Granny’s Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing

Granny's Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing | RaisingArrows.net

Until a few years ago, I didn’t know there was a difference between “stuffing” and “dressing”, so while it takes all my wherewithall not to call this stuffing, it really is dressing – the tastiest around, if I do say so myself!

Granny's Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing | RaisingArrows.net

A few weeks ago, when Ty’s Granny was up for a visit, I asked her if we could make this dressing so I could snap some photos and post the recipe on the blog.  She said,

“Oh, I’ve been wanting to make dressing, but [Ty's mom] keeps telling me I have to wait until Thanksgiving.”

Hee hee…I made her day! ;)

I grabbed the big stainless steel bowl she bought me (for making caramel corn) and a loaf of store-bought bread and we relived some memories.

Granny tearing up the bread for the dressing

You see, when I was new to the family, I remember going to her house for Thanksgiving and her handing me her bowl and a loaf of bread and telling me to tear the bread into pieces for the dressing.  I had never made homemade dressing, so the whole process was fascinating to me.

Granny has a bunch of recipes in her head and not many of them have exact measurements.  When we put the seasoning on the bread pieces, she humored me by guesstimating, eyeballing, and then measuring so I could give you something resembling a “real” recipe.  Funny how not many people cook like that anymore.

seasoning on bread pieces for homemade dressing

While Granny was messing with the bread crumbs, I chopped up what looked like a crazy amount of onion.  When I told Granny it looked like too many onions, she said,

“I don’t think you can ever have too many onions.”

You better believe I wrote that on the recipe card!

"You can never have too many onions."  ~Granny At one point, the whole thing looked like an unappetizing mush, but I knew good things were soon to come…

dressing in the panA little heat, a little time, a little flipping of the spatula, and that turned into this…glorious this!

Granny's Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing | RaisingArrows.net

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you…
That day, dressing WAS my meal.  Every bite made me smile.  THIS is Thanksgiving in a pan.  You can have your turkey.  I’ll just eat the dressing, thank you.

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Granny’s Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing

2 medium onions, diced
8 TBSP butter, divided
1 lb sausage
1 loaf bread
4 TBSP chicken bouillon granules
2 TBSP poultry seasoning
3 c. hot water
3 eggs

In a large bowl, tear bread into small pieces and fluff with your hands to keep the pieces from sticking.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté onions in 4 TBSP of butter over medium heat.  Crumble the sausage into the onions and cook through.

Add seasonings to the bread pieces and then pour the hot water over the bread.  Toss the bread to wet thoroughly.

When the sausage and onions are finished, add the mixture to the bread and stir to evenly distribute.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and add to bread mixture, stirring quickly and well to keep eggs from setting up.

Melt the other 4 TBSP of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat and add dressing.  Evenly distribute in the skillet, cover, and cook 4 minutes, turn and cover.  Do this until the dressing is browned all over.  You could also finish this in a slow oven – 300° – until browned (about 15 minutes) or even in a crock pot on high for about an hour (it just won’t be quite as pretty).

Add-in ideas:
celery, apples, cranberries, nuts

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10 thoughts on “Granny’s Homemade Thanksgiving Dressing

  1. This is exactly how we make my great grandmas recipe! We do however add sage,apple and celery but other then that just the same!!

  2. Oh my goodness! That sounds heavenly! Stuffing (or dressing really because we don’t put it in the bird) is my favorite part of Thanksgiving too. And this seems fine as a main dish. It has meat in it ;) I would make this in a heartbeat if my mother in law didn’t always bring the dressing (which I greatly appreciate).

  3. Is the bread fresh bread or do you dry it out at all? I’ve used the bagged stuffing (unseasoned) bread cubes before. Just wondering the difference. Looks so good!

  4. This looks amazing! Can I just ask if it’s sausage meat or actual sausages which you use? And do you cook them first before crumbling them? Thank you!

  5. The above recipe is a simplified verison of the Jimmy Dean brand breakfast sausage stuffing. My grandma and mom have taught me that recipe semi-recently. My grandma has made the Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage stuffing (similar to the above with a couple ingredients added) since the late 1960s. My husband and I happily arge each year which stuffing we are to enjoy every year the JD or traditional cornbread. I win this year!

  6. I just gotta say, Ty’s granny doesn’t look so much like a granny! She looks great! :) Btw, my husband’s mom calls tomato sauce, gravy. (it’s an Italian thing) Even now, I have to be deliberate when calling it gravy as well. :)