This easy crock pot stuffing recipe is perfect for busy holidays; you can make it ahead of time and keep it warm while the rest of the meal cooks. And, using the crock pot frees up precious oven space! This delicious stuffing recipe is seasoned with thyme, sage, and mushrooms.
Note: this post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021 with new photos and improved instructions.
In my experience, one of the hardest parts of planning a large holiday meal is sharing oven space. What if you have two dishes that need to be cooked at the same time, at different temperatures? This easy crock pot stuffing recipe can help with that!
Rather than having to cram another dish into your already stuffed (ha!) oven, make your stuffing in the crock pot! This way, you can make the stuffing ahead of time and it can stay on warm until everything else is ready. And, this stuffing is so delicious, I would make it every time, even if oven space was no concern (served alongside this delicious recipe for red skin mashed potatoes, of course!).
This stuffing recipe uses big chunks of torn bread that provides tons of extra texture. And since it's cooked on high, it develops the most amazing browned crispy edges that your family will be fighting over, while the center stays soft and moist!
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- Bread: You will need a dense bread, not something that's airy and pillowy. This way it will hold up during cooking rather than turning to mush.
- Dried rubbed sage: I like this better than the powdered kind because I think the little flecks of herbs look nice. But if you only have powdered sage, use half the amount called for in the recipe.
- Stock or broth: you can use store-bought or homemade. Chicken or turkey broth works well; if you want to make the stuffing vegetarian, use vegetable broth.
- Butter: the recipe calls for unsalted butter. But, if you want to use salted butter, just reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe by a little bit.
Step by step photos
1. The night before you want to make the stuffing, tear the bread up into bite-sized pieces (about 1 - 1 ½ inches, or 2.5 - 3.8 cm in size). Spread the bread out on a tray, uncovered, and let it dry out.
If you don't have time, you can also dry the bread out by placing the chunks on a baking sheet and cooking in a low oven (250 degrees F/130 degrees C) for 20 minutes.
2. When you are ready to make the stuffing, the first step is to grease the crock pot. I used non stick cooking spray, but you can also grease it with butter or oil if you prefer. Set the crock pot aside for now.
3. Next, prep the vegetables. Make sure to wipe any dirt off of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel, or rinse them and dry them well. Chop all the veggies into about ¼ inch (6.4 mm) pieces.
4. Now, place the butter, cut into chunks, in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the butter until melted, and then add in the vegetables, spices, kosher salt, and eggs. Mix together until well combined.
5. Place the dried chunks of bread into the bowl and mix everything together well.
6. Drizzle in about 1 ½ cups (355 ml) of the broth or stock overtop the bread mixture. Stir to combine, and continue drizzling in small amounts of the broth, stirring in between additions, until you have evenly moistened the bread chunks but they are not soggy.
(I talk more about how to determine whether you've added enough broth in the Tips and tricks section below!)
7. Add the stuffing mixture into the crock pot and smooth out the top. Add the lid and cook the stuffing on high for 2 hours.
8. After 2 hours on high, check the stuffing by peeking at the edges - if they are crispy enough for your liking, the stuffing is done! You can enjoy it right away or keep the crock pot set to "warm" until you are ready to eat.
If the edges aren't quite crispy enough, replace the lid and continue to cook on high for an additional 15 - 30 minutes.
Tips and tricks
Determining how much broth/stock to add
Ok, even though this crock pot stuffing recipe is really easy to make, this is the trickiest part of the recipe because it's a bit subjective and inexact. I found that about 2 ¼ cups of broth worked well for me.
But, the amount of broth you will need depends on a variety of factors. How dry your bread is, how dense the bread is, how large the chunks are, and your personal tastes! Do you like really soft, moist stuffing, or do you prefer it a bit on the drier side?
Also remember that the vegetables will also release some liquid during cooking, so you don't need the pieces to be totally saturated with broth. Aim for bread chunks softened with liquid but that still hold most of their shape, not soaked through like a wet sponge. Here are some additional guidelines:
- Add about 1 ½ cups (355 ml) broth and stir well, until all the broth is absorbed. Check a chunk of the bread. Is it still dry in some places or has it started to slightly soften and lose some of its hard edges?
- If the bread chunks are still mostly holding their shape and the liquid doesn't seem to have seeped very far into the interior of the pieces, drizzle in some more broth and stir again.
- Stop adding liquid when the chunks start to slump down in the bowl just a bit. The pieces shouldn't be completely soaked through with liquid. They should be softened but still have most of their shape, like this:
If you have added too much broth, throw in some extra chunks of bread! Even if you don't have the same kind, tear up some sandwich bread and toss it in. No one will be able to tell when it's all mixed together.
Other tips and tricks
- Make sure to chop the vegetables into about ¼ inch (6.4 mm) pieces. At this size, the vegetables will cook all the way through in the slow cooker without turning to mush.
- If you want extra crispy edges on your stuffing, make sure to spread the stuffing all the way to the sides of the crock pot or slow cooker.
- If you would like to garnish the stuffing before serving to add a little extra pizzazz, my suggestions would be a sprinkle of chopped parsley on top or springs of fresh thyme on the side.
I used this 3 ½ quart slow cooker from Cuisinart (affiliate link). I've had it for nearly 10 years and it's still going strong! Any crock pot or slow cooker that is 3 ½ quarts (3.3 L) or a similar size will work well for this recipe.
If you happen to not like one of the vegetables, that's no problem! Just add in 1 ½ cups each of the remaining two vegetables to replace the one you don't like. For example, if you don't like mushrooms, just use 1 ½ cups celery and 1 ½ cups onions instead.
For the tastiest stuffing, I recommend making the recipe on the day you want to serve it, rather than cooking it ahead and re-heating it.
However, because this recipe is made in a crock pot (or slow cooker), it's very easy to make a couple hours ahead of time. Once the stuffing is cooked, you can switch the slow cooker to the "warm" setting to hold it safely until you are ready to eat. To avoid drying out the stuffing too much, I would only let it sit on warm for a couple hours at most.
While this stuffing will taste the best on the day it's made, you can keep leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. The stuffing re-heats very well in the microwave, drizzled with a bit of extra broth if needed. Check out this awesome guide on several ways to reheat stuffing!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
Crock Pot Stuffing
An easy stuffing recipe that you can make without using your oven!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: side dish
- Method: slow cooker, crock pot
- Cuisine: American
- 12 cups (454 g) torn bread chunks, about 1 - 1 ½ inch pieces (preferably from a crusty, dense loaf)
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see note 1)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1 cup (130 g) chopped onion, about ¼ inch (6.4 mm) pieces
- 1 cup (125 g) chopped celery, about ¼ inch (6.4 mm) pieces
- 1 cup (87 g) chopped white button mushrooms, about ¼ inch (6.4 mm) pieces
- 2 - 3 cups (473 - 710 ml) chicken or turkey broth/stock (can substitute vegetable broth)
- nonstick spray, butter or oil for greasing the crock pot
**Do ahead step** Tear bread into about 1 - 1 ½ inch (2.5 - 3.8 cm) pieces. Spread out onto a baking tray and allow to dry out, uncovered, overnight. Or, if you don't have time, place the baking tray of torn bread chunks into a preheated 250 degrees F (130 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. The outsides should be very dry, but the interior should still have some softness remaining.
- Generously spray the interior of a crock pot or slow cooker with nonstick spray (or grease well with butter or oil). (See note 2.)
- Cut the butter into chunks and place into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave again in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until just melted.
- Add the salt, thyme, sage, eggs, and chopped vegetables. Stir to combine.
- Add the dried bread chunks and toss together using hands or a wooden spoon until the wet ingredients are absorbed evenly into the bread.
- Drizzle about 1 ½ cups (355 ml) broth over the top of the bread chunks and toss again until absorbed. Add additional broth in small amounts until the bread starts to slump in the bowl but before the bread chunks are completely saturated with broth, tossing as you add. The bread chunks should look softened but should still hold most of their shape. You will likely need about 2 ¼ - 2 ¾ cups (532 - 651 ml) broth, but the exact amount will vary based on how dry and dense the bread is and your personal preference.
- Place the stuffing into the greased crock pot, spreading the top out evenly. Cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, check the stuffing. If you want the sides of the stuffing to be more crunchy, cook for an additional 15 - 30 minutes on high.
- Serve immediately or set crock pot to the "keep warm" setting until ready to serve.
This recipe uses kosher salt, which is coarse grained. If substituting with fine grain salt, start with ¾ teaspoon salt instead of the 1 teaspoon called for, and sprinkle on more at the end if needed.
A crock pot or slow cooker that is 3.5 - 4 quarts (3.3 L - 3.79 L) in size will work best for this recipe.
If you would like to garnish the stuffing before serving, a sprinkle of chopped parsley on top or springs of fresh thyme on the side would work well.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ⅛ recipe
- Calories: 301
- Sugar: 8.4 g
- Sodium: 842 mg
- Fat: 14.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 7.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 33.8 g
- Fiber: 2.2 g
- Protein: 8.7 g
- Cholesterol: 77 mg
Keywords: slow cooker stuffing, crock pot stuffing, easy slow cooker stuffing