I don't know about you, but when I host for the holidays, I like to carefully orchestrate the entire day of cooking. Like, writing down exactly which dishes will share the oven at what time, which items I need to make ahead, etc. Having this game plan makes me feel more relaxed so I can enjoy the day. But, one of the hardest parts of planning a large meal like this is sharing oven space. What if you have two dishes that need to be cooked at the same time but 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, just make your stuffing in the crock pot! It's brilliant - this way, you can make the stuffing ahead of time and just let it cook away on the counter, and it can stay on warm until everything else is ready.
And this stuffing is truly amazing! Even if I didn't need the extra oven space, I would still make this recipe every time, hands down. This crock pot 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 is still soft and moist! I cannot say enough good things about this stuffing, you will just have to try it for yourself!
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Crock Pot Stuffing Ingredients
Here's what you'll need to make this easy crock pot stuffing:
- Dense bread: you can cut it into cubes, but I prefer to tear it into chunks for more texture and visual interest! 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. You need 12 cups of bread chunks, for me this equaled one 1 pound loaf.
- Butter: unsalted
- Eggs: 2 large
- Onion, celery and mushroom: if you don't like one of these, just add in more of the other two.
- Salt: I used coarse Kosher salt. If you're using regular fine grain salt, add a bit less than called for in the recipe
- Dried Thyme
- 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.
- Chicken or turkey broth/stock: the amount you will need varies depending on how dry your bread is. See the Helpful Tips section below for more info on how much to add.
- Fresh parsley: this is truly optional but does look nice as a garnish at the end.
Here are a few pointers so you can make this easy crock pot stuffing perfectly the first time around:
How Much Stock (Broth) Should I Add to Crock Pot Stuffing?
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. Therefore, 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 of broth and stir with your hands (my preferred way) or a wooden spoon 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.
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.
A Few Other Quick Tips
- If you don't have time to or forgot to set the bread out to dry the day before, never fear! You can dry the bread out in a low oven, I've included instructions on how to do that in the recipe card below.
- Make sure to chop the vegetables in a small (but not super tiny) dice, about ¼ inch. This way 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. You can also cook it for an additional 15 - 30 minutes to get a deeper browning. But, I would check it at the 2 hour mark first to assess how the crust is coming along!
If you’ve tried this recipe for Crock Pot Stuffing, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!
If you need some other ideas for amazing holiday side dishes, check these festive recipes out:
- Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries
- Carrot Pumpkin Apple Soup
- Red Wine Poached Pears with Blue Cheese
An easy stuffing recipe that you can make without using your oven!
- 12 c. torn bread chunks, about 1 inch pieces (preferably from a crusty, dense loaf)
- 1 stick (½ c.) unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon. Kosher salt (see note)
- 1 teaspoon. dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon. dried rubbed sage
- 1 c. chopped onion (about ¼ inch pieces)
- 1 c. chopped celery (about ¼ inch pieces)
- 1 c. chopped white button mushrooms (about ¼ inch pieces)
- 2 - 3 c. chicken or turkey broth (can substitute vegetable broth)
- garnish: fresh chopped parsley (optional)
**Do ahead step** Tear bread into about 1 inch 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 degree oven for 20 minutes. The outsides should be very dry, but the interior should still have some softness remaining.
1. Generously spray the interior of a crock pot or slow cooker with nonstick spray.
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.
3. Add the salt, thyme, sage, eggs, and chopped vegetables. Stir to combine.
4. Add the dried bread chunks and toss together using hands or a wooden spoon until wet ingredients are absorbed evenly into the bread.
5. Drizzle about 1 ½ c. 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 c. broth, but the exact amount will vary based on how dry and dense the bread is and your personal preference.
6. 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.
7. When ready to serve, garnish with chopped parsley (optional).
If using fine grain salt, use a little less than 1 teaspoon
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