rustic mushroom sourdough stuffing

Here in the Bay Area we take our sourdough bread very seriously.

San Francisco locals will point you in a few different directions as to where you can find the best loaf of this tangy, crusty bread. A general rule of thumb is that the older the sourdough starter, the tastier the bread. It all has to do with the temperature and humidity level in the air so Tartine’s sourdough, for example, might taste completely different that another bakery’s sourdough just across town.

You can also make your own sourdough by just combining water and flour and letting it “ripen” over a period of days and weeks. But be warned…it will get FUNKY!

I have a friend who has a 50 year old sourdough starter in his fridge and let’s just say it ain’t pretty. But it sure is tasty.

The sourdough I used for this stuffing comes from a small bakery near my house. I love where I live because it’s walking distance from an amazing local grocery shop and bakery that has rows and rows of just-baked breads, rolls and pastries.Β  This bakery is famous for their sourdough though and it made for an absolutely perfect stuffing when combined with herbs, veggies and lots and lots of mushrooms (my favorite!).

The hardest part (to me) about making homemade stuffing is adding just the right amount of broth. You certainly don’t want your stuffing too dry, but there’s not much worse than soggy stuffing either. Who wants wet bread alongside their turkey? Not I. And neither do you!

And you know what else you don’t want? Stuffing that has been actually stuffed inside a turkey. I know that’s the way your grandma made it but in this case, grandma’s setting you up for a nasty foodborne illness. The reason for this is that it’s difficult to cook stuffing evenly inside of a bird so there’s the possibility some of the stuffing might still be undercooked at the table.

Folks, undercooked stuffing = raw turkey = salmonella. So let’s save the middle of the night dashes to the bathroom and instead just enjoy a nice golden puffy stuffing served out of your favorite casserole dish. Mmk?

I feel compelled to tell you that you could also tear your bread cubes into smaller pieces (this is the way Adam is used to) but I prefer to leave them as cubes. Perfect for post-Thanksgiving late night refrigerator picking. But you don’t do that, do you?

Good. Neither do I then.

Rustic Mushroom Sourdough Stuffing

serves 6-8

adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook (<—adore)

Print this recipe!


1 large loaf sourdough bread, day old

6 tbsp butter, divided

2 10-oz packages sliced mushrooms

2 carrots, small diced

1 yellow onion, small diced

3 stalks celery, small diced

1 cup chicken broth

1 tsp fresh minced rosemary

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper


Slice the bread into cubes and lay on a baking sheet to dry out overnight.

In the morning, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and saute on medium heat for about ten minutes until very tender. Remove mushrooms from the skillet and place in a large bowl.

Wipe down the skillet and then add two more tablespoons butter. Once melted, add the onions, celery and carrots. Cook for about six to eight minutes until onions are translucent and celery and carrots are just beginning to become tender.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place bread cubes in the bowl with the mushrooms then add the rest of the veggies plus the rosemary, oregano and pepper. Pour the broth over and toss so that the bread is just moistened (it shouldn’t be soaking). If your bread cubes still seem a bit dry, you can add another quarter cup of broth but don’t go crazy! Mushy stuffing is pretty gross.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray and then press the stuffing into the pan. Dot the remaining two tablespoons of butter all over the top of the stuffing and then cover with tin foil. Bake for 25 minutes and then remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes until bread cubes are crispy and golden.


1.5 hours (not including overnight time to dry bread cubes)


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  • Khushboo
    November 22, 2011 at 2:48 am

    This looks great although the site of bread cubes has got me craving fondue!

  • Emmy (Wine and Butter)
    November 22, 2011 at 3:08 am

    This look so good – I cant wait to come to the Bay Area for xmas (to visit my mum not JUST to eat sourdough of course) – Im cooking a big thanksgiving meal here and currently trying really hard to decide between cornbread stuffing and sourdough – DECISIONS.

  • Michelle | Gold-hearted Girl
    November 22, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Yum this looks so much better than traditional stuffing!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    November 22, 2011 at 3:59 am

    You mentioning sourdough starters..I have friend with them. I don’t make sourdough but I do have kefir and komboucha starters hanging out in my house πŸ™‚

    The stuffing looks great and I am not even a stuffing girl! I like how you went non-traditional with it.

  • Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau
    November 22, 2011 at 4:18 am

    I love how chunky looking this is!

    I’m with you – no stuffing in the bird. Besides all the salmonella stuff, just the idea of it grosses me out.

  • Erika - The Teenage Taste
    November 22, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Sourdough bread makes the best stuffing. I swear by it!
    I love your addition of the mushrooms and vegetables! Yum! πŸ˜€

  • Julie @ Table for Two
    November 22, 2011 at 4:33 am

    I love sourdough bread! I also agree with you, I don’t like the “stuffing” of the bird, to me, I just don’t think you can really get that much stuffing out of it to feed a large crowd as opposed to making “dressing”, where you can have an entire casserole dish of it!

  • Bev Weidner
    November 22, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I’d be perfectly okay crawling into that casserole and napping for a hundred thousand years.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    November 22, 2011 at 4:46 am

    true story: i never loved sourdough until i had it in the bay area during the summers i’d go visit my family. now i love the stuff…it’s so perfect! this sounds amazing for stuffing!

  • Meghan @ StruggleMuffins
    November 22, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Mushrooms and sourdough? SAY NO MORE. I’m in.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    November 22, 2011 at 5:05 am

    GAH I was in SF last month but didn’t know about the whole serious sourdough bread thing so I didn’t taste any! I suppose I’ll just have to visit again!

  • Jen
    November 22, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Yeah the bigger bread cubes make it more of a side-dish stuffing vs. a typical turkey stuffing – but that’s good! When it comes to bread cubes and mushrooms, the bigger the better πŸ™‚

  • Amanda
    November 22, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Your recipe looks fantastic, Jenna! And this is coming from someone who generally passes on the stuffing.

    My husband and I lived in SF last year and fell in love with Tartine (the bread, not the long lines!). When we moved back to Boston, we bought the Tartine bread book and attempted to make our own sourdough, and let’s just say our kitchen smelled like stinky feet for a couple of weeks. The end result is amazing, but there’s definitely that window where you want to just throw the whole mess out and febreeze the hell out of your house.

  • Heather
    November 22, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I can’t wait to make this stuffing! It has a few of my favorite items – mushrooms and sour dough!

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    November 22, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Oo – I like this! I may try to veganize this (replacing butter with margerine). I think everyone would love this!!

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    November 22, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Jenna… I need this in my life! That top photo had me droolin’!

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)
    November 22, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Mmm, love all the mushrooms in this guy! That sounds like a great cookbook too!

  • Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    November 22, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Yum yum yum! This looks delicious, stuffing is one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat
    November 22, 2011 at 6:14 am

    I agree that the amount of broth is key! I’m making my own stuffing since I’m the only vegetarian, and I love the savory flavor of mushrooms.

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    November 22, 2011 at 6:23 am

    This is so pretty! Looks delish πŸ˜€

  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    November 22, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Looks like a delicious combo of flavors. I love sourdough bread!

  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed
    November 22, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I love mushrooms. This looks soooooooooooooooo my speed.

  • Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food
    November 22, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Yum! My bf doesn’t like sourdough bread at all because it tastes ‘sour’ (go figure!) but maybe if I make this I can trick him into eating it! πŸ˜‰

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb
    November 22, 2011 at 6:42 am

    first of all, i love sourdough. second of all, i was planning on stuffing my turkey and using that… whoops! thanks for the heads up, adding this to the menu instead πŸ™‚

  • Cait's Plate
    November 22, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Gah! I JUST threw out a tub of pre-sliced mushrooms because I had no idea what to do with them and they were definitely on their way out. I’m going to forever regret that decision now!

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count
    November 22, 2011 at 6:52 am

    That sounds so good! I could substitute the chicken broth with veggie broth and I’d be all set!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    November 22, 2011 at 6:54 am

    What a pretty dish…the mix of colours is amazing Jenna. Great recipe! And great tip on the no stuffing inside turkey thing…didn’t know!

  • Molly @RDExposed
    November 22, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Mmmm sourdough bread sounds do good despite being 7 am!!
    Also, hope your grandfather is doing well.

  • Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life
    November 22, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Looks scrumteous and I love sour dough bread and your pics of the market. Great post!

  • Faith @ For the Health of It
    November 22, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Sourdough is my all-time favorite bread. I can only imagine how awesome it would be as stuffing!

  • Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner
    November 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Oh my, stuffing is my favorite part of a big meal.. and this looks GOOD!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    November 22, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Countdown to Thanksgiving Dinner: 54 hours Can’t Wait!!! Stuffing is definitely my favorite. I like to glop cranberry sauce on it. Yum.

  • Pam F
    November 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Jenna, I love you and this stuffing looks fabulous, but I’m sorry you are just wrong about stuffing the bird. Our grandma’s knew something when they stuffed. It is not that hard to make sure everything is cooked without drying out (especially now with all the great thermometers on the market, which our grandma’s didn’t have). You have a chance of salmonella when cooking any poultry with or without stuffing if it’s not cooked enough. The flavor is sooo much better when inside the bird. We always make more than can fit in the bird, so there is always an additional casserole of stuffing baked separately. The difference in the two when tasted side-by-side is remarkable. Plus the stuffing flavors the bird. Win Win.

  • Erica @ In and Around Town
    November 22, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Such beautiful colors in your stuffing – I love mushrooms in it.

  • Liz @ Southern Charm
    November 22, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Oh yea, I’m all about the bread chunks! This looks so good!

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian)
    November 22, 2011 at 9:01 am

    We’ve stuffed our bird for as long as I can remember and have never had a problem with it. (knock on wood) . The stuffing from the bird goes faster than the stuffing cooked in a pot beside it. There is soooo much more flavor from the bird stuffing. And for the longest time, we never used a thermometer. Now we do, but it always comes out wonderfully.

    But to each their own.

    I am so going to have to make this rustic stuffing sometime soon. I love sourdough and I love mushrooms. Such a big win in this dish already. πŸ˜€ And, to me, nothing can beat Nor Cal sourdough bread. I am salivating just thinking of all the different kinds. Yum.

  • Moni'sMeals
    November 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

    This looks like the stuffing I make, I agree, it is all about a good bread! I like your mushrooms twist on this too. πŸ™‚

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    November 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

    We’ve done inside the bird and out and have never had a problem. Sometimes you just gotta take a chance! πŸ™‚ Unless maybe, you already have a compromised immune system…

    I’m wondering if you live by Pacific Market? It looks like it but I’m not sure. Cute photos and the stuffing looks tasty tasty!

  • Sharon
    November 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Ha! Pacific Market and Village Bakery! Great places to be sure. I wish I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year so I could do all these lovely dishes you are posting…the wild rice, this stuffing…those cararmelized brussels sprouts from a while back….mmmm

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    November 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Anything in a fridge for 50 years has got to be S-C-A-R-Y!
    I cannot wait for stuffing in 2 days. Best part of Thanksgiving hands down. I love how this is filled with mushrooms, my fave.

  • Cassie
    November 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

    LOVE your choice of bread…sourdough is my favorite!

  • nicole {sweet peony}
    November 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

    ohhhh man… husband & i looooove sourdough. this is the stuffing for us. it looks amazing!!!

  • HilJo
    November 22, 2011 at 11:19 am

    1. that looks AWESOME!! I LOVE STUFFING!!!!!!

    2. Random and unrelated: I was doing a podcast from the yoga studio you posted a podcast from a while back (what a mouthful/bad way to explain, sorry about that), and I was going back through old ones to pick which one I wanted to do, and lo and behold I saw a “60 minute power” class, and the description was “Jenna’s fried chicken burn off” or something like that. I am assuming you are the Jenna being referenced? (it was from spring, maybe april?), but I got very excited. thats the end. πŸ™‚ Just had to share it because I got so excited to NOT share would be a sad waste of excitement.

    • jenna
      November 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

      That was Totally me! I ate a ton of fried chicken and then went to a yoga class to burn it off. I didnt know they named the class that though—hilarious!!

      • HilJo
        November 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm

        hahaha so glad I mentioned it then!! πŸ™‚ And so funny!

  • miladybowen
    November 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    ooh, I love stuffing!! This recipe looks good!

    Thanks for the salmonella warning. Ick!

  • miladybowen@applepommemanzana
    November 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Oh, and what’s that delicious baked item in your picture? Did I miss the name of it?

  • katie @KatieDid
    November 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I’m used to the tiny breadcrumbs too but always loved the idea of big hunks soaking up the broth. And sourdough bread- I’ve been experimenting with some, despite my gluten free needs, and found one kind that sits well with my body. I love this addition to the stuffing!

  • Leslie Means @ Her View From Home
    November 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I LOVE your pictures!!! The recipe looks yum-o too!!

  • Nicole @ Giraffelegs
    November 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    mushrooms and sourdough sounds heavenly.

  • Alycia
    November 23, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Yum! Love the sourdough. My mom and I are always looking for new stuffing recipes since the rest of the family is rather stuck in their ways and always pressure my mom to make the same one every year!! This looks delicious!

    We have always stuffed our bird and never an issue though?? But I always have my mom around to supervise me (she’s been roasting turkeys for like 40 years!)

    Thanks for this one!

  • Jory
    November 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I made this recipe today for our family dinner! It turned out fantastic, thanks for posting!!! πŸ™‚

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    November 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving (along with your other recipes: brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes w/ mushroom gravy, cranberry sauce and vegan lentil walnut loaf) and it was absolutely delicious. My friends raved over it! This will be my go to stuffing recipe. The other dishes were just as delicious; you can’t really pick one that’s the best, but the stuffing: winner.

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