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Mom’s Stuffing, Lightened Up

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My Mom makes the BEST Thanksgiving stuffing, it’s the one thing I crave every year more than the turkey! This recipe has been remade like Mom’s, only just a bit healthier!

Thanksgiving Stuffing
Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Day old whole wheat French bread, bacon, onion, celery, sage and parsley are combined then baked to make a delicious Thanksgiving stuffing to serve with your turkey. If you like sausage in your stuffing, try this Chicken and Herb Stuffing, or try these Stuffing Muffins for easy portion control. And if you’re gluten-free you’ll love this Brown Rice Stuffing.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

My mom always made Thanksgiving dinner and now I am continuing the tradition. She loves cooking and entertaining and loves to host. When she did, we all helped out by bringing a side dish, appetizers, and dessert so she’s wasn’t doing all the work. This way we got to enjoy our time together because isn’t that what it’s all about?

I always loved my Moms homemade stuffing. I’ve taken her recipe and lightened it up slightly without sacrificing the taste. For more people double this recipe! Mom always stuffs the turkey with one batch, and makes another batch in a casserole dish served on the side.

It’s best to cut the bread and let it sit out overnight to get hard, but if your pressed for time you can put it in the oven at 250°F for about 30 minutes, stirring half way until the bread is completely firm.

How do you spend your Thanksgiving and who’s doing the cooking?

stuffingbacon and herbsThanksgiving Stuffing

Mom's Stuffing, Lightened Up

5 from 11 votes
My Mom makes the BEST stuffing, it's the one thing I crave every Thanksgiving! This recipe has been remade like Mom's, only just a bit healthier!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Thanksgiving Stuffing
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 3 /4 cup


  • 1 12 oz loaf whole wheat french bread, cut into small cubes
  • 3 slices center cut bacon, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 medium stalks celery, minced
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 2/3 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Bell's Turkey Seasoning, or poultry seasoning
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • cooking spray


  • If your bread is fresh, preheat the oven and bake the bread cubes on 2 baking sheets at 250°F for about 30 minutes, stirring half way until the bread is completely firm.
  • Increase the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large saute pan over medium heat cook bacon for about 2 minutes. Add butter; when melted add onions, celery, parsley, sage, Bell's seasoning, salt and pepper and saute on medium low until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.
  • In  a medium bowl, combine chicken broth and egg.
    bowl with stuffing
  • In a large bowl add bread and combine with sauteed vegetables. Add chicken broth and egg mixture and combine well. If stuffing is too dry, add a little more broth or water until you have the right consistency.
  • Spray a casserole with cooking spray, add stuffing. (If making ahead cover with foil and refrigerate).
  • If making alongside a turkey, pour some of the pan juices from the cooked turkey over the stuffing. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden.

Last Step:

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Serving: 3 /4 cup, Calories: 161 kcal, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Protein: 7 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 27 mg, Sodium: 455 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g


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77 comments on “Mom’s Stuffing, Lightened Up”

  1. I made this for dinner with a chicken roaster and I used whole Foods organic bakery sourdough bread — ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS !!!

  2. This is very good, I made just a half recipe, added some roasted chestnuts and mushrooms for my twist to it and left out the bacon due to making it vegetarian friendly. I baked it covered as I like it more moist and then at end uncover just briefly. Herbs and flavoring very good. I have trouble getting stuffing “like my Mom’s” but this comes pretty close. Thank you!

  3. This was delicious!!!! I used rosemary sourdough bread instead of the French bread and it was incredible.

  4. I made this for Thanksgiving this year and it was really delicious. The best I’ve ever had.  I had some older bread that I toasted and it really made the difference versus using bagged stuffing “croutons.”  I made it the day before including the broth and it wasn’t soggy at all. I’ll make this every year from now on!  Soooooo good. 

  5. Has anyone made this a day before? Does the bread get soggy after everything is covered and refrigerated? 

  6. Avatar photo
    Leslie McCain

    Hi G… I am a huge fan and love love love all of your TDay recipes… I have a request.. I am a “Southern Girl” I was raised on Cornbread Dressing…actually my Great-Grandmother, Grammy made it half and half. I have been on WW for almost 2 years and still enjoying my 40lb weight loss, however as anyone that has lost weight knows it is a daily batter to keep it off so I hope you can help me make a Southern Cornbread Dressing that is WW friendly..
    Thank You again for your wonderful work..
    Leslie McCain
    Houston TX

  7. I have a store that bags up pre toasted great bread variety for stuffing. Wondering if anyone knows, how much of this I would use to equal 12 oz of fresh bread. I know it weighs a lot less already toasted.
    Thank you

  8. Hi Gina,

    This looks great.  Have you had any success making this ahead of time?  I would like to make it a day or two early.  Thanks for all of your great receipes.  Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. I made this recipe for Thanksgiving, and it was my very first thanksgiving cooking my very own turkey and all the fixings to go with it. Gina is my GO TO for EVERYTHING!! Side Note- I normally DO NOT like stuffing, and not only did I have one serving, I had some more the next day and it was JUST as yummy!

    I followed the recipe and it was a HUGE HIT in my family! I'm making it again for Christmas (and I just emailed my sister the recipe, she is making her own batch as well!)
    THANKS GINA!!!!!!

  10. I have made this the past 2 years the hubby loves it and he never really liked stuffing before , making it for my whole family this year ! Thank you Gina ! The recipe is great, the first time I made it with regular white french bread b/c I could not find whole wheat last min and it still turned out great ! the bacon gives it a nice flavor without making it to bacon-y

  11. Made this for thanksgiving and I have not stopped getting good compliments. I even emailed it to my relatives so they have make it.

  12. I know this is a dumb question, but do you leave the bacon in the pan once you add the butter and veggie and then cook them all together for the 5-10 mins? thanks!

  13. I absolutely looove this recipe first tried it three years ago and since then I am always assigned the stuffing at thanksgiving dinner. It will blow your mind and you will never eat another stuffing

  14. Can you make this ahead and put the casserole dish in thirty minutes before dinner or will the bread get soggy?

  15. When you say French bread do you mean a long thin baguette? Just trying to avoid another stuffing disaster.

  16. I'm not a huge fan of stuffing but I absolutely loved this! Not only is it delicious but I love that it's a "light" version. Every recipe that I've tried has been awesome. Thank you for all your hard work!

  17. Made this for Thanksgiving. Only thing was I added rosemary and thyme to the seasonsings. It was delicious.

  18. This stuff is insane… Too good. The leftovers didn't reheat well, but it was sooo good. I love it.

  19. Hi all 🙂 I've been looking everywhere for a good stuffing recipe. We have many health restrictions in our family. I have one question about the egg. Would it work as well with an egg beater or egg white (we have to accommodate for all of our family – very low sodium, cholestorol, and fat). I'm also wondering if turkey bacon would work as well. Thank you for your wonderful recipes. It has literally saved my husband and F-I-Ls lives so we can enjoy many more Holidays together 🙂

  20. I'm making this next week, and it looks awesome. I've never used egg in my stuffing before, can I ask what it does? Lol.. does it act as a binder? Can you taste the egg at all? THANKS!:))

  21. To Anonymous above: You don't have to guess at the WW points. They are listed right under the title of the recipe 🙂

  22. This looks so good and I too am on WW. Does anyone happened to know or have a good guess of how many points this might be?? 🙂
    Thank you!

  23. OH MY GOODNESS this was delicious! I made this for Thanksgiving this year (first time making homemade stuffing) and everyone couldn't stop talking about how good it was. The word "ambrosia" was definitely used 😉 Thank you!

    1. Looks good ! I’m curious to know how your mama made it ? How did you lighten it up ! Thank you and a Happy Thanksgiving to you all ! 

  24. Gina I made this one today too and it was awesome too! Everyone loved both this one and the Chicken Sausage and Herb Stuffing! Your recipes are soooo good and easy. Thano you for doing what you do and doing it so well!

  25. I tried this stuffing and it is amazing!! ive tried almost all of your recepies and still havent been disapointed

  26. I made this today for Canadian Thanksgiving. I had to ditch my old stuffing recipe because my mom is on a strict low-fat diet.

    I followed the recipe mostly as given. The bread was slightly different (couldn't find French at my bakery) and I went with unsalted butter so I could better control the saltiness.

    Despite worrying about how my guests would react to the change in tradition, the stuffing received rave reviews.

    Please pass along my thanks to your mom. And thanks to yourself as well! 🙂

  27. This recipe is fantastic. Even DH loved it! I will definitely be keeping this recipe! Thanks Gina!

  28. I used this recipe for Thanksgiving today, and it was delicious!!! Instead of adding the fresh herbs & pepper to the veggies, I just added poultry seasoning to the bread (to make it a little closer to my regular recipe). Baked half of the stuffing in the bird, then removed it during the final 45 minutes of cooking, combined it with the rest of the stuffing in the fridge, and baked it all together. It was great and I didn't miss the butter at ALL!!! Never used french bread for the stuffing before – I don't think I'll use anything else from here on out! Thanks for a WINNER!

  29. Avatar photo
    Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe

    A lighter version of Thanksgiving Dinner… another Friday's Favorite for sure 🙂

  30. Avatar photo
    The Duo Dishes

    Really looking forward to having dressing (that's what we call stuffing) for the holiday. That's always a favorite!

  31. I''m making this for Thanksgiving think I will try it with multigrain french bread IT LOOKS DELISH!!!

  32. Avatar photo
    Damaris @Kitchen Corners

    I am not a huge fan of stuffing but I am a huge fan of bacon. Maybe you've convinced me.

  33. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I'm sure freezing it before you bake it would work out just fine.

    Yes, you can stuff the bird with this, I recommend doubling the recipe if you plan on doing this so you will have enough.

    Lauren- Great! It's low fat and easy to make. Let me know how it comes out!

  34. Hi Gina Thanks! I am going to try it using Morningstar Veggie Bacon 4 slices. A vegetarian variety that will keep the points low.

  35. Avatar photo
    Lauren @ Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful

    I think stuffing is one of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving. But this year I'm in charge of the creamed spinach. I might try your recipe! Love all your Thanksgiving recipes Gina!

  36. Looks wonderful! I am cooking Thanksgiving at my house this year. I am looking forward to using some of your recipes. Your site is AMAZING! You have helped me stay on track. I have been on WW 10 weeks and I have lost 17.6 pounds. My family loves the food I have been making. Thank you soooo much for doing what you do.

  37. Looks delicious!! Does this recipe freeze well? We are spending Thanksgiving at the in-laws out of state this year and I want to bring a WW friendly dish. Can I make it the day before and freeze it so it stays fresh for the drive? And then just pop it in the oven before serving? What do you think?

  38. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Olga, yes, the bacon gives it great flavor!

    The non-light version uses a half stick of butter and a little more bacon.

    Donna- I highly recommend you use fresh parsley for this, for the sage you could use 1 tbsp of dry.

    CaSaundra- yes, gotta make room for pie!!

  39. Avatar photo

    It's always nice to have a few lightened up dishes floating around during the holidays–more room for dessert! 🙂

  40. Yummm Gina! I am a HUGE fan of stuffing. Any way, shape, or form. I've actually never had it with bacon, can you believe it?! I love that you slimmed down your Mom's recipe. We go to my Aunt's every year and she is an amazing cook!