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Semi-Homemade Stuffing

I LOVE stuffing. Seriously love it. I love it even more with this semi-homemade dressing recipe made with stuffing from a box. It will help you get this holiday favorite on the Thanksgiving table in no time. 

overhead picture of silver pan of dressing for thanksgiving table

Better Stuffing from a Box!

You will love the ease and versatility of this recipe and your guests will love the end result. Anytime I can save some time with a semi-homemade hack I am a happy girl.

I promise no one will ever know that you didn’t cube and toast that bread yourself. Make friends with the box and the bag.

I am calling this “stuffing” but it really is a “dressing” as we do not actually stuff the bird.

The origins of stuffing dates back to Britain in the 1500’s and was brought to America. Depending on the region you live in you will find the term dressing and stuffing, along with regional preferences when it comes to bread choice and other additions.

Whatever you name it doesn’t matter, let’s just call it DELICIOUS. If you like this recipe, check out my wild rice stuffing. A gluten free alternative!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
labeled picture of stuffing ingredients including Kraft stove top chicken stuffing mix

Ingredients Needed

Butter – Use unsalted butter, but if you use salted butter decrease your salt to ¼ teaspoon. You can also use margarine if you prefer a non-dairy option.

Onion – This recipe calls for yellow onion but you can also use a white onion. If dicing onions literally makes you cry, you can find pre-chopped onions in the produce section or frozen section of your grocery store.

Celery – You can also find pre-chopped celery in your grocery store and combos of onion and celery – especially around Thanksgiving. This is a great way to save time when you have all that cooking to do!

Fresh herbs – Popular herbs to use in stuffing are rosemary, sage, and thyme. Oregano and parsley would also be great in this recipe.

Boxed Stuffing – This recipe calls for a 6 ounce box of stuffing mix such as StoveTop. You can use any brand.

Herb-seasoned stuffing mix – I prefer Pepperidge Farms Herb-seasoned Classic (blue package). This recipe is semi-homemade because you do not have to prepare the bread crumbs. However, if you MUST toast, you can use your own blend of fresh baked bread crumbs.

Chicken broth – You can also use turkey broth, chicken stock or hot water. The broth or stock gives the stuffing a richer, deeper flavor. If you use water, you may want to up the salt and seasonings.

Pantry staples – Salt, black pepper, garlic powder.

How to Make Semi-Homemade Stuffing

First: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish.

Second: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and minced fresh herbs. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until onions and celery are tender.

Third: In a large bowl, combine box of dry stuffing mix, bag of herbed stuffing mix, chicken broth or 4 cups water, and stuffing vegetables mixture and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.

Fourth: Pour the whole mixture into the prepared 9×13-inch baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil, and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

metal pan filled with cooked stuffing and a red napkin

What is the difference between stuffing and dressing?

The words are used interchangeably, but stuffing refers to being stuffed inside a turkey. Technically this recipe is dressing and is not stuffed inside a turkey, but we’re calling it stuffing anyways.

You will often find that the name of stuffing or dressing is a regional preference.

What can I add to store bought stuffing?

One of the simple ways to make that boxed mix taste homemade is to add some fresh ingredients. Some of my favorite add-ins are dried cranberries, raisins, walnuts, pecans, turkey or chicken sausage, and mushrooms.

If you want to spice it up a bit you can add some diced peppers of your choice. This is especially good in cornbread dressing.

pan with spoon taking a scoop out of it

What is best served with stuffing or dressing?

Stuffing or dressing is such a versatile side dish and goes with so many main courses. Unfortunately, we only usually see it on the holiday table.

But it goes so well with so many main courses because it is the ultimate in comfort food.

Of course the perfect pairing is Thanksgiving turkey, but some of my favorite family dinners to serve with stuffing are pork chops, pork tenderloin, roast chicken, and meatloaf.

hand holding spoon with thanksgiving dressing on it next to a napkin

What are the best boxed or bagged stuffing mixes?

Usually for any recipe I say fresh is best. But stuffing mixes simply make life easier by toasting and seasoning the bread for you.

So in this case, I recommend this semi-homemade hack for dressing that tastes like it was made from scratch.

For this recipe I prefer using Kraft Stove Top stuffing and Pepperidge Farm brands. Pepperidge Farm consistently wins taste tests. You do not have a lot of choices when it comes to stuffing mixes.

A few other brands would be Trader Joe’s, Mrs. Cubbison’s, and generic store brands such as Great Value (Walmart) and 365 (Whole Foods).

Storage

Leftovers – Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also use any leftovers to make these dressing balls!

Freeze – You can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Reheat frozen stuffing – thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.

close up of bowl of herb dressing with a blue and white striped napkin

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Any boxed stuffing will work for this recipe. StoveTop comes in a variety of flavors.
  • I’m using this Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. Using this mix will take this semi-homemade stuffing to the next level.
  • You can use dried herbs but decrease to 1 teaspoon. A good rule of thumb is 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. To make your life easier you can simply use a teaspoon of Italian seasoning or poultry seasoning.
  • Use chicken broth or vegetable broth for best flavor. You can even make homemade turkey broth for turkey stuffing.
  • Use brown butter for a richer flavor.
  • Optional add-ins – cranberries, raisins, walnuts, pecans, sausage, or mushrooms.
  • I don’t recommend you stuff your chicken or turkey with this. Instead, cook in a baking dish and serve on the side.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

spoon of stuffing with white banner and text

Turkey – check! Mashed potatoes – check! Green beans – check! Cranberry sauce – check! And you know Thanksgiving Day would not be the same without that savory stuffing. Make your life easier with this semi-homemade stuffing recipe. Check!

overhead picture of silver pan of stuffing

Stuffing from a Box

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Take boxed stuffing mix to another level. With a few tips and tricks it will taste homemade and the best stuffing recipe you've ever tasted.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (Rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • 1 box StoveTop sage stuffing mix
  • 1 package herb-seasoned classic stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farms blue package)
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with butter or non stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and minced fresh herbs. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until tender.
  3. In a large bowl, combine boxed stuffing mix, bagged stuffing mix, vegetable and herb mixture, and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour into prepared 9x13-inch dish and cover with foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

  • Any boxed stuffing will work for this recipe.
  • I’m using this Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned stuffing mix. Feel free to try any other flavor.
  • Optional add-ins - cranberries, raisins, walnuts, pecans, sausage, or mushrooms.
  • I don’t recommend stuffing the turkey with this. Instead, cook in a baking dish and serve on the side.
  • Leftovers will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or you can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. To reheat - thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.
  • Recommended Products

    This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 539mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

    This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and we can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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