Wild Mushroom and Herb Stuffing

by Kaylene
8 servings
1 hr

A classic sage stuffing with an earthy twist. This rustic stuffing is stuffed full of mushrooms and delicious herbs.

Can I be honest with you? When it comes to stuffing, my reaction has always been, meh. I’ll take it if I have room on my Thanksgiving dinner plate, but if I have already loaded up on my favorite dish (I am looking at you green bean casserole) then I will pass.

My grandmother’s classic stuffing recipe has been in our family for generations. It calls for six tablespoons of sage…yup six. I used to jokingly give my mom a hard time about it.

“Got enough sage in there?”

She would always come back by explaining how her mother taught her to know how much sage was needed.

“Your grandmother always said, while wafting over the stuffing, you should just be able to smell the sage.”

As I have grown up, I have learned to love that recipe (maybe my tastebuds have grown up too) and now the smell of sage in the kitchen can bring a tear to my eye.

While I have grown to love the classic sage flavor, I prefer mine to be a little more earthy and rustic. You probably guessed it, that is how this stuffing came to be. I took the foundation of my grandmother’s recipe and added wild mushrooms and a few more herbs.

This recipe can be made with most types of mushrooms, but I highly suggest baby shiitake. They have the most delicious earthy, buttery flavor and I just love the rustic look that they have.

I use baby shiitake mushrooms whenever I can, yea they are that good. The flavor can be easily added to so many recipes like this  butternut squash soup with Italian sausage or this  spicy sausage white pizza.

In addition to the mushrooms, this stuffing has pretty simple flavors; celery, onion, garlic, and three types of herbs; including sage of course! It is buttery, flavorful, and crispy on top. Okay, Thanksgiving, hurry up I am hungry!

Another way to add the rustic feel to your stuffing is to tear the bread into pieces instead of cutting it into cubes. This is another trick I learned from my mom. When I was growing up, my sister and I had one main job on Thanksgiving day, tear the bread. We would wake up to a few loaves sitting on the table with a big bowl next to it.

One last thing, are you a stuffing in the turkey or out of the turkey person? I have always enjoyed mine on the side. Something about cooking it inside the bird weirds me out. But there is a difference and what you thought was stuffing may actually be dressing.

Okay, I will admit. The stuffing in the bird does have all the delicious juices from the turkey but I will still take my stuffing on the side…or is it dressing?


You may hear the terms stuffing and dressing being used interchangeably. But what really is the difference?

Stuffing, as the name suggests, it is traditionally stuffed into the turkey cavity and roasted with the bird. The bread mixture soaks up all the delicious turkey juices and adds flavor.

With that being said, it does raise a little sanitation risk because of the raw turkey. Make sure the center reaches 165 degrees and never stuff the bird ahead of time. The turkey should be stuffed right before it goes into the oven.

Dressing is roasted separately in a baking dish and served alongside the turkey. Dressing can be made ahead of time and warmed up on the day. The ingredients can be the same as stuffing, but usually more seasoning is added in place of the turkey juices.

So…now that we have cleared that up, you may be asking yourself, why is this recipe called stuffing? You are right, technically this is a dressing recipe, but it can be used to stuff the turkey.

I have always called it stuffing no matter if it is in the bird or not; my mom would correct me from time to time, but either way, it is stuffing.

You may have a preference based on where you live. The most common word used to describe the bready mixture is stuffing, but it sometimes depends on where you are from.

Northeast and Pacific Northwest use the term stuffing and South and Midwest use dressing. Some even call it “filling” but let’s not add to the confusion.

Wild Mushroom and Herb Stuffing
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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  • 1/2 cup butter – cut in two 8 tablespoon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced if large – can subsitute with crimini mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 loaf cubed day old sourdough bread – tear the bread in pieces for a rustic look
  • salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter and add the celery, onion and mushrooms. Cook until the vegetables are soft about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Cook for 30 seconds while stirring, then add the remaining 8 tablespoons of the butter. Remove from heat and set aside, allow the butter to melt.
In a large bowl, add the lemon juice and the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper.
Add the bread to the bowl and gently toss to coat. Add the mushroom mixture and mix until evenly combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 5-10 more minutes until the top is golden brown.
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