Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing

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My Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing has stood the test of time. This buttery, savory, melt-in-your-mouth stuffing is the best stuffing recipe around!

Stuffing….or dressing? Which is it in your house? What is the difference between the two? 

It’s simple…stuffing is “stuffed” inside the bird. Dressing is usually baked on the side. My mom usually stuffs the turkey. I usually stuff the turkey AND bake dressing on the side.

Call this recipe whichever you’d like and bake it whichever way you prefer. You’ll love this best turkey dressing or homemade stuffing recipe either way!

grandma's turkey stuffing on a serving plate

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing Recipe

Are you all so excited that Thanksgiving is almost here?  I  think I love Thanksgiving more than Christmas. And one reason why? The food, of course!  It’s all about the corn casserole, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Today we are sharing with you one of our classic family recipes that without fail, ends up on our Thanksgiving menu: Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing.

This recipe was my Grandma’s classic stuffing recipe and was passed down to my mom.  I grew up enjoying this savory traditional stuffing recipe, and now my kids are enjoying the tradition, too!


ingredients for stuffing on a table

What spices do you put in turkey stuffing?

Our recipe has just a few key seasonings: poultry seasoning, salt and black pepper. You’ll also get flavor from the butter, onion, celery and chicken stock, but for the most part, all that savory flavor comes from poultry seasoning.

What does poultry seasoning have in it?

We use a pre-mixed poultry seasoning that you can buy in the spice aisle at the grocery store. You can mix your own if you’d like. It generally has sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, a touch of nutmeg and black pepper.

How do you make traditional stuffing?

If you’ve never made Thanksgiving turkey stuffing before, you may think it is difficult.  Our recipe is very simple, though and calls for just a handful ingredients: bread, butter, onion, celery, chicken broth, eggs and spices.

  • You’ll want to start this recipe about two days beforehand. Cut fresh bread into 1″ cubes and put them in a big bowl. I like to use a heavier white bread (such as French or Italian bread).  You can also use dried hot dog/hamburger buns. Sometimes I throw in whole wheat bread. Use whatever kind of bread you prefer.

About the bread cubes

We say to use 13-15 cups of bread cubes. Make sure the bread cubes are tightly packed into the cup. Don’t drop them in so there is a lot of air around them, but press them down into the cup. This will help make sure you have enough bread to soak up the liquid. If you like a drier stuffing, use more bread cubes.

  • Leave the bread cubes sitting out for about 48 hours so they dry out. Stir them once or twice a day so all of the bread dries out evenly. If you run out of time, dry the bread cubes in the oven preheated to a low heat.
  • When it comes time to make the stuffing, sauté the onions and celery in butter over medium heat until the veggies are tender. This is the best aroma ever. Of all the smells of Thanksgiving dinner cooking, this is the one that always starts it all off. There’s just nothing better.
butter, onion and celery sautéed in a saucepan
  • Mix it all up well and you’re ready to either stuff the bird or bake the stuffing in a casserole dish. It’s a big debate over who likes to stuff the turkey and who doesn’t.
ingredients for turkey stuffing in a baking pan, unmixed
  • Spread the stuffing evenly in a 9×13″ baking pan or a pretty 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Why Put Eggs in Stuffing?

Pour this mixture over the dry bread cubes, then add the chicken stock, eggs and spices.

Why add eggs to bread stuffing? Many of you have asked this question. The main reason is because my grandma did it, my mom continued making stuffing this way, and there is just no better stuffing. 🙂 Simple, right?

I’ve never not put eggs in stuffing, but also, the eggs act as a bit of a binder. They prevent the stuffing from being crumbly.

closeup of turkey stuffing on a plate with rosemary

Is it safe to stuff a turkey?

Yes. If you stuff a turkey with bread stuffing, make sure the center of the stuffing cooks to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need a long thermometer to go through the turkey and test it. But it is safe to eat if cooked to the correct temperature.

Our Thermoworks ThermaPen tests the internal temperatures of meats, breads and cakes INSTANTLY. This instant-read thermometer is AMAZING.  Get it here.

I like both stuffed turkeys and unstuffed. I prefer my stuffing just a little crispier, so cooking it in a casserole dish allows the top of the bread to get a little toasty. And who doesn’t like herbed, buttered, toasted bread?!

For food safety guidelines as far as stuffing the turkey, you can read some info from the USDA here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stuff a turkey?

It’s important to spoon the stuffing into the turkey loosely. You don’t want to pack it in. Plan about ¾ cup of stuffing per 1 pound of turkey.

When do you stuff a turkey?

For food safety reasons, stuff the turkey immediately before you place it in the oven. Have the oven preheated and ready to go. Stuff the turkey, then pop it in the oven.

Can you make stuffing in a slow cooker?

This recipe also works well in the slow cooker. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray, then add the bread cube mixture. Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. Check the internal temperature to make sure it cooks through.
This will help save space for the rest of your Thanksgiving meal.

closeup of grandma's thanksgiving turkey stuffing
closeup of grandma's thanksgiving turkey stuffing

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing

4.67 from 886 votes
Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing. This is a long-time family recipe for simple and savory turkey stuffing. Bake it in the oven or in the turkey!
Servings 10
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

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  • 13-15 cups dry bread cubes* about 2 1 pound loaves (We like to use a heavier bread such as French bread so it soaks up more juice)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (I use low sodium broth)
  • 2 large eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 2 quart casserole or 9×13" baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, sauté the onion and celery in the butter over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes, or until the onion and celery are tender.
  • Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.
  • Pour the butter, onion and celery mixture over the bread cubes and mix. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Spread the stuffing evenly in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley or other fresh herbs such as rosemary if desired.
  • Serve warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.



*I like to make my own dried bread cubes . Two days before preparing the stuffing, I cut bread into 1″ cubes, then allow them to dry in a big bowl for about 48 hours. Stir the bread cubes once or twice a day so they dry out evenly. They should be dry so they soak up the liquid in the recipe.
*We say to use 13-15 cups of bread cubes. This is homemade dry bread cubes that still have a little bit of softness to them. Make sure the bread cubes are tightly packed into the cup. Don’t drop them in so there is a lot of air around them, but press them down into the cup (even dried homemade bread cubes will press down in a little). This will help make sure you have enough bread to soak up the liquid. If you like a drier stuffing or if you use store bought crispy bread cubes, use more.**
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 10, with 1 serving being 1/10 of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**


Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1029mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 965IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 380
Keyword bread stuffing, thanksgiving dinner, thanksgiving side dish, thanksgiving stuffing, turkey dressing, turkey stuffing

I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving turkey stuffing recipe as much as my family has over the past decades. Just read the reviews below to see how many people have loved this! It’s continually one of our most popular holiday recipes and we thank you for that.

Q: Do you have a recipe that has stood the test of time?

Other Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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3 years ago

My Mother passed a few years ago. Although she showed me many times how to make her Thanksgiving dressing, I was never able to recreate her holiday magic. She was the type of cook who didn’t have a recipe, she just added what she thought the dish needed. I found your recipe last year and literally cried when I tasted my Mom’s dressing. Thank you so much for sharing your Grandma’s recipe. I make a double batch to make sure we have plenty for leftovers! As a side note, I don’t stuff the bird or put it in the oven.… Read more »

8 years ago

This is nearly my EXACT recipe…old timer’s favorite. The only ingredient not listed here that I use is…..a tiny itty bitty smidgen of Allspice. Yes, allspice. Not enough to overpower the dish but JUST enough to lend a warm nutty aroma and with the onions and celery scents, the allspice smells like you have never smelled it before. It’s amazing and my stuffing is one of the top reasons why my husband married me (or so he tells me).

6 years ago

Wouldn’t the drippings from the turkey be a better substitute for chicken broth?

7 years ago

This is like my mom’s too except she mixed regular bread and cornbread. She also added sage seasoning.

7 years ago

This recipe is similar to mine and hubby loves it. We make a ton of it so we have enough to stuff the bird and do some in the crockpot
We were feeling crazy one year and added dried cranberries and cashews. OMG you can’t believe how yummy it was, a little bit of sweet, salty and savory!

9 years ago

can you prepare this a day ahead?

Virginia Howell
6 years ago

I cook the gizzard, heart and neck to make the broth. Than I chop up heart and gizzard for dressing. I don’t use butter, I cook sausage and then remove from pan and cook celery and onion in grease. I use poultry seasoning and sage. My stuffing is very moist before cooking or stuffing turkey. I use white bread. No salt.

Norma Wires
10 years ago

My mother in law gave me this recipe the first year Rick and I were married. She didn’t even have it written down but was able to come up with the amounts for an 8 lb turkey. Over the years our turkey size has increased to… big as we can get! And I just keep increasing the dressing amounts. The original recipe in her handwriting is stained and worn but we love it. It has been passed on to all 3 of our kids.

1 year ago

This recipe was an experiment, a trial run for me to see if I could make and freeze it to bake on Thanksgiving. This stuffing is delicious and so easy to make! After doing some research online, I made the stuffing exactly as stated, put it in a greased foil pan, let it cool and wrapped it tightly with foil. After two weeks, I removed the pan from the freezer and popped it straight in a 350 degree oven with the foil on. I baked it for an hour and 15 minutes. I then took the foil off and increased… Read more »

5 years ago

I ran out of casserole dishes so ended up putting the mixture into a muffin tray instead. Worked a treat because it made the edges all crispy and made for easy individual serves!

9 years ago

Can you put this dressing in the crockpot

Phyllis A Linfante
5 years ago

i make stuffing like my mom did I make it for 2 20lb turkeys and extra pan for the oven. I use 2 1/2 loaves of white bread. I toast it and then cut it into little cubes. I also use 1 1/2 stalks of celery., and 5 to 6 large onions sauteed in butter. I add about 8 eggs and mix till it is all moistened and soft. also use Thyme and poultry seasoning,chicken broth,salt and pepper. . i stuff the birds just before roasting the turkey . Then with extra stuffing in a pan, sprinkle with chicken broth… Read more »

8 years ago

This sounds yummy! I’m going to cook my turkey thighs on top of the stuffing.(I don’t like white meat) Have a great Thanksgiving!

1 year ago

What to do I like my stuffing moist

2 years ago

This looks to be the recipe of my grandmothers that I unfortunately misplaced, however couple changes that would follow her recipe. One, I separate the eggs and mix the yolks in with the spices and add to the bread cubes after I’ve let the turkey broth soak into the bread for a bit. I also boil my celery and onion and drain then add in to my egg and seasoning mixture. Her recipe called to take the egg whites and with a fork fluff till they just got frothy. This makes the dressing fluff up in the oven and is… Read more »