How To Make Thanksgiving Stuffing in a Slow Cooker

updated Oct 22, 2020
How To Make Stuffing in a Slow Cooker
Classic stuffing made in the slow cooker, filled with homey flavors and plenty of crispy, toasty edges.

Serves12 to 16

Makesabout 3 quarts

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, stuffing (or dressing, if you prefer) ranks up there at the top of my list. Holiday dinner simply isn’t complete without it.

At its core, stuffing isn’t a tricky dish to make, and the homemade version really is far superior to the store bought stuff. That’s okay for a weeknight, but when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, there’s no reason to cut corners here. You want a real stuffing recipe.

But that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. This version is delicious, pairing perfectly with turkey and mashed potatoes, but it saves you the stress of stovetop cooking or vying for oven space by using your Crock Pot or slow cooker.

This set-it-and-forget-it Crock Pot stuffing requires just a little room on the counter and a few hours. And what you get in return is a classic stuffing filled with homey flavors, and plenty of crispy, toasty edges.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Start with a Classic Recipe

Stuffing can take on many different iterations, so we thought it best to start with something basic and classic — a stuffing loaded with cubes of extra-dry bread, onion, celery, fresh herbs, chicken broth (or another broth or stock), and a couple eggs to bring it together. It feels homey and comforting, with plenty of savory flavors; exactly the kind of stuffing I grew up eating year after year.

But should you want something more in your stuffing — diced apple, dried fruit, chopped nuts, crumbled sausage — there’s room for that, too. This is just your starting point. Go ahead and add in all the delicious ingredients you grew up loving. Just remember that if you’re adding sausage or any other type of meat, it should be cooked before mixing it into the stuffing.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

A Balanced Blend of Soft Bread and Crispy Edges

My favorite part of oven-baked stuffing is getting the crisp, crunchy, extra-toasty layer that blankets the top of the dish. And it seems like everyone in my family loves this layer — it’s a race to make sure we all get our share.

But I also love the soft pieces of well-seasoned bread soaked in stock and infused with flavor from the fresh herbs and seasoning. Really, I want a little bit of each on my plate.

And here is where slow-cooker stuffing does not disappoint: The mix and blend of textures, both crisp and toasty, and soft and squishy, is really well-balanced. While this version doesn’t yield a crunchy, toasted layer on top, that layer exists across the bottom and all around the sides of the slow-cooker bowl. Yes, you get even more crisp cubes of bread than you would when using the oven. And of course, the center of the bowl is packed with all the well-soaked, soft pieces. There’s something for everyone, and plenty of it.

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How To Make Stuffing in a Slow Cooker

Classic stuffing made in the slow cooker, filled with homey flavors and plenty of crispy, toasty edges.

Makes about 3 quarts

Serves 12 to 16

Nutritional Info


  • 1 (16- to 18-ounce) loaf

    rustic white or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium

    yellow onions, diced

  • 4

    large stalks celery, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2

    large eggs

  • 3 cups low-sodium turkey, chicken, or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced apple, dried fruit, nuts (optional)
  • Cooking spray


  • Baking sheets
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large frying pan
  • Measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Large bowl
  • 6-quart or larger slow cooker


  1. Toast the bread. If the bread is not already completely stale and dried out, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 225°F. Spread the bread cubes on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, until quite crisp, about 90 minutes total.

  2. Cook the vegetables. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sage and thyme and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.

  3. Combine the ingredients. Place the eggs, broth, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a large bowl, fold together the toasted bread cubes with the cooked vegetables and any dried fruits or nuts, then fold in the egg-broth mixture until evenly moistened.

  4. Transfer to a slow cooker. Coat a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Transfer the stuffing into the slow cooker and spread into an even layer.

  5. Cook the stuffing 3 to 4 hours on LOW. Cover and cook the stuffing until crisp around the edges, 3 to 4 hours on the LOW setting.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.