This Slow Cooker Dressing recipe is the same recipe that has been made at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration for decades.

And with the holiday just around the corner, I thought I would share it today in hopes that you may enjoy it as much as we do.

Thanksgiving plate
If I had to pick what my favorite side dish is for Thanksgiving, it would definitely be the dressing!

Thanksgiving happens to be my absolute favorite holiday.  There are no external expectations when family gathers around the table. The only gift that is required is the gift of companionship.

Although, this year Thanksgiving may look a little different than before. However, it is still a wonderful time to enjoy quality time with those closest to you. And it doesn’t matter if it is at the same dinner table, on the phone, or through a video chat.

It is just nice to enjoy each other’s company. One of the things that we look forward to most is to hear old family stories. Then we spend time reminiscing about the past and talk about things that we look forward to the future.

bread cubes
My parents used this stainless steel bowl for Thanksgiving every year. I now carry on the tradition and use it to make this Slow Cooker Dressing recipe.

Thanksgiving Tradition

However, as a teenager, my job at Thanksgiving had nothing to do with making the slow cooker dressing.

Instead, it was to help prepare the waldorf salad.  I remember sitting at the table and cutting each grape in half to remove the seeds. Yes, these were the days before seedless grapes were a thing.

Not the best of jobs, but it allowed me to sit and watch my parents as they prepared the dressing recipe.  I will never forget that delicious smell as they opened the crock pot to adjust the spice levels to make it ‘just right’.

melting butter
Start by melting the butter in a hot skillet.

My mouth began to water as I watched my Dad take a bite (or two), to make sure it was perfect.  Although I had to wait my turn until the meal was served at the table to take a taste, it was well worth the wait.

I didn’t realize until my adult years how much I loved this slow cooker Thanksgiving recipe.  When talking with others about this traditional holiday side dish, many people would mention that they weren’t fond of dressing.

“How could you not like it?” was always my response.  However, as the years passed and I was exposed to other stuffing recipes, I understood.

butter onions and celery
After the butter is melted, add the diced onions and celery and cook until tender.

Some recipes are more on the dry side, and some are moist and mushy. There was nothing that compared to my parent’s recipe!

The Thanksgiving Bowl

So when my parents began to downsize – I was honored to receive the large stainless bowl that was brought out each November, for the sole purpose of the stuffing to be prepared.

So now it is time to pull out that bowl once again. And I am honored to share the recipe that helped make Thanksgiving dinner so special to me.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dressing  Recipe

The start of this recipe actually begins the night before that you want to make the dressing. Tear slices of bread into small cubed pieces and place them in a large bowl.

You want the bread cubes to dry out, so toss them a few times throughout the evening so the pieces at the bottom get a chance to be exposed to the air as well.

spices added
Once the celery and onions are tender, add the spices to the butter mixture and continue to saute for a few minutes.

When you are ready to make your Thanksgiving Dressing, place your 5-6 quart slow cooker on the counter. Then in a large skillet, heat butter on medium heat until melted.

Next add the diced celery and onion and cook until tender. Add salt, pepper, sage, and thyme and cook an additional 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Toss Bread Cubes With Butter Mixture

Now slowly add 1/3 of butter mixture to the bread cubes and toss lightly to coat. Repeat this process until butter mixture is gone and bread cubes are evenly coated.

slow cooker thanksgiving dressing
Working in batches, add the butter mixture to the bread cubes and toss to coat. Additional stock can be added based on your preference for the amount of moistness that your dressing will have.

Add additional stock for moisture based on your preference. If you like dry stuffing, add little to no stock, however, for moister stuffing, add a few tablespoons of stock by slowly pouring it in the bowl while fluffing the bread with a fork.

Use just enough liquid to lightly moisten the dressing, as the slow cooker will develop condensation and continue to moisten the bread as it cooks.

Place the dressing in the slow cooker and cook on low until heated through. Although all crock pots cook at different rates, it took approximately 6 hours for our 6 quart Programmable Crock Pot to cook the dressing.

cooked dressing
Thanksgiving Dressing cooked to perfection in the slow cooker.

Oven Baked Dressing Instructions

If you don’t want to use your slow cooker you can bake the dressing in the oven instead. Placing the mixture in a 13×9-inch baking dish. Cook at 325°F for about 45 minutes.

Cover the top with foil for the first 30 minutes and add drippings from turkey or use stock for additional moisture as needed.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dressing

Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 12 cups of soft bread cubes about 18 slices of bread
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups celery diced. (approximately 4-5 large stalks)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • chicken stock as needed (or vegetable or turkey stock)

Instructions

  1. The night before you are ready to make your dressing, tear bread into small cubed pieces and place in a large bowl. Let the bread be exposed to the air, tossing occasionally until it becomes somewhat dried out.

  2. In a large skillet, heat butter on medium heat until melted.

  3. Add celery and onion – cook until tender.
  4. Add salt, pepper, sage and thyme and cook an additional 3 minutes.

  5. Add 1/3 of butter mixture to bread cubes. Toss lightly to coat. Repeat until butter mixture is gone.

  6. Add additional stock for moisture based on your preference. If you like dry stuffing, add little to no stock, however, for moister stuffing, add stock by slowly pouring it in the bowl while fluffing the bread with a fork. Use just enough to lightly moisten the bread cubes.

  7. Place the mixture in a slow cooer and cook on low until heated through, approximately 6 hours.

Baking Instructions

  1. You can bake the dressing separately in a 13×9-inch baking dish at 325°F for about 45 minutes. Cover with foil for the first 30 minutes – add drippings from turkey or stock for moisture as needed.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dressing – Our Favorite Holiday Recipe
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