Table of Contents
  1. What is stuffing as compared to dressing?
  2. How is Thanksgiving dressing made?
  3. Watch how to make this slow cooker stuffing
  4. Easy Slow Cooker Stuffing Recipe

What could be better than a super easy, moist, and flavorful slow cooker stuffing for the big Thanksgiving meal? But what exact ingredients go into the stuffing is a big debate.

There are so many different flavors, spices, bread choices, and various additions that can be added to this classic dish. And this recipe keeps it simple with herbal flavors including sage, rosemary, and thyme.

The best part of the entire recipe: to make it easier and free up oven space, this is all cooked in the slow cooker!

Hand spooning out serving of slow cooker stuffing out of white baking dish all on white countertop

What is stuffing as compared to dressing?

Anymore, the terms dressing and stuff are used interchangeably. Both are composed of a bread mixed with meat drippings, stock, and herbs to create a Thanksgiving side dish.

  • Stuffing is prepared and then stuffed (literally) into a turkey cavity. After this, it’s cooked when the turkey goes in the oven.
  • Dressing is cooked separately independent of the turkey. Cooking anything in the cavity of the turkey is tricky and a food safety concern.

Call this recipe stuffing or dressing. Either way, it’s made in a slow cooker and is delicious, which is all that matters.

Top down view of white baking dish filled with slow cooker stuffing with spoon sitting inside with herbs and chestnuts all around on wood surface

How is Thanksgiving dressing made?

What I truly love about this stuffing recipe is that, with a small amount of prep, everything gets thrown into the slow cooker and can be entirely forgotten about! But there are a few things to remember:

  • The bread needs to be completely dried in the oven. Leaving it out at room temperature to dry only dries the outer edges and never gets all the way to the center. If not properly dried, the bread will not absorb the liquid as well.
  • Herbs are what give flavor to the dressing. Note: if using dried herbs, use only half the amount of the fresh herbs listed.
  • The correct ratio of liquid to bread is crucial. Slowly adding the liquid to the dried bread and stirring often makes sure all of the bread is evenly receiving the liquid.
  • Adding one egg to the liquid helps the dressing have a good texture.
  • Chestnuts are a classic ingredient and give a subtle, soft, nutty flavor. If you don’t want to use chestnuts, add toasted pecans or dried cranberries at the end of cooking.
White baking container with scoop missing of slow cooker stuffing

More Thanksgiving side dishes

Watch how to make this slow cooker stuffing

Top down view of toasty golden slow cooker stuffing sitting in white baking dish sitting on wood countertop

Easy Slow Cooker Stuffing

3.92 from 34 votes
Stuffing at Thanksgiving should be set it and forget it! With this super easy slow cooker stuffing, you can achieve just that!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 6 hrs 30 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 10 cups bread (about 1 loaf) torn into irregular pieces
  • 1 qt turkey/chicken/vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp sage freshly minced (1 tbsp dry)
  • 1 tbsp thyme freshly minced (½ tbsp dry)
  • ½ tbsp rosemary freshly minced (2 tsp dry)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cups chopped celery
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 ½ cups roasted chestnuts cut in half (if large)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 225°F.
  • Place torn bread on two large sheet pans and put them in the oven to dry. Let dry for approximately one hour, switching racks halfway through. Once cooled on the counter, the bread cubes should feel very dry and brittle.
  • Over medium heat, melt butter in a large skillet. Add chopped onion and celery. Sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent and slightly tender, 6-8 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Place cooled bread in a large bowl and add minced herbs, cooled onion mixture, chestnuts, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and add the egg to the stock. Pour half of the stock over the bread. No liquid should be sitting at the bottom of the bowl. Let the bread soak up the liquid and add the remainder.
  • Pour into a 6-quart slow cooker and set to low. The stuffing will take 5-6 hours and become slightly puffed and set around the edges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 27.6gProtein: 4.9gFat: 9.9gSaturated Fat: 5.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.9gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 36.7mgSodium: 397.9mgPotassium: 252.2mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 5.1gVitamin A: 76.3IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 70.2mgIron: 1.6mg
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Slow Cooker

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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12 Comments

  1. I’ve had thanksgiving at my house for over 20 years now. We normally have 25-52 guest. I hate to admit but I have never made homemade stuffing. Your recipe looks so good it makes me want to try it. What is the temp and cook time for the oven?
    Thanks : )

  2. 5 stars
    I just love your Recipes I enjoy everyone that I can make copies of i enjoy eating then they look delicious. I share then with my friends. Thank you so much may God bless you.

  3. 5 stars
    This has the same ingredients as my mother’s dressing. We never made it in the slow cooker, however. I may try it this year.
    You have shared so many fabulous recipes and I have enjoyed making many of them. My favorite this far is your parmesan lrisotto with shrimp and asparagus! I had never made risotto, but you give me so much confidence, I know I can be successful making your recipes. I look forward to many more. Thank you!!

  4. You and your mother remind me of me and my son. I absolutely love everything you’re teaching me. My mother passed and she makes her dressing like yours but in the oven covered so it’s not real crusty and I had no idea even though I made it with her every year so I went to thank you for letting me bring a good try to her dressing this Thanksgiving. Take care and keep teaching us.❤️

  5. 5 stars
    I haven’t yet made this but bought the ingredients to give it a try (on a small scale). I was unable to find fresh chestnuts (in Houston) but when googled “roasted chestnuts” found that Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc. had them already roasted and peeled–made by Gefen. (At Target, they were in the Kosher section?). Can’t wait to try them and make this dressing/stuffing (today)!

    1. 5 stars
      Made 1/2 recipe today. This is so DELICIOUS!! I used 1/2 a loaf of rustic buttermilk sourdough bread, herbs from my garden, and the “recipe ready” chestnuts mentioned in my previous comment (they are wonderful). This will definitely be my dressing for Thanksgiving going forward!!

  6. 5 stars
    I usually do a turkey breast in the slow cooker on low for 5 hrs. Could this dressing recipe be cooked together with the turkey breast?