Perfect Homemade Stuffing CrockPot Recipe

November 12, 2008

Day 317.

I am so excited I can hardly stop squirming. I grew up on Stove Top stuffing, and was pretty sure I'd never make or come across a gluten-free stuffing that didn't make me want to hurl. 

(not a very nice image early in the morning, but seriously. The idea had pretty much just been stricken from my imagination.)

Until a few weeks ago and I began planning Thanksgiving-y crockpot recipes and I figured the Internet needed a crockpot stuffing recipe, and if I was going to make one, it'd have to be gluten free, so I might as well just give it a go.

I did it. Yesterday.

and it's good! and I'm not even exaggerating or lying or anything!


If you're not gluten-free, go ahead and use your favorite sliced sandwich bread, or a loaf of french bread.

The Ingredients.

1 loaf of bread, lightly toasted in the oven (approximately 10 pieces, I used gluten free sandwich bread)
1 large yellow onion, diced
 cup celery, diced
1 cup tart apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup butter, melted (I use salted, but it  doesn't really matter)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (and maybe 1/4 cup later if needed)
1 tablespoon ground sage (important flavor)
1 teaspoon ground marjoram
1/2 teaspoon savory
1/2 teaspoon thyme
(if you have poultry seasoning in the house, use 1 tablespoon and omit the sage, marjoram, savory, and thyme.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

The Directions.

toasting bread for traditional stuffing in the crockpot slow cooker

I used a 6 quart crockpot. I'd recommend a big guy, so you have room to toss. If you only have 

a 4 quart, toss everything well in a very large mixing bowl, then put into your crockpot.

Toast the bread slices in the oven at 300 degrees. I needed to keep the brown rice bread in for about 30 minutes before it was all toasty. Regular bread will toast much quicker, be aware.

While the bread is toasting, chop up the onion, parsley, celery, and apple. Add to crockpot. Add the seasoning, and add melted butter. Stir well.
toast cubes for perfect traditional stuffing in the crockpot slow cooker
When the bread is done, cut into 1/2 inch size-or-so cubes.

Add to the crockpot.

Toss very well with the butter, chopped vegetables, and spices. When the bread is coated nicely, pour in 1 1/2 cups of broth.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Sweep up the bread crumbs.

When finished, the bread will have browned a bit on the top and around the edges, and it will be hot throughout. It can stay on warm for probably another 2 hours before serving, if needed. Stir. If you'd like it a bit more moist, you can add a 1/4 cup more (or as much as you desire) of broth.

If you'd like to start the day ahead---you can do the bread cubes, and seal in zipper bags, and chop the vegetables and keep separate. Combine as directed the day of your dinner.

It really does taste just like Stove Top! All from scratch -- made in the crockpot slow cooker. I love this recipe and make it every year.

The Verdict.

Amazing. In a blind taste-test, I'd never guess this was made with gluten-free bread. Holy toledo.

My kids don't really like stuffing, but they tried it to be nice.

CrockPot Cornbread Stuffing
CrockPot Whole Entire Turkey
Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese and Sour Cream CrockPot Recipe
CrockPot Corn Risotto
Sweet and Sour Caramelized Onions CrockPot Recipe
lots more CrockPot Holiday Food!

Thanksgiving slow cooker ebook by Stephanie O'Dea
Thanksgiving ebook. Click for details.

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at November 12, 2008

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  1. This sounds delicious!

    I do have a question - and you may have discussed this before; if so, I am sorry - but why gluten-free?

    Just curious.

  2. Hi Rikki!
    my youngest has celiac, an intolerance to gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye)---we've decided as a family it's just better to all be GF while at home.


  3. I can't believe I just found this blog! I love my crockpot and my mother and mother in law have both finally bought one.

  4. Yea! Success!
    Could you bear a couple suggestions? Water Chestnuts and or a mix of raisins and dried cranberries.

    Stuffing -- we eat it year round, but I'll 'fess up to doctoring the Stop Top stuff. It's so easy in the microwave when the oven and stove are already crowded. But in a crock pot? Genius!!!

  5. Oh, thankyou!! I have done without stuffing for the 6 years since my CD dx for the very reason you gave: hurling :-) And by "Food Life" bread, you mean Food for Life? I want your exact ingredients--I'm so excited about eating stuffing this Thanksgiving, I'm not taking any chances! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  6. Also to make life easier you can cut the bread up before you toast it so it isn't such a mess when you cut it up.

  7. liz, those are great suggestions!

    molly, is that what it's called? I threw the bag away. It's the stuff that's at trader joe's and pretty much any other store that sells GF stuff.

    southwti! AH! doy. that would have been much easier!


  8. I eat the same Food of Life bread! It's kind of hard, but hey, it's still gluten free. I don't have celiac, but lately, my stomach just gets all out of whack if I have gluten.

    Your stuffing looks so hearty and good. Stuffing is one of my favorite food at Thanksgiving!! First, of course, are the sweet potatoes!!

  9. Do you really think the poultry seasoning has enough sage in it to leave out the whole tablespoon?

  10. Yeah! I have never bought GF bread because it seems so dry...but that's perfect for stuffing! My guys were going to go without stuffing this year, but maybe not! I won't tell my guests if you won't!!


  11. This is a fabulous idea! I love it! And it looks oh so good, too...

  12. Ahh I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I found out I couldn't eat wheat about three years ago(I'm 19 now) and thanksgiving is NOT the same any more!
    My mom makes this amazing recipe for stuffing every year that's been passed down since her grandma.. Do you think I could use hers and just use that rice bread from Trader Joe's instead? I think I might just have to try it..
    Thanks for all the great recipes!
    You don't even know how excited I am to see the rest of your Thanksgiving stuff! :)


  13. I tried stuffing in the crock pot several years ago (got the recipe out of "Fix It and Forget it".) It was wonderful and a lot easier than cooking it in the bird.

    I'm glad you had success with it.

    One thing I do is cook up some turkey necks and backs a few weeks before TG and use them to make stock ahead of time. That way I can make gravy earlier in the day and not at the last minute before serving dinner. You could use the turkey stock in the crock pot stuffing recipe too.

  14. I can't believe I never even considered using the crockpot for stuffing! You are awesome! The oven is always so full on Thanksgiving, and I like to make A LOT of stuffing since it is my favorite. I'mm looking forward to "test-driving" this recipe before Thanksgiving. Thanks again for being awesomely creative!

  15. I don't know you, but you're my new hero! I love the CrockPot and am so excited about a whole bunch of new recipes!!!

  16. LOVE stuffing! Love it! Just love it!! It's by far my favorite part of Thanksgiving. It's official: there's nothing you can't do. ;)

  17. Just *seeing* this recipe is making me grin and grin. And you didn't even use fancy g-f bread! I mean, I would totally spring for the fancy expensive stuff for Thanksgiving, but this is great!

  18. I know nothing about being GF, but I remember on your grits post you noted that it was naturally GF. Being from the South, I grew up with cornbread stuffing/dressing. The cornbread I make has cornmeal and flour, but I suppose you could use GF flour. Is cornmeal GF? Anyway, just a thought.
    Love, love, love your blog!! My friends are getting tired of hearing me say "today I made such and such from the CrockPot Lady's blog". :)

  19. Hey a friend of mine from middle school has a wonderful website search for gingerlemongirl and take a look Most of her recipes are gf. Hope it helps

  20. Mt Grandma has Celiac and would LOVE this recipe! You may have just made this Thanksgiving her best yet!! Thanks!

  21. Oh, this I may have to try. Thank you for making my crock pot useful again!!

  22. Wow. I am beyond excited about this recipe.

    I was just put on a gluten-free diet and Thanksgiving has been a big ole bummer looming in the distance.

    I, too, grew up on Stove Top and I was pretty sure that there wouldn't be anything that was GF and tasted even half as yummy.

    I hope you don't mind, but I am going to email you to see if I can beg and borrow some GF-life tips from you. Thanks in advance!

  23. I am so excited! I never thought to do the stuffing in the crock pot. I have the hardest time because I make a huge turkey and there is never room for stuffing in the oven! I wonder if homemade bread toasted and cubed will work? If not I will use some store bought. Also my stuffing has egg in it.. will that work in the crockpot?

  24. how many servings do you think this is? We have 3 absolute celiacs, and several boderlines at our Thanksgiving dinners.

  25. Faith, I think it would comfortably feed 8-10 adults, as a side dish.


  26. I don't really miss GF bread on a daily basis, but I do enjoy good stuffing. I think this type of recipe is actually the best use for GF bread. The other ingredients give it a special ooomph it doesn't have on its own. I use the tapioca loaf in my crab casserole recipe for the holidays and it's just perfect in it. Better yet, my sister can easily buy that bread and make the recipe GF for me when she hosts events.

    I got another interesting stuffing recipe last year, but didn't get to try it. Perhaps we should test that out in the crock pot. It's just one bag of GF tortilla chips, 2-3 cups of chicken broth (enough to make moist), and minced celery and onions (as much as you like). Mix all together and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. How would that translate to a crockpot recipe?

  27. Pssst - just so you know, I've got one, too.

    Oh, and my little SIL bought me a new crockpot for Christmas and is giving it to me early. I'm so excited! I think it might be a smartpot.
    I may buy myself a small one for Christmas. :)

  28. Can't wait to give this a shot. We always make extra stuffing and it won't all fit in the bird, so like someone said above, now we won't take up more oven space. By the way, LOVE your choice of chicken broth.


  29. I soooo want to try this! My oven could be even less busy this way!


  30. you are so awesome. :D

  31. Wow! I can't wait to try this! Will probably use regular bread, though. The 8-10 servings, was that a conservative number? I have a question, though. Why do some of your recipes say to "vent" the lid?

  32. Brilliant idea. With enough crock pots, it's looking like you can do a huge chunk of the Thanksgiving meal and not even turn on the oven!

    P.S. I know your little one has CD but I just wanted to tell you that your GF recipes may also be helping many many families with kids on the autism spectrum. Our 5 year old is newly dx'd, and we haven't yet considered GF, but it's nice to know I can come here for lots of recipes if we decide to go that route. {{{BIG HUG}}}

  33. I am so excited to find this blog!! I am a mother of three, full-time student and commute two hours to and from work every. The crock-pot has saved my life. I had run out of ideas but now i get a new recipe everyday. Thank you!

  34. oh thankyouthankyouthankyou!
    It almost makes me tear up when I read recipes like yours,that are GF.... my ds has been wheat allergic for 15 years....and I read your daily ideas,and use most of them..oh thankyou thankyou thankyou!
    I'm going to make stuffing,he's never tried it....

  35. This sounds great! I've made GF stuffing in the past using GF cornbread with sausage, apples and craisins. Thanks for posting it's great to have another recipe. Love the blog!!

  36. I just found your blog the other day and I read through the entire thing yesterday! I love your recipies and I tried your mac and cheese last night and loved it!

    I hope you don't stop after you reach your 12 month goal!

  37. I just discovered this blog recently, and I have to say It completes ME!!! I have already made 5 of your recipes and they all turned out great!! Thank you!

  38. It's totally easier to go all GF at home - and it's more motivating to find yummy things if you have to eat it yourself. Can you see me giving you a high five? I'm SO making this. Even though my son thinks bread is yucky, I can still have hope he'll try something new.

  39. you do a corn casserole. I love the one with a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, one egg, two can of cream corn and a can of regular corn. I don't know how I would do it in the crock pot. It would be great to have some chicken (or turkey) in it so it could be more of a meal casserole....hmmm. Keep up the great work!

  40. You are fantastic. I love my crock-pots, but was running out of new ideas. Stuffing is one of my favorite dishes, but I never thought about making it in a crock-pot! Genius!

  41. warning! this is going to be my first Tgiving GF and i was dreading watching everyone but me eating stuffing. I am SO happy to get this recipe and if it works- i am going to track you down and kiss you on the lips!

    Lisa :)

  42. I made this stuffing yesterday for my local MOMS Club pot luck Thanksgiving dinner. I made it just as written and it was one of the most fabulous tasting stuffing recipes ever! I am a Stove Top girl at heart, but NEVER AGAIN after trying this recipe. Thank you so much for posting this! The stuffing was a hit and I will be sharing this recipe with friends.

  43. I'm so excited for this! I love Stove Top stuffing and have missed it since realizing I have a gluten intolerance 2 years ago. Thank you!

  44. Wow! What perfect timing. We are a GFCF family and I jsut bought a Crock Pot yesterday. Costco has them on sale. My sisters (who are newly GF) and I are planning on sharing Crock Pot cooking during the week. I never would have thought of cooking the GF stuffing in the Crock Pot. Perfect! I can not wait to read the rest of your recipies. You have made my day, and week and month! Thanks! :)

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. If you have an electric knife, you can use it to cut the bread easier. It's good for more than cutting up the bird and foam padding. =)

  47. This recipe was a lifesaver today (Thanksgiving). I did make a few additions - one pound of turkey sausage and about 1/4 c dried cranberries (I had them on hand and wanted to use this last little bit). I used storebought dried bread cubes and should have used quite a bit more liquid. This was great to do in the crockpot as I only have the one oven and had several side dishes that needed to be baked. I used a crockpot liner that I had sprayed with Pam, so, cleanup was a breeze! Thanks again for a great use for the crockpot!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  48. We tried this and it was so good that my cousin who is a stove top die hard ate our stuffing and didn't even complain.

    Definitely making this again! Thanks!!

    Btw this was our first gluten free thanksgiving and it was a success.

  49. Well, I did not follow this recipe exactly, but I did make the Trader Joe cornbread stuffing mix and put it into my daughter's crock pot while mine cooked the turkey.

    Both were a rousing success or as my husband would say:
    "Another triumph, my dear."

  50. It is Christmas day and we will be eating dinner in a few minutes- just waiting on some green beans. I've snuck a taste of the stuffing from the crock pot and it turned out great. So glad I used your recipe since my oven is too small for both turkey and any other dishes.

    Merry Christmas. And please don't stop blogging in January! (What are your plans for the site?)

  51. I made this over the weekend and it was GREAT! Living in the netherlands they dont sell stuffing over here and I have really missed it. Now I have a recipe to turn to whenever we need it! Thank you!

  52. This has become a go-to recipe at our house. I use the Whole Foods sandwich bread. My Husband and Father-In-Law both have CD, and have, until last yeat gone with out stuffing. My father-In-law had me make it for a potluck dinner at his church. He stood by the crock pot for the entire dinner and told everyone that it was gluten-free and his daughter-in-law made it just for him. He was so Jazzed!
    Thanks for the great recipies.

    P.S. We also love, love, love your mac-n-cheese.

  53. This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it. I'm glad its vegetarian!

  54. I have this in my crockpot now and it smells divine. I added a chicken breast (stir fried first and shredded) and a carrot (omitted the apple because I didn't have one). I thought I'd try to squish a bit into a muffin tin once it is done and tell my toddler it is a chicken stuffing muffin. He loves muffins, so we'll see. But either way, I could cry tears of joy smelling it right now. Stuffing was a key part of every holiday at my house growing up and I haven't had it in about 2 years, since my son's allergies were diagnosed. Thank you! (If it comes out well, I'll probably post about it on my allergy blog later with a link back here).

  55. I've made crockpot stuffing for years because I always brine my turkey. Stuffing would get too salty if cooked in the bird.

    However, when I start the cooking process I put the turkey neck on top of the stuffing as it all cooks and you get REAL turkey juice into it.

  56. Yay for gluten free! We camp every year for the Thanksgiving week-end, and I always have two crock-pots going for the sides. I've done stuffing in the crock-pot before with great success. I discovered I'm wheat intolerant last year. Some people say there is no difference between celiac and wheat intolerance, but I can handle some gluten products such as beer. But, try to eat a slice of lasagna and I'm done for. Also, I'm on a low carb diet, so basically I've eliminated all bread and pasta. I was planning on making regular stuffing this year and just gazing longingly on everyone else as they ate it. I am definitely going to try this recipe. I am wondering though if I can toast the bread in a toaster, because my oven in the camper is really small. Or, could I toast it a week ahead of time?

  57. Hi Cee Jay,
    I'd suggest toasting it in the toaster. It'll take a while, and I think you can safely do it a day or two beforehand, but if you do it a week early, you'll need to refrigerate or freeze the bread, and the moisture will get it soggy again.

    good luck! we LOVE this stuffing!

  58. Stephanie, thanks so much for this and all your other recipes. I am GF/celiac and this will be my third GF Thanksgiving. My family and in-laws are so supportive so it hasn't been a problem. And I like experimenting so I've had good success with GF pies, sides etc. But I've always missed the stuffing. Inspired by you, I'm going to make it this year, substituting the family-tradition of peeled chesnuts for the apple cubes.

    And I wanted to tell you how much I admire you and Adam for taking your whole house GF to support your daughter after her diagnosis. Many families don't do this and it is very hard for the GF/celiac kid, especially for the young ones. You have a very good approach and I salute you.

    Keep the recipes coming!


  59. Stephanie:

    I am a huge fan... HUGE!!! I discovered your blog about 14 months ago and I dove in head first! I went GF about 2 years ago and it changed my life, but it was a shock and took some getting used to. I have naturally not been comfortable in the kitchen, but add GF on top of that and I was beyond lost. Now I rule my kitchen and have a newfound strength and desire to not only cook, but be proud of what I make. I am confident cooking GF because of the Crock Pot. It saved me! And your blog made all the difference. Thank you... Thank you... Thank you... From the bottom of my heart. I have made over 65 of your recipes (as of my last count) and my menu for the next week includes 3 new ones! And this stuffing is the next one! As well as the Spinach & Artichoke Dip which was requested for me to make for dinner (again... they love it!) AND (Yesterday was Chipotle Chicken w/ Sweet Potato which we took over to a friends for dinner... YUM to the 10th degree!)
    I post about all my Crock Pot recipes on Facebook and my blog, and I constantly am directing the inquiries to your website. I now own 3 slow cookers: 4 qt, 5 qt, and 6 qt! And I want a 2 qt for Christmas! Yes I have a wonderous relationship and love for my Crock Pot!

    So thank you for the inspiration and support that you give to all of us who have entered into the GF world bewildered, lost, and confused. And thank you for continuing to blog and try new recipes for us! Have a Happy Thanksgiving 2010!

    Sincerely with gratitude,

    Kristin in VA Beach

  60. The Best of the Best. I love it. I tried it this year and is the best. give it a try you wont be sorry!! It tastes like the stove top stuffing. :)

  61. I wasn't home for Thanksgiving this year, but I want to make this for Christmas. My grandson is GFCF, and I would love to make a meal he can eat just like everyone else.

    Thank you for all your recipe posts!!

  62. No need to toast! Just leave the bread out on the counter the night before - that's how we always did it. It needs to be dry to absorb the flavors. Some people say DON'T toast but I'm thinking toasting may change/add some flavor. So happy to see Stephanie still responds to comments.

  63. Thanks for this awesome recipe! I made this stuffing for Thanksgiving last year and I'm making it again this year. I used Rudi's GF bread and followed the directions exactly. It was better than ANY stuffing I've ever had!

  64. This is a fantastic recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. I followed your directions to the letter and it came out moist and delicious. I have tried other ways, but to no avail. YOU saved Thanksgiving! :)
    I had frozen slices of leftover loaves I had made and I thawed them, then toasted them as you suggested. Worked perfectly. It is as close to my old favorite recipe for apple and sage dressing as can be! I am sharing it with any celiac I know who cries over the loss of stuffing.

    Thank you so much!

  65. To add giblets and or sausage or not to add giblets and or sausage. That is the question. Hubby would adore it. Others maybe not so much.


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