I think I’ve always loved Thanksgiving stuffing because it has so many different qualities. (Yes, I know it is called “stuffing” when it’s stuffed inside a turkey, and called “dressing” when it comes on the side, but I’m going to call it stuffing just because it’s easier and then can’t be confused with the sauce you might put on your salad!) A good stuffing is moist and tender, but it has crunchy or crispy toasted edges; it has a well-seasoned savory flavor, but also a sweet component that contrasts nicely. A great stuffing has everything to do with the ingredients you put in it.
How to Make Stuffing in a Slow Cooker
This slow cooker Thanksgiving stuffing includes salty sage sausage, two types of bread crumbs, the usual vegetables like onion and celery, and also mushrooms and sweet roasted chestnuts. It’s seasoned with salt and pepper (of course), but also has grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley too. All these delicious ingredients are bound together with eggs and some really good quality chicken stock. The sausage is browned and the vegetables are sautéed before mixing all the ingredients together. Once combined the stuffing comes together so nicely in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot®.
Making Slow Cooker Stuffing In Advance
It’s true that you do need to cook some of these ingredients on the stovetop first before you can put it all in the slow cooker, but there’s no reason why you can’t do this a day ahead of time. All of the ingredients in the stuffing can be prepped and assembled a day in advance, except for the eggs and chicken stock. Then all you need to do on the day is stir in the eggs and chicken stock before “stuffing” everything into your pre-heated slow cooker. Yes, that’s what I said – “pre-heated slow cooker”. By letting your slow cooker warm for 30 minutes, you give the cooker a real head start. It’s much easier for the cooker to warm up when it’s empty than when it has to heat the stuffing ingredients too.
How Long to Cook Stuffing in a Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot®
After you pre-heat your slow cooker, it will only take 3 to 4 hours to cook on the Low setting. As you have been preparing the roast turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts and everything else your family loves, this delicious slow cooker Thanksgiving stuffing is finished. You might even have forgotten that you made it!
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
If you are looking to fill out your holiday table with more delicious dishes, check out these side dish recipes:
- Balsamic Glazed Roasted Carrots
- Green Beans with Pearl Onions and Bacon
- Creamed Spinach Casserole
- Asparagus with Crispy Breadcrumbs
- Cheddar Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Sheet Pan Dinner Rolls
- Brussels Sprouts with Horseradish Cream, Crispy Shallots and Bacon
Comments (43)Post a Reply
On step 7, pour another 1/2 cup of chicken stock over the stuffing? It doesn’t say what to pour. Thank you!
Thanks, Theresa. Fixed it! 🙂
What if you don’t like chestnuts? Just omit or substitute something?
You can omit them, or substitute another nut.
Can you make oyster dressing in a slow cooker? I always put it in the turkey.
Yes – you can make oyster stuffing in a slow cooker – just follow this recipe as a guideline.
If prepared ahead , when should you add the eggs, when preparing or before you add to crockpot the day of?? I have never added eggs to my stuffing, I felt the butter and sausage fat binded it enough
Hi June. You can add the egg and cheese when you prepare it, adding the chicken stock as well. Just make sure you refrigerate the stuffing overnight before you cook it.
A whole loaf of white bread = a pound of white bread ??
Unfortunately Lowes is coming so many sizes now. But if you have time to answer it would be great🙂
Hi Katheleen. This recipe uses a 1 pound loaf, or about 12 cups of bread cubes.
Can I substitute white wine for part of the chicken stock and if so, how much? 1 cup? 50% of the liquid?
Hi there. You could substitute white wine for part of the stock, but since you are putting this in a slow cooker, the alcohol from the wine will not burn off – there is not enough intense heat. That’s not a problem if you don’t mind a bit of boozy flavor, but I would add no more than 1 cup – ½ cup might be enough to give you a wine flavor.
I would prefer to bake in oven. How can I modify
You could use this recipe and place it in a casserole dish or in a baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the stuffing has a browned nicely and is warmed through.
I made this yesterday for thanksgiving dinner. I had no idea that you could make stuffing in a slow cooker that would taste as good as in the turkey. Delicious, easy to make and loads of compliments.
I’ve done this for several years, I add some of the turkey drippings instead of the last bit of chicken stock. I like to start it the night before, it perfumes your house and you wake up to the aromas of family celebrations. Love it!!!
Can I use two bags or stuffing instead of bread?
Hi Dawn. If you want to use two bags of stuffing, I would use one bag of the course crumb stuffing and one bag of unseasoned, stuffing bread cubes.
I use a traditional recipe of using stuffing bread(3 loaves chopped the day or two before and air dried in the oven) chopped celery, chopped onion, poultry seasoning, salt. pepper to season, broth from cooking the neck and giblets. My family does not do the chestnuts nor sausage in their stuffing ( I tried sausage once and only the one raised with that dressing liked it). Can I still follow the crock pot directions from your recipe using my recipe? I have no problem adding extra broth (I have chicken bone broth and chicken broth). Are the eggs to help bind it or is there another reason for them? I always make extra stuffing but live in an apartment with one stove so it’s always just for the take home parts. I was excited about using the slow cookert but wasn’t sure it would work w/o the sausage and with my recipe. I have the Ninja slow cooker so I have a buffet setting to keep it warm.
Hi Karen, yes you can use your stuffing recipe and follow the slow cooker instructions in this recipe. The sausage will not make a difference. I do use add the egg to bind the stuffing, it also adds some moisture to the dish which I like.
Hello, I sure hope you are able to respond to this post BEFOFE Thanksgiving. I would love using this slow cooker receipe. So living in the south, we have always used cornbread plus dried maybe 4 slices of dried bread for our dressing. Is it possible to use cornbread in this recipe then the dried stuffing. I am not sure if my sons would enjoy this without the cornbread texture.
Hi Shirley. Yes, I think you could use this recipe in the slow cooker – no problem.
This looks delicious and I am going to try it this year since there is never enough oven space. I’m going to half the recipe since we only have 4 people. Should I reduce the cooking time or will it still need 3 hours?
Hi Carla. Generally, I keep the time the same – the slow cooker is at such a low temperature that it doesn’t usually over-cook foods. Having said that, all slow cookers work best when full because their heating elements work assuming the vessel is full. Check it at 2 hours, but expect that you might need 3.
This looks great and I am going to give it a try this year since there is never enough oven space. We have only a few people this year so I’m going to cut the recipe in half. Do you think it will still take 3 hours to cook or will I need to reduce the cooking time?
Slow cookers always work best when full, but you could try to cut the quantity down. Because the temperature is so low in a slow cooker, the timing shouldn’t be too different. You can check it at 2 hours, but I would probably go for the full 3 hours.
I made my dressing in the crockpot and it was mush. Next time, back in the oven.
Sorry you didn’t have success with this stuffing, Kathleen. This is a really moist and fluffy stuffing recipe, but I’ve never had it turn out as “mush”. If you prefer a drier stuffing I would use less stock, or go back to your oven.
I made the crock pot dressing for Thanksgiving. I took a few short cuts while making it. It was a big hit, will make it again. It was moist and very delicious. I also made the cranberry sauce. Although we couldn’t be together my girls came by and picked up some of both dishes. Thanks for the recipes.
I LOVE this recipe. It never occurred to me that I could make it in the slow cooker…….genius……one less thing in the over. I ‘tweaked’ the recipe, like I usually do, to make it work for us. I skipped the mushrooms and chestnuts but added 2 cups shredded carrots….and SO GLAD that you included the measurements (12 cups) for the cubed bread. I left the cubes out the night before (spread out on a baking sheet) so they dried out a little more than toasting in the oven. I like my stuffing more firm, so the dried cubes always work better. This recipe is now a part of my ‘permanent’ collection of holiday recipes! I look forward to recipes……keep them coming! THANK YOU……
On step 7, if I use a slow cooker liner, do I need to preheat the slow cooker or rub the butter inside the slow cooker? Should the butter be rubbed on the inside of the liner instead?
Hi Susan. The butter is rubbed on the inside of the slow cooker just to make sticking less likely. If you’re using a liner, I don’t think you need to rub the liner with butter.
Hi Meredith, my crockpot is a temperature setting. What temp is considered high to preheat and what should I put it on to cook on low setting? I have made many of your recipes and love them. Can’t wait to try stuffing in a crockpot to free up the oven and get it done ahead of time. 😊thank you
Pre-heating the slow cooker is just to get it up to temp, so depends on whether you’re pre-heating it to low or high. Low temperature should be around 190˚F and high should be around 300˚F.
Thanks for a great recipe! It’s very close to my own and I’m looking forward to trying yours this thanksgiving.
I made this last year and it was such a hit I am making it again this year. Spicy sausage was requested since I used basil sausage as suggested so I will spice it up but other than that I made it per Meridith’s instructions for day ahead and then finish on Thanksgiving. I may add fresh basil since my indoor garden is flourishing.
Love all your recipes, have several of your books and many of your kitchen utensils now!
Do you think walnuts could be used instead of chestnuts?
Hi Carolyn. I think you could put toasted walnuts or toasted pecans in instead of chestnuts, OR leave the chestnuts out if you prefer.
This recipe was amazing! I didn’t have chestnuts so left them out, and didn’t add mushrooms. the Sage sausage added such great flavor, my entire family loved it! thanks for sharing!
Best stuffing I’ve ever made…. I added a few ingredients … apples, dried cranberries and a little curry for seasoning along with the traditional seasonings .. IT WAS AMAZING… my family was beside themselves…. will always cooking stuffing like this… the slow cooker is an amazing thing and a must have in your kitchen. Thank you Meredith
I will never make another stuffing again! This was fairly easy to make. Love that I could leave in my crockpot. I thought I might have to use two crockpots, but I got everything to fit into one. I made everything on the stove & then transferred to the crockpot. I used canned chestnuts. Guest said it was the best stuffing they ever had. I agree! Thank you!!
The list of ingredients has 1/2 C of fresh parsley twice. In the directions, I can only find one time when you say to add the parsley.
Sorry, the ingredient is listed twice in error. Thanks for catching it! We will make the adjustment to the recipe. You can add the chopped parsley with the sausage and chestnuts.