Monday, November 16, 2020

Herb Stuffing #Thanksgiving #Recipe by Maya Corrigan

MAYA: Happy Thanksgiving! As the designated holiday turkey makers in our family for 30 years, we've experimented with different types of stuffing, starting from scratch or using various stuffing mixes. We've settled on a modified version of the recipe on the Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing package. Note: the cubed and the cornbread stuffing mixes from Pepperidge Farm aren't the same. We like the type in the blue package, not the red or gold one.

In my Five-Ingredient Mysteries, my sleuth's grandfather, the Codger Cook, won't try any recipes with more than five ingredients. The basic recipe on the stuffing mix package meets his demand. He occasionally bends the rules for ingredients he can sprinkle on at the end, so he would probably follow our lead and add additional herbs to pump up the flavor. 

We make minor changes to the basic recipe on the package and add more butter, onions, and celery. We eat this stuffing, not just when we have a holiday turkey, but throughout the year with chicken, but then we make half the recipe and still have leftovers. This year because of COVID we and many other families will have a smaller group than usual. I'm posting a recipe for 6 people, using half of the stuffing mix in the package. It’s easy to double the recipe for a larger group. You don’t need to stick exactly to the amounts if you like certain ingredients a lot. For example, we always add more onions than the recipe calls for. Others may want to up the quantity of celery or butter.


4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup chopped onions (approximately 2 large onions)
1 cups chopped celery
1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable, low-salt is okay) 
31/2 cups of Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing (half the 12-ounce package) 
Stir in 1-2  teaspoons of dried herbs (parsley, sage, marjoram, thyme) 
Optional Add-In: 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions for five minutes or until tender. Add the celery and cook for another 3 minutes. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet with the vegetables. Add the stuffing mix. Add hot water or broth slowly, mixing it with the stuffing until moist, using less liquid if you prefer stuffing on the dry side. Stir in the herbs and other add-ins.

Quick stove-top stuffing: Cover the skillet, remove it from the heat, and let it stand five minutes. Fluff the stuffing with a fork and serve.

Baked stuffing: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon the stuffing into a 2-quart casserole. Bake for 30 minutes. If you like moist stuffing, cover the casserole. Uncover it for the last 10-15 minutes for a crunchy top layer.

In-bird stuffing: Loosely spoon the mixture into the turkey or chicken cavity before putting the bird in the oven. Don't overfill the cavity. A stuffed bird takes longer to cook than an unstuffed one. Put any remaining stuffing in a casserole dish and follow the baking instructions above.

Serves 6.

Onions and celery in pan

Stuffing mix added to onions and celery

Broth added to mixture

Gobble Gobble 

Do you enjoy stuffing or, as it's known in the South, dressing? If so, what's your favorite kind?

Maya Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries featuring café manger Val and her live-wire grandfather solving murders in a Chesapeake Bay town. Maya lives in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Before writing crime fiction, she taught American literature, writing, and detective fiction at Northern Virginia Community College and Georgetown University. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords. Visit her website for easy recipes, mystery history and trivia, and a free culinary mystery story.

The 7th and latest book in her series is Gingerdead Man.
During Bayport's Dickens of a Holiday festival, Val is hosting a private tea party for the volunteers dressed as Dickens characters including Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past. A Santa who's more naughty than nice also comes to tea. An unexpected guest arrives, "shrouded in a deep black garment" like the eeriest Dickens ghost, and hands out gingerbread men with white icing skeleton bones. Though the creepy treat called a gingerdead man looks like a Halloween leftover, cookie addict Santa can't resist it. When the man in red turns blue, Val and Granddad have a cookie-cutter killer to catch.


  1. My mom would making stuffing and dressing... and usually have a problem with the stuffing not being done... that's why she started making a dish of stuffing too! It has all the gizzards and whatnot from inside the turkey in it. And when I think about that it grosses me out, but I still eat it because it tastes so good.
    My mom passed away from ALS five years ago, but every Thanksgiving my step-dad makes up a batch of the stuffing and we make the rest of the dinner. :)

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Kim. Food can connect us with happy memories.

  2. My mom always made stuffing. We all loved it. Now my sister makes something between the two and it is fabulous. Every year she puts something a little different in it to change things up. It is always a surprise and always just really good. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  3. Hi Lori, Thank you for commenting. I used to vary the stuffing when I made it, but since my husband has become the stuffing king, we stick by his foolproof recipe.

  4. My mother made her stuffing starting with a bag of Pepperidge Farm mix. I don't know which one. Maybe there was only one kind back then. To this she added 1/2 of a batch of Jiffy cornbread, celery, onions, water chestnuts (great crunch factor), orange juice, butter, broth.
    It was terrific.
    I found that I like a bit of moistness with some crunchy, crispy bits.

    1. Hi Libby, Thank you for sharing your mother's recipe. I think you're right about Pepperidge Farm offering only the one type of stuffing years ago. It's still the best one.

    2. Well, that's interesting that no second message shows.
      I wanted to say that I remembered my mother, being a good southern girl, also added pecans to her stuffing.

  5. My brother has been making dressing for several years now. He cooks from scratch. I can't recall what all he puts in other than the traditional. There's at least sausage and chestnut, I think. Anyway, it's so good. My grandmother made stuffing. I will say truthfully that I'm not sure it cooked well enough. She switched to the boxed mix to cook in the pan later when it was too hard to do from scratch.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Bonnie. I admire anyone who makes stuffing from scratch.