“Unstuffed” Herb and Apple Turkey Stuffing

5 from 1 vote
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My favourite way to cook turkey stuffing is outside of the bird – hence “unstuffed”. Why? Mostly for food safety – in order for the dressing to reach a safe temperature (remember, raw turkey juices have been dripping into it as it roasts), you can’t help but overcook the breast meat, it simply takes too long. Baked in a pan, you can be sure you’re not going to send anyone home with food poisoning, and you can take the bird out of the oven before it’s cardboard. Two very compelling reasons, no?

The single downside is that because you don’t have the fat and juices dripping into it as it cooks, “unstuffed” stuffing isn’t usually as moist and rich. My solution is to use tender focaccia bread in place of the typical white loaf – it lends the perfect richness and flavour.

Turkey giblet gravy without drippings on a Thanskgiving table with mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey and carrots.

Storebought breads and broths will have varying amounts of sodium, which is why I call for the seasoning to be added and adjusted before adding the eggs. I started with a lesser amount of salt, so you can taste the stuffing and add more as needed until it tastes rich and savoury. (If it’s “flat”, it still needs a bit more.)

I love the addition of apples to turkey stuffing – I find they add a wonderful sweetness and freshness. Feel free to add or substitute fresh cranberries, and/or a big handful of toasted walnuts.

Other Well-Loved Turkey Dinner Recipes:

What To Do With Turkey Leftovers:

Turkey Poutine – cheesy, french fry goodness, smothered in gravy.

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5 from 1 vote

“Unstuffed” Herb and Apple Turkey Stuffing

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 servings


  • 2 lbs focaccia bread cubed*
  • ½ cup unsalted butter plus more to grease dish if not using parchment
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 2 large ribs celery finely chopped
  • 2 apples peeled, cored, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried sage or 3 tbsp minced fresh
  • 2 tsp dried thyme or 2 tbsp minced fresh
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 quart/litre homemade chicken broth or low-sodium storebought
  • ½ tsp coarse salt 1/4 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • tsp freshly ground pepper or to taste
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
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  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt butter over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add onions, celery and apples; cook until soft, about 10 minutes, reducing heat if browning occurs. Stir in bread, herbs, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in eggs.
  • Transfer stuffing to a buttered or parchment-lined 9×13″ baking dish. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, or until stuffing is golden on top and set in the middle.
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  1. Anna says:

    Sounds delicious and am going to try this for this TG dinner. Can it be made in advance?

    1. Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD says:

      Hi Anna, yes it certainly can! Just cover it and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it.

    2. Anna says:

      5 stars
      So I tried the recipe and it is absolutely delicious. I made it in the morning and heated it for supper once the turkey was out of the oven. It makes a lot so I halved the recipe and it was perfect in a 8×8 glass dish. I’ve been eating left overs all week so I now know it can be made well in advance.