This Bread Combo Is the Secret to Better Stuffing, According to a Pro Chef

published Nov 16, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

While we can likely all agree that stuffing is a must on the Thanksgiving table, deciding what kind of stuffing is where things get dicey. Top Chef champion Kristen Kish’s family is not unlike our own — divided between white bread devotees and classic cornbread stuffing lovers. The solution was simple, but one I hadn’t seen before: Instead of settling for one, the Kish family landed on a two-bread compromise. Would this be the secret to the best-ever stuffing recipe? I went into the kitchen to find out.

Get the recipe: Kish Family’s Two-Bread Stuffing

How To Make the Kish Family’s Two-Bread Stuffing

Begin by leaving hearty white sandwich bread out overnight to stale. The next day, sauté finely chopped onions and celery until soft. Add fresh sage and grated garlic to the pan and cook just until fragrant. Transfer the softened vegetables to a mixing bowl and toss with torn pieces of cornbread and staled white bread. Add chopped fresh parsley, salt, and pepper, then stir until well-mixed. Slowly add chicken stock until the breads are evenly moistened. Transfer the mixture into baking dish(es), and bake until heated through and lightly browned on top.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

My Honest Review of the Kish Family’s Two-Bread Stuffing Recipe

This stuffing recipe is simple to prepare and delivers on all of the holiday flavor I want from stuffing. The variety of textures that come from combining coarse cornbread and chewy white bread, as well as baking it until the top crisps and the interior is tender and moist, is unparalleled.

I used prepared sweetened cornbread from my grocery store’s bakery department, but you could easily make your own savory or sweet cornbread in advance. While any white bread will do, I used a hearty white sandwich bread and left it out overnight on a wire rack to stale slightly. Kish tears, rather than cuts, the bread so that the bread is craggy and browns nicely. While some the cornbread remains intact in large chunks, expect other bits to crumble, which helps to distribute the cornmeal texture and flavor evenly throughout the stuffing. Yellow onions, celery, sage, and parsley add flavor and texture to the dish, and since they’re all finely chopped, the stuffing holds together nicely (even without an egg) and doesn’t fall apart on your fork.

The sole drawback, if you can call it one, is that this recipe makes a lot of stuffing — enough to fill a pair of 9×13-inch baking dishes. This year, when most of us are expecting a smaller crowd around the holiday table, this recipe simply makes too much. Thankfully, it’s easy to halve the recipe to fill a single baking dish. Alternatively, make the full recipe and split it among nearby family or friends to serve with their holiday meals.

Credit: Patty Catalano

If You’re Making the Kish Family’s Two-Bread Stuffing, a Few Tips

  1. Halve the recipe. This recipe serves upwards of 16 people. With the trend towards smaller holiday celebrations this year, you’re better off making a half portion. Thankfully, all the ingredients are easy to reduce for a smaller yield.
  2. Use butter instead of olive oil. While the recipe calls for buttering the baking dishes, it relies on olive oil to sauté the vegetables and herbs. I say skip the dueling fats and go all in on butter for this holiday dish. Using butter will also add a richer, more decadent flavor to the stuffing.
  3. Opt for a hearty white sandwich bread. Buy hearty white sandwich bread (our favorite is Dave’s Killer Bread’s White Bread Done Right) for the stuffing, and save a few slices for day-after turkey sandwiches too. This style of sandwich bread holds up to the broth better than softer, squishier Wonder Bread-like varieties.

Rating: 9/10

Have you ever made the Kish family’s Two-Bread Stuffing recipe? Tell us what you thought!