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Roasted Stuffed Turkey With Cooking Time Chart

Updated on October 18, 2017
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One of Susan's passions is cooking and creating new recipes for family and friends.

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Turkey is a traditional holiday meal in many homes. If you've never cooked or stuffed one before, don't worry it is an easy meal to prepare.

First off, you'll need to decide whether you're going to buy a fresh one or a frozen one. There is no difference when it comes to cooking fresh or frozen. If you buy a frozen bird, you'll need to allow time for it to defrost in the refrigerator. The larger the bird, the longer it will take to defrost.

Next, you will want to prepare the turkey's defrosting vessel . . . the fridge. Make sure that there's a comfortable spacious area for him to sit and chillax for several days without being disturbed.

Defrosting Time

The average time to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator is approximately 24 hours per every 5 pounds. So if you have a 20 pound bird count on it taking 3-4 days.

If on the day that you are cooking the turkey it is not quite all the way defrosted, you can put it into the kitchen sink, in its original wrapper, and run cold water over it to speed up the defrosting. Another way is to place the bird in a container of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until it had thawed.

Never defrost meat out on the counter as there is a danger of bacterial growth.

Purchasing Your Turkey

When going to pick out your turkey you'll want to figure out how large a bird you will need. Depending on how many people will be attending the turkey feasting ritual and for how many days you want to continue feasting needs be considered. In this case size does matter.

Getting the Right Size

When estimating what size burd you'll need, it is safe to assume that 1.5 pounds per person will be sufficient. Not everyone will eat one and a half pounds but then again some people may eat more.

Personally I like to cook a large turkey no matter how many people are coming for dinner. This way I have plenty of leftovers for sandwiches, soup, pot pie, and so on.

Fresh Turkey

If you are purchasing a fresh turkey it should be cooked within two days. Some people find that cooking a fresh bird rather than frozen produces a juicier bird.

Turkey Roasting / Cooking Time Chart

Weight of Turkey
Turkey Unstuffed 325°F/160C
Turkey Stuffed 325°F/160C
6-8 pounds (3.0-3.5kg)
2 1/2 - 3 3/4 hours
3 - 3 1/4 hours
8-10 pounds (3.5-4.5kg)
2 3/4 - 3 hours
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 hours
10-12 pounds (4.5-5.5kg)
3 - 3 1/4 hours
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 hours
12-16 pounds (5.5-7.0kg)
3 1/4 -3 1/2 hours
3 3/4 - 4 hours
16-20 pounds (7.0-9.0kg)
3 1/4 - 4 1/2 hours
4 1/4 - 4 3/4 hours
20-24 pounds (9.0-10.9kg)
4 - 5 hours
4 3/4 - 5 1/2 hours
Depending on various conditions such as; how hot your oven gets, how cold the turkey was when it went into the oven and how many times you open the oven during cooking this chart may vary to some degree.

Cook and prep time for turkey stuffing not including time in turkey

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: This recipe is for a 12 pound turkey
Turkey is now ready to be stuffed.
Turkey is now ready to be stuffed. | Source

Preparing the turkey to be stuffed

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160C.
  2. In the bottom of a roasting pan place 3-4 ribs of celery. This will make a rack for the turkey to sit on, and will make cleaning the pan easier.
  3. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and rinse the turkey under cold water. Be sure to rinse out the cavity as well.
  4. Place the turkey on top of the celery in the roasting pan.

Turkey Stuffing Ingredients

Source

Ingredients for turkey stuffing

  • 12 cups of cubed or torn up bread, you can use any type of bread that you have
  • 1 medium cooking onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning or sage
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tbs of olive oil, butter or margarine

Instructions for preparing and stuffing the turkey.

  1. Cut or tear up the bread and place it into a large bowl.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the chopped celery, onions and garlic. Cook for eight to ten minutes.
  3. To the bread cubes add the poultry seasoning along with the ground pepper, thyme, and mix. At this point you may add any other seasonings that you wish to.
  4. Add to the bowl the cooked celery, onions, and garlic. Mix and then add the beaten eggs, mixing well.
  5. In your hand grab a portion of the stuffing mix and push into the cavity of the bird. Keep adding until the cavity is full. Fill both cavities. Fasten the legs of the turkey together with either the hock lock that is attached or with string. Make sure to tuck the skin that is at the neck cavity under the bird so that the stuffing does not fall out.
  6. Rub the turkey all over with butter or margarine. Add 1-1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom of the turkey pan.
  7. Place tin foil around the wing tips and anywhere along the inside of the roasting pan where the bird may touch. This so that the bird does not stick to the pan. Tent the bird with foil and place into the preheated oven.
  8. The turkey can be basted several times during the cooking time. A half hour before the turkey is set to come out of the oven remove the foil so that the bird may brown.
  9. Once the internal temperature of the turkey breast is at 170°F (77°C), the turkey is ready to come out of the oven. Let the turkey sit 15 - 20 minutes. Remove all the stuffing and put it into a serving bowl. Now you can being to carve your turkey. Serve and ENJOY!

Photo Tutorial on Making the Stuffing and Stuffing the Bird

Click thumbnail to view full-size
12 cups of torn breadSaute celery, onions and garlicStuffing is all mixedGet ready to stuffInsert stuffing into the turkeyThis cavity is now fullStuffing the neck cavityApplying butter to the turkey. I've scooped the butter with plastic wrap in order to apply it to the bird.Turkey has now been buttered.
12 cups of torn bread
12 cups of torn bread
Saute celery, onions and garlic
Saute celery, onions and garlic
Stuffing is all mixed
Stuffing is all mixed
Get ready to stuff
Get ready to stuff
Insert stuffing into the turkey
Insert stuffing into the turkey
This cavity is now full
This cavity is now full
Stuffing the neck cavity
Stuffing the neck cavity
Applying butter to the turkey. I've scooped the butter with plastic wrap in order to apply it to the bird.
Applying butter to the turkey. I've scooped the butter with plastic wrap in order to apply it to the bird.
Turkey has now been buttered.
Turkey has now been buttered. | Source

Please rate the turkey stuffing recipe

5 stars from 10 ratings of Traditional Turkey Stuffing

© 2012 Susan Zutautas

When is your favorite time to eat turkey?

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    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 7 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks so much Moms TreasureChest

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      MomsTreasureChest 7 weeks ago

      Great recipe, loved the quiz, thanks for sharing!

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      Susan Zutautas 2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Dianna!

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      Dianna Mendez 2 months ago

      Your stuffing is exactly like mine except I mix in a cup of chicken broth. I remember cooking my first turkey and needing this information. Such a great article for this season.

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      Paula 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Gosh, Susan....It's such a phenomenon that our sons get older as we remain in our 30's? Be happy....my ELDEST is 49 & my "baby," 36. OMG!!! I feel faint!! Good to hear from you!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Paula, Love seeing you here. Wish you had a FB account so we could interact more :)

      Wow the twins are 4 already, time sure does fly. My boys just turned 29. Where does the time go.

      I'm doing okay, still hanging in there :)

      Hope that all is well with you. Happy upcoming 4th of July to you.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hey Susan! I saw you and decided it's been much too long! Time to say "Hello...hope you are doing well!" I'm just not around a whole lot anymore but my friends are always in my heart. (Looks like you and I will be connected forever by TURKEY, STUFFING AND GRAVY!! LOL) Sounds delicious to me!

      Just spent some time with my precious "twins".....Phew! going on 4 yrs old. I can't tell you a darn thing you don't already know!! Take care my friend.....Peace, Paula

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      Susan Zutautas 5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      ChitrangadaSharan, Oh my that sounds delicious! I will have to make my stuffing your way next time I roast a turkey. Thank you so much!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Susan !

      Besides boiled eggs I also add some fried cashew nuts, raisins in the filling. The onion flakes are golden browned in butter and the boiled eggs are cut in halves to fill in. I also add some ginger julienne . Spices of course are there.

      I liked your combination of ingredients very much and it would be fun to have some variation.

      Thank You and a very good day to you!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      ChitrangadaSharan, I would love to know how you make your stuffed turkey so that I too could try the way that you make it.

      Thanks so much and have a great day!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This looks delicious and your instructions are so well presented!

      I also make this with some difference. This is my family's favourite on special occasions. I would love to try your combination of ingredients next time.

      Thanks for sharing this excellent hub!

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      Susan Zutautas 11 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Merry Christmas pstraubie

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      Patricia Scott 11 months ago from sunny Florida

      Yes please.....turkey any time is a fav of mine....

      Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

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      Susan Zutautas 12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Peg, Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

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      Peg Cole 12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Perfect timing for this great instructive article. I really appreciated the turkey cooking chart and the stuffing preparation recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Susan Zutautas 12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Rebecca, Hope it helps and a Very Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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      Rebecca Mealey 12 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for sharing this again, Susan. I am cooking a turkey this Thanksgiving for the first time in awhile. I can sure use this.

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      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I forgot you were in Canada, Susan. :) Two Thanksgivings -- sounds like a winner to me. :) It's my favorite holiday of the year. Perhaps I should begin to celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving too. After all, my grandfather came from Toronto and a distant relative came from Quebec, so I have Canada in my blood from both sides of the family. :)

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      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Elf! We celebrate both the Canadian Thanksgiving in October and the American one too.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Excellent advice, Susan. Can't believe it is already 'turkey time'. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love turkey time :) Let Thanksgiving get here quick:) Thanks Brenda! Happy upcoming Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      Turkey time is coming. Great information for those looking for a bit of help cooking their turkey!

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Jackie, I'm a huge fan of garlic and I put garlic in so many things. It helps to keep the vampires away too :)

      Hope you enjoy the stuffing this way.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I will have to try this. I have never put garlic or egg in stuffing, will have a go at it. Thanks for sharing! ^

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Glad you found it useful vespawoolf. I actually make a stuffed turkey dinner about 4 times a year I'd say. Some years more. I love turkey and I think the best part about it is the leftovers and all the wonderful dishes you can make with the leftovers.

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ruby, So happy you came back and thanks so much! I love hugs :)

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      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is timely information. I can remember many years that I browsed the web for turkey cooking times...after all, we usually only do it once a year, right? I like your no-nonsense introduction and useful charts. Thank you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I came back to get a refresher course since i'll be cooking turkey soon. Thank you Susan. God's blessings as you go through chemo..Hugs..

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks so much!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image
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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks DzyMsLizzy so glad that you found this useful. Happy upcoming Holiday season to you and your family.

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      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Great hub. Very well written with great pics. Thanks for sharing.

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Kathryn. Have a very Happy upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday weekend and see you online :)

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      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      As a vegetarian, I eat "around" the turkey on T-Day. However, the rest of the family wants their turkey, so we always have one, at whichever family home we are eating THAT year.

      Thanks for the defrosting chart. I always have trouble with that, and more than once, we've had to resort to the 'emergency defrost' methods.

      Voted up, interesting and useful.

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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I pinned this, because it is full of useful information for cooking a turkey.

      I like the tip about using plastic wrap to spread butter on the turkey.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great day!

      Voted up, and sharing.

      ~ Kathryn

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your Cousins, I hope you have better results this year, and Happy Holidays.

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I make a Canadian Thanksgiving in October and then another one in November for the USA one :) Then one more at Christmas. You could say that I love turkey too :)

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      Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      My turkey didn't come out so good last year because I think I had the oven too hot. Maybe I will have better results this year using your recipe. Thanks for all the info. Voted Up and Useful!

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      ElleBee 4 years ago

      Yum, yum, yum! When people ask me my favorite food sometimes I am tempted to just answer "thanksgiving dinner." this definitely looks like the classic I grew up with :) I've never cooked it myself, but I am hoping in the next couple years I will have my own home and be able to take my place in the hosting rotation.

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for coming back Frank, nice to see you. Happy upcoming Thanksgiving.

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      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      had to revisit this recipe again because of the up coming holiday, I may have printed it out but i cant find it ..glad you reposted Frank

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks so much! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

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      Karen Robiscoe 4 years ago from California

      this could be a Butterball commercial it is so photogenic. Gorgeous. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Rebecca! Gobble Gobble :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Now this is what I need to cook a turkey properly. What a great Hub, and so timely!

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      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Petra, Thank you. I've always used eggs in this type of stuffing. Please let me know if you like it and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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      Petra Newman 4 years ago

      Hi Susan. This looks delicious. I made stuffing for years and am wanting to try other versions of stuffing. I have never used an egg in stuffing before but yours looks so good I think I'll try this one for Christmas. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

      Have a great holiday!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Lilleyth, I tend to put garlic in everything I can. I love garlic what can say :) Everyone in my family has always put raw eggs in the stuffing. Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting too.

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      Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Using white bread is the key to great turkey stuffing. I've never put garlic or eggs in mine, but that's what makes HubPages so great - we get to see what other people do and think! Fun!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Linda, That's one the greatest things about HubPages we get to share all this stuff with each other. Have a great night!

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      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Wow Susan-I am a good cook but who knew all these great tips? thanks for educating me.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Linda, The eggs are to hold all the stuffing mixture together ... it binds it. The celery is a little on the greasy side but my husband enjoys eating it. I often use the celery when making a roast or a chicken as well.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Susan-what a great home-made stuffing recipe-we usually use the stuffing that comes out of the box but we do saute the onions and celery like you and we also add raisins. I have never heard of eggs in the stuffing-What does this add to the recipe-is it flavor? I also loved that idea of using celery as a turkey rack-simply genius idea and great to eat afterward. I think next time we make stuffing over here we'll make it with our own bread instead of croutons or stuffing out of a box. So appreciate this great home-made recipe :-)

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      2patricias, Thank you again :)

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      2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Great photos, and very clear instructions.

      I have added this to my Recipe Index for HubPages - and I am sharing.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Judi, One year our oven went out and I didn't realize that it wasn't working until I went to baste the bird. We ate late that year.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your cousins, Cornbread stuffing must taste wonderful. I'll have to try that. I hope that you enjoy the recipe and thank you.

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      Judith Hancock 5 years ago from UK

      There was one Christmas Day at our house when we had to eat sausages for lunch because Mum mistimed cooking the turkey and it was still raw. It was ever after one of those things that was NOT to be mentioned under ANY circumstances!

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Man, I love stuffing. I cooked a hen the other night and used some leftover cornbread to make stuffing. I normally use store-bought stuffing mix for Thanksgiving dinner, but this year I will try your recipe. Thanks!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      MissO, I think the thing I like most about cooking a big turkey meal is all the leftovers and not having to cook the next day :) Sometimes I'll use sage and other times poultry seasoning. All depends on what I have on hand.

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      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      There is just something about the wonderful aroma of onions and celery simmering. Heaven! I don't have to tell you that I LOVE food and I can literally almost taste this. Stuffing is probably what I eat the most of when we make turkey. I like to add a bit of sage to mine. Everything looks delicious Susan, great pictures too.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      A.A. You always bring a smile to my face whenever you visit. Thanks so much!

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

      I LOVE TURKEY. I'M GOING TO GET DUAL CITIZENSHIP SO I CAN CELEBRATE AMERICAN AND CANADIAN THANKSGIVINGS.

      Awesome recipe and pictures. Loved it. And happy birthday!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Jo, Thank you. I've always used either sage or poultry seasoning, but if you've made stuffing before without, and it tasted good, then I'd say its a matter of whether you have it on hand or not :)

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

      Delicious! You have made my pallet water with anticipation come turkey day! Thanks for sharing!

      voted up , tweeted and shared. :) One question is should I use poultry season? I always have, yet one year I did forget and it still was pretty good. :)

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      btrbell, Thanks so much!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Frank, Turkey time is here again :)

      d. william, Thank you. Please let me know if you liked the stuffing. Congrats on the 100 :)

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      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you! Perfect hub to get us started thinking about Thanksgiving!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      GoodLady, I'll have to try stuffing with dried apricots, that sounds good.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great article. I am making this recipe for stuffing today. I have some bread i have to use up before it spoils and was just thinking about looking on the internet for a recipe. Great timing. I rarely eat meat, but i do like a good stuffing. Thanks for the recipe.

      P.S. I scored 100 on your quiz. Who's bragging? L.O.L.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Lizam, Thanks so much!

      LaThing, You really should try homemade stuffing. I like it so much more than the boxed pre made stuffing.

      Thank you Mhatter.

      newusedcarssacram, Thanks.

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      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      this is the season damn only scored an 80 on the quiz :(

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Paula, We have Thanksgiving here in October and I usually make a turkey for the Canadian Thanksgiving and sometimes I'll make another one in November for your Thanksgiving. Love Turkey! Followed your recipe for gravy and it was wonderful. Thank you!

      drbj, My husband does too :)

      Ruby, That celery trick does work great. I hate cleaning up the roasting pans but when you use the celery it works like a charm.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I've never put celery stalks beneath the bird, so this is a wonderful tip. Your recipe is delicious! I use thyme too (I also like some dried apricots in there). All your tips are excellent. I took your fun quiz! What a fun Hub. (Don't you just LOVE stffed turkey? mmmmm yummy?

    • newusedcarssacram profile image

      newusedcarssacram 5 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      So attractive picture you have used here. it makes me irresistible for trying this ASAP. Great hub... :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      The "beautiful" was me. I love stuffing!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Beautiful hub, and great pictures. I will try this recipe...... Have never made stuffing from scratch. This looks easy, though! Thanks for sharing.....

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      I love the look of your stuffing. Very nice hub and easy to follow. Voted up with thanks!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love turkey and Thanksgiving time. Your recipe sounds great. Placing celery in the bottom of the roasting pan is a new idea to me. I will certainly do it. Thank you Susan. You are such a good cook..Cheers

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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Great recipe, Susan. I think I may loooooooove stuffing even more than I love turkey.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Julie.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Cardisa, I've always used eggs in turkey stuffing. It sure helps to hold it all together :)

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      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Susan...I did not score very well on your quiz...but your recipe scores high with me....YUmmmmm......stuffing..my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner!.. Now I wish it was thanksgiving tomorrow! Very good, Susan...and don forget that GRAVY!!! lol..... UP+++

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      Pinning this for reference. Thank you!

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      donnah, I like to add sausage to my stuffing but hubby prefers it exactly like this recipe is. My step-mother used to make great stuffing's. They were different every year.

      Thank you for the votes and shares.

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      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Susan, I never used egg for the stuffing before. This recipe is new to me. Stuffing is not a tradition in Jamaica but I love it anyways...lol. Thanks for the tips and recipe.

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      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time last year, and getting the stuffing right was my biggest challenge. My mom always made a mean stuffing, so I wanted mine to live up to hers. Thankfully it all turned out beautifully. This is a very useful and informative hub. Voted up, sharing, and pinning.