Recipe: Easy 5-Ingredient Shortcut Stuffing

Recipe: Easy 5-Ingredient Shortcut Stuffing

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Grace Elkus
Nov 12, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

My family always hosts Thanksgiving, which gives us the chance, once a year, to flaunt our best techniques and our tastiest, over-the-top dishes. But it's often the simplest dish on the table that everyone goes back for seconds of. Over time, I've learned that using more ingredients does not always equate to a better-tasting or more impressive dish. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Out of all the dishes on the table, stuffing is the one you likely don't make any other time of year. It literally tastes like Thanksgiving, and the holiday isn't complete without it. This five-ingredient recipe results in the classic, nostalgic stuffing you crave — one step up from a box of Stove Top, but just as easy to make.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Smart Supermarket Shortcuts Make for the Easiest Stuffing Ever

This stuffing recipe is so easy, you barely have to measure anything. Start by tossing a stick of butter into your largest saucepan. When it's melted, throw in some celery. Instead of wrangling with a big head of it, grab the box of pre-cut celery, which you can slice up in seconds.

When the celery is all buttery and tender, in goes the broth (just pour in the entire one-quart box) and a few tablespoons of our secret ingredient: savory herb and garlic soup mix. The pre-made blend of garlic and herbs adds that quintessential Thanksgiving stuffing flavor without having to chop any fresh herbs or aromatics. It's pure genius.

Last but not least, the bread. Most stuffing recipes begin by having you dry out cubes of bread in the oven, which allows them to soak in more of the flavor-packed broth. This recipe starts with store-bought croutons instead (often sold in the grocery store's bakery section), so you can skip the step of drying out the bread entirely.

You can serve this right away, or transfer it to a casserole dish and bake until warmed through and crispy on top. Either way, I guarantee everyone will love it just as much as any stuffing you've spent way longer preparing.

The Best Easy Stuffing

Serves 8 to 10

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more if baking

  • 1 pound

    pre-cut celery sticks, diced (about 3 1/2 cups)

  • 1 (32-ounce) box

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

  • 2 tablespoons

    Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix (from a 2.4-ounce box)

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    bakery croutons (about 20 cups)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth and soup mix, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the croutons, and toss until all the croutons are evenly moistened.

If serving immediately: Cover and let the stuffing stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

If baking: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter. Transfer the stuffing to the dish, spread into an even layer, and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter that are cut into small pieces. Butter a piece of aluminum foil and cover the baking dish with it, buttered-side down. Bake until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Recipe Notes

Halving the recipe: If serving a smaller crowd, this recipe can easily be halved. Use 4 tablespoons butter, 8 ounces celery, 1 (14.5-ounce) can low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon soup mix, and 12 ounces bakery croutons. Bake in an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Make ahead: The stuffing can be completely assembled, topped with butter, covered tightly with buttered aluminum foil, and refrigerated overnight. When ready to bake, let the baking dish sit out at room temperature while the oven heats. Bake for the same amount of time.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days of frozen for up to 1 month.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
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