Buttered Stuffing With Celery and Leeks Recipe (2024)

By Alison Roman

Buttered Stuffing With Celery and Leeks Recipe (1)

Total Time
1¼ hours, plus overnight drying
Rating
4(3,344)
Notes
Read community notes

Those of you who love stuffing know that it might be the only reason to host Thanksgiving. This version is an updated classic — no dried fruit, no surprise ingredients, no “twists” — just a very buttery, deeply savory stuffing made with garlic, leeks and a lot of celery. The bread is crusty and torn, never cubed (for those crisp, craggy edges), and the whole thing is baked in a baking dish, never inside the turkey (to keep it light and fluffy with a custardy interior and a golden-brown top). All stuffing needs two trips to the oven: once, covered, to cook it through and twice, uncovered, to crisp up the top. You can do the first bake ahead of time if you like, or do one after the other if the timing works out that way.

Featured in: Alison Roman Cooks Thanksgiving in a (Very) Small Kitchen

Learn: How to Cook a Turkey

Learn: How to Make Stuffing

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Ingredients

Yield:8 to 10 servings

  • 1large loaf good, crusty bread, preferably sourdough or ciabatta (about 1¼ pounds)
  • ¼cup olive oil
  • 8tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2large leeks, white and light green parts, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6celery stalks, thinly sliced, leaves reserved for garnish if available
  • ½cup dry white wine
  • ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • cups low-sodium chicken, turkey or vegetable broth
  • 3large eggs
  • ½cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼cup finely chopped chives
  • 2tablespoons finely chopped marjoram, oregano or thyme

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

339 calories; 18 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 35 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 4 grams sugars; 9 grams protein; 489 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Buttered Stuffing With Celery and Leeks Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    Using your hands, tear bread, crust and all, into 1½- to 2-inch pieces. (Alternatively, you can cut the bread with a knife, but I prefer the way the craggy bits toast and soak up the goods.) Place chunks on a rimmed baking sheet, and let sit uncovered at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. If you’re short on time, you can toast the chunks in a 300-degree oven instead, tossing occasionally, until lightly crisped, but not browned, on the outside.

  2. Step

    2

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine olive oil and 4 tablespoons butter. Once butter has melted, add the garlic and leeks. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are bright green and totally softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Add celery, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until bright green and tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add white wine, and cook until reduced by about three-quarters, 3 to 4 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes, if using, and remove from heat.

  4. Step

    4

    Whisk together broth and eggs in a medium bowl. Place bread in a large bowl (you want a lot of room for mixing, so go big), and add the leek and celery mixture, parsley, chives and marjoram. Stir to coat so that everything is evenly distributed, trying not to totally crush the bread. Pour the egg mixture over everything and toss a few times. Let sit a minute or two and give another toss. Repeat twice until all the liquid has absorbed and evenly distributed to each and every piece of bread.

  5. Step

    5

    Transfer mixture to a 2½- to 3-quart baking dish (a 9-by-13 pan also works), making sure not to pack it too tightly. (You want to keep the bread in the stuffing as light as possible.) Dot the top with the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, making sure to pay extra attention to the corners, where the stuffing will get the crispiest.

  6. Step

    6

    Cover with foil and bake until the stuffing is sizzling at the edges and completely cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. If it’s not yet time to serve, remove stuffing from oven and set aside. (If you are nearly ready to serve, proceed directly to the next step and continue without pausing.)

  7. Step

    7

    When ready to serve, remove foil and increase temperature to 425 degrees. Bake stuffing until crispy, crunchy and impossibly golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Scatter with celery leaves, if using, and serve.

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3,344

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Cooking Notes

Denise

Huge hit on Thanksgiving, best ever! Here's how I solved baking the stuffing.1. Baked stuffing the day before (as instructed in Step 6) 375 oven.2. Let cool, covered with foil, put in fridge overnight.3. Took out of fridge about 3 hrs. before reheating to get to room temp.4. Put in 425 oven (after turkey was done) to crisp. Ready to serve.

Jenna

Can you make this ahead and freeze or refrigerate?

David

You could definitely do the first bake the day (or two) before, refrigerate, then let come to room temp on the day of, before the final 20 to 25 min of baking. Maybe just pour on a little extra broth. Freezing for a longer period of time might be a different story.

Tevan

I’m a young person who just made his first big-kid Thanksgiving. Going from the boxed stuff to this was like switching from Katie Perry to Bach. Thanks Alison!

Eidolon

Freezing this ahead of time works fine: we make it all at Thanksgiving and freeze enough for Christmas. The secret is to cook it about halfway, then remove it and cool completely, wrap it airtight, and cover with foil, to prevent freezer burn. If using a plastic bag as the inner layer, don't forget to remove it before you cook it the rest of the way, later on!

Emily

We agreed this is the best stuffing/dressing we’ve ever had! An important addition is dried sage (in the pan with the celery) though. Does that negate the original recipe? Besides the sage, followed the recipe exactly and the end result was deliciously buttery & crispy, craggy- edged perfection with soft interior bits. The ratio of leeks/celery to bread is high and I’ll never go back. (Served with good thick pan-roasted herb pork chops, pan gravy, steamed winter veg for NY dinner)

43sox

Just watched the video—Alison heats the stock and adds the egg. The recipe doesn’t say anything about heating the stock. Too late for me but hope to save others.

Julie

I MUST have sage in my stuffing so I will incorporate a ton of rubbed sage.

D

You're fine without the egg! Texture will just be a little looser. I've made this one a handful of times and it's fantastic: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016909-sourdough-stuffing-with-kale-and-dates

India

Dressing without sage is like Christmas without a tree! Lots and lots of sage and black pepper, and use the broth from the giblets with the egg. Giblets and neck meat can be dice up and added to the dressing.

Dana

The eggs make it custard-y, kind of like a savory bread pudding. We made this last night for a work potluck (along with a side amount 'just for us' baked in a little cast iron skillet), and I absolutely loved the contrast between the custard-y middle and the ultra-crisp exterior. My new favorite stuffing recipe.

Chris

Great stuffing! Needs a greased pan or nonstick foil because it sticks to the container.

dimmerswitch

*Made for Thanksgiving last year, 2019 and it was delicous. In this crazy 2020 year I made it for two of us to enjoy as a pre-Thanksgiving meal (since that will be pasta this year...why not) and it was just as yummy and easy to cut in half.*To cut it in half - used 7 oz total of torn sourdough (weight after drying) and 1 lg. egg whisked in with 1 1/4 C stock. Proportions worked, next time I might use 2 sm eggs.

RMH

Followed the recipe to the letter, ACCEPT for adding some rubbed sage, because duh, and used dry sherry in place of the white wine (personal preference). It was incredible. We made a pre-Thanksgiving feast of only our favorite sides, and this recipe did not disappoint. It hits all the bases and was so easy to prepare. Leftovers should NEVER be put in the microwave! Reheated ours in a small ceramic dish at 375 - kept what should be crispy oh so crisp and the custardy inside intact.

Julia Childless

Called “dressing” if not stuffed in the bird. And the Pennsylvania Dutch call dishes such as this “filling,” which they certainly are! This one looks good, and the double baking is key.

James

This is it! My go-to recipe for stuffing now—it's exactly what I want to eat with my turkey. I happened to have a loaf of walnut-cranberry bread, and it was a wonderful choice--bright pops of the cranberry and a little more crunch from the walnuts. Loved it.

Louise

I make two every year - one with sausage (per the requests of my family) and one without (I am vegetarian). This is the stuffing of my dreams and my favorite part of Thanksgiving.

victoria

This was disappointing. Odd flavor--despite all the garlic & onions not very flavorful. Stick with cornbread dressing & you'll be happier.

Maria B

Made this for this year's holiday, added shiitake mushrooms and followed the twice bake recommendations (one day before, one day of) to absolutely excellent results.

Ron

I was hosting vegetarian guests for Thanksgiving, so I could not use eggs. Instead bumped up the recommended 2-1/2 cups vegetable stock to 3 cups. Guests loved it.

Robin

Made this for Thanksgiving with Margot in Minneapolis 2023. Even used gluten feee bread and it was great!

Deb

Definitely butter the baking container before pouring the stuffing in.

Rhona

This recipe is the best — even better than my childhood onion/celery stuffing. The only thing I do differently is the fresh herbs — I use 1-1/2 tbs. sage, and 1-1/2 tbs mixed thyme and rosemary, instead of the marjoram. It is now a Thanksgiving “must.” I parbaked it one year, froze it, and took it on a plane in my luggage. Defrosted it when I got to my destination, and finished the second bake before dinner.

Lisa

I thought I didn’t like dressing until I made this recipe last year. I’ve made so many vegetarian dressing recipes, and none of them were good enough to repeat. But this one… this is it! This is the only vegetarian dressing recipe I’ll use from now on. It’s a simple recipe, but so delicious. Cooking note: I make the recipe as written using homemade vegetable stock.

andre

Made Thanksgiving of 2022 and was a big hit. Making again 2023. Using day before plan.

Freda Brackley

Can the Cooking editor or anyone translate the amount of bread into approximate number of cups? "Large loaf" could be variable, and I don't know how to translate the poundage to volume. Thank you!

Rhona

I’m thinking you’re better off using the weight. Depending on whether your bread is light or dense, your cup measure will be different. Last year I used a heavier ciabatta, this year a lighter French. Both times I used the weight as my guide and it worked out well for me. Hope that’s a little helpful.

Tom

This is a great recipe! Making it again this year.It works great without eggs, just added a bit more butter and stock.

carole

Add more liquid for artisan bread

Eilene Stevens

I cooked this just as printed and served it to a table full of foodies. They all agreed that it was the best stuffing any of them had ever tasted.

Allie

I’ve made this twice now and will make again this year. It’s a favorite in our family

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Buttered Stuffing With Celery and Leeks Recipe (2024)
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