Crock Pot Stuffing takes my favorite classic stuffing recipe and turns it into an easy make ahead side dish. This stuffing is perfect to serve along side turkey dinner!
Once I started cooking my stuffing in my slow cooker, it’s the only way I make it now! Not only is it easy and delicious, it can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance making it the perfect side during a busy meal! Turkey dinner is a big undertaking so I try to plan ahead as much as I can both before the meal and on turkey day (I use this turkey dinner planner to keep everything in order).
When you walk into my kitchen a few hours before that golden turkey is out of the oven, you’ll see slow cookers and vegetable steamers all lined up on one side of the kitchen. I try to have all of the sides and accompaniments prepared ahead of time. I no longer boil my mashed potatoes, I make slow cooker mashed potatoes and I often have veggies like carrots and broccoli washed and sitting in the veggie steamer ready to go (and of course this Crock Pot stuffing)! When the turkey is ready, it comes out of the oven and literally the only thing I have to do is cook up the gravy while it rests.
I do have to make a confession… while I always make a ton of dishes for any turkey dinner including rolls, veggies, salads and all that other jazz that goes along with turkey the only thing I care about is the stuffing (and gravy). Truly, if I just had a big ol’ plate of stuffing, I’d be a happy camper (and I always ALWAYS take seconds of the stuffing).
The Best Bread for Stuffing
You can make delicious stuffing with ANY kind of bread from hot dog buns to leftover bagels or crusts of bread. To make perfect stuffing, you’ll need to ensure your bread cubes or crumbs are dry before beginning.
My personal favorite bread for stuffing is using half white sandwich bread and half brown sandwich bread and drying it myself. It gives the best texture and flavor allowing for the seasonings and celery/onion mixture flavor to really shine through.
My second choice is dried unseasoned bread cubes from the store. I prefer to add my own seasonings and control the sodium (and MSG). (I use a homemade poultry seasoning).
How to Dry Bread for Stuffing
There are two ways I dry bread for stuffing:
1. Make day old bread: Cut your bread into cubes and leave it on the counter uncovered at least 24 hours (stirring occasionally).
2. Dry Bread Crumbs in the oven: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay fresh bread cubes in a single layer and cook 25 minutes stirring half way or until dried. Ensure your bread doesn’t toast or brown.
An important note about adding the broth! You are going to add just enough broth to the cubes to moisten them. Depending on the type of bread you use your broth amount could vary by up to a cup or more! You want enough broth so that the cubes are moist but not mushy as the onions/celery and other add ins will also add a bit of moisture to the stuffing.
Cooks Tip: If you accidentally add too much liquid and your stuffing is too wet, don’t despair! Add in a couple of handfuls of dry bread cubes or store bought croutons. They’ll soak up any extra moisture creating the perfect consistency.
While I like a simple classic stuffing, if you’re more adventurous, you can most certainly add in whatever you’d like such as fresh or dried cranberries, fried mushrooms or even cooked sausage. Once you make this easy Crock Pot stuffing, it’ll definitely become your go to!
CROCK POT STUFFING
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning store bought or homemade
- 2 medium onions diced
- 2 cups celery chopped
- 6 cups cubed and dried white bread
- 6 cups cubed and dried brown bread
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- fresh herbs to taste thyme, sage, rosemary (optional)
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- 2 eggs
- Heat butter over medium heat until melted. Stir in poultry seasoning, black pepper and salt to taste. Add celery & onions and cook until softened (do not brown). Cool completely.
- Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Add cooled celery and onion mixture, parsley and fresh herbs if using.
- Add chicken broth a little bit at a time just to moisten and gently stir. You may not need all of the broth (see note below). Stir in eggs.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight if making ahead of time.
- Grease a 5-6 qt slow cooker well. Place stuffing in the slow cooker and turn onto high for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to low and cook an additional 3-4 hours or until hot and cooked through. If stuffing is done before your meal is ready it can remain on warm.
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