Traditional sage stuffing



20 min


12 cups (3 L) cooked for a 16 lb (7 kg) turkey

* PLUS Cooking time: 24 minutes, Baking Time: 10 minutes


  • 675 g sliced white bread
  • 2 tsp ground sage , or 1 tbsp packed dried sage leaves
  • 1 tsp ground savory , or 2 tsp summer savory leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • generous pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • turkey gizzard , heart and liver, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery , including leaves


  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Remove crusts from bread, only if you wish. Cut into big cubes. You should have about 10 cups (2.5 L). Spread out on 2 large baking sheets. Place in preheated oven and bake until lightly toasted, stirring part way through, about 10 minutes. Place in a very large bowl. Add seasonings. If using sage leaves, crumble over bread. Stir until evenly mixed.
  • Meanwhile, if using giblets, remove small bag from inside turkey and finely chop the heart, liver and gizzard. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions, gizzard, heart and liver pieces. Stir often, uncovered, until onions are softened and turkey bits are cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in celery for last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Add into seasoned bread mixture and toss. If ready to roast, stuff turkey. If making ahead, spread in a shallow pan or dish. Cover once it has cooled and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To prevent harmful bacteria, keep stuffing either cold or hot, but never at room temperature. Don¿t stuff a bird the night before or leave hot stuffing in a cooked bird to cool. When refrigerating stuffing, spread out in a shallow dish for rapid cooling – don¿t pile it high in a dish to cool.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 130,
  • Protein
  • 4.5 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 16.3 g,
  • Fat
  • 5.1 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.5 g,
  • Sodium
  • 228 mg.

Since its original publication 10 years ago, this straightforward classic recipe has remained a Chatelaine reader favourite.

Chatelaine tip:

Plump up your stuffing with additions such as chopped dried apricots, apples or cranberries. Place whatever dried fruit you wish to use in a small dish and cover with warm liquid such as orange juice or water. Let sit about 8 minutes. Strain liquid from fruit and save for gravy. Stir dried fruit into cooked onion mixture, then toss everything with bread cubes. Try adding toasted nuts for an extra-rich flavour!

Cooking Extra Stuffing

Place extra stuffing in a casserole dish. Moisten by stirring in 1/4 cup (50 mL) pan juices or concentrated chicken broth for every 4 cups of stuffing. Cover with foil or a lid and place in oven with turkey for the last 25 to 30 minutes of roasting. Or, if there isn’t room in the oven for the casserole, increase oven temperature to 375 F (190 C) after the bird is taken out. Bake stuffing until heated through, from 20 to 25 minutes.