Slow Cooker Stuffing (with oven method)
Yield: 12 servings
Tender stuffing with crispy edges is 100% possible in a slow cooker, freeing up precious oven space. Various options and prep-ahead tips will keep everyone happy!


  • 2 pounds hearty white bread, diced into ½-inch cubes (about 20 cups)*
  • 1 teaspoon EACH fresh black pepper, poultry seasoning, dried sage, dried thyme, dried marjoram (may sub ¾ teaspoon dried oregano for the marjoram)**
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 – 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided use
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter***
  • 3 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 275℉. Spread the bread cubes evenly over 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake on separate oven racks for 45 minutes, give or take 5 minutes or so, or until the bread cubes are dried, stirring and rotating the baking sheets once or twice. Remove from oven and allow to cool. (See all prep-ahead tips, below.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the black pepper, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram (or oregano) and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then add 2 cups of the chicken broth, whisking until well blended. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery, and sauté until soft, about 8 to 12 minutes. In the final minute or so, stir in the dried herbs and seasonings along with the ½ cup chopped parsley. Remove from the heat.
  5. Transfer the dried bread cubes to a very large bowl. (Tip: the turkey roasting pan works well if you don’t have an extra-large bowl.) Pour the onion mixture over the bread cubes, scraping out all the buttery juices, and gently toss.
  6. Drizzle the chicken broth/egg mixture over top, and immediately toss to evenly coat. At this point you may drizzle in more broth if needed to just moisten bread. I add about ½ more. (Helpful hint: you don’t want the bread cubes to be saturated, otherwise the stuffing will end up soggy. The bread should hold its shape and doesn’t need to be moistened all the way through. Some broth will also pool at the bottom of the bowl and will soak in later.)
  7. Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or coat with olive oil, and then transfer the bread cube mixture into the cooker.
  8. Cover and cook on high heat 30 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low and cook 3 to 4 hours longer. Sprinkle top with fresh, minced parsley (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and serve warm.


*It’s important to use a hearty white bread, like Pepperidge Farm (keep reading for foolproof GF suggestions). I often use primarily white sandwich bread – and I always include the crusts – and sometimes fill in with odds and ends of hot dog or other crusty rolls that I may have in my freezer. Some people swear by potato bread or corn bread, although I haven’t tested them with this recipe. Gluten-free bread works quite well, as long as you follow the all-white bread rule. Whole grain breads, whether GF or regular, tend to result in mushy stuffing. For those who’d like a specific brand to look for when buying gluten-free, I’ve had excellent results with Three Bakers and Udi’s.
**For the dried herbs in this recipe, you may use ground or leaves. When using ground, I use a fairly level teaspoon; when using leaves, I round the teaspoon. Alternatively, you may substitute a tablespoon or two of minced fresh herbs in place of the dried.
***For a dairy-free alternative, I recommend Earth Balance butter.

Pre-ahead options:
The bread cubes may be dried in the oven several days in advance, cooled completely and stored in large resealable bags or an airtight container.
The vegetable mixture may be sautéed 1-2 days in advance and transferred to an airtight container. (Be sure to include all the butter and juices.) Before stirring into the bread cubes, warm just enough to melt the butter and make it easier to incorporate.
The eggs may be whisked and combined with the 2 cups of broth, covered and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance.
The dried spices and seasoning may be mixed in a small bowl or jar up to a week or so in advance, and then covered and stored in a cool, dry place.

If you prefer a crunchy top layer: transfer the removable insert dish to the oven and broil for a couple of minutes, watching closely to avoid burning, until nicely toasted.

Conventional Oven Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350℉ and transfer the stuffing mixture to a casserole dish that has been coated with olive oil or nonstick spray. (You may use two smaller dishes if you don’t have one that’s big enough.) Cover with foil and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until hot. For a crispy top layer, remove the foil during the last 15 minutes of baking or place under the broiler briefly before serving.

Optional stuffing add-ins:
A few cloves of minced garlic may be added in the last minute or so of sautéing the vegetables.
Other complementary vegetable choices include leeks, mushrooms and carrots; as with the other vegetables, sauté before mixing into the bread cubes.
Cooked and crumbled sausage is a lovely addition. For this recipe, use up to 2 pounds (weight before cooking).
Chestnuts or other nuts such as walnuts, pecans or almonds may be added. Plan on 2 to 3 cups for this size recipe.
Dried fruit could also be added for those who enjoy. A cup or so of chopped dried apricots, cherries or cranberries is a good amount.
Some also enjoy oysters, minced giblets or fresh diced apples in their stuffing. Feel free to use this recipe as a framework for what your family enjoys.

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