Crockpot Stuffing & Why I Don’t Stuff Turkey

When preparing all the dishes for Thanksgiving my oven just isn’t large enough to handle everything that needs to be in there at the same time. Cooking stuffing in the crockpot freed up oven space and helped with my time frame for preparing the meal (recipe below). Although I love stuffing, when it was just my two children and I there would be enough leftover to freeze so we could have stuffing whenever we wanted.

On the advice from my father (a retired poultry science professor) I have always cooked my stuffing in a dish – not inside the turkey – using drippings from the turkey for flavor.

 Why you should not stuff your turkey:

  • Takes longer to cook the turkey
  • May not heat thoroughly into the center of the bird (and the stuffing) increasing the chance of salmonella.
  • Not enough fits inside!

Crockpot Stuffing

2 c chopped celery
2 c chopped onion
12 c bread, cube the day before
1 t poultry seasoning
1 t thyme
2 t sage
½ t black pepper
1 ½ t salt (I use Real Salt)
2 eggs
2 or more cups broth (from the turkey, vegetable broth, or your preferance)

Celery and onions may be sauted in butter, oil, or broth if desired. Mix celery and onions with bread cubes. Mix seasonings, broth, and eggs. Add mixture to bread cubes. If it is too dry add more broth.

Place mixture into crockpot, cover and cook on high for one hour. Cook on low for 2 – 4 hours.

If using fresh herbs, double the amount and chop finely.

Drier bread cubes may require more than 2 cups broth.

Can be doubled for larger crockpots.

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Stuffing

One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is the stuffing although I make it other times of the year also.  Every year I  make it the same way except that I sometimes cook it in the crockpot since the oven is used for so many other things on that day.   I decided to try something different and substitute cauliflower for the bread.  Use cauliflower instead of bread in your recipe or use my recipe below.  I never actually stuff the turkey – for safety and time reasons.  A stuffed turkey takes longer to cook and the stuffing often does not get heated enough to be safe.  A 9 x 13 pan works well for cooking this stuffing.

Cauliflower Stuffing

Cauliflower Stuffing

Cauliflower cut into chunks – about 4 cups

1/3 c. onion, chopped

3/4 c. celery, chopped

3/4 t. dried sage or 1/2 T. fresh sage, chopped

1/2 t. dried thyme or 1 1/2 t. fresh thyme leaves

1/4 t black pepper

1 c. turkey or chicken broth

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Bake in a 9 x 12 baking dish at 325 F for about 20 minutes.  Recipe may be doubled.