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Roast Dinner/ Sides

Classic Sage and Onion Stuffing

December 21, 2023 by Chris Collins

Here I’ll show you the easiest and most delicious way to make classic sage and onion stuffing!

I don’t know about you, but for most of my life, my experience of stuffing has always been the classic packet sage and onion stuffing mix that you add boiling water to. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on the stuff, but it’s so simple to make your own at home and it really is 10x more delicious! Follow me…

close up shot of homemade sage and onion stuffing on small white plate

Bread Stuffing

Unlike many stuffing recipes, traditional sage and onion stuffing has no sausage in it. In fact, there’s no meat in it at all. It’s purely bread-based.

What kind of bread should I use?

Trusty white sandwich bread does the trick. No need for fancy bread, it’s often too tough for a stuffing recipe. Also, bonus points if the bread is a little stale. This will give the stuffing a little more structure and prevent it from being too mushy.

Process shots: add bread to food processor (photo 1), blitz into a crumb (photo 2).

2 step by step photos showing how to make breadcrumbs

Sage and Onion Stuffing

Of course, alongside the bread we’ve got a few other goodies going in too:

  • Butter – this is the backbone of stuffing. It helps bind the bread and also gives the stuffing a rich flavour. It’s also used to fry the other ingredients.
  • Onion & Celery – you’ll want to gently sweat these down in the butter until soft and sweet. Don’t rush this process.
  • Sage & Thyme – we’ll mainly be using sage, but some added thyme works really nicely. Both must be fresh!
  • Garlic – for an added boost of flavour.
  • Vegetable Stock – this is my secret weapon. Just a small amount helps bind the breadcrumbs and keep them moist. Without it, I find the stuffing to be too dry and crumbly.

What texture should the stuffing be?

The classic packet stuffing always ends up quite moist and compact. This version is a little more light and fluffy, but it still has the classic crispy topping with the slightly more doughy/softer centre.

Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), fry celery and onion (photo 2), fry sage, thyme and garlic (photo 3), stir in stock then add breadcrumbs (photo 4), stir to coat (photo 5), add to baking to dish, spray with oil and bake (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make sage and onion stuffing

close up overhead shot of serving spoon digging into dish of sage onion stuffing

Serving Sage and Onion Stuffing

This is obviously perfect as part of a Roast Dinner slathered in regular Gravy or Red Wine Onion Gravy. It also makes the perfect Side Dish for so many other Mains.

For another stuffing recipe check out my Sausage Stuffing Balls!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this sage and onion stuffing shall we?!

sage and onion stuffing with gravy on small white plate

How to make Sage and Onion Stuffing (Full Recipe & Video)

sage and onion stuffing with gravy on small white plate

Classic Sage and Onion Stuffing

Here I'll show you the easiest and most delicious way to make classic sage and onion stuffing!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories per serving: 221kcal
Cost per serving: £1 / $1


  • Food Processor (for breadcrumbs)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • 25cm x 17cm / 10" x 7" Baking Dish (or similar size)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 250g / 9oz White Sandwich Bread, preferably 1-2 days old (see notes)
  • 5 tbsp / 75g Butter, diced into cubes
  • 2 large White Onions, finely diced (approx 200g/7oz each)
  • 1 large rib of Celery, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Sage, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper
  • 80ml / 1/3 cup Vegetable Stock
  • Oil Spray, as needed


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • Place the bread in a food processor and blitz into a coarse breadcrumb. You may need to do this in batches.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and gently sweat it all down until soft and just starting to turn light golden. Don't rush this process, it can take around 15 minutes to properly soften and sweeten the onions. Add in the garlic, sage and thyme and continue frying for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the vegetable stock then stir in the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until fully coated in the butter/stock. Spray the baking dish with oil, then pour in the breadcrumbs and use your wooden spoon to gently press down and level off the top.
  • Liberally spray the top with oil then bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until crisp and deep golden on top. Rest for a few minutes before serving.

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Bread - Regular white sandwich bread does the trick here. You want it a day or so old, just so it's a touch stale. This will help prevent the breadcrumbs from soaking in the butter and stock without going too mushy. Not a huge issue - it's still delicious with fresh bread.
b) Make Ahead - Allow to completely cool then tightly store in the fridge. I recommend reheating until piping hot in the oven at the same temp with foil over to prevent it from browning too much. 
c) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 6.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Classic Sage and Onion Stuffing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 100
% Daily Value*
Fat 11.15g17%
Saturated Fat 6.445g32%
Trans Fat 0.399g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.061g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.76g
Cholesterol 25mg8%
Sodium 388mg16%
Potassium 170mg5%
Carbohydrates 26.43g9%
Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugar 4.65g5%
Protein 4.57g9%
Vitamin A 391IU8%
Vitamin C 4.8mg6%
Calcium 93mg9%
Iron 1.87mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'





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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    February 5, 2024 at 9:36 am

    5 stars
    great tasty recipe, thanks we loved it

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 6, 2024 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Val! C.