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

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

Easy Slow Cooker Stuffing

4.26 from 62 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 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings


  • 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)


  • 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.
    10 cups bread (about 1 loaf)
  • 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.
    1 ½ cups chopped onion, ½ cup butter, 1 ½ cups chopped celery
  • Place cooled bread in a large bowl and add minced herbs, cooled onion mixture, chestnuts, salt, and black 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.
    2 tbsp sage, 1 tbsp thyme, ½ tbsp rosemary, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 egg, 1 ½ cups roasted chestnuts, 1 qt turkey/chicken/vegetable stock
  • 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.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 218kcal
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Slow Cooker

You May Also Like

Never miss a post by signing up for my newsletter.
Avatar for 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!

Learn more about me

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  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?

  7. 5 stars
    The stuffing was delicious and my new go to for Thanksgiving. No more stuffing the bird. Thanks for sharing your wonderful cooking with us.

  8. Hey Kaleb, on your stuffing Iam having a problem with the chestnuts. were do you find them already shelled ? i never made them before. Are chestnuts soft out of the shell? I totally dont get the chestnut think. Lol can you help with with this part. Iam doing a wyseguide Thanksgiving wish me luck. I cant wait.

  9. I have not tried this recipe but it looks wonderful. One problem for me – several in my family are gluten-free! Could this be made with GF bread?

    1. I’ve made this recipe twice without the chestnuts. Still absolutely delicious and I love having the extra oven space.

  10. Help! I am making this now. Wondering if I can finish tonight since I will be serving tomorrow at a pot luck? Basically, can you make ahead cook and reheat in crockpot tomorrow? What is your suggestion? Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Tried this yesterday for our Thanksgiving dinner. Loved it!!! So simple n making in crockpot a game changer! We couldn’t find any chestnut’s in FL but it was absolutely delicious!

  12. Hello!
    I wanted to tell you I made your slow cooker stuffing recipe for my thanksgiving gathering! I’ve never made stuffing from scratch before but my mom used to every year for Christmas. Sadly she’s no longer with us so your recipe was a great help! It turned out great! My ex husband used to just use boxed stuffing and so I did that for a few years but it Was so fun to make it from scratch this year! I will certainly most Do it again! I did leave out the chestnuts, only because I didn’t know where to find them. I might try to find some and make
    It again because I have some leftover bread!
    Thanks For the recipe! I love watching you cook! Keep it up! I want to try your twice baked sweet potatoes too! Maybe as a casserole tho cuz I don’t like to putt too much.

  13. 5 stars
    I love watching all your videos! You break down the cooking/baking/gardening elements into easy to understand steps making one feel like it can be done. Especially love your chocolate chip cookies and I know I will love everything you make.
    I recently lost my mom, so watching you cook with your mom & grandmom is so sweet it brings me to tears having similar memories.
    You’re so talented and I thoroughly enjoy your posts!

  14. 5 stars
    As always, another wonderful recipe! I love stuffing and can’t wait to try it with the roasted chestnuts this year! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family🎃🎃

  15. 5 stars
    I made a batch and a half of this luscious dressing. I made homemade challah and squash yeast bread and used both to make this dressing. I used Bell’s Seasoning in place of the herbs suggested. I did not add the chestnuts. Using a slow cooker is just perfect.