Slow-Cooker Stuffing

Slow-Cooker Stuffing

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Oven real estate is a big deal on Thanksgiving day. Even if you’ve whipped up plenty of make-ahead recipes, there’s still plenty to cook on the big day. One of our favorite ways to keep our oven free for the major players—the roast turkey and pumpkin pie, of course—is by utilizing the magic of the slow cooker. While you buzz around the kitchen, it’ll cook your stuffing for you — resulting in a delicious Thanksgiving side dish waiting for you to serve up. Keep these few things in mind when making this slow-cooker stuffing and you’ll be cool as a cucumber on the big day:

What kind of bread is best for stuffing?

A crusty loaf of sourdough is our favorite choice for stuffing—it holds up well with all of the liquid, and dries out beautifully to get the best results. Make sure your loaf is stale before using, and if not, toast in the oven at 350° for around 20 minutes, or until dry and crispy. 

Adding meat is easy.

Big fan of sausage stuffing? Start by browning your favorite sausage in a medium skillet, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Use the sausage fat and half the amount of butter called for in the recipe to sauté the rest of your veggies and herbs. This will infuse your stuffing with tons of extra flavor. Not a fan of sausage? Try chopped bacon instead. 

The key to making the best crockpot stuffing:

Plenty of slow-cooker recipes are just dump and go. This one requires a little extra effort, but it makes a huge difference in the final product. Sautéing the herbs and vegetables in a separate pan allows the flavors to open up and infuse the stuffing. Throwing in raw vegetables will work (you’ll still have to brown any meat separately if you want to use it), but the flavors will be much more subtle than a classic stuffing. Alternatively, you can use an Instant Pot for this recipe: it has a sauté function for the veggies and meat, as well as a slow-cooker setting.

Make it ahead—set it & forget it.

Thanksgiving is hectic, we get it. This is the perfect dish to set aside while you prepare everything else. After the 3 hour cook time, switch the pot to the “keep warm” setting—just give it a stir every 30 minutes or so to make sure the bread around the edges doesn’t dry out. If the stuffing is ready hours before dinner time, you can add up to ¼ cup of broth every few hours to keep things hydrated.

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!

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Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins
  • Cooking spray, for Crockpot

  • 1/2 c.

    (1 stick) butter

  • 3

    stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 1

    medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp.

    fresh thyme leaves 

  • 1 tsp.

    fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp.

    sage, finely chopped

  • 2

    large eggs, beaten

  • 2 c.

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 7 c.

    stale bread, cubed into small pieces

  • 1 tbsp.

    parsley, finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Directions

    1. Step 1In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. When melted, add celery, onion, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
    2. Step 2Grease the bowl of your Crock-Pot and add your cubed bread. Pour vegetable mixture, eggs, broth, and parsley over bread. Toss to combine and cover.
    3. Step 3Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, stirring after 2 hours have passed. Garnish with parsley before serving.

stuffing in a crockpot

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PHOTO: DOAA ELKADY; FOOD STYLING: MAKINZE GORE

stuffing in a crockpotpinterest

PHOTO: DOAA ELKADY; FOOD STYLING: MAKINZE GORE

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Headshot of Lena Abraham

Lena Abraham

Contributor

Lena Abraham is a freelance contributor with Delish, and was formerly Senior Food Editor, where she developed and styled recipes for video and photo, and also stayed on top of current food trends. She’s been working in the food industry for over 10 years, and will argue that the best fish tacos in the world are made in New York. Don’t @ her.

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