Harvest Flavors

The Crock Pot Stuffing That Will Make Your Thanksgiving a Breeze…

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the harvest, the bounty of nature and the bonds of family and friends. But it can also be a time to stress about the cooking, especially when you have to deal with multiple dishes, multiple pots and pans and multiple oven racks. And maybe too many cooks in the kitchen.

That’s why we love slow-cooker stuffing: it’s easy, convenient, and delicious.

Slow-cooker stuffing is a classic side dish that goes well with any turkey or roast. It’s made with bread cubes, vegetables, broth, eggs and seasonings that are cooked in a slow cooker until tender and moist. You can customize it with your favorite herbs and spices or use store-bought stuffing cubes for convenience.

After experimenting with this recipe over the years, I have discovered a few tips that will help you make this delicious recipe:
• Grease the slow cooker before adding ingredients. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sticky mess.
• Don’t overfill the slow cooker. The stuffing needs room to expand.
• Don’t open the slow cooker too often. This will let out the heat and slow down the cooking process.
• Set a timer. You don’t want to forget about the stuffing and end up with a ruined side dish.

For this recipe, I recommend using dry or stale bread cubes. Stale bread will absorb more liquid and help to keep the stuffing moist. Don’t overcook the stuffing. Slow cooker stuffing can easily overcook, so it’s important to check it after three hours. If it’s not cooked through, cook it for an additional 30 minutes.

Here are some reasons you should make slow-cooker stuffing for Thanksgiving:
• It saves you time and energy. You don’t have to worry about chopping onions or celery or washing dishes after cooking. Just dump everything in the slow cooker and let it do its magic.
• It saves you stress and hassle. You don’t have to worry about overcooking or undercooking or burning or drying out your stuffing.
• It saves you calories and fat. You don’t have to add extra butter or oil or cream or cheese to your stuffing. You just use broth as your liquid base.
• It saves you carbs. You don’t have to add extra bread or rice or pasta or cornbread. You just use bread as your main ingredient. •

Slow Cooker Crock Pot Stuffing

• 1 cup butter
• 2 cups chopped onion
• 2 cups chopped celery
• 12 oz. sliced mushrooms
• ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
• 12 cups dry bread cubes
• 1½ tsp. salt
• 1½ tsp. dried sage
• 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
• 1 tsp. dried thyme
• ½ tsp. dried marjoram
• ½ tsp. ground black pepper
• 4 cups chicken broth (if using fresh bread, use 2-3 cups)
• 2 large eggs, beaten

Step 1: Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, celery, mushrooms and parsley in butter until slightly softened, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 2: Place bread cubes in an extra-large mixing bowl. Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes. Season with salt, sage, poultry seasoning, thyme, marjoram and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, then mix in eggs. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker.

Step 3: Cover and cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low and cook for 3 to 3½ hours.

About Terry Olson

Terry loves culinary arts, adult beverages and hiking in the North State wilderness. You may find him soaking up the sun at one of our area’s many state or national parks or sitting on a barstool sipping on a cold locally brewed craft beer.

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