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 888 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 JulieJulie Clark

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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4.67 from 888 votes (761 ratings without comment)
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7 months ago

5 stars
I have made this simple dressing many times and it is perfection !!! I have a question though, can I make it a day ahead , refrigerate and bake the next day or do you recommend baking it the day before and warming it the day of ? Thanks for advice and a great recipe 😊

7 months ago

Which brand of poultry seasoning do you recommend? There are many on the market, and for as similar as most of them taste, they do all taste different. For instance I definitely do not care for the taste of Bell’s poultry seasoning. But that happens to be one of the brands that taste different from the rest.

Nesselroade Marcy
7 months ago

5 stars
This stuffing is sooo yummy! The whole family loved it! #giveaway23

7 months ago

When you say 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter. Are you saying 1 AND 1/2 cups or saying just a 1/2 cup?

Aspen Jay
8 months ago

Thanks for sharing this! I’ve always just made the box mix of stuffing but wanted to take it to the next level by making my own stuffing. Question for you… when do I stuff the bird? Do I completely follow the stuffing recipe – so it’s completely done and put that in the Turkey? How far along is the Turkey before I stuff it? Newbie here. Thanks in advance!

9 months ago

My recipe is almost identical to yours but I use sage as well as poultry seasoning. I also saute a peeled, diced, Granny Smith apple along with the onion and celery. Gives the dressing a nice extra flavour. Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada so the turkey is in the fridge and I prepared my dressing bread yesterday. Happy Thanksgiving to you in advance!

1 year ago

4 stars
I want to give this recipe 5 stars. I have made it several times and it always turns out moist and absolutely delicious. The problem is the amount of butter it calls for. I stuff the turkey and use the drippings to roast vegetables and make gravy, however there is way too much oil. The drippings are just so greasy. I’ve been reducing the butter but not enough. I’m going to try to reduce it to 1/2 cup tomorrow. If anyone has suggestions on how much butter should be used it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

Linsie Mclellan
1 year ago

WONDERFUL!! I did this stuffing outside of the turkey for Christmas dinner to make life with a 1 and 3 year old more fun on Christmas day! WOW, I loved it and everyone thought it tasted great. It was so simple, so moist and I could make it the day before and bake on Christmas once the turkey was out of the oven. One thing I’ll be more aware of next time is if I’ve made the stuffing ahead then it needs longer to bake because it’s starting cooler instead of warm when freshly mixed. Otherwise, this stuffing made Christmas… Read more »

Ed Manchuk
1 year ago

5 stars

Rebecca Young
1 year ago

have prepped it but now thinking I want to cook it closer to dinner. Is it better to cook it early then re heat or cook it later?

1 year ago

5 stars
I add a peeled and diced Granny Smith apple to the onion and celery in the fry pan. Goes well with the poultry seasoning flavours.

1 year ago

5 stars
Made this recipe for our turkey dinner. My son-in-law said it was the best dressing he ever had ( next to his mom’s )I will be making this dressing again for Christmas. Thanks DELICIOUS. Emily

1 year ago

5 stars
Made it for Thanksgiving and we loved it! Instead of poultry seasoning (I didn’t have any), I used 1/2 t sage (dried) and 1/2 t thyme (dried).

1 year ago

5 stars
I’ve made this recipe in the past and it’s so good! This year I’m switching it up by making it in the crockpot. Hope it turns out well!

Concetta Martinez
1 year ago

5 stars
This is the same recipe my mother made and what I have made for 46 years. Sometimes, I add sauteed sliced mushrooms which I am doing this year, before th we y go bad.:) We stuff the bird,and the rest in a casserole dish in oven. My son says he likes it out of the bird, and ,yes, it is tasty, but like your recipe states, I like it a bit crispy. With my homemade (my Mom’s recipe)giblets gravy on top.

1 year ago

What to do I like my stuffing moist

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