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, making stuffing in the crockpot 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 and 2022 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 these delicious recipes for red skin mashed potatoes and orange glazed carrots, of course!).
This stuffing recipe uses big chunks of torn bread that provides tons of extra texture. And, since it's cooked on high, the stuffing 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: ideally you will use a slightly denser bread, not something that's super airy and pillowy (such as sliced white sandwich bread). We want the bread to 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
Here's a step by step breakdown on how to make stuffing in the crockpot. (For the full recipe, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post!)
1. The night before you want to make the crock pot 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 crock pot stuffing, the first step is to grease the crock pot well. 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. Next, 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 falling apart.
(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 (but don't compress the stuffing). The crockpot should be about ⅔ full. Add the lid and cook the stuffing on high for 2 hours.
8. After 2 hours on high, check the stuffing. The edges should be crispy, and the internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F. Now you can enjoy the crock pot stuffing right away, or, keep the crock pot set to "warm" until you are ready to eat.
If the stuffing isn't quite done, go ahead and replace the lid. Then, continue to cook the stuffing for an additional 15 - 30 minutes until cooked through.
This crock pot stuffing recipe is pretty traditional in terms of the flavors. If you would like to add some extra zip to the stuffing, here are some ideas:
- For a sweeter flavor, add in some dried fruits such as dried sweetened cranberries, chopped dried apricots, or chopped dried figs.
- For a nutty flavor and crunchy texture, add in a small handful of toasted chopped nuts. Pistachios or almonds would be delicious!
- Or, try adding some cooked sausage crumbles for a richer, meatier stuffing. Sausage flavored with sage would pair really well with the flavors already in the stuffing.
If you're adding in some extras, don't overdo it; aim for around ½ - 1 cup of added ingredients.
Prepping stuffing ahead of time
- 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.
- But, because this recipe is made in a crock pot, you can easily make it a couple hours ahead of time. When the stuffing is cooked, switch the crock pot to the "warm" setting until 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.
- Although I recommend cooking the stuffing day-of, you can still do some prep the day before. You can tear the bread and let it dry out the day before. You can also chop the veggies the day before and store them covered in the fridge.
Tips and tricks
Determining how much broth/stock to add
Okay, 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 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 to completely soak the bread pieces with broth. Here are some additional guidelines:
- Add about 1 ½ cups (355 ml) broth and stir well, until all the broth is absorbed.
- Now check a chunk of the bread. Is it still dry in some places? Is the bread still holding most of its shape? Has the liquid not absorbed much into the center of the piece? If yes, drizzle in a little more broth.
- Stop adding liquid when the chunks start to slump down in the bowl and the pieces are evenly moistened throughout, but before the bread chunks start to totally lose their shape.
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.
- Want nice and crispy edges on your stuffing? Spread the stuffing all the way to the sides of the crock pot, make sure not to overly saturate the stuffing, and grease the crock pot very well.
- For a little extra pizzazz, garnish the stuffing right before serving with a sprinkle of chopped parsley on top or springs of fresh thyme on the side.
- 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.
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 slightly larger will work well for this recipe.
For best results, I recommend using a bread that has some texture to it, rather than bread that is super light and pillowy. By using firmer bread, the stuffing won't be too mushy when cooked. That being said, if you really enjoy a softer, more tender texture for your stuffing, feel free to use softer bread!
What makes this crock pot stuffing so special (in my opinion!) is the larger, more texture-rich chunks of real bread. This really gives the stuffing a more interesting look and feel.
However, if you want to save some time, I am all for that. You can replace the bread in the recipe with an equal amount of unseasoned pre-cut stuffing cubes. You may need to add more liquid, however, because the store-bought bread cubs are drier. Take a look at the Tips and tricks section for a description of how much liquid to add to the stuffing.
After the 2 hour cook time, the stuffing should be at least 165 degrees F in the center, and, the edges should be crispy. If you need to, you can cook the stuffing for an additional 15 - 30 minutes after checking it at the 2 hour mark.
You can keep leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. The crock pot 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!
Stuffing can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just store it in an airtight container or gallon zip-top bag (with as much of the air removed as possible).
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
This crock pot stuffing recipe will save you precious oven space during the holidays! It features torn chunks of crusty bread, seasoned with sage and thyme.
- 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, or to taste (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 evenly mixed.
- 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 - 2 ¾ cups (473 - 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. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, check the stuffing; the internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F. If you want the sides of the stuffing to be more crunchy, replace the lid and cook for an additional 15 - 30 minutes on high.
- Serve immediately or set the crock pot to the "keep warm" setting until ready to serve.
This recipe was developed using Diamond Crystal kosher salt. To substitute table salt, use only ½ teaspoon.
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. The nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brands and exact amounts of ingredients used. 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: crock pot stuffing, crockpot stuffing, stuffing in the crockpot