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Easy and delicious Thanksgiving dressing with chicken livers, chicken hearts, onions, celery, chicken broth, bread crumbs stuffing mix, and baked in the oven.

(Last Updated On: December 27, 2022)

When the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season approaches, my kids let me know I have to make their Grandma’s Thanksgiving dressing recipe. It’s our favorite stuffing which is a hand-me-down recipe from my mom many years ago, and we all love it. And, of course, it’s extra delicious topped with gravy.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are a delight. So many delicious dishes to be made! Our November Thanksgiving menu and our December Christmas menu include a Southern cornbread dressing we make along with this traditional Thanksgiving dressing recipe too. Yes, we have two different dressings on the Thanksgiving table. And they both get eaten up fast. We also enjoy our easy Thanksgiving green bean casserole recipe, mac and cheese, and cooked turkey during the holidays.

Last year for Thanksgiving we had the traditional pumpkin pie we always serve, but this year, for the first time, we served pumpkin cheesecake too, and it’s to die for. They are both amazing desserts along with the fruit salad we always serve.

Thanksgiving dressing in a baking dish.

Some bread stuffing recipes put the traditional stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey, hence turkey stuffing. But I don’t like that method. I guess I have heard too many stories about people getting sick because the turkey stuffing didn’t get cooked thoroughly because of the eggs in it. Or because of the cavity wall of the turkey itself. So for this homemade stuffing recipe, we will put the dressing in a 9″ by 13″ casserole dish and bake it in the oven for about an hour.

🍴 Key Ingredients

This recipe uses chicken livers and chicken hearts, both loaded with nutrients, protein, and minerals.

Liver and Hearts Mixture

  • 1 container of raw chicken livers
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 package of chicken hearts
  • 1 onion
  • 4 or 5 sticks of celery

Dressing Mixture

  • 1 and a half cans of low-sodium chicken broth (14.5-ounce cans)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of table salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 bags of unseasoned bread crumbs stuffing mix (12-ounce bags)
Ingredients for Thanksgiving dressing.
Ingredients for Thanksgiving dressing.

👩‍🍳 How to Make Thanksgiving Dressing (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)

Step 1. Preheat the Oven

Set the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2. Put the Butter In the Frying Pan

Put 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter keeping an eye on it. This won’t take long at all, so turn the burner off after the butter melts and set the frying pan aside for now.

Melted one half cup of butter in a frying pan.
Melted butter in a frying pan.

Step 3. Prepare the Chicken Liver

In the meantime, rinse and soak the chicken liver in cold water for a few minutes (not shown), then lightly pat it dry with a paper towel.

Put all of the chicken liver in the frying pan with the melted butter, then turn the heat to medium-high. While the liver is browning, keep turning it and chop it into small pieces with a flat spatula. Remove any unwanted pieces. At this point, do not brown the liver all the way, leave a little bit of pink showing.

Note: If medium-high heat is too hot for you, turn the burner down to medium. I say that because I have an older model ceramic stovetop, so the burners don’t get as hot as a traditional electric range or gas range.

Liver browning in a frying pan.
Liver browning in a frying pan.

Step 4. Prepare the Chicken Hearts

While the liver is lightly browning, rinse the chicken hearts in cold water. Then cut off the tops of the hearts and discard them. The part you will discard is where the ascending aorta is, which I don’t want to eat. Not that anything is wrong with it. but in my opinion, it doesn’t look good. After that, cut the rest of the hearts into pieces. Set aside for now.

Chicken hearts cut up.
Chicken hearts cut up.

Step 5. Stop Browning the Liver

Stop browning the liver when there is still a little bit of pink left in it because this is when we will add the chicken hearts.

The liver is browning in the frying pan with some pink showing.
The liver is browning in the frying pan with some pink showing.

Step 6. Add the Hearts to the Liver

After all of the chicken liver is chopped into smaller pieces, and is not browned all the way, add the chopped chicken hearts together with the liver. Then continue to brown the two together.

Add the chicken hearts to the liver.
Add the chicken hearts to the liver.

Step 7. Brown Until No Pink is Showing

Continue to brown all of the chicken liver and chicken hearts until no more pink is showing. After that, turn the burner off and set the liver and hearts aside for now.

Chicken hearts browning with the chicken liver.
Chicken hearts browning with the chicken liver.

Step 8. Chop the Onions and Celery

Dice 1 whole medium-sized onion. Rinse 4 or 5 celery sticks under cold running water and then dice them.

Diced onion and celery sticks on a plate for the Thanksgiving dressing.
Diced onion and celery sticks.

Step 9. Add the Onions and Celery to the Liver Mixture

Add the diced onions and celery to the frying pan together with the chicken liver and chicken hearts. Turn the heat on medium and fry for about 15 minutes or so until the onions and celery are tender. Keep checking the onions and celery for doneness.

After that, turn the burner off and set the frying pan with the liver, hearts, onions, and celery aside for now.

Add the diced onion and celery to the browned liver and chicken hearts.
Add the diced onion and celery to the browned liver and chicken hearts.

Step 10. Beat the Eggs

In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs with a fork or a whisk if you have one. Either one works fine.

Beat three eggs in a bowl.
Beat three eggs in a bowl.

Step 11. Add the Salt And Pepper

Add 1 and a half teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper together with the beaten eggs. Again, with a fork or whisk, beat the eggs together with the salt and pepper.

Add the salt and pepper to the eggs.
Add the salt and pepper to the eggs.

Step 12. Add the Chicken Broth to the Egg Mixture

Add 1 and 1/2 cans of low sodium chicken broth together with the egg mixture. Stir it all together. Save the other half of the can of chicken broth just in case you feel that you need to add a little bit more than we did in step 14.

Added the chicken broth to the egg mixture.
Add the chicken broth to the egg mixture.

Step 13. Add the Liver, Hearts, Onions, and Celery

Then, transfer to a very large bowl the chicken liver, chicken hearts, onions, and celery together with the chicken broth and egg mixture. Again, stir it all together.

The liver mixture and chicken broth egg mixture in a bowl.
The liver mixture and chicken broth egg mixture in a bowl.

Step 14. Add the Bread Crumbs Stuffing Mix

Slowly add 1 and a half packages of unseasoned stuffing bread crumbs together with the liver and chicken broth mixture, continuing to stir the broth liquid with the bread crumbs.

Note: This is where you can add more of the chicken broth that was leftover if you feel like the dressing mixture is too dry. But make sure before you add any more chicken broth, that you thoroughly mixed it well, especially any bread cubes that settled at the bottom of the bowl.

The stuffing bread was added to the broth mixture.
The stuffing bread was added to the broth mixture.

Step 15. Put the Dressing in the Oven

Spray a 9″ by 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Put the dressing mixture in the baking dish. Cover it with a lid or aluminum foil. Put it in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake it for 45 minutes.

Put Thanksgiving dressing in the oven at three hundred and twenty five degrees for forty-five minutes, then take out, stir, and put back into the oven uncovered for fifteen more minutes.
The dressing mixture is ready to go into the oven.

Step 16. Take the Dressing out of the Oven

Then, after 45 minutes, take the dressing out of the oven, remove the cover, stir the dressing, and then put the dressing back in the oven uncovered for another 15 minutes or so. Keep checking to make sure it is lightly browned on top. Then it is time to remove it from the oven and serve.

Thanksgiving Dressing
Thanksgiving dressing out of the oven.

🌟 Recipe Variations

  • You can add some of your favorite fresh herbs or dried herbs to this recipe if you prefer to do so.
  • The package of stuffing mix you buy probably has a seasoning packet in it. You can add that to this recipe if you want to.
  • Make your own bread cubes. Use day-old bread, stale bread, or bread that’s about 3 or 4 days old, such as white bread, wheat bread, sourdough bread, french bread, or any kind of bread you don’t want to use for sandwiches anymore. Then make them into dried bread cubes. To do that, first, cut the bread into cubes. Then put parchment paper on a baking sheet. Put the bread cubes on top of the parchment paper. Sprinkle a little bit of olive oil, salt, and any other seasonings you would like in your dressing. After that, put the baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 to 20 minutes. The heat will make them dry up so to speak, or in other words, get hard and crispy just like croutons.
  • Make your own chicken stock instead of using chicken broth.
  • Add poultry seasoning or ground sage to this recipe if you prefer to do so.
Thanksgiving Dressing on a Plate.

🙋 FAQs

What do I do with Leftover Thanksgiving Dressing?

We always have our leftover dressing the next day with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It’s called the day after the holiday meal. And if anything is still leftover after that, we will have hot turkey sandwiches or sometimes even cold turkey sandwiches on the third day with any of the leftover side dishes. Any leftovers after that point would get tossed or I would freeze them.

Can I Freeze Leftover Dressing?

Yes, you can freeze leftover dressing. Put it in an airtight container that is safe for the freezer for about 3 or 4 months. Let it thaw on a countertop, then reheat it in the microwave until warmed to your liking.

Thanksgiving dressing on a plate.
Thanksgiving dressing on a plate.

💡 Final Thoughts

The Thanksgiving dressing has been baked in the oven for a total of 1 hour and is now ready to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t forget to make some mashed potatoes to go with this delicious Thanksgiving dressing. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!

Thanksgiving dressing on a fork.
A bite of Thanksgiving dressing.

🥰 More Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes You Will Love

  • Orange Balls Recipe (No Bake) – These orange balls are made with vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, finely chopped pecans, and frozen orange juice concentrate. They are then rolled in sweetened coconut flakes or powdered sugar.
  • Applesauce Cake Recipe – Applesauce cake is a delicious dessert made with applesauce, raisins, spices, and walnuts (optional). And then, after it’s done baking in the oven, we drizzle some sweet powdered sugar frosting over the top of it.
  • Sugar Cream Pie Recipe (Classic) – This sugar cream pie has a creamy vanilla custard filling without eggs. The melted butter and cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the pie are baked just right over the creamy filling. It is super easy to make with simple ingredients already found in your kitchen.
Thanksgiving Dressing Pin.

📄 Recipe Card

Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Flo
Easy and delicious Thanksgiving dressing with chicken livers, chicken hearts, onions, celery, chicken broth, bread crumbs stuffing mix, and baked in the oven.
5 from 3 votes
Cost $8
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Liver and Hearts Mixture

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 container of raw chicken livers
  • 1 package of chicken hearts
  • celery sticks (4 or 5)
  • 1 medium onion

Dressing Mixture

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Rinse and soak the chicken livers in cold water for a few minutes. Slightly pat dry with a paper towel.

Liver and Hearts Mixture

  • Melt butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Put the liver in the frying pan with the butter. Turn the heat to medium-high and brown for about 20 minutes. Keep turning the liver. Chop it in chunks. Remove any unwanted pieces.
  • Rinse the chicken hearts in cold water and cut them into pieces. Cut off the tops of the hearts and discard them. It's called the ascending aorta.
  • Add the chopped chicken hearts to the frying pan and brown them with the liver.
  • Dice the onion and the celery.
  • Add the diced onions and celery to the frying pan with the liver and hearts. Brown for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Then turn the burner off and set it aside.

Dressing Mixture

  • In a bowl, beat the eggs. Then add the salt and pepper to the eggs. Mix together.
  • Add the cans of chicken broth to the egg mixture. Mix together.
  • Put the cooked liver, hearts, onions, and celery into a large bowl. Add the chicken broth, eggs, salt, and pepper mixture. Mix them together.
  • Add the bread crumbs stuffing mix to the chicken broth mixture. Mix together.

Ready For The Oven

  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Put the dressing mixture in the baking dish. Cover it with a lid or aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the lid, stir the dressing, then bake for about 15 more minutes without the lid.

Recipe Notes

  • Thanksgiving dressing is a great side dish to make with Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s extra yummy topped with gravy.
Keyword casserole dish, chicken broth, chicken hearts, chicken livers, dinner, homemade stuffing recipe, stuffing, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving dinner, traditional stuffing, turkey dressing
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