A lot of folks wonder how to make stuffing with sage (Salvia officinalis) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) in a way that maximizes the herbal properties of these two related plants and enhances the proteins in their main dish. Both sage and thyme belong to the Lamiaceae, or mint family (Ware, 2018), making them complimentary flavors in any late fall meal.
Sage contains nutrients, including Vitamins A and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, beta carotene, and phosphate (Ware, 2020). Historically, thyme has been used as a preservative, a repellant, a flavoring agent, and an antiseptic, with possible antibacterial properties (Felman, 2018). Using dried thyme when you make stuffing dishes ensures that the dish will retain the maximum amount of pungent aromatic flavor (Moncel, 2020).
Herb Stuffing with Sage and Thyme
Using herbs when you make stuffing is an opportunity to reduce the need for salt as a flavoring, ultimately decreasing the amount of sodium in a meal (Ware, 2020). And less salt is never a bad idea. By using the right amounts of both sage and thyme, and adding them at the moment that best benefits the dish, you can create the ideal herb stuffing for your Thanksgiving table.
¾ cup minced onion
1 ½ cups chopped celery
1 cup unsalted butter (or dairy-free alternative)
9 cups soft bread pieces ripped up into small pieces (approx. 1 inch cubes)
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons crushed and dried sage (Salvia officinalis) leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme (Thymus vulgaris) leaves
½ teaspoon black pepper (Piper nigrum) fruit, ground
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While waiting for the oven to come to temp, add onion, celery, and butter to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until tender.
- Stir in one third of the bread pieces.
- Place mixture into a large bowl.
- Add sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and remaining bread, and toss well to coat.
- Place stuffing in an oiled casserole dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the casserole dish from the oven when heated through and crisp on top.
- Serve immediately for best results.
Sage and thyme stuffing is a staple of the fall holiday table, but it doesn’t mean a little taste experimentation is out of the question. Consider adding rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) leaf and basil (Ocimum basilicum) leaf as complementary herbs, both of which are also in the mint family (Ware, 2020), to increase the complexity of flavor without overwhelming the taste.
For more herbal recipes that we love, check out: 12 Herbal Thanksgiving Recipes
Felman, A. (2018). What are the benefits of thyme? [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266016
Johnson, J. (2017). 12 Herbal Thanksgiving dinner recipes for this year’s celebrations [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/12-herbal-thanksgiving-dinner-recipes/
Moncel, B. (2020). How to cook with fresh and dried thyme [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-thyme-1328646
Ware, M. (2018). Everything you need to know About sage [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266480