cold spots. And besides, nothing looks cooler when cooking than if its in a cast iron skillet. Of course, you can go sans cast iron and make this dish in a classic baking dish but I might give you a touch of side eye, if you do. Just kidding. Click through below for the full recipe! 


Classic Stuffing in Cast Iron
Serves 8
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Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  2. 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  3. 4 stalks celery with tops, finely chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh sage1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  6. 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  7. 4 stalks celery with tops, finely chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  9. 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  10. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  11. 1/2 cup fresh italian parsley, finely chopped
  12. 4 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey stock (or broth)
  13. 2 eggs
  14. 12 cups stale white bread, cut into 1/2 cubes (see notes)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Prepare the vegetable, butter and herb mixture. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, sage, and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. Approximately 1 teaspoon of each. Cook vegetables until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a low boil, about 5 more minutes. Set aside.
  3. Mix the stuffing. In a large mixing bowl, whisk both eggs with fresh parsley. Add the bread to the bowl then drizzle in vegetable and broth mixture slowly, while stirring gently to combine. Keep the stirring light! You don't want the bread to break up too much.
  4. Bake stuffing. Once bread is evenly coated with liquid and vegetables are also evenly incorporated, transfer the stuffing into a 12" cast iron skillet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove foil and continue to bake for 40 minutes or until dark golden brown on top and around edges.
  1. If you need to speed along the process of drying the bread because you haven't prepared in advance for this step, dry the bread in the oven! Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Cube the bread, per the specifications in the recipe and spread out in one layer on baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes at this low heat, turning frequently until golden and dry. Proceed with step 3.
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  1. I made this Wednesday reheated it Thursday, and it was great. I did the bake the bread 12 cups before. this took 2 hours on Wednesday. I was not going to use store bought cubs as some people suggested. Having never done something like this before, thought I might as well go all the way. every one thought it was funny I was going to try and do this. It was the first dish we ran out of on Thanksgiving. it was not hard to make. Thanks for putting this recipe on the internet

  2. Outstanding post it is surely. I’ve been searching for this information.

  3. Lora L Morrison says

    So excited to try this. My Grandmother was not one to use a recipe so we have not had her dressing since she passed over 20 years ago. This one sounds a lot like hers and she ALWAYS sat her bread out to dry prior to making it in a cast iron skillet. Can’t wait! Thank you so much for your post.