Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling

published Nov 12, 2023
Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling Recipe

Mashed potatoes meet stuffing in this new classic Thanksgiving side dish.

Serves8 to 10

Prep20 minutes

Cook1 hour 30 minutes

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Potato stuffing in a casserole baking dish with a serving spoon.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

This recipe is a part of Spudsgiving, featuring the very best mashed, roasted, and casserole’d potato recipes you can make this holiday season.

Imagine a cozy casserole that has the creamy texture of mashed potatoes with the crisp and chewy bites of stuffing. Well, you don’t have to imagine it any longer! Meet: my mom’s Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling. It’s a literal mash-up of mashed potatoes and stuffing, all in one dish. Don’t get me wrong — my dad’s mashed potatoes are as fluffy as a cloud, but I can’t resist this dish at Thanksgiving. This year, you won’t think twice about putting more than just one type of potato dish on the table.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Ingredients in Potato Filling

  • Russet potatoes: Serve as the base for the mashed potatoes.
  • Potato bread: My mom uses potato bread for its rich, buttery flavor and fluffy texture. 
  • Aromatics: Onion, celery, and garlic form the main flavor base. 
  • Fresh herbs: My mom doesn’t always use sage and thyme, but I like the familiar and cozy holiday flavor they bring to the dish. 
  • Poultry seasoning: My mom insists on using this seasoning. Its main ingredients are dried sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, nutmeg, and onion powder. Don’t skip it — it adds a nice herby flavor to the dish.
  • Chicken broth: My mom opts for chicken broth to add an almost gravy-like flavor to the dish.
  • Unsalted butter: Let the butter sit at room temperature while you boil the potatoes. It’ll melt faster when combined with the mashed potatoes.
  • Milk: Use whole milk for a richer flavor.
  • Eggs: Help moisten the dried bread cubes and keep the bread fluffy as it bakes.

If You’re Making Potato Filling, a Few Tips

  • Start with a half cup of broth. I call for adding a 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the bread cubes, which should be just moistened, not soggy. You can add up to an extra 1/4 cup if needed. It’s OK if some dry spots remain — just make sure that the bread doesn’t break apart. 
  • Make sure the potatoes aren’t completely mashed. Mash only a few times to ensure that pieces of potato remain, and the texture is not too smooth.

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling Recipe

Mashed potatoes meet stuffing in this new classic Thanksgiving side dish.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 cup

    whole milk

  • 2

    large eggs

  • About 10 ounces potato sandwich bread (8 to 9 slices, about 1/2 loaf)

  • 3 pounds

    russet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2

    large stalks celery

  • 3

    cloves garlic

  • 5

    sprigs fresh parsley

  • 8

    large or 12 medium fresh sage leaves

  • 2

    sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 1 tablespoon low-sodium chicken broth, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    salt-free poultry seasoning

Instructions

  1. Place 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter and 1 cup whole milk on the counter. Place 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter in a 9x13-inch or other 3-quart baking dish. Place 2 large eggs in a large bowl. Let everything sit at room temperature while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Meanwhile, cut 10 ounces potato sandwich bread into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups). Place on a rimmed baking sheet and spread out into an even layer.

  3. Bake until dried and light golden-brown, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes.

  4. Peel 3 pounds russet potatoes. Cut into 1-inch cubes and place in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and add enough cool water to cover the potatoes by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

  5. While the potatoes are cooking, dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups) and 2 large celery stalks (about 1 cup). Mince 3 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 5 fresh parsley sprigs and finely chop until you have 2 tablespoons. Finely chop 8 large or 12 medium sage leaves until you have 1 tablespoon. Pick the leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs and finely chop until you have 1 tablespoon.

  6. When the bread is ready, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375ºF.

  7. When potatoes are ready, drain and return to the pot. Add the 4 tablespoons softened butter. Let sit for about 1 minute to fully melt the butter. Mash 8 to 10 times with a potato masher or fork, leaving the potatoes chunky. Add the milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Stir to combine.

  8. Melt 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the low-sodium chicken broth, the onions, and celery. Sauté until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the parsley, sage, and thyme. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the onion mixture to the pot of mashed potatoes.

  9. Add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl of eggs and whisk to combine. Add the bread cubes and gently fold together until the bread cubes are just moistened (it’s OK if a few spots are still slightly dry). If the bread is too dry, stir in more broth a tablespoon at a time as needed.

  10. Transfer the bread to the pot of mashed potatoes. Gently fold to combine, being careful not to break up the bread cubes.

  11. Use your fingers or a brush to coat the baking dish with the now-softened butter. Transfer the bread mixture to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter into thin slices and scatter over the top of the stuffing.

  12. Bake until the top is light golden and the bread cubes that are poking out are crisp to the touch, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: 8 cups Martin’s Potato Bread cubes can be substituted for the sandwich bread — no need to dry out in the oven.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.