Dried white bread cubes, onion, celery and butter are the four essential ingredients needed to make a traditional stuffing. Many traditional recipes season the casserole with sage and thyme, while others also include parsley.
Although most stuffing recipes vary slightly, almost any traditional stuffing is made by first sautéing the onion, celery and spices in lots of butter until the vegetables are soft. Once cooked, this mixture is poured into a large bowl and unseasoned dried bread cubes are added, as well as chicken or vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Some recipes also include egg to help the ingredients come together while stirring while other recipes suggest adding parsley for extra flavor. Once all the ingredients are mixed together, the mixture is placed in a large pan and baked for thirty to forty minutes to crisply toast the stuffing.
Many recipes call for variations on the traditional stuffing and incorporate more flavorful or exotic ingredients. Common additions include different dried fruits, nuts, chopped apples and sausage. Other types of bread, such as rye or cornbread, can be used to change or enhance the flavor of your dish. Once baked, stuffing is commonly stuffed into a turkey and baked again for a moister texture.