Recipe of the Week: Homemade Crockpot Thanksgiving Dressing, by L.H.

I literally spent years working on this recipe, taking notes, and making changes after every less-than-stellar effort. (And there were a lot of these!) There were the years I served a brick of dressing (too many eggs), and the year I served green dressing (too much sage).Then I decided I needed to learn to make it in the crockpot to reserve the oven for the turkey and other dishes, and that was a whole ‘nuther learning experience. You get the idea. 

But I finally came up with what we think (and our family and guests seem to agree) is a really good basic bread dressing that comes out of the crockpot perfectly every year, every time. If you like an old-fashioned traditional bread dressing, and consider making homemade a “labor of love” as I do, I think you’ll like it.


  • About 16 oz. toasted/dried bread cubes (*see note below)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large stalks celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3-5 c. chicken broth or turkey stock, divided
  • 1 egg


  1. Place bread in your largest mixing bowl (Use a roaster-pan or large high-sided casserole dish if you don’t have a big mixing bowl. It’s gonna get kinda messy.)
  2. In skillet melt butter and sauté onions and celery until softened, 5-6 minutes. Pour over bread.
  3. Sprinkle sugar, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper over.
  4. In measuring pitcher or bowl whisk egg into 3 c. of the broth/stock and pour over dressing mixture. Stir well.
  5. The dressing is probably too dry at this point, so add broth/stock, 1/2 c. at a time, stirring well after each addition, until the dried bread is thoroughly moistened but still fluffy. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Spoon into 6-7 qt. crockpot that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  7. Cook 2 hours on high, stirring/fluffing halfway through.

Makes 8-10 servings.

(* A thrifty alternative to buying dried bread cubes, and what I do every year, is to purchase a cheap loaf of white bread of about the appropriate size. A day or three ahead of time, I throw the slices on a baking sheet and place in a low oven (200-250 degrees) for five minutes, then turn oven off and ignore. (Do it in the morning, leave it in the oven, and check it when you come home from work.) If bread isn’t dry enough, repeat process. When bread is toasted/dry enough, tear it into pieces, seal in a bag, and it’s ready to use at your convenience.)

(* We think whole wheat bread and/or cornbread (both of which I’ve tried adding) add too much sweetness to this recipe, and we do not recommend them.)

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  1. Nice and simple. I was raised that stuffing could be a meal all on it’s own, which is why we added dried apple slices, cranberries, and home made breakfast sausage to our mix (on occasion, we would add chestnuts if we had them, canned water chestnuts were an alterntative too). It isn’t dressing without sage, though. We never stuffed our birds.

  2. From what I read it sounds like oven space may be a problem which is why you went to cooking stuffing in the crock pot. Why not stuff the turkey with the dressing? I make a bread dressing and stuff the turkey with it and the mixing of flavors from the bird enhance the flavor. One less thing(crock pot) to wash.

  3. Recipe sounds great. I would, however, use home made cornbread for the dressing. I make mine without sugar added and have never found my dressing too sweet. So I will give your recipe a try using cornbread. I prefer the taste of cornbread as to the flavor of just bread. By the way, I’ve always thought that stuffing was made with bread and dressing was made with cornbread. Thanks for sharing it. I especially like the idea of using a crockpot.

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