Grandmas Homemade Turkey Stuffing Recipe (with video)

Grandmas Homemade Turkey Stuffing Recipe, roasted in a turkey breast in 90-minutes, wowed the judges on The Great American Recipe on PBS!

Grandmas Turkey Stuffing Recipe - As Seen On The Great American Recipe with PBS
Grandmas Turkey Stuffing Recipe – As Seen On The Great American Recipe with PBS

Wanna Know Who Has The Best Stuffing Recipe?

Apparently I do!

There we were, Episode 7 of The Great American Recipe with PBS, and the challenge was, ” Choose on dish that has been passed down and adapted from generation to generation within your family”. 

There I am, still in the competition and episode 7 will decide if I am in the finale. 

BEST Thanksgiving Turkey Roll – My Recipe On PBS

Grandmas Homemade Turkey Stuffing Recipe Was My Offering

My Syrian mom, adopting the traditions of America, wanted to create her own recipe to personalize an American holiday. 

She decided she would make the best darn stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey; a stuffing full of Mediterranean flavors.  

A stuffing recipe of sage, chestnuts and bagels, mixed with dark turkey meat, wrapped in white breast meat, became the family’s “Thanksgiving In One Bite“. 

I have done this dish many times and knew that as long as I pounded out the turkey breast, the turkey and stuffing would be cooked perfectly, and on time.

I should have just stopped with that. 

No… I went out on a limb and daringly prepared an entire Thanksgiving meal, in 90-minutes! 

Stuffed Turkey Breast - Grandmas Mediterranean Flavors
Stuffed Turkey Breast – Grandmas Mediterranean Flavors

1st Generation American Thanksgiving Recipe

Let’s not forget what Thanksgiving is for. It’s for Americans, and America is primarily made up of immigrants

My mom was a first generation Syrian, and like so many other immigrants, Thanksgiving is a time to put their own spin on Thanksgiving Dinner. 

When it came to the ‘classic stuffing recipe’ my mom when with her Mediterranean flavors and created this easy stuffing recipe my sisters and I grew up with. 

So naturally on this national television cooking competition, I wanted to do my mom proud and showcase her turkey stuffing recipe. 

Primary Ingredient In Homemade Stuffing – Bread

Whether a great stuffing recipe is prepared for the Thanksgiving table or in the middle of any month of the year, the type of bread used makes all the difference. 

Trust me when I tell you, different types of bread make for a good, bad or great stuffing.

The best bread to use in a stuffing will depend on who you are talking to. 

Some will choose a sourdough bread, some a hard French bread, but my mom… she chose a good hard New York Jewish bagel, and she is Syrian! LOL!

What Is Stuffing?

As for me, I did not grow up with a casserole dish on our holiday table. I’ve had to experiment with a casserole dish I could be proud to serve. 

But bread? Oh yes, bread, heavenly homemade bread, white bread, spelt bread, potato bread, whatever kind of bread you could want, I love to make. 

Stuffing is basically any ingredient you like that can be merged with a bread of your choice, and baked separately or inside of some type of meat. 

I’ve heard of some families making cornbread stuffing, with ground pork sausage, stuffed inside of their turkey. 

Many types of bread, many types of stuffed turkey. 

Now That I Am The Grandma I Have Created An Easy Turkey Stuffing Recipe

The judges on the show were absolutely wowed by my juicy turkey breast roll that encased my best Thanksgiving stuffing, and all in 90-minutes!

This dressing recipe consisted of a bread cube mixture of lightly toasted bread pieces from good ole hard New York bagels. 

Why? Because no other bread holds up to the drippings from the delicious turkey, melted butter, and the juices from the celery and onions without becoming soggy.

The best poultry seasoning, besides salt, is freshly chopped sage! 

Fresh herbs have a natural oil all their own, and my home grown sage is most aromatic in this homemade stuffing recipe.

My Family Favorite Classic Side Dish Recipes

Can you believe, in under 90-minutes, I managed to stuffed a turkey breast with the most amazing chestnut, bread mixture, roll, braise and roast.

And then, made turkey gravy, not a sweet potato casserole, remember I don’t do casseroles, but rather roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. 

Yes, of course cranberry my way, not the cranberry sauce you buy in the grocery store, but rather an upscale Cranberry Compote, sweetened with fresh grapes, and a hint of chili pepper. 

Had they given me just 30-minutes more, I would have made a Pumpkin Pie too!

Yes! I was onto the next round, the finale!

So you see… this is a winning Thanksgiving stuffing recipe!

My Turkey Stuffing Recipe In The Great American Recipe Cookbook
My Turkey Stuffing Recipe In The Great American Recipe Cookbook

The Best Part About Preparing My Traditional Stuffing Recipe On Television Is That My Recipe Is Now In The PBS Cookbook!

Who knew that when we filmed season 1 of The Great American Recipe, that season 2 and now season 3 would follow. 

Overwhelming response to a watching audience, that could be entertained in a variety of television shows, found the stories, recipes and traditions of America’s multicultural collection, their choice of entertainment. 

Now, many of our stories and recipes can be continually enjoyed in the cookbook PBS publishes after each season airs. 

Looking back, the only thing I would have done differently on this competition, is left off the Brussels sprouts, and instead of a green bean casserole, I would have made my favorite Festive Green Bean Bundles!

Equipment Needed

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cutting board and sharp knife
  • Large skillet or cast iron pan
  • Stovetop or burner
Grandmas Turkey Stuffing Ingredients
Grandmas Turkey Stuffing Ingredients

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground Dark Turkey Meat
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Hard Bagels
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh sage
  • Fresh parsley
  • Roasted chestnuts (optional)

How To Make Grandmas Homemade Turkey Stuffing

The steps are easy and once each ingredient has been sauted in a large skillet, bringing all the flavors and juices together, the stuffing is then ready to:

  • Stuff inside a large turkey to roast.
  • Warm in a baking dish and served as a side dish.
  • Rolled in a deboned and butterflied turkey breast, tied and roasted, which is what I did on The Great American Recipe Episode 7 round, which won me through to the finale.

First, in a large saute pan, butter and olive oil is heated, onions and celery are caramelized along with fresh herbs.

Then, a quick saute of the dark turkey meat is done in the same pan with the onion mixture.

Last, the cubed bagel pieces and roasted chestnuts are folded in, and this amazing stuffing is ready for whatever you plan to use it with.

Turkey Stuffing Ingredients Sauteed In A Large Skillet On Top The Stove
Turkey Stuffing Ingredients Sauteed In A Large Skillet On Top The Stove
Grandmas Homemade Turkey Stuffing Recipe

Grandmas Homemade Turkey Stuffing

Hard, real NY Bagels, dark turkey meat with sage and roasted chestnuts mixed to stuff or bake.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American Fusion
Keyword: Homemade Turkey Stuffing
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • Large saute pan with lid
  • Large slotted spoon


  • 1-2 lbs Ground Dark Turkey Meat
  • 4 Celery stalks chopped fine
  • 1 Medium onion chopped fine
  • 2 Hard Bagels
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Fresh Sage bundle finely chopped
  • 1 Fresh Parsley bundle finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Roasted chestnuts (optional) finely chopped


  • In a large bowl, mix the celery, onions, chopped sage and parsley leaves, and set aside. 
  • On a cutting board with a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut the hard bagel into half-inch cubes, and set aside.
    A real bakery bagel has been boiled and then baked, creating a gloss hard exterior and dense bread interior, so cutting them must be done with caution. 
  • In a large skillet, cast iron pan or Dutch oven, place the butter and olive oil in the pan.
    Add the onion mixture and sauté to caramelize the onions and celery.
  • Pushing the onion mixture to the sides of the pan, add the ground meat in the center with salt and pepper.
    While breaking apart, sauté until the pink is removed from the meat.
    Add the cubed bagel pieces and chestnuts and mix until all the mixture has blended well together.
  • Turn off the heat, transfer this mixture to a bowl and set this mixture aside.
    This mixture is now ready to stuff inside the bird to become your roast turkey, bake inside of a baking dish, or roll inside of a turkey breast that has been deboned and butterflied, rolled and tied, which is what I did for this television program. 


Grandmas Turkey Stuffing Wins Me The Next Round In The Finale!
Grandmas Turkey Stuffing Wins Me The Next Round In The Finale!
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