I LOVE this recipe and frequently add a bit of broccoli and shredded chicken to it for a full dinner meal. You will find that this is very low sodium per serving. It tastes better too! The single-serve pantry packs make more than enough for one serving. I usually crumble my bread finer for the pantry packs. AND you can make family sized shelf-stable Pantry Packs too!
Homemade “Instant” Stuffing
Makes 6 hearty servings
1 (16-ounce) loaf crusty bread (or 12 cups croutons)
2 medium yellow onions, diced (2 cups)
2 ribs celery, diced (1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley (or 4 teaspoons dried)
3 cloves garlic, minced (1-1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
6 tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth (or 2 cubes or 2 teaspoons granules added to 2 cups boiling water)
Making Bread Cubes
If you are making your own bread cubes follow all of the directions below.
~~~You can tear each slice by hand into rustic, artisan croutons but do not make them large, 1/4-1/2 inch sizes at the most.~~~
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets after 5 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes total.
- Remove the toasted bread from the pan and dice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes.
- Transfer to very large bowl and cool.
Be sure to put a fruit leather tray on your bottom rack to catch the crumbs because there will be crumbs.
- Slice the bread into approximately 1/4 – 1/2 inch
- Cut the bread into small cubes (approximately 1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes).
- Place in the dehydrator and dry overnight 115°F until crisp.
- The night before, cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Spread it out on a baking sheet.
- Leave it on the counter, covered, overnight to dry out.
Making the Stuffing
Stove Top Cooking
- This step can also be done ahead of preparing stuffing if you wish.
~ Dice the celery and onion. Portion out the spices into a single bowl so that you have them on hand.
~ Melt butter in a 2-quart pot. Add celery, onion and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until tender, about 12 minutes.
~ Add parsley, herbs and pepper to sautéed vegetable mix and stir. Sauté 1 minute. Transfer to bowl if preparing ahead, cover, and chill.
- Add the chicken stock to the vegetable-herb mix and stir in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, take the pot off the burner. Lightly fork in the bread cubes. Cover the pot and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
- Stir vegetable mixture into bread in a large bowl.
- Add salt (if using) and pepper in small bowl to blend. Whisk in 1 cup broth. Add mixture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish.
- Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Heat the broth in a 1-quart measuring cup in the microwave until piping-hot. Add the salt if using.
- In a large (4- to 5-quart) bowl, melt the butter in microwave. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and stir to coat with the butter. Cover the pot and let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes, until the onions and celery are softened and translucent.
- Uncover the pot and add the sage and thyme, stirring them into the onions and celery. Microwave for 1 minute to wake up the herbs a bit and let their flavor permeate the vegetables.
- Add the bread cubes to the bowl and stir well, so all of the bread gets moistened by the butter and vegetables.
- Pour in the hot broth and stir once more, so all of the bread is soaked with some of the broth. Cover the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve hot.
- Keep the stuffing warm for up to 30 minutes in the covered cooking pot. Alternately, transfer it to a crock pot on its “warm” setting for up to two hours, adding a splash of broth if it becomes a bit dry before serving.
- If you’re using homemade or sodium-free broth, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Single-Serving Pantry Packs
- Prepare 6 quart-sized mason jars or Food Saver bags. Add the following to each container:
2 cups bread croutons
3 tablespoons dried onion, diced
1-1/2 tablespoons dried celery, diced
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian Parsley (or dried regular parsley)
1/4 teaspoon dried garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
- Shake the bag to mix and attach printed label instructions.
To Prepare Stuffing Mix
Boil 1/2 cup water with 1 tablespoon butter. Add stuffing mix pantry pack. Allow to sit 5 minutes and fluff with fork.
To create a FULL 6-Serving Pantry Pack, multiply all ingredients listed in the “Single-Serve Pack” by 6 and use an extra-large bag.
Printable Recipe can be found here. Homemade Instant Stuffing Mix
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