If you’re reading this Thursday afternoon, you’re probably stuffed. With stuffing. With turkey. With good cheer of all kinds, from blueberry muffins first thing this morning, to Brie and Burgundy (beer?) preceding the Big Meal, to the main course itself: pumpkin bisque, the bird, biscuits, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, brown gravy, butterbeans… butterscotch pie and bonbons… whew, pass the bicarbonate!

Although it’s tempting (and nearly inevitable) to go beyond the bounds of satiety on Thanksgiving, it’s also possible—nay, probable—that despite how much everyone consumes, there’ll still be plenty left over for sandwiches and soup and hot-plate specials à la microwave for days to come.

And that’s a good thing, given the way we all rush around prepping for the holidays. It’s nice to have a stash of MREs (meals-ready-to-eat, in military parlance) in the fridge or freezer.

One must-have is good bread—for mopping up gravy, but mostly for sandwiches. Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce may sound odd (bread stuffing between two pieces of bread?), but it offers you a tasty memory of The Meal in every mouthful.

And then there’s my favorite, enjoyed every year on our ride home to Connecticut from my grandmother’s house in South Jersey: cold chunks of turkey, salt, pepper, and lots of mayo. I tell you, munching on one of those sandwiches even made motoring up the New Jersey Turnpike through pre-cleanup Secaucus almost bearable.

Looking for the perfect post-Thanksgiving bread? Our recipe for Stuffing Bread Bowls can be made into six large “soup bowls,” perfect for bread-based turkey à la king. Or shape the dough into 12 smaller sandwich rolls. Pass the mayo, please.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.


Here we go, bread bowls first. Combine all of the dough ingredients in your mixer bowl, or the bucket of your bread machine.


Use the flat beater till the dough comes together…


…then switch to the dough hook and knead the dough till smooth, about 7 minutes at medium speed.


Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container; I like to use an 8-cup measuring cup, so I can track the dough’s progress as it rises.


Let the dough rise till it’s very puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.


Gently deflate it, and divide it into six pieces.


Round each piece into a ball by gently cupping your fingers over it, and rolling in a circular motion. Don’t do this on a floured or greased work surface; in order to shape itself, the dough needs the traction of a bare work surface.


Stagger the balls of dough  on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.


Here they are, ready to rise. You’ll want to cover them.


About an hour later, they will have become quite puffy.




Bake the rolls till they’re golden brown, about 25 minutes.


Remove them from the oven, and let them cool. Aren’t these lovely?


Cut a slice off the top of each loaf. Don’t cut too much; just enough for you to get your fingers in there and pull out the insides. The bowl pictured above could actually have been sliced off closer to the top.


Scoop out the interior with your fingers; save what you’ve scooped and make breadcrumbs.


Here are the bowls, ready to go. Notice I’ve been careful not to make the outer wall too thin; we don’t want to spring any leaks. Cover the bowls while you’re making the filling. They store nicely for several days in a plastic bag at room temperature.


Melt butter, add flour, and stir till bubbly and well combined.


Gradually pour in chicken or turkey stock, stirring all the time to prevent lumps.


Once the stock is added, stir till the mixture is totally smooth, and is beginning to bubble around the edges.


Stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.


Make sure your frozen peas, carrots, and onions are cooked and well-drained. If you just thaw them, they’ll continue to release liquid once you add them to the sauce, which will then become thin. So you really do need to cook the vegetables first.


Add the veggies to the sauce, then stir in the chicken, salt, and herbs. Add pepper if you don’t mind little black specks.


Put a heaping 1/2 cup of hot filling in each bread bowl. Serve immediately. Can you make the filling ahead, and reheat just before serving? Sure.


Just make sure the filling’s nice and hot when you spoon it into the bowls. That way, it softens the herb-scented bread, making it easy to cut with a fork. Is this a great thing to do with leftover turkey (or chicken) and vegetables, or what?!

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Stuffing Bread Bowls filled with chicken or turkey pot-pie filling.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Nagle Warren Mansion Bed & Breakfast, Cheyenne, Wyoming: Chicken à la King, a tasty, traditional favorite served under a puff pastry crust, includes bread, butter, and choice of coffee, tea, or soft drink, $12.75

Mrs. Budd’s Chicken Pie with Peas & Carrots, $3.99/lb., 25¢/ounce

Bake at home: Stuffing Bread Bowls filled with chicken or turkey pot-pie filling, $1.67/serving, 10¢/ounce

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Becka

    When I click on the recipe link I get the recipe for fudge drops.
    They both look delicious, but I would really like to try the bread bowls!

    Hi Becka. Here is the direct link to the recipe. Stuffed Bread Bowls. Happy Baking!

    Also, if you can ever grab a big tall plastic cover that snaps on top of a deli platter, the kind you might get for an office gathering – they’re good proofing covers. – PJH

  2. Helen

    These look delicious – but I have a question. If I make rolls like this I cover them with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray, and invariably when I remove the plastic wrap, the rolls stick to the wrap and distort and deflate when I pull it off. I’ve tried floured kitchen towels, wax paper. Tried them all. Help.
    Hi Helen,
    You could look online for a proofing cover (sadly we are not carrying them right now) or you could use overturned glasses to keep the plastic from sticking to the rolls. Place 4 glasses in the corners and drape the plastic wrap over the glasses so it covers, but doesn’t really rest on the rolls. Don’t make the glasses too high, or there will be a gap and the bottom edges of the rolls will crust.
    Happy Baking! MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  3. A. J.

    Mmmmh, mmmmh! Things in bread bowls!
    Love bread bowls! This is one thing I would cook a bird, buy the
    veggies and make without bothering with the original meal!
    No, not a turkey, but fer sure a chicken! Don’t forget the beef
    versions, either.

  4. Barbara

    That looks absolutely delicious – can’t wait to make this with my leftover turkey.

    What is it that the baked rolls are sitting on that looks like a slab of lava rock?

    Hi Barbara,
    That is one of the stone blocks in our foyer. Not sure where is comes from originally. PJ? Susan?

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Someone gave it to me – don’t know where it’s from… yes, it’s a slab or porous rock of some kind. PJH

  5. Karen

    That’s my favorite way to serve turkey pot pie. Yum, can’t wait till Friday.

    Karen, are you sure you can wait til Friday? Sounds like Thurday night to me!
    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  6. skeptic7

    I used a plastic box sold for underbed storage as a proof box. My cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan fits in nicely. I once bought a box on sale for $5.00

    Do you actually scoop out the interior of the bread bowls? I watched someeone make one at a sandwich shop and she pressed the insides of the bowl toward the crust without really removing anything

    Good idea for the proof box. And yes, I scoop the centers out of the bowls; the centers make lovely herb-scented bread crumbs… PJH

  7. Sandy

    Oh my gosh…I can’t wait to try this recipe with the leftover turkey. My husband is going to flip out over these!!! YUM!!!!

  8. Alex

    These are absolutely beautiful! Would these rolls be strong enough to house clam chowder or some other cream-based soup?

    Absolutely, Alex – just make sure not to make the sidewalls ultra-thin. Enjoy – PJH

  9. Kelly

    Good morning,
    THis recipe looks delicious – and i just bought a new breadmaker from King Arthur. Can I use that? I’m not an imaginative baker, if it’s not in the instructions, i’ll be lost.

    Yes, simply make the dough in the bread machine on the dough cycle, and proceed from there – shape the bowls, let rise, bake. You can do it – be adventurous! The bread machine makes it easy. PJH

  10. Nel

    Hmmm… I had something like this in a restaurant in Krakow (Cracow) in Poland, but they filled the bread ‘bowls’ with a wonderful wild mushroom soup. It’s wasn’t ‘cream of mushroom’ – the broth wasn’t watery but wasn’t ‘thick,’ either. I used to go to that restaurant just for the mushroom soup in the bread bowl – and nothing else. Alex might try that, if he likes mushrooms. And now I might try this trick at home!

  11. Lee

    This looks terrific! A few years back I found a recipe for a yeast-raised “stuffing bread” on the KA site. It made a loaf of sandwich bread that tasted just like stuffing. It made THE BEST turkey sandwiches. But now I can’t find the recipe. These bowls made me remember it since they are herbed too.
    If you make these ahead/freeze do you leave them whole and scoop out the insides just before using? Or scoop and freeze?

    Scoop the insides out just before using, Lee. And I know the stuffing bread you mean… Wonder what became of it online? PJH

  12. Alvara

    I wanted to make that bread that tasted like stuffing this year also. Lee is right, it made the best turkey sandwiches. I seem to have lost the recipe.

    We have 3-4 stuffing bread/roll recipes online. Try this Stuffing Bread. Or these Stuffing Buns. Or just type stuffing bread into the search box, and see what comes up. PJH

  13. Lee

    I found it! It was in a 2004 catalogue. I just happened to copy it into a Word file and found it when searching my old files. It has chopped celery and onion in it plus parsley, sage, thyme and onion powder in a nice yeast-with-egg-and-butter loaf. I can send the recipe back if you want?

    Sure, Lee, thanks. Appreciate it. PJH

  14. Lee

    I have tried twice to send the recipe and it keeps bouncing back. Email me and I will reply to it with the recipe if you like.

    Hi Lee,

    You can also try and we can forward along to PJ. Thanks!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  15. Marque

    These are very yummy, especially for smaller households. There is only the two of us and when I made the bowls for our first dinner we had 4 bowls left over. We have both eaten up the bowls with more of the ‘soup’ and with other things too. This is a really nice herbal bread to use as an accent to a lot of dinners.(stuffed with tuna salad and lettuce,a chowder,or stew!

    Excellent ideas, Marque. I think I’ll make them even smaller and stuff with chicken or tuna salad, as you said- thanks. PJH

  16. skeptic7

    When you get the 2004 stuffing bread recipe back could you please put it on the website? I’d like to see it. I made a stuffing bread a couple of years ago. It made a nice turkey sandwich. I had to give most of it away as I only had enough left over turkey for one sandwich. I think I found the recipe here, it was a herbed whole wheat batter bread.

    Sure – haven’t seen it yet, Skeptic, but I’ll do that – PJH

  17. skeptic7

    My version went flat!. I used 1 cup whole wheat flour in a sponge, with 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour and left out the sugar. I mixed up the dough, let it sit for 10 minutes and then kneaded it until it was bouncy. I then kneaded in the oil and found the dough was rather soft and sticky. I let it rise until double, and then formed it into boules. But the boules rose more sideways then up and now look like very large English muffins or hamburger buns. I’ve got two questions.
    If my dough was stiffer would the boules have been more round?
    I have been baking mainly whole wheat bread for a while and this bread is actually too light and fluffy for me. I used all purpose flour to try to get the round shape. Could this recipe be made with 100% whole wheat?
    I think that if the bread thinks it should be English Muffins, I’m going to split one in half and toast it with butter. It won’t escape the soup just by going flat.

    I think this recipe would work well with all whole wheat flour, just be a bit denser. Sometimes, if you can get the outer skin of the dough pulled a bit tighter when you are shaping the boules, they stand up better. Mary @ King Arthur Flour

    Hi again Skeptic: Sounds like your dough was a bit too slack (wet). Yes, a stiffer dough would have made rounder boules. Also, please understand that anytime you change a recipe in a major way, there’s no telling what results you’ll get. It’s fun to experiment – just don’t expect you’ll get the same results as the recipe shows. 100% whole wheat for these? Sure. Just make sure the dough is stiff enough. and, as Mary says, they’ll be denser and smaller. But give it a try, for sure- PJH

  18. Dorothy

    I tried this and they were wonderful, although a bit to large for me. I think next time I will make 12 bowls. My husband did not complain abouth their size 🙂

  19. Lynn

    We have had these with chicken stew and bean soup (for my vegetarian daughter). Absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much. I do have a question though. A couple of my *bowls* stretched and tore on the side as they were cooking. They still held everything fine, but I was wondering if there was something I could do to avoid that next time? They look so much prettier all round and brown 🙂

    Hmmm… I’d slash them across the top just before putting them into the oven, which means that’s where they’d expand and “tear” rather than on the sides. I usually just take a pair of scissors and do a couple of 3/4″ or so deep slits. You’re cutting the top off anyway, so the slash marks won’t matter… PJH

  20. Lynn

    You know, I was thinking how I slash my breads, but didn’t want to ruin the look of the bowl – thanks for reminding me I cut off the tops anyway! I was thinking maybe my dough was too wet or dry, but I’ll not fret about it and just slash away. We’re having them again today – slightly addicted. Thanks again.

    Hi Lynn,
    Yep, these sure are addictive. I was thinking about using them for serving salad, to have it end up like a bread salad, and to serve the bread and salad all at once. Happy Baking!~MaryJane

  21. Lynn

    Ooh, kinda like panzella – what a great idea! I’m thinking the possibilities of these little babies are endless. lol.


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