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Thanksgiving Stuffing with a Crockpot Twist

November 14, 2011

Only 11 days until Turkey Day! That’s why I am dedicating this week to tasty and easy Thanksgiving recipes.  I’ve been testing many dishes to share as you plan your Thanksgiving menus. First up is a traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing, but made in a crockpot.

If you’re like me, you have several side dishes jockeying for oven space. Why I’ve never made a Thanksgiving side in the crockpot until now is beyond me. This concept is genius! And unless you’re stuffing your bird with the dressing, this is the best recipe for the crockpot because the slow cooking time really enhances the flavors and doesn’t dry out the bread. I’m telling you, once you crockpot your stuffing, you will never go back to the oven.

Thanksgiving Stuffing in the Crockpot

1 1/2 diced yellow onions

4 medium celery stalks, diced

6 parsley sprigs

3 sprigs thyme

4 sage leaves

3 Tbsp. butter

1 – 2 apples chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 pound ground sausage (any variety)

Salt and Pepper

4 cups dried cornbread stuffing cubes (I used the Trader Joe’s package. Do NOT use the flavor packet.)

3 cups chicken stock

Saute the first five ingredients with the butter. When the onions and celery are soft, add the apple and dried cranberries, and cook another five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remember not to use too much salt if your sausage is salty.

In a separate pan, saute the sausage until it’s browned. Combine the sausage into the vegetable mixture and stir. If you want to make this recipe meatless or vegan, simply leave out the sausage and substitute vegetable stock (for chicken) and olive oil (for butter).

In the crockpot, place about 1/2 cup of chicken stock and then the dried stuffing cubes. To the stuffing, add the sausage and vegetable mixture, then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine. Cook on LOW for about four hours. Then sit back, relax and watch everyone else scurry around the oven for their dishes.

Stay tuned Wednesday for a green vegetable side dish that is guaranteed no leftovers!

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46 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2011 3:44 am

    Interesting idea– I might try this, w/o the sausage. The kids voted to have it at our house- hard to break from the tradition of going to my parents. ( and believe me I’m hearing about it and do feel guilty.)

    • November 15, 2011 11:10 pm

      I’m sure you do. I still can’t get away with hosting my own Thanksgiving. Always going to the parents. But now I make all the side dishes, which I love. By the way, you can use turkey sausage or none at all.

  2. November 14, 2011 3:51 am

    I am a huge, huge stuffing fan — and although I may not make this for Thanksgiving, I will definitely be making it. As a newbie at crockpots, you have been my prime source for recipes, first the lasagna and now this! Thank you! :)

    • November 15, 2011 11:11 pm

      Thanks, Julia! I was really excited to try this one out and it made a ton. In fact, I really hope I won’t be sick of stuffing by next Thursday!

  3. November 14, 2011 5:45 am

    I made my stuffing in a crockpot last year and it came out great! It was super convenient too since I didn’t have to waste space in the oven or on the stove.

    • November 15, 2011 11:11 pm

      Wasn’t it great? I can’t believe I never thought to do that before! What was your recipe like?

  4. November 14, 2011 6:42 am

    Looks delicious! I have yet to be responsible for any “real” part of the Thanksgiving meal yet. I am still asked to just bring liters of soda! Not much faith in my cooking ability in my family, but rightfully so. I’m sure my day will come eventually. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is so near — it’s very exciting!

    • November 15, 2011 11:12 pm

      Thanks, Caryn. I definitely think the liters of soda are a critical part of dinner. Afterall, you’d have some very upset people if they did not have a beverage. I’m excited to hear what people do for Thanksgiving and what they’re eating!

  5. November 14, 2011 7:53 am

    Looks delicious Leah. This will be my first year cooking a vegan Thanksgiving, so won’t be enjoying that delicious stuffing or turkey. This will really be a test of my cooking skills.

    • November 15, 2011 11:13 pm

      There are actually tons of recipes out there for vegan Thanksgiving dishes. This one can be made vegan by using olive oil instead of butter; vegetable stock for chicken stock; and eliminate the sausage. Maybe add sauteed mushrooms. Yum!

  6. November 14, 2011 8:40 am

    Stuffing is my “must have” dish at Thanksgiving. I could even do without turkey as long as I get stuffing. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • November 15, 2011 11:13 pm

      I hear ya, Shary. As I’ve been testing these recipes, we’ve pretty much been enjoying dinners of Thanksgiving side dishes. It’s been fun!

  7. November 14, 2011 9:23 am

    So excited! My first giveaway win ever! ;-) Thank you!

  8. November 14, 2011 12:36 pm

    I love the stuffing part of the Thanksgiving meal, and it always seems like there’s not enough. It usually ends being the first leftover to get polished off. This looks like an excellent way to have enough to last till the turkeys gone, Leah!

    • November 15, 2011 11:14 pm

      Cynthia, this recipe made SO MUCH stuffing! I still have mounds of it in my fridge. It may outlast the turkey from next week!

  9. November 14, 2011 1:18 pm

    Oh my. Will pass it along to the family and see if they want to try it out :)

    • November 15, 2011 11:15 pm

      Thanks, Sara. Let me know if the family likes it.

  10. November 14, 2011 5:59 pm

    Oh, this is a dangerous post to read when you are pregnant and it is eight o’clock at night! Thank you, though, for sharing, Leah. I will try to wait until daytime to devour this recipe! ; )

    • November 15, 2011 11:15 pm

      Good point, Jolina. Maybe I should add pregnancy warnings to the top of the recipes I’m posting this week. :)

  11. November 14, 2011 6:15 pm

    What a GREAT idea! Oven space is at such a premium at my house (I usually have 15-20 folks over and I’m cooking the whole dinner) that I purchased two roasters for the birds and purchase a ready to eat ham. That way I can use the entire oven for the sides….but I never have enough room! I love the idea of using the crock pot…I never thought of that! You’re a GENIUS!

    • November 15, 2011 11:16 pm

      Thanks, Ann! I can’t believe I never thought of it either. It is genius. I may have to get another crockpot and see what else I can whip up for Thanksgiving. I hear you can even make a turkey breast in one.

  12. November 14, 2011 9:16 pm

    This looks delicious Leah, and like you I love my crock pot!

    • November 15, 2011 11:16 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I don’t know what I’d do without the sucker!

  13. November 15, 2011 6:20 am

    I think I need to get a crock pot. Sigh. Looks good.

    • November 15, 2011 11:17 pm

      Yes, you do! It’s so easy to cook with it. Target always has inexpensive ones. You don’t need anything fancy. In fact, mine is really basic with only two settings and it works great.

  14. November 15, 2011 2:34 pm

    This looks and sounds scrumptious. It’d be real handy to make, if my crock pot wasn’t so small I’d give it a try. :)

    • November 15, 2011 11:18 pm

      Thanks! You could try cutting the recipe in half. Of course that will only work if you have a small group for dinner.

  15. November 19, 2011 9:59 am

    What a great idea! Would this work with regular bread cubes instead of corn bread?

    • November 25, 2011 8:37 pm

      I’m hoping you already tried this. But yes, it would work for regular bread. It just needs to be hard (whatever bread you chose).

  16. November 19, 2011 1:50 pm

    Oooh I just love the idea of being able to use a crockpot on such a hectic day like thanksgiving! Such a great idea! :)

    • November 25, 2011 8:37 pm

      Isn’t it a great idea? I did it yesterday and it saved the day!

  17. November 22, 2011 5:01 pm

    I can’t believe you’re cooking this in the crock-pot! That’s such a great idea. I might try it. I like that I don’t need to take up extra oven space. Thanks for sharing!!
    ~FringeGirl

    • November 25, 2011 8:38 pm

      Did you end up trying it? I’m telling you — with all the oven dishes and the turkey, this was so handy!

  18. Lynn permalink
    March 6, 2012 8:35 pm

    Have you ever doubled the recipe and does it take longer? I have a cornbread recipe that I like and would like to try it.

  19. Jane permalink
    November 18, 2012 2:48 pm

    I’m giving it a try. Minus apples, cranberries and sausage. Just the traditional stuffing. Sounds so easy!

  20. Michele permalink
    November 19, 2012 6:52 am

    Is it possible to set crockpot on High, and reduce time ? Or will that impact the dish >??

  21. Klynch permalink
    November 19, 2012 5:10 pm

    I was looking for a good crockpot stuffing recipe…. With limited oven space, and this looks great! Do you know aprox how many this recipe will feed? I’m trying to decide if I need to double or not for 25 ppl? Thanks and happy holidays

  22. Irene permalink
    November 16, 2013 11:23 am

    I am going to try cooking my dressing in the crockpot this year. This recipe is similar to the one I use so I am hoping it will do well in the crockpot and leave space in the oven. Don’t know why I had not thought of doing so before!!

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