11 Best Breads for Thanksgiving Stuffing, According to Chefs

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A photograph of baked vegan stuffing successful a square, porcelain baking crockery pinch bluish handles and a serving spoon pinch immoderate of nan stuffing connected nan side.

Credit: Laura Rege

Everyone has their favourite measurement to bask stuffing. You tin get imaginative pinch ingredients for illustration sausage, present fragrant herbs for illustration thyme and sage, aliases add brightness pinch cranberries. But it tin consciousness for illustration there’s little wiggle room pinch nan cardinal ingredient: bread. Sourdough, Italian, and white bread are modular choices for stuffing; however, journeying beyond your comfortableness area tin nutrient fantabulous results. 

I asked six chefs for their champion breadstuff recommendations to anchor your stuffing recipes, and it turns retired galore unexpected varieties brace perfectly pinch nan accepted side. “You whitethorn beryllium capable to find items specified arsenic day-old bagels that would activity really well,” says Chef Stephen Chavez, chef-instructor astatine nan Institute of Culinary Education’s Los Angeles campus. 

Of course, your results will disagree depending connected which breadstuff you use. Chavez says reliable breads clasp their ain erstwhile you adhd liquid to a stuffing look and nutrient a amended bite. Enriched breads for illustration brioche aliases challah, connected nan different hand, person higher sweetener aliases fat contented and will sorb much moisture passim nan cooking process.

Whether you want to zhuzh up your go-to look pinch an unexpected breadstuff prime aliases effort thing new, immoderate of these breadstuff varieties will make for a delicious stuffing.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

“I deliberation cornbread is nan cleanable breadstuff to use, considering its earthy saccharine maize spirit and its texture,” says Chef Tianna Gee, proprietor of nan SoulPhil pop-up. Chef Ricardo Jarquin, executive cook astatine Loews Coral Gables, likes its “slightly nutty flavor.” Additionally, cornbread helps forestall your stuffing from drying retired arsenic it cooks because of its inherent moisture content. It besides adds a pleasant mouthfeel. “Cornbread has a crumbly and somewhat coarse texture, which provides a bully opposition to nan soft and tender texture of nan stuffing,” says Jarquin.

Its flavors complement Thanksgiving staples for illustration turkey, rosemary, thyme, and sage. “For my group who emotion wet, textured dressing, make it pinch caller chickenhearted stock, a classical mirepoix, and a bunch of herbs,” says Gee. Jarquin’s favourite cornbread stuffing additions? Italian sausage and raisins!  

Another plus: You tin easy make a gluten-free cornbread for guests pinch circumstantial dietary restrictions.

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An action that’s versatile and delicious, Cuban breadstuff useful good pinch savory and saccharine stuffing recipes. Jarquin says Cuban breadstuff is simply a staple successful Miami gastronomy. He utilized it successful a stuffing look connected nan Thanksgiving buffet astatine Americana Kitchen successful 2022, and it was a hit. “I enhanced it pinch saccharine plantains and roasted mojo pork. It turned retired really amazing, and a batch had to do pinch nan breadstuff component,” he says.

Cuban bread’s “slight sweetness and mild, nutty taste” adhd extent and complexity to your stuffing. The texture besides useful beautifully. “Cuban breadstuff has a soft and airy interior, which absorbs liquid and flavors well,” Jarquin says. It creates a moist and tender stuffing that’s not excessively dense aliases heavy, and nan crispy crust provides a delightful contrast.

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Light and airy, these pastries toggle shape into thing moreover much singular successful stuffing. Their rich | food contented makes for an fantabulous base. “When toasted, they tin clasp their shape, making it easy to sorb nan different flavors of nan stuffing recipe, adding much [buttery] spirit than accepted breads,” says Chef Jason Goldstein, look developer and writer of The Happy Sandwich. The croissants’ layers adhd an accrued texture level while maintaining a definite moistness.

“You tin besides usage croissants successful a play connected French bulb crockery stuffing,” he says. “Combine caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, and veggies to mini chunks of baked croissants and cook for stuffing perfection.” 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

This breadstuff — with its crunchy exterior texture, buttery soft breadstuff connected nan inside, and ail seasoning — offers a flavorful guidelines for stuffing. Goldstein touts it arsenic nan prime for crunchy stuffing fans. “The toastiness and crustiness adhd a awesome texture to nan stuffing,” he says. “It is besides a hearty breadstuff that will clasp moisture good without falling apart.”

He suggests cutting nan garlic bread into chunks and combining it pinch cooked onions, carrots, and celery. “Add your favourite Italian spices for a nosy comfortableness nutrient twist connected accepted stuffing,” Goldstein says.  

“It tastes somewhat saccharine owed to nan molasses and has a hint of chromatic that lets nan breadstuff spirit radiance without competing pinch different bold flavors,” Goldstein says. Pumpernickel’s heartiness useful nicely for a stuffing look — it’ll clasp its style and not get excessively mushy. “It adds a bully colour and opposition to nan stuffing,” he says. 

Use tart cranberries, apples, and sage for a Thanksgiving stuffing pinch astonishing layers of flavor.

Challah is delicious pinch food for meal aliases paired pinch matzo shot soup, but it’s moreover much versatile than that. It’s a light, fluffy action for stuffing. “It has an egg-enriched spirit floor plan that pairs good pinch nan turkey’s earthy juices arsenic good arsenic rootlike aliases chickenhearted banal while roasting,” says Chef Brian Pancir, firm culinary head of Thompson Hospitality. 

The extracurricular of nan stuffing will crisp much than nan emblematic store-bought cubed bread, but nan soul guidelines of nan stuffing will stay moist and afloat of robust flavors, creating a bully balance.

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Don’t limit your bagels to lox and pick cheese. They besides person an awesome expertise to adhd spirit and texture to stuffing. “The density of nan bagel allows for a batch of nan chickenhearted aliases rootlike banal to soak into nan bagel stuffing, which will origin a longer cooking process but besides a crispy outer ammunition connected apical of nan dish,” Pancir explains. 

Of course, nan bagel’s seasoning gives nan stuffing a garlic, onion, and sesame seed flavoring. “Along pinch your banal of choice, this everything bagel stuffing will beryllium jammed pinch robust flavors and textures,” Pancir says.

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8. Cranberry-Orange Bread

Cranberry-orange bread is ray and fluffy, pinch a saccharine and zesty spirit floor plan that provides “a rich | and flavorful action for stuffing,” says Pancir. “This is 1 of nan shorter cooking clip breadstuff options for stuffing because of its texture,” he adds. Bonus: It will capable nan location pinch orangish and saccharine cranberry notes that are perfect for fall. 

Take a cue from this King Arthur recipe and adhd accepted stuffing ingredients for illustration celery, onions, and sausage to this imaginative breadstuff choice.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Vicky Wasik

Flavor and texture triumph large erstwhile you put Hawaiian breadstuff successful your stuffing. “The sweetness adds a unsocial spirit to nan stuffing, and nan softness allows it to sorb nan flavors of nan different ingredients while retaining moisture,” says Chef Chris Valdes, writer of One With The Kitchen. This creates a delicious and balanced stuffing for dishes for illustration Thanksgiving turkey aliases different roasted meats. Your accepted family stuffing look tin travel live pinch this breadstuff swap.

Whether you person English muffins aliases crumpets connected hand, these meal breads adhd a invited texture to stuffing. “They person a somewhat crispy exterior and a soft, airy interior, which tin adhd a bully opposition to nan [softer] stuffing,” Valdes says. English muffins and their crumpet counterparts readily sorb flavors from different ingredients, making them a versatile choice. You could easy usage English muffins successful your accepted stuffing recipe. “Their nooks and crannies besides thief clasp onto seasonings and moisture, resulting successful a flavorful and moist stuffing,” he says.

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Chavez besides likes ciabatta arsenic a stuffing base. “It has a tougher exterior for crunch, but besides a softer interior (from nan lipid utilized successful nan recipe), which [gives] nan stuffing a bully tender texture aft baking,” he says. The consequence is simply a stuffing pinch a bully equilibrium of soft and crispy elements. “The mild spirit of ciabatta allows it to complement a wide scope of stuffing ingredients and seasonings, making it a celebrated prime for galore stuffing recipes,” Valdes adds.