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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Laura
7 years ago

Great dish but way too much salt and pepper! I would half both of them and add a few different spices!

Noe
7 years ago

This recipe was very easy to make! The first time I made this recipe my family and I thought there was too much salt and poultry seasoning. I halved both the next time I made it and it was great! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous
6 years ago

Did you ever try “fried stuffing” , which is how my ancestors used up leftovers.. Simply melt a tiny bit of butter in a skillet and lightly brown your leftover stuffing..it only takes a few minutes and my kids enjoy this even more than fresh stuffing..We all can’t wait for this!! It’s so crispy on the outside and yummy!! Try it, you will love it!! By the way, our recipe is practically the same as yours.

Daphne
6 years ago

This stuffing recipe was a HUGE hit at our Thanksgiving meal yesterday! The entire batch was polished off and it was widely complemented 🙂 I did use 1 cup of butter instead of 1 1/2 cups and it turned out great! This is a recipe that will become a regular part of my Thanksgiving and Christmas menu repertoire! Thank you so much!!

Donna
6 years ago

What kind of bread do you use? White, wheat, both? Is it loaves from the deli, sliced sandwich bread, or do you make your own?

Jerry
6 years ago

Can you use stuffing mix with this

Debbie
6 years ago

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

Sandy Weir
6 years ago

I cook my onions & celery slowly in just one stick of butter and then use a generous sprinkling of butter buds to cutdown on fat. My family loves it!

Bonnie
6 years ago

I am going to try this tonight!

Judi
6 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!

Judy Uhl
6 years ago

Do you use a 13 x 9 pan? Thanks, Judy

barbara scott
6 years ago

After i bake and let cool completely can i freeze it..Then thaw in fridge the day before?

Debra
6 years ago

My family loves stuffing in the turkey. I use my grandmoms recipe .it’s just about the same as the one you made. With eggs ,and a little ilk .But I don’t use butter or chicken broth .. I also make corn bread with crushed pineapple in it . My family will not eat it w out pineapple in it. . This year I am going to make extra stuffing out side of the turkey .But I’m using turkey broth . To see haw they laike that.

Kathleen
6 years ago

Absolutely delicious! I had too much for the turkey so I baked a separate dish too. I can’t believe how delicious it was. I have always used prepackaged stuffing but never again. This was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

Debbie
6 years ago

I have searched. And searched for this recipe ! My greatgra grandma grandmother,and my mother all made this but never wrote it down. They are not around anymore therefore I never had the amounts of ingrediants right. I do add mashpotatoes to it about 2 cups to your one recipe. I plan to double your recipe. I hope it fits into a 9×12 pan! I know my cooking time will be different, therefore I would like to thank you for this pin! Have a merry xmas!!!