The Best Challah Bread Stuffing
I’m silently panicking that we’re already here.
In true food blog fashion I feel obligated to kick off November with Thanksgiving, so today we’re having stuffing. Now I know the term “the best” gets thrown around far too often, so I understand your apprehension. But this is really, truly, THE BEST challah bread stuffing on Earth, and I swear you’re going to love it.
Thanksgiving illicits strong food emotions in pretty much everyone, so whether you’re a traditionalist or an experimentalist odds are you’ve got an opinion on how to truss the turkey, bake the stuffing, or crimp the pies. I tend to fall left-of-center on this Thanksgiving scale, preferring classic T-day dishes that are gently modified into something new and fresh. This stuffing achieves just that, with a mix of classic ingredients + modern execution creating a stuffing that’s bursting with texture, flavor, and a lifetime sentence to leggings.
The key to making this “the best” starts with the challah, which is my favorite bread for stuffing. White bread is too thin, brioche is too buttery, but challah is that goldilocks-level of just-right. It’s buttery and sweet like brioche, but it’s not actually made with butter, so it yields a crispier, more sturdy breadcrumb that absorbs liquid like a sponge.
Those sad soggy stuffings? Challah makes them history.
But the real clincher is not just the bread itself, but the proportions. I’ve gotten in the habit of cutting my breadcrumbs extra large while keeping my vegetables — onions + celery! — extra fine. And this contrast? IT’S EVERYTHING. The veggies precise proportions makes them tenderize into a buttery stew that clings to each breadcrumb like Jack clung to Rose, it’s a real romance. And once it’s all baked and golden from an hour in the oven?
Uhh, too good!!
I don’t call it the best for nothing.
The taste is exactly what you expect of stuffing, so in a way this is really a very classic stuffing dish, just presented in a contemporary way. There’s strong savory notes from the chicken broth and parsley, delightful hints of fragrant sage, and loads of buttery goodness. But the stand-out feature is the texture, which somehow manages to be creamy, crunchy, and chewy all in one heavenly bite. The top breadcrumbs get especially crisp while baking, making for an ultra-texturized presentation that’s as pretty to look at as it is to eat.
I mean, look at it!! I’m ready to swan-dive right into it.
As you can imagine this will be VERY POPULAR and eaten VERY QUICKLY, so please take my all-caps very seriously. Also remember that reheated stuffing at 3am is completely acceptable in November, so don’t feel guilty when this inevitably happens.
Trust me, you’re not avoiding it.
The Best Challah Bread Stuffing
- 14 oz challah bread
- 5 tbsps salted butter
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 – 5 stalks celery
- a few dashes salt & pepper
- 2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tsps sage
- 2 tsps parsley
- fresh thyme to garnish (optional)
- Crisco to grease
- Pre-heat oven to 300F. Lightly grease a medium-sized baking dish with Crisco. (mine was 7″ x 11″)
- Slice challah bread into even sized cubes, then neatly arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until crisp and just beginning to brown, then set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, on a cutting board finely dice the onion and celery. You will need 1 cup of each.
- Once the breadcrumbs are cooling, in a large saucepan melt the butter over a medium flame, then stir in the onions and celery and sauté for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables begin to tenderize. Next, add in the chicken broth, sage, and parsley, then cover and bring all ingredients to a boil. Once a boil is reached, reduce flame to low and let everything simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Raise oven temperature to 350F.
- As saucepan mixture reaches room temperature, slowly stir in the challah breadcrumbs. When well combined, spoon stuffing into lightly greased baking dish and cover (if it doesn’t come with a cover, use aluminum foil). Bake covered for 45 minutes, then uncovered for another 15 until golden brown. Serve warm, garnishing with thyme if desired.
Since it’s just Dave and I at home I made this smaller scale, so don’t be afraid to double or even triple this recipe for your Thanksgiving table — Guests will definitely want seconds! Challah loaves, rounds, or rolls all work great here, so simply purchase whatever is readily available to you.
THE BEST. for real tho.