Mom’s Stovetop Turkey Stuffing

Save time by making the giblet stock while you prep the other ingredients.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10


  • Neck and giblets from 1 turkey to make a light stock (or 2 to 3 cups of chicken stock)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 loaf of day old French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10 to 12 cups)
  • 2 cups each, chopped onion and celery
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 3/4 cup currants or raisins
  • Several (5 to 10) chopped green olives (martini/pimento olives; pimento removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or ground sage (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)


1 Make turkey stock with giblets (or skip this step and use 2 to 3 cups chicken stock if you don't have giblets): Take the turkey giblets–heart and gizzard–and neck, and put them in a small saucepan. Cover with a few cups of water and add a little salt.

Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about an hour, uncovered. Strain the stock into a container for use with the stuffing. You should have 2 to 3 cups of stock.

Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or just plain water with this recipe.

Turkey Stuffing Recipe making stock from giblets Turkey stuffing recipe boil the neck and giblets for stock

2 Prepare the walnuts: Place the walnuts in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them by an inch, and bring them to a boil. Boil them for 3 to 4 minutes. This will remove some of the tannins from the walnut skins. (The tannins can be bitter and also cause the stuffing to turn a dark color.)

Let the walnuts dry, then toast them by heating them in a frying pan on medium high heat for a few minutes, stirring until they are slightly browned (not burned). Or put them in the microwave on high until you can smell the aroma of them toasting, about a minute or two.

Let the toasted walnuts cool while you are toasting the bread, then roughly chop them.

Turkey stuffing recipe toast the walnuts in a pan

3 Toast the bread: Dry the cubed bread in the oven first. Spread the cubed bread on a baking pan and dry it in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes. (If your cubed bread is already very dry, you can skip this.)

Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in the pan, add the bread cubes, and stir to coat the bread pieces with the melted butter.

Then let them toast; only turn them when they have become a little browned on a side.

Turkey Stuffing Recipe toast the cubed bread in a pan How to Make Turkey Stuffing coat the bread cubes in butter on the stove

4 Sauté onions and celery: In a large Dutch oven, sauté chopped onions and celery on medium high heat with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter until cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stovetop Stuffing Recipe cook the onions and celery

5 Combine the stuffing ingredients: Add the bread, cooked chopped walnuts, chopped green apple, currants or raisins, olives, and parsley. Add one cup of the stock from cooking the turkey giblets or chicken stock (enough to keep the stuffing moist while you are cooking it). Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Turkey Stuffing Recipe combine the bread, onions, and celery

6 Cook on low heat: Cover and turn heat to low. Cook for an hour or until the apples are cooked through. Check every 15 or 20 minutes or so and add water or stock as needed while cooking to keep the stuffing moist and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

You'll likely need to add at least one more cup of stock or water, if not two. The stuffing should not be crispy or crunchy, but softened, as it would be if it had been cooked entirely inside the turkey.