Homemade Stuffing Cubes — A Simple Way to Elevate your Thanksgiving Meal

If you enjoy my content, please share!

Homemade stuffing cubes were such a revelation to me the first time I made them. So easy but they added so much flavor and freshness to my stuffing. Don’t wait another year to add these easy bread cubes to your Thanksgiving feast.

Homemade Bread Cubes for Stuffing – A Healthier, Tastier Choice

bread cubes for stuffing in bowl with leaf napkin

In 2015 I started a Thanksgiving Basics series, sharing my tried and true techniques gathered from hosting and cooking Thanksgiving for MANY years. I opened the series with my version of turkey stock. Then I added these stuffing bread cubes, then stuffing and then the dry-brined turkey.

If you think those crunchy cubes only come from a bag or box from the market, I’m here to tell you they are so easy to make yourself. Once you give it a try, you’ll never go back to store-bought again. I promise.

If you read the package on many prepared, store-bought cubes you’ll find ingredients you may not want to eat. For example, you don’t need preservatives added to your dried bread cubes. If you bake your own stuffing cubes, you can choose what breads you use, how you want to season them, how toasty you want them to be, what size bread cube you prefer. You can even use up leftover bread scraps if you want to avoid waste.

challah and cornbread cubes on sheet trays at an angle

What Types of Bread Can I Use for Stuffing Cubes?

We’ve been making a variation of the same stuffing for Thanksgiving for a long time. It started as the Cornbread Sausage Stuffing from The Silver Palate Cookbook. In 2001 in Parade magazine I read about making your own cornbread stuffing cubes by seasoning and baking the cubes. I’ve been doing it ever since. But not just with cornbread. I have used white bread, challah bread, whole wheat bread and sourdough bread. The only restriction is your imagination.

cooked challah bread cubes with red spatula on sheet pan

How to Make Your Own Stuffing Bread Cubes

Think of this “recipe” as a method. I give you lots of guidelines and tips and tricks but you can change the bread you use and match the seasonings to your stuffing recipe and menu. Here are the basics – the rest of the details are in the recipe card below.

  • Cut your bread into cubes: ½ – 1 inch.
  • Place the cubes on cookie sheets.

uncooked cornbread cubes on sheet tray

  • Add some olive oil and seasonings and mix (I do this right on the sheet tray to avoid another bowl to wash).
  • Put in preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, checking frequently and mixing around to ensure even cooking.
  • Let them cool and store in airtight container or even freeze for 2-3 months.

cooked cornbread cubes on sheet pan with red spatula

Can you Freeze Bread Cubes for Stuffing?

Yes, you can freeze stuffing bread cubes. Either use two freezer bags or preferably an airtight re-usable storage container. Just take them out when you are ready to make your stuffing. If by chance you stuff the actual turkey, be sure to defrost them so you don’t slow down the cooking of the stuffing in the bird. But if you are cooking the stuffing outside of the bird, you should be able to go straight from freezer to stuffing mixture.

Are Bread Cubes the Same as Croutons?

In many ways, seasoned bread cubes for stuffing are very similar to croutons. One of the key and important differences, though, is the amount of oil or butter used in croutons. Croutons are meant to stand on their own in a salad and are therefore more heavily seasoned. Part of the flavor is the added oil or butter. Bread cubes for stuffing should have flavor but need less added oil and butter and don’t stand on their own. They become part of the stuffing mixture.

Other Thanksgiving Basics Posts on OMG! Yummy

How to Make Turkey Stock

Homemade turkey stock in glass bowl

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make Sage, Sausage, and Cornbread Stuffing

Sage sausage, cornbread, and challah stuffing - our family's Thanksgiving tradition: with dried fruit, nuts, apples and lots and lots of love.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Dry Brine your Turkey

Whole Dry Brine Turkey Roasted on a white plate with fresh sage and oranges

 

 

 

 

 

More Thanksgiving Recipes to Inspire you

Cranberry Orange Jam

Vegetable Wellington

Roasted Delicata Squash with Pomegranate Molasses

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Cauliflower

Squash Soup

Persimmon Bread

Cranberry Orange Rugelach

How to Make Pie Dough

World Famous Key Lime Pie

Love leftovers? How about this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Stuffing Crust!

Kitchen Supplies for Toasting Bread Cubes

This post contains Amazon affiliate links – if you click on one and purchase something, I receive a very tiny percentage of the sale. Your price is never affected.


Also check out my Amazon shop that includes some of my favorite food and food-related products. I am always updating it – please visit often. And let me know if you need specific product recommendations – I am happy to help!

DIY Stuffing Cubes - so easy to make for Thanksgiving - you'll never buy a package at the store again!
4.22 from 14 votes
Print

DIY Stuffing Cubes

So easy to make your own cubes seasoned just the way you want with the bread that you love!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword DIY Stuffing Cubes, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 21 kcal

Ingredients

  • Bread cubes (one medium size 16 ounce loaf of challah will yield about 10 cups of cubes, one 8X8 pan of cornbread will yield 9 - 12 cups of cubes and 6 slices of sourdough bread will yield about 4 cups of cubes. I share these measurements to give you an idea of how to decide how much bread you need based on how many cups of cubes your stuffing recipe lists. Many stuffing recipes will ask for around 10 cups of cubes but it really depends on how many people you are feeding.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil per sheet pan of cubes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme per sheet pan of cubes
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage per sheet pan of cubes
  • ½ teaspoon salt per sheet pan of cubes
  • ½ teaspoon pepper per sheet pan of cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees regular or 325 degrees convection.
  2. Slice your bread into approximately ½ inch cubes. Spread the cubes on cookie sheets, not too tightly packed. I usually fill up about 4 large sheet pans but it really depends how big a crowd you are feeding.
  3. Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over each tray of cubes and sprinkle your dried herbs - thyme, sage, salt and pepper or whatever flavorings you have chosen. Mix the cubes all around to distribute the flavors. If your corn bread is really crumbly, be gentle and don't mix too much but I personally like some of those bread crumbs in my stuffing too.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, checking at about 10 minutes for doneness and to mix around. Cubes should be browned but not completely dark. They will firm up when you take them out.
  5. These can be made several days in advance and stored in a bag or container on the counter or in the pantry.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

These are approximations and my choice of seasonings - don't be afraid to experiment and don't be concerned if you under season them or even over season a bit - you will still be combining the stuffing ingredients and you can add or subtract some seasoning if you aren't happy with the cubes' flavors (but you will be - I promise!)

 

, , , , ,

24 Responses to Homemade Stuffing Cubes — A Simple Way to Elevate your Thanksgiving Meal

  1. Linda November 15, 2019 at 8:02 am #

    5 stars
    Hello and Happy Thanksgiving, I’m in the process of making these beauties and would like to know if I can store them in an airtight plastic storage bag WITHOUT FREEZING THEM until Thanksgiving (that’s about 10 days from now).

    Thank you for your help and all of your fantastic recipes!

    Carolina Calling

    • Beth Lee November 15, 2019 at 8:13 am #

      That is a great question! I was just thinking about that because I’m working on a Thanksgiving prep calendar to share to show how I get ready for the big day. I usually make mine the week of BUT I see no reason why you couldn’t store them in an airtight plastic bag or glass jars in a cool dry place. The only caveat would be if you live in a super humid location then you might want to refrigerate or freeze. But I make my own bread crumbs and store them in the pantry in plastic bags or jars and they keep for at least a year. You should be fine!

    • Beth Lee November 15, 2019 at 8:13 am #

      P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. Love October 3, 2019 at 4:05 pm #

    This looks perfect for Thanksgiving turkey! Thank you for sharing!

  3. wilhelmina October 3, 2019 at 2:58 pm #

    5 stars
    I love being able to control my own levels of spice and flavor! Perfect for holiday dinners!

  4. Linda Forsythe December 23, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

    4 stars
    Works great with gluten free bread also./

  5. Bradbury R Stearns November 21, 2018 at 10:42 am #

    Hi all. I do a little variation on bread crumb prep. I mix wine and olive oil into a spray bottle. I find I get nice coverage for the spices to stick and the wine leaves a nice background flavor. I tend to moisten the bread Cubes perhaps more than some might think prudent (mot wet) but the wine evaporates quickly. It will add 2-5 minutes to your bake time. Cheers, Bradbury

    • Beth Lee November 21, 2018 at 11:01 am #

      Oh how interesting! What kind of wine?

  6. Laura November 13, 2018 at 10:45 am #

    5 stars
    I am so excited about Thanksgiving stuffing. I usually just use regular bread. Never thought of making my own toasted cubes. I’ll have to try it this year!

    • Beth Lee November 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

      Right? Really such an easy extra step that ups the taste of the stuffing tremendously, I think.

  7. Marjory October 25, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    5 stars
    It’s just not Thanksgiving without great stuffing. Great recipe! Bookmarking!

    • Beth Lee November 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

      It’s become legendary at our little celebration. Most of us would be happy with pretty much a whole plate of this stuff 🙂

    • Robin Goldsmith November 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm #

      I use potato bread. Then brown jimmy dean roll sausage. Saute onion and celery in the drippings add ing unsalted butter. Add chicken broth, dried sage, dried thyme, salt, pepper. Mix with the cubes. Bake in a buttered casserole pan. Bake untill heated thru and browned on top. My stuffing is legendary. I like mine crispy on top. Try it you wont be disappointed.

      • Beth Lee November 8, 2019 at 9:42 pm #

        Sounds divine and very similar to what we do. Except no nuts and fruit. Love the idea of potato bread! Thanks for sharing your recipe and tradition!

  8. Justine Howell October 24, 2018 at 1:06 pm #

    5 stars
    Just in time for Thanksgiving planning….when I forget to buy this I can now make it!

    • Beth Lee October 24, 2018 at 1:08 pm #

      So easy and take your stuffing to the next level!

  9. Linda July 13, 2018 at 7:11 am #

    5 stars
    Good tips. Thanks for sharing
    https://coolkitchenutensils.com

  10. Becky June 21, 2018 at 4:09 pm #

    5 stars
    Perfect!

  11. Hannah November 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    Love this episode of Thanksgiving prep! Stuffing is always the dish my family pounces on and using homemade stuffing cubes is definitely the best. I’ve always dried my bread cubes in the oven but haven’t seasoned ahead of time like you do. I will this year! Thank you for the inspiration. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Beth! xox

    • Beth Lee November 29, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with lots of well-seasoned bread cubes!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Beth Lee

Get New OMG! Yummy Posts via Email

Absolutely no spam. Just an occasional email to share a yummy post.

You have Successfully Subscribed!