DIY Stuffing Cubes — Thanksgiving Basics

DIY 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 recipe. Don’t wait another year to add this easy element to your Thanksgiving feast.

Second Installment of Thanksgiving Basics

In 2015 I started my Thanksgiving Basics series, sharing my tried and true techniques gathered from hosting and cooking Thanksgiving for almost 30 years a long time. I opened the series with my version of turkey stock. This year let’s make stuffing cubes. 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 and once you give it a try, you’ll never go back to store-bought again.

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

Make Your Own Stuffing Cubes

We’ve been making the same stuffing for Thanksgiving for a long time. It’s the Cornbread Sausage Stuffing from The Silver Palate Cookbook. But over the years, I’ve changed the recipe a bit. One motivator of change was a recipe from Parade Magazine in 2001 that instructs you to make your own cornbread stuffing cubes. And not just by cutting the bread up and letting it dry out, but by seasoning and baking the cubes. Such an easy step but it yields well-seasoned crispy bread perfectly ready to accept more yummy flavors when you prepare the stuffing.

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

DIY Stuffing Cubes – A Healthier Tastier Choice

If you read the package on many prepared, store-bought cubes you’ll find ingredients you just may not want to eat. If you make your own, you can choose what breads you use, how you want them to be seasoned, and how toasty you want them to be.

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

My basic method for DIY stuffing cubes is below but this is exactly that – a method. Use the bread that you want and change up the seasonings as befits your stuffing recipe.

Hope you enjoyed episode 2 of Thanksgiving Basics. Next up? The Stuffing of course!

Don’t forget Thanksgiving Basics Post 1, 3, and 4!

How to Make Turkey Stock

Homemade turkey stock

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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DIY Stuffing Cubes - so easy to make for Thanksgiving - you'll never buy a package at the store again!
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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 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!)

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

Make your own stuffing cubes for Thanksgiving (or any occasion). It is so easy, can be done ahead, and your stuffing will have that added extra flavor and freshness your guests will notice and love. #Thanksgiving #stuffing #DIYstuffingcubes #stuffingcubes #Thanksgivingdinner #Thankgivingrecipes

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13 Responses to DIY Stuffing Cubes — Thanksgiving Basics

  1. 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!

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

    Perfect!

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

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

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

    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!

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

    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 🙂

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

    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. 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?

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