Mom’s Turkey Stuffing

BEST Turkey Stuffing EVER! Classic Thanksgiving turkey stuffing recipe made with French bread cubes toasted in butter, walnuts, onion, celery, apple, green olives, and stock made from turkey giblets.

  • Yield: Serves 8-10


  • 1 loaf of day old French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups each, chopped onion and celery
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of currants or raisins
  • Several (5 to 10) chopped green olives (martini olives, the ones with the pimento)
  • Stock from the turkey giblets (2 cup to 3 cups) (can substitute chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or ground sage (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)


1 Simmer turkey giblets for stock (use chicken stock if you don't have giblets): If you haven't already made the stock, take the turkey giblets–heart and gizzard–and neck if you want, and put them in a small saucepan, cover with 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. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or just plain water with this recipe.

2 Prepare the walnuts: Place the walnuts in a small saucepan, add 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.

3 Toast cubed bread: Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt 3 Tbsp 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.

Note, if you aren't working with somewhat dried-out day-old bread, lay the cubes of bread in a baking pan and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to dry them out first, before toasting them in butter on the stove top. The bread should be a little dry to begin with, or you'll end up with mushy stuffing.

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

5 Add the bread. Add cooked chopped walnuts. Add chopped green apple, currants, raisins, olives, 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 & pepper.

6 Cook on low heat: Cover. 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.

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  • Kbowry

    It was a huge hit. Best stuffing I ever made. My son has peanut/tree nut allergies so I swapped out the walnuts for pine nuts.


  • Claude

    Just so everyone knows…………………….This CAN be cooked in the turkey. I have used this recipe, or a very close variation, the last 4 years. Each year I have stuffed the bird with it and cooked some on the side. Every one of my family and guests agrees every year that the stuffing cooked inside the bird tastes better. It always goes first. No “safety” issues, although I understand in our ultra litigious society why this needs to be mentioned. Enjoy!

    • Shari

      My daughter does the same…then she mixes the 2 stuffing a together, so it all tastes good!

  • Elmer

    This will be my second time making this it was such a tastey hit last time. I mixed all ingredients till number 6 and added them to the turkey then into the oven. No stovetop cooking if you are adding it in the turkey.

  • Cynthia

    At which point in your recipe
    Do I stuff the bird?
    Please advise

  • Gena Grelis

    Can I make the stuffing the night before and then cook the next day? I am trying to spread preparation out over tonight and Thanksgiving Day tomorrow to avoid ignoring my guests.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Gena, I would do everything through step 4. Then right before cooking, combine everything and cook.

  • Shirlee

    Thank You. I haven’t cooked a Real Thanksgiving in years. So, needed to brush up on Turkey Cooking. Got your Mom’s Roast Turkey (I’ve done mine Breast Down since the 80’s), How to Make Gravy (it’s usually jar or canned, not this year), and Mom’s Turkey Stuffing. Even snuck in your Mom’s Turkey Soup (I add cubed Turnips, lots of onions and garlic, pepper to the carrots and noodles. Then freeze in 2 cup containers. The Turnips hold consistently through the cooking and freezing and people don’t realize it’s not a potatoes chunk. Great for cold/flu season, pop it in the microwave and eat).

  • Tracey


    If I make it earlier in the day, how would you suggest to warm it back up?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Tracey, we just keep it warm on the stovetop, with a little added water at the bottom so it doesn’t stick or burn. You can also put it in an oven-proof dish, cover it with foil, and warm it in the oven while the turkey is resting after it has been cooked.

  • Kristie

    Made this yrs ago, loved it so much, brought back childhood memories. Making it again this year. Thank you so much for this one.

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you like it Kristie! It’s the stuffing we love the most.

  • Sherry

    I tried this stuffing recipe for the first time yesterday….May I say, IT WAS AMAZING! I was worried about the olives(we have a few picky eaters) but everyone gobbled it up. I used 10 olives but next time I might increase them. This was so good and easy to put together. This is definitely my ‘go-to’ stuffing recipe from now on.

  • Christina

    Hi Elise, I made this stuffing 4 years ago and haven’t celebrated since then since I live abroad and making the whole thing by myself is quite daunting. This year in going to give it a try as my work is having a Thanksgiving potluck and this stuffing was the first thing that came to mind. How long will it keep in the fridge? I’m very busy during the week and hope to make it ahead of time. Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christina, we always make the stuffing the same day as the turkey, though you can easily prep the ingredients a day or two ahead. I love it so much I’ll eat it for days as leftovers, but I do think it’s best made the same day.

  • Irina

    Hi, this looks amazing! Can’t wait to try!! Couple of questions. I’m buying chicken stock. Thoughts on regular vs. unsalted? And the other question is after the stocking is made do you stuff in the turkey? If so, at what point?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Irina, you can use either. I usually use homemade stock that doesn’t have much salt. You’ll need to taste as you go and salt to taste anyway!

      • Irina

        Thanks Elise! What about stuffing the turkey with the stuffing? Do you fully cook everything and then stuff the turkey? Or do you usually just keep it on the side? [email protected]

  • sharron craner

    hated the apples and wanuts. threw it ALL out

  • Sam

    Recipe does look great but I’m just wondering if you could finish it on low in a slow cooker or even in a electric frying pan. If the oven is full I was just looking at alternate cooking space.

    • Elise Bauer

      I don’t see why you couldn’t finish it in a slow cooker or electric frying pan. Great ideas!

  • Tina

    This sounds delish and I am going to try it this year. The recipe states it serves 8-10…I am having 13. I am serving other sides, but should I double the recipe? The stuffing usually is the first to go at any thanksgiving gathering I have been to.. Worried I won’t have enough but do not want a ton left over.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Elise Bauer

      Doubling it might be challenging, just in terms of how much you need to make. But you could bump up the ingredients a bit. The amounts are flexible.

  • Linda W.

    I prepared an early Thanksgiving dinner using your Mom’s recipe for roasted turkey and Stuffing…will take the leftovers with us to enjoy on our camping trip next week.

    Must say that your Mom’s Stuffing is by far the best I’ve ever tasted. There’s only two of us but we managed to happily consume half of the recipe last night (!) Only wish I’d seen your blog back in 2005…

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Natalie

    Just a quick question….you don’t cook your stuffing inside Turkey but you said you used to….are they still the same taste or better cooking separately?

    • Elise Bauer

      Since we cook the stuffing in the stock that we make from the giblets, the stuffing has plenty of turkey flavor. Cooking it outside of the bird accomplishes two things—it’s safer, faster and easier to cook an unstuffed turkey, and we can make a lot more stuffing!

      • Natalie

        Thanks for your quick response, Elise!
        What if I have to use chicken stock? Can I make turkey stock using only the neck part? I bought a turkey but I think only neck is in there..Does it get strong enough flavor?) if that’s ok, I can make stock…

        Also if I still want to put stuffing in the bird, is it ok too?
        I’m cooking with my boyfriend who has never cooked turkey before and is excited to make stuffing in it…so I prefer to put stuffing inside but I also want to use your recipe :) If cooking separately is better (even with chicken stock), I’ll probably do that but I like to get your recommendation. Thanks!

  • Lucero

    Hi Elise,
    I try your recipies for the Turkey, Stuffing and the gravy and my dinner was a hit!! thank you so much for sharing all this wonderfull recipes..


  • Laura

    This recipe is fantastic. I used dried cranberries instead of raisins. Otherwise I followed the recipe exact. I stuffed it in the bird. 5 stars!!!!!


  • Rita

    I’ve made stuffing according to your recipe for the last three years for our Thanksgiving in Budapest, and it is always the big hit of the party. I’m about to start making it again, and just wanted to say thank you!

    Although… I probably shouldn’t say this, but I have no idea what a dutch oven is and always just use regular pots and pans to make this recipe, and it still turns out delicious…

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  • alejandro lopez

    Hi, two years ago I made this recipe and everyone loves, this time they asked me to do it again and probably will be a success thanks for your excellent recipe


  • cr-expat

    I live for stuffing on Christmas. I found this recipe and was intrigued. Like some others, I was hesitant about the olives, and considered using dried cranberries in place of the raisins. But there were no cranberries available (I live in central america) so I made it as prescribed, only with some thyme and rosemary added. It was glorious. Thanks so much.


  • Angela Boehm

    This is the best stuffing I have ever had. I hesitated on the olives but added them anyway. I am glad I did. I am not certain what the olives added but it was great. I made a note to double the recipe because the stuffing dissapeared. No seconds and no stuffing in the care packages, my guests were so disapointed. Don’t just read this recipe, make it, you will be as jazzed as I am.



  • Ivos

    Wow, that was great. Goes very well with goose (in Germany at Christmas)


  • Krystal

    Hi Elise,
    I live in Japan and my friend and I prepared a traditional Christmas dinner at her house for foreigners and Japanese friends in the area. She used your “Mom’s Roast Turkey” recipe and I used this recipe for stuffing (turkey was great, by the way). I left out the walnuts and olives and substituted cranberries for raisins. I cooked it in a big pot on the stove as directed. I’m an American and the result was just like the Stove-Top stuffing from the box that we made in my family around the holidays, but better. I was very pleased with it. The others were all from Australia, New Zealand, and England, so according to them their version of stuffing is a bit different, but they seemed to enjoy the dish anyway. The best part was that the Japanese guy I like said the stuffing was his favorite part of the meal. Thanks for the recipe!


  • Peter

    Hi. Thanks so much for your help yesterday. True confessions, though, i didn’t get a single compliment on the stuffing. I think people are used to it coming out of the turkey and i probably should have added more sage, pepper, maybe some salt. Not sure what i might have done wrong.

  • kendall

    i live in a country where roast turkey is not a popular christmas dish and where most people have never heard of much less eaten turkey stuffing. last year, we decided to have turkey just to try something different. since i had no clue what stuffing should taste like, i just followed this recipe to a T and magic happened. everyone kept raving about how good it was. since the people who ate it, including myself, have never tasted stuffing before, i really don’t know if it’s the best stuffing recipe. but it’s good enough that i made it again this year, and plan to make it again next year.

  • Olga

    Thank you very much for the recipe. Tried it today and both – me and my husband – were delighted!

  • Qing

    I made this for our Thanksgiving. Mine had a great flavor but looked positively awful! :) It was all brownish, no green color from the celery or red from the raisin and cranberries left. Overall it was moist but not mushy, but some bread cubes were kind of dry inside. Maybe I cut the cubes too big? Overall I really liked its taste but nobody else was impressed, probably because it didn’t look attractive at all. :)) I’ll definitely give this a try again with smaller bread cubes. Don’t know what I’ll do with the color though!

  • Andrea

    Elise, thank you for this recipe. I made it as directed, except for baking it once it was cooked to give it a crunchy top. Wonderful combination of flavors, will definitely repeat this next year!


  • Karen

    Your recipe is very close to what my Mama and now myself make, except that every once in a while we add some oysters and the juice. Not a lot, just enough for the flavor. Thank you for your recipes.

  • Marie

    I tried this stuffing recipe yesterday for Thanksgiving. I never got compliments for my stuffing in the past, but yesterday my son-in-law told my daughter that when we divided up the leftovers, to make sure she took home some of ‘that stuffing’. Everyone liked it, including me and I am not a big fan of stuffing.

    The only negative for me was the color. It looks real pretty starting out but by the time it’s done, it has a color that would make you think there was hamburg or some other meat in it. I think next time I will try it with white raisins. I think it may be the raisins that give the stuffing the dark color. But this is definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Marie, I think we figured out the issue with the color. It’s the tannin in the walnuts! If you wait to add the toasted walnuts at the very end, or blanch the walnuts before toasting them and adding them to the stuffing, the stuffing keeps its gorgeous color.

  • Aaron

    Just wanted to say I’ve made this three years in a row now and it totally lives up to your description “I’ve never tasted any turkey stuffing that has come close to as good as mom’s”.

  • Colin

    Your recipe looks very good, though as a chef I have one recommendation: When you make your stock, omit the salt. WIthout the salt, more flavor components will come out of the meats. It’s complicated to explain (it involves the process of osmosis), but in essence, never add salt, pepper, or any seasoning when making stock-just add them AFTER the solids have been removed.

  • k

    hello and congratulations on your fabulous site elise!I am looking forward to make your mothers stuffing this year and i was wondering: i have a large round pumpkin and wanted to serve stuffing in the pumpkin. Would you first bake the pumpkin alone and then add the stuffing or would you cook stuffing in the pumpkin?

    I think I would probably cook the stuffing in the pumpkin, as if you were stuffing a turkey. ~Elise

  • Michelle

    Followed your instructions but it wasn’t good. Actually it was quite bad. Perhaps the olives I had were quite strong but they overpowered the dish. Even without the olive taste I think it may not have been to my taste. :(

    Glad it works for you and yours though….

  • skm

    delicious! My first time making christmas-day stuffing and it turned out great.

    For others; this recipe seems very forgiving to me. I would say go wild on the additions, subtractions, substitutions… I left out the green olives, and added a bit of fried bacon

    my one recommendation: raisins are that much better if you re-moisten them in warm orange juice before adding them :)

  • brinda

    Thank you so much for the amazing recipe!

    I made this stuffing for a post thanksgiving meal and it was scrumptious! we ate it for like two days straight. I plan to make it again it was soo good!

    When I have celebrated thanksgiving with my family, we actually never made stuffing from scratch (and this was my first time) and could not stop eating the stuffing:)

  • MWages

    Hi! Can’t wait to try it! Would it be possible to bake the stuffing in a pan after prepping? What temp/time do you suggest?
    Also using your Turkey Recipe this year….. will keep you posted!

    Sure. Bake it covered at about 300°F until the apples are cooked through, about an hour. ~Elise

  • Christine

    Hi Elise,

    I know this recipe is for stuffing outside of the turkey, but If I decide to stuff the turkey (as my family is screaming for me to do!), at which point in the directions would I stop cooking/preparing the stuffing on the stovetop and stuff the turkey? You mentioned you used to stuff the turkey, how did you do that? This sounds delicious and we are so excited to try it. I would stuff the turkey (12-14 lbs) with some stuffing and make some stove-top. Also, would you advise against using our crock pot instead of our Le Creuset Dutch Oven? One last question – can I cook a turkey upside down with stuffing inside? Sorry – this is only my 2nd thanksgiving meal I’ve ever made in all my 37 years….wish me luck:-) – Christine

    Hi Christine – If you stuff the bird with this stuffing, do it after step 4, after you’ve already sautéed the onions and celery. Stuff the bird only lightly. Do not pack it in. Any excess stuffing you should cook separately, either on the stovetop or covered in the oven. No idea about the slow cooker, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Yes, you can cook the turkey upside down with the stuffing in it. ~Elise

  • Dorene

    Hi Elise,
    I cant wait to try your Mom’s/Grandma’s stuffing. I love currants and was excited to see them in this recipe. Unfortunately, I’ve never cooked with them myself. How are the packaged in the store? In what department might I find them?

    Thanks for the recipe.

    I think we get them in the bulk bins. You might be able to find them near raisins. You can also use raisins for this recipe if you can’t find currants. ~Elise

  • Joe

    Could I stuff this inside my turkey once I’ve cooked it? It will be in the oven for 4 hours. Just want to make sure it won’t ruin it… thanks!

    I don’t really see the point in that. The purpose of keeping the stuffing out of the bird is so that the bird cooks more evenly and the interior gets cooked. If you are going to stuff the bird anyway, there’s no point in cooking the stuffing first. ~Elise

  • Jenny

    Hi Elise,

    I have some Kalamata olives that I wanted to use up. Would they work in this? Or should I go get the green ones? Thanks!

    No, you definitely need green olives for this. ~Elise

  • Jenn

    Thank you so much for this stuffing recipe! I found myself stealing bites here and there before my guests arrived…and it’s so easy too!

    About the turkey…

    A frozen turkey was given to me a few months ago just taking up space in my freezer. Since I have never faced the challenge of cooking a turkey before, it intimidated me every time I opened the freezer to get something. At the same time, it was taking up too much space (20 lbs.) so I had to do something about it—finally. I googled turkey recipes and I found you with the infamous upside down turkey technique. Well, it was tender and juicy and all it took was the common sense of knowing that the juices would drip down toward the breast. No more dried out, bland turkey for this family!

    Awww….thank you so much for enlightening those of us who had never prepared turkey this way!!

  • Kristin

    I found this recipe googling, and now it’s the only stuffing recipe I use. I’m vegetarian, so I use water instead of turkey or chicken broth. Instead, I saute fresh mushrooms with the celery and onion. Also, sometimes I use dried cranberries instead of raisins, or I use a mix of dried cranberries and raisins. More often than not, I leave out the olives (they’re expensive in my part of the world). No one seems to miss them–I consistently hear that this is the best stuffing my guests have ever tasted. I make it year-round, whenever I have bread that’s been sitting around too long.

  • Codye

    Could you please ask your mom if not making a traditional stuffing in a turkey what would she use to put in the turkey while it is cooking? I have heard of one using a peeled orange,peeled apple and an onion for moisture.

    Hi Codye, we lather the inside of the turkey with lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt. Then we add half an onion, peeled and quartered, a bunch of parsley, a couple of carrots, and some bottoms and tops of celery to the cavity. These are aromatics that will infuse the turkey with flavor. Check out our roast turkey recipe for more information. ~Elise

  • meredith

    I made this for thanksgiving and it was amazing. I had some veggies for dinner, so used vegetable broth instead and it was wonderful. Thanks so much.

  • Miri

    This is very similar to the stuffing my family makes, though we always bake it in the oven for a bit right before serving to give it a little extra crispiness on top. The green olive addition is interesting, too.

  • the other elise

    Elise, I love your site, and your name! I’ve learned so much here. I tried your stuffing recipe for my first-ever stuffing from scratch and my husband went bonkers for it. I left out the olives and now he won’t let me try it with them! I paired it with a roast chicken based on two of your recipes here. Another huge winner. Thanks so much and happy holidays.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! This is pretty much the recipe I’ve used for years. I’ve never added the walnuts, but will try that this year. I used (from my garden) 2 tsp rubbed sage and 1 tsp thyme. In my google I did find one recipe that used 3 eggs. We have chickens and I’m always trying to figure out how to use eggs…so I did whisk 3 eggs with a little water and added that for the liquid. Perfect! It is all ready for the oven. Now I will get busy with the wild rice dish.

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Elise!

    Since you now make your mom’s stuffing in a dutch oven on the stove top rather than in the turkey (or in a casserole dish in the oven as I am accustomed) I’m curious whether or not this might work in a crock pot?

    Unless you say “yes” and tell me how to modify the cooking time, etc. I will follow your recipe “to the T” and cook it in the dutch oven.

    Your recipe looks amazing, and with so many commendations, I think I might have a chance of winning a “stuffing/dressing bake off” that is going to happen at our table on Thursday!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    P.S. Many thanks in advance if you should actually find time to answer right now!

    Hi Elizabeth, I don’t see why you couldn’t cook it in a slow cooker, after you’ve sautéed the onions and celery. But as I have never done it this way, I wouldn’t know what to tell you in terms of the settings and timing. ~Elise

  • Julie

    Hi, reading your post made me interested to try your stuffing recipe for this year’s thanksgiving. I was wondering if the recipe would still taste good if I added some heat to it. Like Chilly pepper flakes? Wondering if you had any other ideas on how to add heat to the recipe. Thanks for your recipe!

    Hi Julie, honestly I would just make the recipe as is. Once you have it done, you can see what happens if you add a little chili powder to it for heat if you want. That way you’ll see how the flavors work. Personally I wouldn’t add any heat to it. ~Elise

  • Amori

    I tried this recipe to the ‘T’ last year, I loved it but my family found currants a bit overpowering and kids said it was ‘ugly/nutty’ lol. We just made 3 batches to feed the elderly today: Once you cook the giblets it’s a cinch w/few changes: Saute onion/celery in butter, once soft add the seasonings, let release aroma then add the nuts of choice [we used minced almonds bc we were also making baklava] then apple, dry cranberries, olives, parsley, salt/pepper to taste, please TASTE and adjust if necessary. 3 loaves of French bread were baked [sliced]in a 350F until dry, smothered @ slice with butter on both sides then one of us tore each slice into bite size over a LARGE bowl, then all of the veggies went in, All items were gently folded by hand then added half of the stock first [just to bind] and bit more later. Stuffing was divided into 3 large baking pans covered w/foil and baked at 325F for about an hour. The texture was wonderful, cranberries def gave a colorful twist. I apologize for the changes, we used what we had on hand. WONDERFUL RECIPE, Thanks for posting it.

  • cr-expat

    Oh, I did cook it for much less time than indicated. About 20 min, then kiiled the heat and kept covered til serving time. Apples and everything were nicely done.

  • james

    This is my first recipe from this site that I tried.
    This was so good!

    I added ground turkey sausage, cranberries, not raisins, & didn’t add the walnuts. I also used chicken broth.

    My wife & I could live off of this stuff, it is so good. I made it for Christmas dinner & was scared of how it would turn out.

    This one is a keeper for life!

  • Wendy

    This is just like my stuffing recipe that I learned from my mother, except that we use pine nuts instead of walnuts. I grew up with this and it is the one thing I look forward to each year.

    As for not cooking the stuffing in the turkey, we always put a metal spoon in the middle of the stuffing so that it heats it through completly. Just a thought!

    Metal spoon in the stuffing? Great idea! ~Elise

  • Sheree

    I was in charge of the turkey and stuffing for Christmas dinner. It was by far the tastiest turkey and stuffing I have ever eaten.

    I cooked it almost exactly by the recipe, but instead of the raisins I used craisins. I forgot to buy french bread so I used some frozen white bread rolls and a few wheatmeal rolls I had in the freezer. Very yummy. My husband has insisted that I keep this recipe.

  • Sonia


    My mom and I are going to try to make a turkey, (well actually 2 turkeys because we have approx. 30 people coming over dinner) using this stuffing recipe for the first time. This recipe sounds amazing! We’re also thinking about adding some wild rice to the mix and wondering at what stage of cooking the stuffing we should do this? Should we make the wild rice separately and then just mix it in when sauteing the onions, celery, etc?

    Any other helpful comments about making a turkey or stuffing would be appreciated!

    Honestly, I think you should make the stuffing as is, especially since you are making it for the first time. In my not-so-humble opinion, it’s great just as it is. If you want, make a separate batch of wild rice. Whatever you do, please do not just add raw wild or any other kind of rice to the stuffing, it won’t work, and your stuffing will be ruined. ~Elise

  • matt

    Elise, thanks for providing such a great resource.

    I see a number of people are using dried cranberries instead of raisins or currents. Will frozen cranberries work too? How might the recipe need to be adjusted? I’d rather use something we’ve picked ourselves than use store-bought, if practical.

    Secondly, I don’t have a Dutch Oven. What else can be used instead? Does the recipe need to be changed?

    You could try it with frozen cranberries, I have no idea how it would turn out. Regarding the Dutch oven, you need a large, thick bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. ~Elise

  • thekevinmonster

    Just made this, and it worked out great. I used a fresh italian loaf which I then tore apart by hand, then put on top of my oven’s exhaust to dry out. I ended up with very large pieces, which kind of left the stuffing to be ‘big chunks of bread’ and ‘the other stuff that isn’t bread’. However, it was still delicious.

    I used store-bought organic chicken broth, about 2 cups worth. I probably could have used another cup.

    I also used italian herbs instead of just sage. Worked fine.

    It turned a very, very dark maroon color, which was unexpected. I think that was the raisins.

    Still very, very delicious. This recipe is going to be my staple for making stuffing!

  • Tali

    This was my first time making the Thanksgiving dinner. This recipie is so good and so easy to make. I also used the roast turkey recipie and it was great! From now on I’m going to use them every Thanksgiving. Thanks!

  • Nikki


    I just tried this recipe for a dinner party of 10. It is OUT OF THIS WORLD. You are amazing and thank you for sharing your love for cooking with us. Everyone loved this recipe and I will be making this for years to come. You are the best. Your site is my favorite to look up for cooking tips. You make me want to be a better cook, and love more. :)

    Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Jenn

    This was a HUGE success today, thank you!! I made it with vegetable broth instead of giblet or chicken (for a vegetarian friend) and no one noticed the difference. In fact, it was more popular than the turkey! I toasted the bread in two pans due to the mass and managed to char a few cubes, but it was still absolutely delicious and was the most-requested leftover!

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • Dunja

    OH my Gosh, this stuffing is just hands down my favorite, it puts any other to total shame. I prepared last year my first ever Thanksgiving Dinner. Now I have been married for nearly a decade but I was always invited, so I did not cook the main dishes, I did bring sides and desserts though. ANyways, last year I looked up the “Mom’s Turkey” recipe and it was out of this world! I have never eaten a Turkey moister than the first one I ever prepared. I loved how moist it was and so did my husband and the kids. The BReast side down thing makes perfect sense to me. And since I was already making ELises Turkey, I figured I make the stuffing as well.

    O M G.

    It was so good I think I shoveled half the dish in all on my own, I just could not stop myself and the leftovers were super delicious too! This stuffing will be my forever-keeper, I will never make it any different.
    And then I made a big, no make that HUGE, mistake. Since the stuffing on Thanksgiving had been so good I decided to make it around Christmas again, only that time I used shortcuts, such as canned broth, store bought bread cubes (I know, I know, terrible but I thought I’d try) and let me tell you that it was a total let-down. It lacked flavor and the texture was disappointing too.

    So please DO NOT cut corners on this recipe, use all the fresh ingredients, make the broth from the turkey giblets and do it by the book. The end result will be more than worth it. Ok, now I ‘ve done it. I am drooling I think ;-)!

    Thanks Elise and Elise’s Mom, for the great Turkey and Stuffing recipes, HOME RUN!

  • James B

    Bravo! Tastes just like mom’s. I chose to skip the olives but everything else was great.

    HINT HINT for any recipe you do that needs to carmelize the onions. Add some salt while doing this step. It really brings out the taste.

  • Danielle

    This is the most amazing delicious stuffing I ever tasted! WOW!

  • Sandra

    Thank you very much for sharing your recipe. I tried roasting a turkey for the 2nd time (this time using your recipe) and it turned out amazing! It was really moist and tasty! Thanks so much!

  • Madeline

    I can’t even begin to express how much I love this stuffing. I first made it for Christmas last year and everyone loved it. I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. Therefore since we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October I was so excited to make this again. I made it last night again (had to celebrate one day early) it was my favorite part of the meal. I’m looking forward to the leftover turkey and stuffing sandwich I’ll be having for dinner! Thanks Elise and Elise’s Mom and Grandmother :)

  • Karen

    Hi Elise,
    Could I make this the night before or should I make it the morning of?
    Thank you!

    You can prep the day before – make the buttered croutons, toast the walnuts, get everything chopped (except for the apple which will brown), make the stock from the giblets. But I would make the stuffing the day of, soon before serving. ~Elise

  • Malina

    Really good recipe!
    It was the first time I made one and it was for a Finnish family. They were curious of how or why Canadians love their turkey. Now they love it too!
    Tosi hyvä ruoka! they said.

  • Caroline

    Thank you for this recipe! It was the first time ever I made a stuffing and was therefore a little nervous but it turned out great and my friends loved it! There was nothing left and I’ve already been asked to make it again next Christmas.

  • Matti

    Hi! I tried the cranberry sauce, breast-down turkey and stuffing recipes on the big day yesterday for the first time. They were really good! I have to say that I do prefer a simple sage and onion stuffing done in the bird itself, plus I’ve never had a dry turkey cooked on its back – just keep some aluminium foil over the bird and cook it slowly for 5-6 hours, plus soak the bread for the stuffing in some turkey stock before it goes in. Still, yesterday was a big success and thanks for the great tips Elise.

  • Patrick

    Hi Elise,

    I used your recipe yesterday for a stuffed roast chicken. It was great. I also added some dried appricots.

    Thank you for the great recipe!

  • Adriana Haack

    Hi everyone,

    We just finished our Christmas Dinner one hour ago and I confess I had to run to this comment section to thank you soooo much for this recipe. The turkey was very juicy and the stuffing was very good. We were out of the celery so we used an orange inside of the turkey. We also added some cranberry into the stuffing. It COULD NOT be any better. Thank you so much!

  • liz

    I am making turkey for the first time this week.. I am going to use this recipe as the stuffing and I was wondering could I sub the french bread for italian?

    Sure. We use both interchangeably. Just don’t use sourdough. ~Elise

  • Margaret

    I made this stuffing for our Thanksgiving dinner and four family members asked for the recipe saying it was the best they had ever tasted. Another member said she loved it but took all the mushrooms out of it because she doesn’t like them. She was stunned to find out they were olives!

  • Rose

    I noticed that two people have asked if the stuffing can be made ahead and frozen, but the question was not answered. I would also love to know if it can be frozen? If so, should it be frozen before or after cooking? Thanks

    Note from Elise: We never freeze our stuffing, so I have no idea.

  • Mark

    Can this stuffing be frozen ??

  • Thomas

    Just wanted to thank you for the great stuffing recipe. I did add a pound of pork sausage to the original recipe and left out the nuts. I mixed the whole thing together and covered it with foil and baked it in the oven(325) for one hour. I took the foil off for the last few minutes to brown the top. This was by far the best stuffing I have made. Everyone at my dinner loved it. It was even good the next day. This one is a keeper.Thanks.

  • Deb

    I’m wondering if this could be adapted to cook in a crockpot?

  • Tina

    Last month I mentioned to my mother about trying some new recipes for Thanksgiving dinner. At short notice I was given the stuffing to make. I had read your recipe and decided to give it a try.

    I made two batches: one vegetarian (for me) and one with meat (turkey giblets) and little onion (for my dad). With the veggie one, I put all of the veggie stock in at once and some of the bread was a bit too mushy for me–next time I’ll add it in smaller amounts. My mother loved this one and I think it’ll become the new standard stuffing for the family.

    The carnivore version really needed more onion (or so my mother said) but my father won’t eat food with that much onion in it. I had added the stock (freshly made from the giblets) more slowly and preferred the texture of this one.

    The raisins plumped up so big and added a nice fruity taste. I chopped the olives up small so I never encountered a big “olive” taste. I also used more butter when toasting the bread cubes.

    Next time? I’ll use fresh sage and maybe add some sauted mushrooms.


  • ANdy

    I also made the turkey and stuffing with your recipes (first-time ever for a turkey!) and both turned out delicious!!

  • Rita

    After reading all the rave comments I decided to veer from my sausage stuffing and make your stuffing recipe. To my surprise, my entire Thanksgiving company tasted the stuffing (including myself) and we all decided to dump the whole thing in the trash. It practically had no taste and the texture was not pleasing. After all the work put into the receipe, I was certainly disappointed. Back to my tried and true sausage stuffing next year!

  • deb

    Hi Elise-

    I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 25 years, and felt that I pretty much had it mastered….until yesterday!

    I had 20 people coming for dinner, and a 26.25 pound(!!!) turkey to cook. I decided to take a leap of faith (you have not failed me yet!), and cook this “turk-a-potamus” breast down, according to your directions. I cooked it 15 mins/pound, adjusting the temp changes at the middle and end of cooking.

    Oh.My.Goodness. I will never again cook a turkey of any size any other way. This was by far the best turkey ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I also made your mom’s stuffing to go with it. I am very sad to say there is NONE left to eat with my delicious turkey leftovers. *sniff*

    Thanks again for the turkey recipe…and now I know to DOUBLE the stuffing recipe in the future!

    I hope your holiday was wonderful!


  • Karen

    I made this recipe yesterday along with the upsidedown turkey. The flavors were wonderful and I will add apples, walnuts and cranberries to my own recipe next time. I also prefer a recipe that incorporates day old bread crumbs versus cubes and uses more stock for moisture with a little pork sausage for added flavor. Our family recipe bakes in the oven and holds together better.

  • Vaughn Francar

    This recipe was used in our most recent Thanksgiving yesterday with very little fan fare. It is time consuming as are those recipes that I’ve used many times before. Both the walnuts and olives did little to enhance. Next year I will return to my true and tested recipe that dates back to my Grandma’s Belgian style well over 50 years ago. It is a recipe that incorporates day old bread crumbs versus clumpy cubes and uses a giblet stock base for moisture with the giblets minced and added along with a little pork sausage for added flavor. The typical sauteed celery and onion, along with poultry seasoning and such are added with apple, diced raisons and dried cranberries. There are a few other spices and ingredients that will continue to make this recipe a special one to my family.

  • tomoko

    I made this for our thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loved it! Thank you for sharing. Your recipes have never let me down. Your site is a joy to visit and I learn new things from you every time.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Patricia

    Your Grandma and I must be same generation. That is exactly how I make stuffing….for past 50 years, except for the olives. Had never tried that. I always brown and add a pound of sausage, though. It’s a great stuffing recipe.

  • Annie

    Very good recipe, thank you! I forgot to add the green olives and it was wonderful anyway.

  • Karen

    Elise, You’re recipes sound great. Why aren’t you on TV? I’m making the upside down turkey this year and will try this stuffing recipe as well. It sounds great. Question. Can I cook in the crockpot so it doesn’t stick? My burners are old and the heat doesn not distribute well causing things to burn on the bottom.
    Many thanks for a great site!

    Happy Thanksgivng!!

  • Janie

    Just a quick note about nut allergies, this may be obvious, but just to insure all the info is available since it has now been raised here, and not to cause a panic – not all nut/food allergies result in anaphylactic shock – In my case, I have a severe reaction to walnut trees, the oil causes my skin to rash and blister and a nearby tree can send me into a wretched allergy attack in the form of itchy eyes, and non stop sneezing. because of this, I have been advised not to consume walnuts, though on a few occasions I have accidentally consumed one or two without any harm, since we do not know what it will do, I avoid them. I have no issues with peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc. If you do have people with any food allergy, I would caution to ask the extent and reactions, just to be safe. Especially because if it is the shock kind, usually the allergy is so severe that even residual oil can trigger it – so no nuts of any kind should even be near any other food that is being prepared – this is why so many products have to label that nuts may have been processed on the same equipment the product was. – good luck :)

  • Ioanna


    thanks for the great recipes!

    I am planning to cook for 20 people (and it’s my first time making thanksgiving dinner!), so I guess I have to make “double the recipe”. I was wondering if you’d recommend to do it in two rounds. I am afraid that if I put everything together in one pan it’s going to be very hard to stir and the stuffing near the bottom of the pan will burn.. What do you think?

    Thank you!

    Note from Elise: It would have to be one very big pan. You could try cooking it in two separate pans at the same time.

  • Thomas

    This recipe sounds great. I am making dinner this year and can’t wait to try homemade stuffing for the first time. Can I mix this together and cover it in an oven and bake it? Anyone have any ideas on this?

    Note from Elise: You have two ovens, one for the turkey and one for the stuffing? We only have one oven, so that’s why everything other than the turkey is cooked on the stovetop. If I were to cook this in the oven, I would try to cook it covered at 200 or 225°F, stirring it half-way through and adding more stock or water if necessary to prevent sticking. If you try this, please let us know how it turns out.

  • Janet Lochman

    How far ahead can this recipe be made?

    Note from Elise: We make it the same day, but we also eat leftovers for a day or two. So it keeps, but I think it’s best done the same day as the turkey. You can do the prep work, chopping, etc. a day ahead.

  • Julia

    Hi, This recipe sounds great,can I use whole wheat breat with the same results?

    Note from Elise: The results will not be the same as whole wheat bread doesn’t taste the same as white bread. But if you like whole wheat bread, you’ll likely like the stuffing just as well.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Ilyas – we don’t cook the stuffing in the bird, but we used to. From what I’ve read the most important thing to remember is not to take the turkey out of the oven until the stuffing in the cavity is 165°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, and can’t take a reading, then do not put stuffing in the cavity. This is for safety reasons.

    Hi Jo-Anne – you can use dried cranberries or cherries instead of raisins, or skip it all together.

  • Jo-Anne Meister

    I have a question regarding the stuffing recipe. If I don’t want to use currants or raisins. What can I replace it with?

  • Magda Ruiz-Pineda

    Thank you very much for your grandmother’s stuffing recipe. I tried it for the first time, and everyone loved that stuffing. I am from Venezuela and it was my first time preparing a roast turkey with the stuffing inside. We usually have some typical venezuelan dinner for Christmas Eve, but this time we decided to have the turkey instead, which is seldom done in our country at this time of the year. The turkey came out excellent, I left it, for 3 days, soaking in red wine, mashed garlic and onion, salt, etc. and rubbed it with olive oil several times, as well as before placing the turkey into the oven. Next year I promised to bake another turkey with the same stuffing…and will continue receiving compliments. Congratulations, your recipe is fantastic.

  • Andrea Adams-Hanoman

    Thanks so much for the recipe.
    I am a Brazilian, who never heard about stuffing (we usually use cassava farine) and with your instructoins we all had a wonderful xmas dinner here in Georgetown, Guyana! Congrats!

  • ilyas

    I have stumbled upon your website and your recipe and i was wondering have you ever cooked the stuffing in the turkey? and if I was to try it would I need to only partially cook in the pan?
    I cooked my first turkey last year and I actually really enjoy the stuffing cooked in the bird. Last year I cooked it for about 5 hours really slowly and it came out very nice indeed so I don’t mind cooking the bird with the stuffing.

    Your recipe for stuffing sounds fantastic and I would really like to try it but cooked in the bird. Do you have any advice?

  • RP79

    I’m starting to learn how to cook, and I stumbled upon your recipe for stuffing. I was searching in general for Thanksgiving stuffing recipes, but what sold me was your line “I’ve never tasted any turkey stuffing that has come close to as good as mom’s.” Anyway, I had the whole family help me out in preparing this stuffing and everyone enjoyed it tremendously. My aunt was extremely impressed and it’s not very easy to do that. Thanks!

  • melissa

    Ye gods this was good. Even with the burned-stuffing-to-pot incident…

  • Libby

    Hi, Elise. I made your stuffing yesterday and it was so delicious! I chopped up some of the neck and giblet meat and added it to the stuffing. Thanks for sharing your family’s recipe!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi BJane – thank you for the information on the allergies and the link; that will be helpful to many.

    Hi Brian – So glad you liked it!

  • Brian

    This was absolutely the best part of my thanksgiving!! I will definately be making this stuffing again (I might not be able to wait until next thanksgiving).
    I left out the olives, had to figure out how to toast walnuts and make turkey stock, and I borrowed my friends 12″ pan, but it was worth it. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers!
    Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  • BJane

    Hi-Having almost lost my 3 year old daughter due to a heretofore unknown nut allergy, I’ve made myself an almost-expert on the subject. An allergy to walnuts is an allergy to ALL tree nuts (as opposed to peanuts, which grow underground). So, no, pecans are not acceptable as a substitute. I hope the writer consulted his friend; on the other hand his friend would, if they’ve ever experienced anaphylactic shock, be darn sure to ask about all ingredients in every dish before eating at someones’ home.
    Here’s my public service of the day: sign up for undeclared ingredients alerts by email from this site if you suffer any kind of food allergy: from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

    This isn’t about stuffing, I know, but if you’ve ever seen someone have a severe reaction, let alone your own baby, you’d be in shock too and want to spread potentially life-saving info.

    BTW, your mothers’ breast down turkey is like mine, which I discovered years ago in ‘Joy’ (Irma says a rack is not essential, that you could prop the bird up with as many tin foil ‘balls’ as needed). I was here at this stuffing recipe to find a method to cook my own stuffing recipe outside of the bird. I feel foolish-stovetop never occurred to me. Thanks!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Rob – you should be able to substitute dried cranberries or cherries and have it work just fine. I wouldn’t leave the olives out unless you really don’t like olives; they provide an astringent saltiness to the mix that is pretty important. Regarding pans, one of them needs to be large enough for all the stuffing. A soup pan will work, though you may need to brown the bread cubes in a skillet and then add them to the soup pan.

  • Rob

    I have a couple of questions regarding the stuffing.

    I’m not a big fan of raisons in stuffing. I would like to substitute raisons with dried cranberries or dried cherries (chopped). I’m not sure how this will blend with green olives. I’m considering leaving the olives out. Do you think this will work?

    In step 3 when you use ‘another pan’ what kind of pan is it that will house this much stuffing. At first I thought a skillet but no way is all this going to fit in a skillet. I have a large soup pan will that cook it properly?

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Wayne – the green olives and walnuts do indeed make this a wonderful stuffing.

    Hi Paula – great idea to baste the stuffing a bit with the pan drippings, thank you.

    Hi W – you could substitute pecans, if that would work for your friend. Or you could try leaving them out, it will still work.

  • W

    Is there something I can substitute for Walnuts? I have a friend who is allergic to Walnuts. Or will it be greatly affected if I leave the nut out altogether?

  • paula

    I like to baste the stuffing cooked outside the bird with a little bit of the pan drippings. This gives it that ‘cooked in the bird’ flavor and the fat helps crisp the stuffing.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi CWC – about 8-10 servings. A loaf of French bread is about as big as a loaf of regular sliced bread, but it is rounder, flatter, and wider. If I were using a baguette, I would use a long one, not the 8″ one.

  • CWC

    Hi, a few questions:

    1) Servings? (I believe you said 8 – 10 above?)

    2) How big is a “loaf of french bread”. I can get bagets (sp?) as long as 3 to 4 feet to small ones as long as 8″. How big do you require?

    3) Can this be made ahead of time and frozen?

    Thanks and love the website.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Elaine – the recipe calls for 1/2 stick of butter which is equivalent to 1/4 cup, or 1/8 lb, or 4 Tablespoons.

  • elaine

    Hi. In Canada, we buy butter by the pound. I would love to try your recipe. How much is a ‘stick’ of butter? Thanks.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Mary and Jenna – thanks! I’m glad you like it.

    Hi Deanna – yes, olives are an integral part of this recipe. Go wild.

  • Deanna

    having never cooked with olives (or eaten them for that matter) are they an integral part to this recipe or is there something I could substitute for them?

  • Jenna

    This is the first time I made homemade stuffing and I am so glad I found your reciepe! It is so good I don’t even care about the turkey! The best stuffing I have ever had!

  • Mary Zemmama

    I absolutely “LOVE” this recipe–what a winner! I also added a little bit of olive broth from the green olives, garlic, and diced leeks. The olive broth has given the stuffing a rich, almost wine-like aroma! Thank you for sharing and saving my turkey day!!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Astrobaby – take walnuts, roast them in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes or so. Or cook them on the stove top by putting them in a frying pan on medium high heat and stirring constantly until the walnuts are toasted. You will know because the flavor is definitely different; they taste roasted, and they’re not burnt. Be careful not to cook them too long or they will be burnt.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Acorn,

    Good questions. We usually have 8-10 people for Thanksgiving. Some of them love stuffing (me!) and have several servings, some skip it all together. The leftovers rarely last beyond one day.

    Regarding seasoning, my mom never measures. It’s all to taste.

  • acorn

    Hi Elise,

    This sounds awesome, but I was wondering how many servings this makes? Also, how much sage and poultry seasoning do I put in the stuffing? And can I bake it in the oven?

  • Emma Peel

    this is an amazing stuffing! I also added two cups cooked wild rice. It was a hit – had 15 guests for dinner – had to pass the recipe onto two of the guests and the 13 other guests do not cook! Cheers and thanks for the great recipe. Also, I was way behind schedule and the stuffing sat for quite a while – still was so good.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Superug – Well thank you! When it comes to my mother’s stuffing, I just have to agree. It is that good. :-)

  • Superug

    We have tried your turkey recipe and it turned out to be the most delicious thing we have ever tasted….
    I would recommend this recipe to any one that has no idea about best things in life