Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing

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Table of Contents
  1. Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing Recipe
  2. What spices do you put in turkey stuffing?
  3. What does poultry seasoning have in it?
  4. How do you make traditional stuffing?
  5. Why Put Eggs in Stuffing?
  6. Is it safe to stuff a turkey?
  7. Slow Cooker Stuffing Recipe
  8. Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing Recipe
  9. Other Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes

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!

Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing title image

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!

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.
a plate of stuffing, turkey and green beans
  • 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!

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.

  • 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.
stuffing in a baking pan with a spoon

Is it safe to stuff a turkey?

Here’s my answer: Do what you’d like.

Are both methods safe?

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.

How to 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 to 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.

Slow Cooker Stuffing Recipe

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

4.61 from 708 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

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

*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.**

Nutrition

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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Susan
3 years ago

5 stars
I got so many complements on this recipe and will definitely be making again for next year. The only thing I did different is bake the bread to dry it out (225F for 60min, stirring every 20 minutes) and I forgot to add the poultry seasoning but ended up adding about ~1/4c more chicken stock. It was absolutely delicious!

DEE
3 years ago

My mother’s recipe varies a bit from yours. She sautes fresh mushrooms, celery, and onion with the poultry seasoning in butter, then she adds mushroom soup and chicken stock and simmers for about an hour. The bread is a menagerie of french, baguette, ciabatta and even Focaccia, whatever your heart desires. Sometimes she will add cranberries if she has them handy.

D Lynn
3 years ago

I make this same dressing except instead of chicken stock I use the liquid from cooking the turkey neck and giblets in it. And for the gravy as well.

REBECCA L HENDRIX
3 years ago

Can I just use already made seasons bread croutons? I don’t have time to do the bread since I need it for tomorrow. If so do I need to change anything in the recipe?

Ron
3 years ago

5 stars
Excellent recipe! It was huge hit for our family Christmas dinner. Like above I forgot to leave the bread out in advance to dry. I placed it in the oven at the lowest temp and dried it out that way. I also sprinkled all the poultry seasoning on the bread before I dried it out. Worked great! We are doing it again for New Years.
Cheers….

MRC
2 years ago

I would love to try this, but I’m allergic to eggs. Can I use egg replacer instead?

tom rakus
2 years ago

I will be using a very heavy Sicilian bread Will I need to add butter or just stock?

Maureen
2 years ago

5 stars
This recipe is fantastic! I did add a little more seasoning and added sausage meat to it as my family loves it. I stuffed my 25lb bird and had some left to go in the casserole dish. This was my first time on your site and I will be definitely be back to try other recipes! Thanks so much 😊🥂

david
2 years ago

1 granny smith green apple finely diced takes it to another level

Jane
2 years ago

Thanks to the Covid 19 virus Easter was a bit of an odd holiday. No familly gatherings so we were all on our own.With that being said this is the first time in 30+ years that I have attempted to make stuffing. Normally my sister takes care of the turkey and stuffing (and gravy) for our family dinners and I’m happy with that because I personally can’t stand the smell or taste of turkey ..i can hear all the gasps of disbelief lol…and I was a bit of a fish out of water because hubby insists on turkey and not… Read more »

David G Soegiarto
2 years ago

5 stars
Hold up. What’s “poultry seasoning” and how do I substitute it with your standard kitchen spices??

Darrin
2 years ago

5 stars
THE BEST STUFFING EVER.I Tweeked it tho a lil.I added a small jar of my Homeade applesauce plus a half cup of chopped sausage and FRESH PARSLEY!!!-u need a loaf and a half of fresh French bread.ITS BOMB.

Laura
2 years ago

Hi there,

I’m just curious if I should use salted or unsalted butter? Thanks in advance and looking forward to trying this for our Canadian thanksgiving!

Alice
2 years ago

5 stars
Very good, except i fund it was too salty. I suggest cutting the salt in half. Also I added chopped and fried mushrooms! Delicious!

Wendy
2 years ago

5 stars
This was fabulous. My hubby made it. We used sourdough bread and he added a can of sliced mushrooms, a grated carrot and a leek. Thanks for sharing this… it’s now our go-to stuffing! 🙂

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