The way Grandma made her Country Turkey Stuffing, I swear! The only variation I have made is leaving out onions and adding sausages. My mother taught me how to make traditional turkey stuffing over 40 years ago! I have been making it ever since I moved out on my own at the age of 17. Vegan Option Below (Scroll down).
For tips on cooking a turkey from scratch, please see my other post: Country Turkey Dinner. For the stuffing recipe, keep reading below.
It really is super easy to make and is pretty much ‘no fail’ if you are willing to use the poultry seasoning liberally. I always get great feedback and people wanting 2nd or 3rd helpings of my stuffing.
For vegetarians I will add a slight modification to the instructions at the end.
This recipe is for stuffing a large 5-6 kg bird. Any extra turkey stuffing can be cooked outside the bird covered in a buttered casserole dish.
Caution: Please check the ingredients for any allergies / food sensitivities, before trying this recipe.
Butter 3 T
Breakfast Sausages (large pack)
Celery – 4 stalks chopped
Poultry Seasoning – 5-8 T
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Basil
2 Loaves White bread
3 T Butter again, chopped up in small bits
Instructions for Turkey Stuffing:
Melt 3 T butter in frying pan, 3 T poultry seasoning, salt, basil.
Stir and fry chopped celery until softened (not fully). You don’t want to fully cook the celery so that it will cook inside the bird and won’t be mushy.
In separate pan, fry up the breakfast sausage and after it cooks slightly then cut up in ¾ inch pieces. Fully cook the sausage until brown, but don’t burn!
Using the 1.5 to 2 loaves of White bread, you can let it dry overnight in a bowl like below. What I usually do is just quickly put each piece in the toaster to let it warm up and stop it just before it starts browning. It will feel moist, but it dries out quickly. Then I transfer each piece to the bowl. I use a large bread making bowl to make the stuffing in, so I have lots of room to work with.
In the large bowl, using your hands, break up each piece of bread. Add the celery mixture and butter to the bowl and mix.
Before adding the sausage, if you need to separate out some of the stuffing for a vegetarian option, do that now. I usually take about 1/5 of the bread and celery mixture and put in a separate casserole dish. Then follow the remaining steps below for a Vegetarian Option (scroll down).
For the regular stuffing, then combine the sausages to the large bowl.
Mix, mix and mix. Then add more poultry seasoning (2-5 T) and another 3 T cold butter chopped up. This process takes a few minutes to thoroughly combine everything and keep adding the poultry seasoning slowing to get every piece of bread lightly coated. This is where you can be liberal with the poultry seasoning.
Mix, mix, mix and squish together with fingers. This is where I get my hands dirty and literally squish the bread mixture with my fingers, kind of kneading it. I keep adding more Poultry seasoning until dark. It should look like the picture below just before you stuff the bird! The amount of poultry seasoning is always dependant on the amount of bread you are using, so you want each piece of bread to be lightly coated with seasoning.
Now you can stuff the bird with this yummy and traditional turkey stuffing! All of the ingredients in the bird are pre-cooked, so you don’t have to worry about anything not being fully cooked at the end.
Variation for our Vegan Stuffing:
For a vegan option, before adding the sausage, you can separate out some of the celery and bread mixture and add uncooked, chopped carrots and red/yellow peppers, button mushrooms for a variation for vegetarian folks. Just skip adding the breakfast sausage. Add some extra poultry seasoning (1T), 1 T butter and the cut vegetables.
Mix all together and sprinkle the mixture with a bit of water to give it more moisture. Transfer to a buttered casserole dish and cover.
Cook outside the pan in a covered and buttered casserole dish for about an hour and check it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and add back for the last half hour while the bird is cooking. (I often mix the vegan stuffing to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn or get too dry).
Recipe card for Traditional Turkey Stuffing:
Here is the recipe card. To print, just right click on recipe card image, select Open image in New Tab, then go to your new tab in your browser and select Print from your menu. This should print the card in 4X6 format.
You can easily modify this recipe and add dried cranberries or other favorite ingredients.
A couple hints for cooking the turkey:
For no fail turkey, I always cook it in a covered roasting pan, at 325 degrees, 20 minutes per pound, then check it if cooked (using meat thermometer). If not done, leave in, covered, for another half hour. If done, I take off the lid to brown the top of the turkey for 10 minutes.
Hope you enjoy this recipe! For more tips on cooking a turkey from scratch, please see my other post: Country Turkey Dinner.