This Challah Slow Cooker Stuffing doesn’t need butter or margarine (and those unnecessary calories) to taste great. It has plenty of flavor and mouth-watering aroma from fresh herbs, a good quality chicken broth, and sautéed vegetables.
12 oz turkey or chicken sausage, ground or removed from casing (optional)
1 large challah (about 1 ½ lbs)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or 6 Tbsp if not using sausage)
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped
1 lb celery, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped (or 1 ½ tsp dried sage)
1 Tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped (or 1 ½ tsp dried marjoram)
2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
1 quart chicken broth
1 lb sliced white mushrooms
2 large eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut the challah into ½ inch cubes. Spread the cubes out across two baking sheets.
- Place the trays in the oven for about 12 minutes, switching trays on racks halfway through cooking. The challah cubes should be toasted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Heat 2 Tbsp* of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high. Add sausage to the pan and cook until browned. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and reserve for later. If you are not using sausage, see note at the end of this recipe.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery to the same pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
- Pour 2 ½ cups of chicken broth into the pan along with 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of black pepper. Remove from heat. Reserve remaining chicken broth.
- Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a clean skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms to the skillet. Sauté for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown and shrink in size. Remove from heat. You may need to cook the mushrooms in two batches depending on the size of your skillet.
- In a very large mixing bowl, combine challah cubes, sausage, vegetable/chicken broth mixture, mushrooms and herbs. Stir to blend all ingredients, making sure the challah cubes are evenly moistened. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and stir until they are fully incorporated into the stuffing. The mixture may seem dry now, but wait to add more broth until it’s had a chance to cook—the liquid will slowly be absorbed by the bread.
- Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray; then pour in the challah mixture.
- Set slow cooker on high heat and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and stir to redistribute the liquid throughout the stuffing, then check the stuffing for dryness. If it still seems dry, drizzle a little more broth over the top of the stuffing and stir again. Return the lid and reduce heat to low.
- Let cook on low for 4 hours, checking and stirring every hour to make sure the stuffing isn’t too dry. If it is, add more broth—carefully, as it can easily go from the right texture to overly wet and mushy.
- After 4 hours, stir, taste, and add more salt or pepper, if desired. Switch to warm setting until ready to serve.
*Variation: If you prefer to make your stuffing without sausage, skip that step and begin by first sautéing the onions, carrots and celery in 6 Tbsp of olive oil, then continue the recipe as written, omitting the sausage.