Dog-friendly Stuffing Recipe

Gluten-free and Crock-Pot-easy
By Heidi Biesterveld, November 2010, Updated February 2015

Moist and flavorful, this recipe is prepared in a Crock-Pot to save space in the oven, and includes a variety of traditional ingredients. I’ve lived in the Midwest and in the South and have had delicious stuffing made from both bread cubes and cornbread. My personal favorite incorporates both. If you are fixed on one or the other, feel free to use equal amounts of one in place of the other.

Many grocery stores now carry gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free cornbread. If you can’t find them or want to make your own, you’ll find my recipes for each (which are later dried and used for stuffing) at
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5-7 hours
Serves: 8-10
8 cups gluten-free bread, crumbled into 1-inch cubes
6 cups gluten-free cornbread, crumbled into 1-inch cubes
1 pound ground turkey or pork sausage
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups celery, diced
1/2 cup parsley sprigs, finely chopped
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
2 large eggs, beaten
1. Pour breadcrumbs into a very large mixing bowl and set aside. 
2. Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.
3. Drain off any fat. Set aside. 
4. Into the same skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add celery and parsley and sauté for 6-8 minutes. 
5. Add Granny Smith apples. 
6. Sauté for another minute. Pour over bread cubes.
7. Add poultry seasoning, salt, sage, thyme, marjoram, and pepper to the stuffing mix. Toss lightly to combine. Pour in chicken broth to moisten. Gently combine ingredients. For a softer texture, add more broth. Taste the seasonings. Add more salt and herbs if needed.
8. Add sausage and beaten eggs. Mix together well. 
9. Grease a large Crock-Pot with butter or nonstick spray. Pack stuffing into the Crock-Pot and cook on high for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for another 4-6 hours longer.
NOTE: Do not vary the ingredient list without doing research to ensure the safety of your pet. My recipes are safe for the majority of dogs. If you have concerns, consult your veterinarian. Also, see my tips about sharing Thanksgiving with your dog in moderation.


Photos by Heidi Biesterveld.

Guest blogger Heidi Biesterveld is a certified canine nutritionist. She is the author of Bone Appetit Bistro, a blog dedicated to canine-friendly recipes. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, son and a chocolate Lab named Duncan.