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Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing / Dressing

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“Never enjoyed stuffing/dressing until the day before I got married in November 1978! My in-laws threw a big Thanksgiving Day feast (a day late) for our wedding rehearsal dinner for about 30 of us. MIL made this recipe, and it made a believer out-a me! And...29 years later, I'm still making it, and all seven of my children are stuffing/dressing lovers--in fact, I think they'd eat it for breakfast all year long if I'd make it that often! Cooking time does NOT count how long it is baked--that would depend on if you stuff the turkey or bake separately. But figure a minimum of 30 minutes if baked in a separate pan at 350.”
6-8 cups?

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb ground beef (or venison, turkey, pork or Italian sausage)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 loaf whole wheat bread, 1 # size, cubed (include crust)
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 12 cup milk (optional) or 12 cup water (optional)
  • poultry seasoning (sage, pepper, thyme, tarragon)
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Fry meats (we use a combination of burger and mild Italian sausage).
  2. While meat is frying, cube the bread and dump in a very large bowl; drizzle butter over bread cubes; toss cubes, then set aside.
  3. When meats are browned, add onions & celery; cook until tender; then pour over bread cubes, tossing again and again until well-mixed.
  4. Add water/milk ONLY if you like a wetter dressing--otherwise omit.
  5. Add seasonings according to your taste, toss again.
  6. Mixture can now be stuffed into the rinsed-out & salted turkey cavities (then placed immediately into oven to be roasted) -- when turkey is roasted, remove stuffing with a long-handled spoon, into a nice serving dish--it will have absorbed all that wonderful turkey pan juices---oh goodness how delicious!
  7. OR -- spoon into a greased casserole dish, cover and bake until JUST crispy along the edges -- about 45 minutes.
  8. Whatever doesn't fit into the turkey, spoon into a small casserole pan and bake along with the turkey---turns out every time.
  9. VARIATION #1: Sliced, fresh mushrooms when browning the meats.
  10. VARIATION #2: Sprinkle some cornmeal when tossing the bread with the meat---mmmm!
  11. VARIATION #3: Water chestnuts coarsely chopped or sliced--adds a nice crunchiness the kids love!
  12. SUGGESTION: Unless you have a very small family -- DOUBLE THE RECIPE -- you won't be sorry, this is EXCELLENT when reheated the next day, too.
  13. PICKY EATER OPTION: Saute onions & celery in a separate pan until transparent, then dump in the blender along with the melted butter---pour this over the bread cubes and meat. All the aroma & flavor, just no "yukkies" to pick out for those who "hate" onions or celery.
  14. LEFTOVERS (if you're lucky!): reheat in the microwave.

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