This easy make ahead Crock Pot stuffing is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving turkey dinner! It’s an elevated take on the classic recipe that’s a family favorite. It’s filled with flavor from sausage, Granny Smith apples, celery, onion, parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary.
Crock Pot Stuffing
I absolutely love this Crock Pot stuffing recipe. Not only does it make your home smell like holiday heaven, but it also tastes incredible.
The combination of savory sausage, sweet apples, and aromatic herbs create a flavor profile that’s hard to resist. Cooking it in the Crock Pot only enhances these flavors and gives the stuffing a delicious texture – moist and rich with a crisp golden top.
The apples are what makes this slow cooker dressing recipe truly special. The tart sweetness of Granny Smith apples cuts through the savory richness of the sausage, creating a balance that’s totally out of this world delicious.
Crockpot stuffing is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving turkey. I love serving it with our turkey tenderloins or this boneless turkey breast roast. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce! I always serve it with cranberry relish or this canned cranberry sauce recipe. It even tastes amazing with boneless prime rib roast or this Christmas chicken for Christmas dinner.
Pork Sausage: Using your favorite flavor or a mild breakfast sausage adds depth of flavor and heartiness to the stuffing.
Unsalted Butter: This ingredient creates a rich base for the stuffing and contributes to its creamy texture.
Yellow Onions and Celery: These vegetables add a delightful crunch and a contrasting texture to the stuffing. Onion adds some sweetness, while celery adds a mild earthy flavor.
Apples: I recommend Granny Smith apples because of their balanced sweet and tart notes that pair perfectly with the savory sausage.
Bread: Day-old sourdough or French bread is ideal as they hold up well in the stuffing thanks to their more substantial crust.
Chicken Broth: A low-sodium version will help control the saltiness of the stuffing while adding the necessary moisture.
Dry White Wine (optional): This can add complexity of flavor to your stuffing. If you prefer, you can substitute it with additional chicken broth.
Parsley, Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary: These fresh herbs infuse the stuffing with a wonderful aromatic flavor that screams holiday!
Salt and Ground Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance and elevate all the other flavors in the stuffing.
Dried Marjoram (optional): If you choose to use it, this herb will add an additional depth of flavor. It has an earthy flavor that’s similar to oregano and thyme.
Eggs: These are a binder that brings all the ingredients together, ensuring a cohesive stuffing.
- Vegetarian version: Omit the sausage and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. You can also add 1 cup of chopped mushrooms to the onion and celery mixture for an extra layer of flavor.
- Pears: Chopped pears can provide a similar texture and a mild sweetness to the stuffing.
- Dried fruits: Add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped dried apricots for a burst of sweet-tart flavor.
- Chestnuts: Roasted and chopped chestnuts can add a nutty, earthy flavor and a slightly sweet taste to the stuffing.
- Additional vegetables: Increase the amount of onions, celery, and/or add mushrooms for a more savory stuffing without any fruit.
How To Make Crock Pot Stuffing
Prepare the Skillet: Start by heating up a large skillet, then cook your sausage until it’s browned and crumbly. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Transfer Sausage: Use a slotted spoon to move the cooked sausage to a large bowl, keeping the juices in the skillet.
Saute Vegetables and Apples: Melt butter in the skillet. Add in the onions and celery, saute until softened.
Add the apples and continue to saute.
Whisk Liquid and Herbs: In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, white wine (if using), herbs, salt, and pepper.
Combine Sausage and Vegetables: Mix the sauteed vegetables and apples with the sausage in the large bowl.
Add the Bread: Add in the cubed bread and mix well.
Combine Everything: Pour the liquid and herb mixture over the bread and sausage. Add the beaten eggs and mix gently until everything is well combined.
Prepare Crock Pot: Grease your Crock Pot and transfer the stuffing mixture into it, spreading it out evenly and pressing it down gently.
Cook the Stuffing: Cover your Crock Pot and cook your stuffing. Remember to stir it gently once or twice during cooking to ensure even cooking.
Finish and Rest: Once your stuffing is cooked through and the top is golden brown, gently stir it and let it rest to let it absorb the butter. You can serve it directly from the Crock Pot or transfer it to a serving dish. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.
- If you’re using fresh bread, cut it into cubes and let it sit out overnight. This will allow it to dry out so it won’t become mushy when you add the liquid.
- Want a crispier top on your stuffing? Remove the lid of your Crockpot for the last part of the cooking process. This will give the top layer a chance to crisp up nicely.
- Don’t skip the resting time after your stuffing is done cooking. This allows the butter to be fully absorbed, making your stuffing even more flavorful.
- To ensure your stuffing is cooked to perfection, it should reach a temperature of 165°F in the center. A digital food thermometer is a handy tool to have for this.
Can You Cook Stuffing In A Crock Pot?
Absolutely! Cooking stuffing in a slow cooker is a great way to free up oven space during the holidays. It also helps to keep the stuffing moist and flavorful.
How Do You Make Stuffing Not Soggy?
The key to avoiding soggy stuffing is to not overdo it with the liquid. You want just enough to moisten the bread and help bind everything together. Also, using day-old bread that’s a bit dry can help absorb the liquid without it becoming too mushy.
How Do You Crisp The Top Of Crockpot Stuffing?
If you prefer a crispy top on your stuffing, simply remove the lid of your Crock Pot for the last portion of the cooking time. This will allow the top to brown and crisp up nicely.
Do You Put Eggs In Stuffing?
Yes, eggs are an integral part of most stuffing recipes. They act as a binder to hold all the ingredients together and create a nice, cohesive stuffing.
What Can I Add To Stuffing For Flavor?
There are many ways to enhance the flavor of your stuffing. Fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary are classic additions. Apples, dried fruits, or nuts can add a nice sweetness and texture. Don’t forget to season it with salt and pepper!
What Is The Best Bread To Make Stuffing With?
Sourdough or French bread are excellent choices for stuffing. They have a sturdy structure that holds up well thanks to their thicker crust, and sourdough has a pleasant tanginess. It’s best to use day-old bread that’s a bit dry.
Do You Use Fresh Or Stale Bread For Stuffing?
Stale bread is actually the best for stuffing. It’s drier than fresh bread and can absorb the liquid and flavors better without becoming too soggy.
Why Should Stuffing Be Cooked Separately?
Cooking stuffing separately is safer as it ensures the stuffing is cooked to a safe temperature without overcooking the meat. It also allows the stuffing to develop a nice crispy top.
Can You Make Stuffing Ahead Of Time And Reheat?
Certainly! You can prepare the stuffing a day ahead, store it in the refrigerator, and then reheat it when you’re ready to serve it.
How Do You Know When Stuffing Is Ready?
Stuffing is ready when it’s heated through, the top is golden brown, and the edges start to pull away from the side of the Crock Pot. The internal temperature should be 165°F.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other holiday recipes. Some reader favorites are:
- How to Make Stove Top Stuffing Better
- Paula Deen Green Bean Casserole
- Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- Canned Sweet Potato Casserole
- Baked Mac and Cheese with Velveeta
- Jiffy Corn Casserole
- Jiffy Cornbread Dressing
- 1 pound pork sausage (use your favorite flavor or mild breakfast sausage)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 12 cups (1.5 pounds) day-old cubed bread (sourdough or French bread works great)
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional - you can substitute with additional chicken broth)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley*
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage*
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme*
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary*
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (optional)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the sausage and saute, breaking it into crumbles as it cooks. Cook until browned and no longer pink, about 7-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a large mixing bowl.
- In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, and saute until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chopped apples, and saute for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add the onion, celery, and apple mixture to the large mixing bowl with the sausage. Stir in the cubed bread, making sure everything is well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, white wine (if using), parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, black pepper, and marjoram (if using). Pour the mixture over the bread and sausage mixture. Add the beaten eggs and gently mix until everything is evenly combined.
- Grease a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick spray or butter. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the slow cooker, spreading it out evenly and pressing down gently.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 3 1/2 hours, then on HIGH for 30 minutes (or until the stuffing is cooked through and the top is golden brown). You can gently stir the stuffing once or twice during cooking to ensure even cooking.
- Once the stuffing is done cooking, gently stir it, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes without the heat on to let it absorb the butter. You can serve it directly from the Crock Pot or transfer it to a serving dish.
*To replace the fresh herbs with dried herbs, you’ll need the following amounts: 4 teaspoons dried parsley, 2 teaspoons dried sage, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon dried thyme. When using dried herbs, it's important to crush them between your fingers before adding them to the recipe. This helps release their natural oils and flavor. Follow the original recipe instructions, making sure to add the dried herbs along with the salt, black pepper, and marjoram (if using) when whisking together the chicken broth and white wine mixture.
Tip: For a vegetarian version, omit the sausage and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. You can also add 1 cup of chopped mushrooms to the onion and celery mixture for an extra layer of flavor.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 445Total Fat: 28.8gCarbohydrates: 31.6gFiber: 3gSugar: 7.5gProtein: 16g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I hope this Crock Pot stuffing recipe becomes a holiday tradition in your home, just like it has in mine! Happy holidays!