A few years ago I decided to stop putting the stuffing in the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and use the slow cooker instead. Cooking the stuffing in the slow cooker allows me to make a bigger batch than I normally would if I stuffed the bird, perfect for the 15-20 people we usually have for dinner. The stuffing also comes out fluffier in the slow cooker because I can control the moisture level. I add fruit to my stuffing, usually dried cranberries and sometimes apricot and cherries, but you can use whatever dried or fresh fruit your family would enjoy. This slow cooker cranberry apple stuffing is the bomb–easy to make, zesty and flavorful, with a touch of sweet. Your family will love it!
Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Stuffing
- 9 c. Bread Cubes (I use a combination of Brioche and crusty Italian bread)
- 2 Sticks (1 c) Butter
- 1 c. Sweet Onion (Finely chopped)
- 4-5 Stalks Celery (Finely chopped)
- 3-4 Sprigs Rosemary (Finely chopped)
- 1/3 c. Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 c. Apple (Peeled and Finely Chopped)
- 1 tsp. Bells Seasoning (or other Poultry seasoning)
- 5 c. Chicken Stock
Lay the bread out on baking sheets to dry slightly for about 2 hours, then cut into small bread cubes. Melt the butter in a stock pot, and add the onion, celery, apple, and dried fruits. Saute the vegetables and fruit for about 3-5 minutes, until the onion is opaque. Add the Bells seasoning and the 2 1/2 c. of chicken stock and simmer 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, mix in the bread cubes, and stir until completely mixed.
Butter the bowl of your slow cooker thoroughly or line with a crock pot liner and spray with non-stick butter spray. Add the stuffing mix to the crock pot and heat on high for one hour, then turn to low and cook another 2 hours.
To keep this Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Stuffing moist, use the remaining 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth, adding approximately 1/3 cup every 30 minutes, as needed. (You may not use the entire 2 1/2 cups.) Make sure you time your Thanksgiving dinner so the stuffing finishes about the time you take the turkey out of the oven, just turn to warm to keep it heated while you carve the bird.
Need a vegetarian option at your Thanksgiving dinner? Try this Vegetarian Pear-Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash!