One of the biggest problems when cooking a dinner for a large group, especially during the holidays, is the lack of burners and oven space for all of those extra dishes that, due to tradition, must be served. At these times, more than any other times, the slow cooker is your best friend. Slow cookers can hold vegetables and side dishes, as well as keep things warm on the buffet table. It is probably a good idea to invest in a few of these inexpensive marvels; they come in all shapes and sizes, and there are even models that have three crocks in one appliance – perfect for buffets and cooking extra side dishes. Slow Cooker Stuffing is one such dish that is perfect when “baked” in the slow cooker. At our house, we never put the stuffing inside the turkey; nobody likes soggy stuffing, and we are used to having our stuffing served on the side. We refer to it as “dressing,” since it’s not really stuffed into anything but our mouths.
Whether or not you choose to stuff your turkey, stuffing is one of the most popular components of a traditional holiday meal, so the slow cooker can hold the stuffing for the whole meal, or the extras that are needed after the stuffing inside the turkey is eaten. The following recipe is basic, and gives the cook an opportunity to vary the stuffing according to personal taste.
12 cups bread, cubed
3/4 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped or ground carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons fresh sage, or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 to 6 cups chicken broth, or turkey broth
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Toast the bread cubes until golden, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes; transfer to a 4-6 quart slow cooker.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet; add the carrots, celery, and onions.
- Stir over medium heat until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the sage, pepper, and parsley.
- Stir the mixture into the bread cubes.
- Toss enough broth into the mixture to moisten it; the slow cooker retains moisture, so don't add too much.
- Cover the slow cooker, turn to low, and let cook 5-6 hours.
- Check the mixture after about 2 hours; it it's too dry, add more broth; if it's too moist, tilt the lid slightly to evaporate some of the moisture.
- About 15 minutes before serving, remove the lid, fluff the stuffing, and re-cover, tilting the lid slightly to remove any excess moisture.
Variations:You can use any kind of bread – whole wheat, raisin, etc.; add poultry seasoning if you like a stronger flavor or other spices; add dried cranberries, raisins, nuts, etc.; add cooked crumbled sausage, ham, giblets, or oysters. The possibilities are endless – it is easy to make this stuffing your own!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 311 Calories from Fat 101
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 33% Protein 10% Carb. 58%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 26 mg
Sodium 943 mg
Total Carbohydrate 45 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 8 g
Vitamin A 46% Vitamin C 4% Calcium 0% Iron 13%