The perfect mix of sweet and savory – this stuffing comes together with minimal effort since all the work is done in your crock pot!
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish? One that you add to your plate first – or maybe that one item you always go back for seconds? Or maybe I’m the only crazy lady who gets seconds of certain delicious dishes on Thanksgiving? Well for me, that dish is stuffing. I love it. Pretty much all kinds too. I like the super savory ones made with sausage – and I like the slightly sweet ones with fruit mixed in, like this one. Even better when there happens to be one of each at the table. That is a good Thanksgiving moment.
For my stuffing I wanted to showcase a couple of my favorite Fall/Winter fruit, cranberries and apples. Both are easy to find this time of year and they add a nice hint of sweetness to the other savory flavors of the stuffing.
I’m not sure why but the thought of stuffing just sounds complicated and seems like a lot of work. Well it’s not! You can even make it in your crock pot – how crazy is that?? You basically throw all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do all the work. Keeps your stovetop free for things like the dreaded gravy. I do want to share a couple tips that will help your stuffing come out as fabulous as possible.
Tip #1 – make sure your bread is nice and dry. Sounds strange right? Dried out bread is normally gross but it’s vital here and planning ahead is key. The day before I make my stuffing, I take a loaf of French bread and cut it all up into 1-inch squares then lay it all out on a cookie sheet. Leave that cookie sheet with the bread out on your counter overnight (up to 24 hours). This will give ensure you have super dry bread.
And if you didn’t plan ahead or totally forgot to do this step, you can toast those bread cubes in the oven to dry them out before you start your stuffing.
Tip#2 – Check on your liquid level about 3/4 of the way through cooking. My experience is that people like their stuffing at different levels of wet/dryness, so check it as you go to make sure it comes out how you are expecting it. You can easily add in more liquid to suit your tastes, so go easy on it to start then add it as you see fit.
Tip #3 – Never underestimate the power of fresh herbs to garnish. Stuffing is a pretty bland color in general. The cranberries help add a bit of color, but fresh parsley on top makes it look even better. If you don’t care about presentation you can totally skip it though!
- 12 cups day old French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups celery, diced
- 1 ½ cups onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups apple, diced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2½ tsp dried sage
- ¼ tsp dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ to 2 cups chicken broth
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)
- Place cubed French bread, celery, onions, apple and dried cranberries in a large (6 quart) slow cooker. Sprinkle sage, rosemary, salt and pepper over the mixture, tossing lightly to combine.
- In a small bowl whisk together butter, eggs and chicken broth until well combined. Pour broth mixture into the slow cooker to coat bread cubes. Stir mixture gently. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
- Keep warm in slow cooker for up to 2 hours until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
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