Mom’s Turkey Stuffing

Turkey stuffing recipe made with ground beef, onion, celery and stuffing mix. The perfect stuffing for holiday dinners like christmas and thanksgiving.

Turkey stuffing is always the one dish where there is never enough for our family. Everybody loves it so much, that by the time people are having seconds, the bowl of stuffing is empty. Family members look around in dismay and I will often go back to the turkey with a spoon to see if I can find any more in the crevices of the turkey cavity.

Yes, the stuffing is so good. But part of the reason is because this is my mom’s classic turkey stuffing recipe. I remember that my mom used to make this when I was a kid. Actually, I think she got this stuffing recipe from her mom as well. It has been a traditional family recipe for many decades!

Turkey stuffing recipe made with ground beef, onion, celery and stuffing mix. The perfect stuffing for holiday dinners like christmas and thanksgiving.

There is one aspect of my mom’s turkey stuffing that is different than the way many other people make stuffing. My mom uses some ground beef in her stuffing. For me, this was always normal and the standard way stuffing was made.

It was not until I had stuffing other people made, that I learned beef in stuffing was not common. But, it is so good and this recipe is easily my favourite type of stuffing. 

While meat in stuffing is not the most common thing, there are some traditions and examples that use meat in turkey stuffing. I have had Italian style stuffing with sausage meat in the bread stuffing. There is also cornbread and sausage stuffing which is delicious as well.

If you have never tried meat in your turkey stuffing, I encourage you to give this a try. There is so much flavour and it tastes so good!

Brown the beef and drain the grease

How to make turkey stuffing

The first step in making my Mom’s Turkey Stuffing is to brown the ground beef. I use a pot or dutch oven that is large enough for the bread to be mixed with the beef afterwards. I like to make the stuffing right in the pot so I do not need to dirty another bowl.

Brown the beef over medium heat until all the meat is cooked through. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into small even sized chunks.

Once the beef is evenly browned, drain the grease and discard.

Add the onions and celery

Stir in the diced onion and celery. Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Turn off the heat and let the beef and vegetables cool slightly. It does not need to cool until it is room temperature, but it is easier to spoon into the turkey cavity when it is just on the warm side.

Add three boxes of turkey stuffing mix

Stuffing mix boxes make it easy

My mom has always used boxes of store-bought stuffing mix for her turkey stuffing. There are many different brands and they are all quite similar. Regardless of the brand, the boxes should be around 6oz (170g) in size.

Dump in the boxes of stuffing mix. Since the stuffing mix is already seasoned, it is not necessary to add any extra seasonings.

Slowly pour in the water and stir the stuffing so that the dry cubes of bread are able to all be evenly coated in the water. Let the stuffing rest for 10-15 minutes so that the dry bread is able to soften as it soaks in the water.

Fill the cavity with the stuffing

Get the turkey ready to be stuffed. Make sure that the inside of the bird is empty of the turkey giblets, neck or anything else that sometimes comes with the turkey.

Spoon the stuffing into the turkey cavity. Gently press the stuffing deep into the cavity, using the back of the spoon. 

Pack in as much stuffing as you can

I like to put as much stuffing as possible into the turkey because it is always high in demand by everyone in the family. Sometimes, there is a little space in the neck area of the turkey that can hold stuffing as well. There is usually some loose skin and a few large spoonfuls of the stuffing can fill in that pocket and the skin can wrap around the stuffing, holding it in place while it is in the oven.

Roast the turkey until cooked. Let rest for 10 minutes.

How long to cook a stuffed turkey?

Roasting a turkey that is stuffed takes longer than one that is unstuffed. I have a detailed post on how to cook an unstuffed turkey. You can check out that post for some specific details for cooking a turkey in the oven.

Cooking a stuffed turkey obviously takes longer than one that is unstuffed. A 14 pound stuffed turkey takes about 4 1/2 hours to cook. Use a digital thermometer to check if the turkey is ready.

I check three spots with the digital thermometer probe and each spot should read at least 165F. Check these spots: the thickest part of the breast, the deepest part of the thigh and right in the middle of the of the stuffing. Once they all read a minimum of 165F the turkey is finished cooking. 

Scoop the stuffing out of the turkey and spoon into a bowl

Turkey and stuffing is such a traditional part of Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday dinner and here are some other dishes that are perfect compliments.

Mom's Turkey Stuffing

Turkey stuffing recipe made with ground beef, onion, celery and stuffing mix. The perfect stuffing for holiday dinners like christmas and thanksgiving.
4.86 out of 5
7 reviews
Turkey stuffing recipe made with ground beef, onion, celery and stuffing mix. The perfect stuffing for holiday dinners like christmas and thanksgiving. This is enough stuffing for a 14 pound turkey.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 packages turkey stuffing mix 6oz (170g) per package
  • 3 cups water


  • Brown the ground beef in a pot of dutch oven over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break the beef into little chunks. Drain the grease.
  • Stir in the diced onion and celery and cook until tender and soft. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly.
  • Stir in the stuffing mix. Slowly pour in the water, stirring so that all the dry bread pieces soak up the water evenly.
  • Let the stuffing sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the bread to soften from the water.
  • Spoon the stuffing into the cavity of a turkey that is ready to be roasted. As you are stuffing the turkey, you can gently press the stuffing into the cavity with the back of the spoon. This can allow you to get more stuffing into the cavity.
  • Roast the turkey according to the temperature and time for the size and weight of your turkey.


Per serving:

Calories: 249kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 17gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 648mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4g

Nutrition Disclaimer


Turkey stuffing recipe made with ground beef, onion, celery and stuffing mix. The perfect stuffing for holiday dinners like christmas and thanksgiving.

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Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

4.86 from 7 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    Oh YES!!! Ground beef in my stuffing was a big WIN for everyone at our family Thanksgiving Dinner. Normally my hubby doesn’t really care for stuffing – he went back for seconds. Enough said.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I make my stuffing the same way! Put some extra diced dry bread beside a box staffing ! My family just love it!

    • Reply
  • I just have a question, this recipe sounds almost exactly like my mom’s recipe and I was just wondering if I put it in with the Turkey the entire time the Turkey is cooking will the stuffing burn or over cook?

    • Reply
    • Stuffing should not overcook if it is in the turkey for the entire time the bird is in the oven. The one thing that can happen is that the stuffing that is exposed and on the outside may really brown up and get crispy. But, some in my family say that is their favourite part.

      • You can put a bit of foil to cover exposed stuffing

        • Reply
  • Do you think this can be frozen for later?

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  • I will try this year. Sounds so much like my moms also. Thank you so much for sharing

    • Reply
  • Wow! This is first time I’ve found a meat stuffing that is close to my family’s! Are you from the East Coast? Or French Canada? Anyway, my mother made hers with bread crumbs but over the years, I’ve also turned to boxed mix! My version is slightly different…I first cook celery, onion, carrots in lots of butter, then remove from the pan to cook the ground beef, drain the grease and add back the cooked veg. I do use seasonings, though…salt and pepper, of course, also ground sage, rosemary and thyme, then add the stuffing mix and start adding broth to moisten ( a little at a time, till it feels right). I bake it until it’s hot, being careful not to dry it out! I don’t stuff the bird anymore. This is the best…ask anyone who has ever tasted it for the first time!

    • Reply
    • Yes, my mom’s side of the family has French Canadian roots. I get the same reaction from people who try this stuffing for the first time – they just love it. Many people are surprised by the meat, and a little skeptical. But once they try it, they are won over.

      Thanks for sharing your version of this stuffing!

  • Hi Steve, I just recently lost my mom and my son loved her meat stuffing, this receipe is as close as it gets to her stuffing. Thank you

    • Reply
  • 4 stars
    Looks good! Why don’t you double the recipe and make an extra pan? That’s what I do.

    • Reply
    • I’ve definitely done that! Especially when there are going to be lots of people coming for dinner. 🙂

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Thank you for this delicious stuffing recipe. I tried it this past Thanksgiving and it was so tasty and so delicious that my family fell in love with it and devoured it all. My daughter has made me promise to make it for Christmas again and I will most certainly be doing so. Your recipes are beyond delicious and super easy to prepare and they are often my go to after a long day at work or on a Sunday afternoon. Keep up the amazing work in creating such awesome recipes and Thank You again.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Suzanna! I am happy your family liked the stuffing. This recipe is near and dear to my heart, since I remember my mom making this when I was a kid. I loved being able to make it for her this past thanksgiving!

      • Reply
      • Can you put it in the oven without stuffing in the Turkey if so what temperature and how long?

        • Reply
        • Yeah you definitely could. I would spread it in a casserole dish and maybe add a little extra chicken broth. I would also cover it (with a lid or foil) for a good amount of the baking time so it doesn’t dry out too much. I have not done this, but imagine that baking at 350F for maybe 45 minutes should be good. Hope this helps!! If you try it, please come back and share how it worked out for you.

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