Whole Grain Classic Stuffing

In Side Dishes & Salad Recipes

With Thanksgiving creeping ever nearer, we wanted to continue to share some holiday-related recipe ideas — though they can just as easily be enjoyed without the holiday as an excuse!

Stuffing has always the highlight for both of us from the Thanksgiving table. It’s funny to think about mushy bread being a highlight, but there’s something about the savoryness of the mush that can’t be beat. We’ve enjoyed everything from stuffing straight from the box, with those perfectly symmetrical cubes, to my grandparents version with giblets (which I always picked around).

We set out to create a “classic” style stuffing this year. We focused on the lighter side, without the gobs of butter, and substituting whole grain bread for the typical white. We tried to focus on vegetables, and the entire recipe has only 2 tablespoons olive oil. With reasonable portion sizes, it’s a good option for a healthy Thanksgiving table (though I’ll admit our portion sizes were not reasonable — this disappeared FAST!).

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving treat? –Or, if you’re not based in a country that celebrates this holiday, a favorite food for a holiday celebration meal?

Thanksgiving 2012
Roasted Root Vegetables
Grape and Walnut Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
Apple Pomegranate Galette


Whole Grain Classic Stuffing

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 8


  • 1 loaf whole grain bread, cubed (9 to 10 cups)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut bread into cubes. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 25 minutes until browned and toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, dice 1 onion and 3 stalks celery. Chop off the dark green stems and the root of 2 leeks, then slice them in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin slices (resulting in half-moon shapes). Rinse thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt. Chop 2 tablespoons each sage and parsley.
  3. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion and leeks with a few pinches kosher salt; cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs.
  4. Place the bread cubes and vegetables in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper, and mix to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and add 3 cups vegetable broth. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake for about 25 minutes, until browned.


About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.


  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 14, 2012 at 6:33 am

    This looks perfect! Awesome idea!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I heart stuffing! We’ve neglected it for a couple years, but this year–this year we definitely have to have a big vat of stuffing. :) Love this version!

    • Reply
      November 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Haha, I love the thought of a huge vat of stuffing — I think I’d be satisfied by a plate of it alone on Thanksgiving (well, maybe with some green bean casserole on the side…)

  • Reply
    November 25, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Would this work well with chicken broth instead of vegetable broth?

    • Reply
      November 25, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Hi! Yes, chicken broth would be fine.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Can you put this together & freeze? If so, before or after cooking? Thanks!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      We’ve never tried freezing it — but let us know if you try it!

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