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Making Stuffing on the Stove

So, living in NYC, I have a tiny oven that will barely fit my turkey and I'm not sure I would be able to cook stuffing in the oven at the same time. So, I need to be able to cook the stuffing on the stove top. Does anyone have any good recipes or tips or ideas to share? I'm looking to do a focaccia stuffing with mushrooms. And I made one in the oven last year (I was cooking at a friend's place who had two ovens) and it turned out really lovely. Can I just use the same recipe and technique for the stovetop and use a castiron skillet or something?

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  1. We always put the stuffing in the turkey. Tastes much better than when it's cooked beside the bird.

    1. I don't see why you couldn't cook it in a large skillet with the lid on, as long as you make sure it stays wet.

      Also, you could cook it in the oven after you take your turkey out to rest.

      The stuffing sounds intriguing, do you have a recipe or are you winging it?

      1. I've always made stuffing on the stove. So long as you use good stock and add the drippings from the turkey, you will end up with a flavorful dish.

        1. JungMann is 100 correct. But you can make great stovetop stuffing even if the drippinigs aren't available. I've always made in-turkey and stovetop stuffing both. Nary a complaint and all equally consumed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Sam, I couldn't agree more; you can never have too much stuffing! I stuff cavity AND neck, and bake a casserole of stuffing as well. I think that the in-bird stuffing both seasons the meat and is seasoned by it in turn. Though I don't like salty foods, I have never felt that stuffing a brined bird makes a salty stuffing - perhaps if you used prepared stuffing mix or broth, but when I stuff a brined bird I am cutting up the bread and using home-made stock and/or apple cider to moisten it, with no added salt. Less liquid is needed for in-bird stuffing than for separately-baked. In-bird stuffing holds together better, so is neater for sandwiches. The extra flavor and crisper top layer created by oven browning the casserole stuffing is a bonus for the meal.

            1. re: greygarious

              I make stuffing from scratch, make stock from scratch, brine turky, and don't add salt to in-bird stuffing. A bit of salt in the stovetop stuffing, however.

          2. My mom has made stuffing in a crockpot before. The recipe is unaltered from her oven version.

            1. I know you asked for stovetop recipes but just commenting: You could bake the stuffing in the oven before you put in the bird, then reheat it in the oven after you take out the bird and let it rest. 25-30 minutes resting/carving should be plenty of time to reheat it. :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: Morganna

                That would be my recomendation too. Either that or just nuke it.

                What I would also do is get the giblets and wing tips, neck and whatever else you can scavenge from the bird and make a good stock the day before. Use that in your dressing. You don't need to cook it in the bird that way to get good flavour. If you use enough skin and then put the stock in the fridge overnight you should find a nice solidified fat disk on top. Use the fat to saute any veggies for your stuffing and the rest for your roux for gravy.


                1. re: Davwud

                  Thanks all to the really great recommendations. I'm not sure I will use any of the turkey drippings in the stuffing as there is at least one vegetarian in the room. I plan to make a nice vegetable stock to use in it.

                  For the focaccia mushroom stuffing, it was a wing, but basically, I got a nice dense sheet of focaccia from Amy's Bread in NY. It's a fairly firm, and thin and is made with rosemary, sea salt, and olive oil. I dried it out on about 150 in the oven for several hours. Then, cubed it. I got two sheets of focaccia which were about 18 by 12. I then chopped two cups of portabellos, six shallots, and added fresh thyme. Two eggs, around 2 cups of vegetable stock and voila. In the oven at 375 for about an hour.

              2. Re stovetop stuffing: just be careful to keep the heat very low on the cooktop, or be prepared to stir often. Otherwise, the bottom will most definitely burn. Second, for those who stuff the bird -- health hazards aside, don't stuff a well brined bird. The stuffing will be unbearably salty.

                4 Replies
                1. re: sbp

                  can I make the stuffing seperate in table top oven roaster?? would that dry it out to much.?

                  1. re: brooklynlizzie

                    Do these table top oven roasters get overly hot... don't wanna burn my guests.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        Counter top roasters have a thermostat, so you set the temperature you want to cook; but I would not plop one down on the dining table as a heated serving dish!.

                        I make "covered skillet dressing" all the time - year around in fact. I quit making "stuffing" decades ago for health reasons as well as being able to get the turkey cooked correctly reasons. My turkey "stuffing" today is an apple, and orange and an onion or two shoved inside; not to be eaten.

                2. Try buying a moderate size turkey (maybe 12 lbs) and butterfly it (cut out the backbone and flatten it out). Then you can put the stuffing on some alumin foil on a baking sheet and literally rest the turkey on top of the stuffing when you cook it. You get the benefits of stuffing 'in the bird' (even though it's not really in it), and it will fit in a NY size oven

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bnemes3343

                    For the last several years I have been deconstructing the turkey -- cut the breast off (leave the wings) and the thigh/leg section. Set the breast on a pile of stuffing, and the legs to the side (and to be extra special, bone and stuff the thighs). Not only does a ~12lb turkey cook in about 2 hours, you have room in the oven!

                  2. Sure.

                    Start off sauteing the vegies like onion, celery, bell pepper, bacon, other meat scraps. Then add the bread cubes. You could let those toast a bit in the pan, but that isn't absolutely necessary. Moisten with stock or water flavored with instant bullion. Stir regularly. Adjust seasoning. Adjust the stock. I would aim to moisten all the bread, but not add so much as to make a soggy mass. I prefer a loose stuffing, as opposed to denser bread-pudding. It may benefit from a period covered on low heat.

                    You might also get ideas from Spanish recipes for migas ('crumbs').

                    1. To piggyback off this topic... I want to make stovetop stuffing with cornbread that I purchased at the grocery store. Do I need to harden the bread, either by sticking it in the oven at a low temp to dry it out.... leaving it out overnight....? Or can I use it as is? How does this recipe sound? http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1626,...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                        here's is M Symon's cornbread stuffing recipe, though it is not a stove top one
                        He suggests toasting the cubed bread in the oven.

                        1. re: paulj

                          That looks like a great recipe! Do you think I could replicate it on the stovetop?