Grandma's Meat Stuffing

Grandma’s Meat Stuffing

One of the staples at my family Thanksgiving is a meat stuffing my grandmother makes. This is the first year that she hasn’t had her own kitchen for thanksgiving, so it was up to my mom and I to re-create it. Asking her for the recipe proved fruitless however due to a bit of memory loss. My mom and I talked on the phone beforehand trying to figure out exactly what was in this thing, but I think it’s been a little different every year for at least the past 3 years so it was hard to remember. In the end, we came up with something that everyone agreed was delicious and “pretty close to grandma’s version”. The thing we disagreed about though was HOW it was different. “Less bread” said my Dad. “More bread” said my Mom. I think next year I will take both of their advice. (cause it was perfect)

My Grandmother is Italian American, but a lot of feedback I have received since I posted this recipe is that meat stuffing is a popular French Canadian dish as well! People tell me, “My Mémère makes this same recipe!” I love hearing that kind of feedback! It also makes me wonder, why was my Italian Grandmother making a French Canadian recipe?

First cook the beef and sausage in a pan, then pour it all into a bowl. Try and get some nice browning at this step.

In the same pan, add the butter, onion and celery for a few minutes, then the garlic.

Parsley, mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs, the veggies, and the meats ready to be all mixed together and baked. After mixing everything, you can hold this stuffing in the fridge a few days, then bake it when it’s time to eat.

Not the most pretty food, but such a classic dish that will always remind me of thanksgiving with my family! My all time favorite stuffing, for me Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without it.

Grandma's Meat Stuffing
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5 from 2 votes

Grandma’s Meat Stuffing

My grandmothers traditional stuffing that she served every Thanksgiving.
Prep Time20 hours
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 12 people


  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large handful parsley
  • 1.5 cups mashed potato
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup chicken stock


  • Cook beef and sausage in a frying pan. Remove from pan and into a large bowl. Drain excess fat but keep some in the pan.
  • Add the butter to the pan. sauté onions, celery and garlic in butter over low heat for about 5 minutes. Once softened, add to the large bowl with the meat.
  • Add the parsley, potato, and breadcrumbs to the bowl. Stir to combine. Add the chicken stock, starting with half, and continuing to add a little more if needed to soften.
  • Pour the mixture into a loaf pan (or two). You can store in the fridge for up to a few days before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Bake for an hour until heated through and lightly brown on top.


Sometimes I add a little sage and rosemary to the mixture, I have also done this with hot or sweet italian sausage instead of breakfast sausage. – I think it’s nice to switch it up slightly every time I make it. 


    1. I’m making this recipe today for Thanksgiving. So delicious. I’m in the same predicament trying to perfect nanas delicious 😋 meat stuffing. Thank you for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  1. It’s so hard to recapture the food of your memories/childhood. Congratulations on being mostly successful.
    Do you actually stuff it into something at any occasion, or is it an additional protein? I’ve never heard of meat stuffing before.

  2. Recipe for Turkey Meat Stuffing
    1. 1 LB of Ground Beef 1. 1 1/2 LB of Ground Beef
    2. 1 LB of Ground Veal or 2. 1 1/2 LB of Ground Pork
    3. 1 LB of Ground Pork
    4. 1 Stick of Butter/Margarine
    5. 1 – 1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock / Broth
    6. 1 Large Yellow Onion (Diced)
    7. 4 Ribs Celery (Diced)
    8. 1 ½ cup of Mushrooms (Diced) or 1 can of Mushrooms stems and pieces
    9. 8-10 Large Peeled Potatoes (Cooked (boiled and drained) ¾ of the way to being done) allow to cool then be Diced/Chopped into 1/2” pieces
    10. 1 teaspoon of both Salt and Pepper (or to your taste)
    11. 1 teaspoon of All Spice
    12. 1/4 teaspoon of ground Clove
    13. 1/4 teaspoon of Sage
    14. Optional (1-1 ½ cups of Raisins after being reconstituted with 1-1 1/2 cup Brandy(Apple) or Bourbon Whiskey)
    1. Prep the Potatoes and if desired (Optional) the Raisins as described above in the Ingredients.
    2. In large frying pan melt ¾ of a stick of Butter/Margarine and combine Onion, Celery, Mushroom (add a little Bell Pepper if desired) and sauté on medium heat until ingredients are just starting to wilt or soften. Remove from the heat. (will be used in next step after meat is drained)
    3. In a large Iron skillet melt ¼ stick of Butter/Margarine and combine the meats and brown it ½ to ¾ of the way on medium-high heat.(5-10 minutes) Drain the Fat away from the meat in the skillet.
    4. Place the Skillet back on medium heat and combine and mix all of the above ingredients (except for potatoes) and when the mixture is around 90% cooked (10-15 minutes) reduce heat to low and add and mix in the Potatoes. Allow the collective liquid to cook away from meat stuffing mixture or drain it after the meat stuffing is completely cooked.
    5. Allow Meat stuffing to cool to room temperature before stuffing the Turkey or Place it in a container and refrigerate it until you reheat it later if you are going to serve as a side dish. (Highly recommend stuffing Bird)
    6. Can also be used as sort of a Sheppard’s Pie filler. (Recommend adding some left over dark turkey meat to the pie filler) Serve with Turkey Gravy.

  3. I am so glad that you feel the same way about bloody marys. I feel like I SHOULD like them. I like pickled flavors, clam juice, lemon celery and all the other weird stuff (A-1 to sriracha) that friends put in. It is like a condiment cocktail and I should like it. But invariably when it crosses my lips it is just nasty.

  4. I married into a French Canadian family and have made this stuffing for 42 years. I fool with it all the time and it always comes out delicious. Sage is my favorite addition. We do stuff the bird but make extra because it will be eaten.

  5. I grew up with a stuffing like this. I have never known anyone else who made it. My mom used safe sausage and said the key was white pepper as d Browning and sauting everything seperate.

    Curious if you know the heritage. Her mother was Irish and her father French Canadian. She never knew which side it came from but she thinks her Dad.

  6. I am also French Canadian and my Grandmother used to make this stuffing every Christmas. I thought it was her own recipe but I see now others know about it to. My Grandma passed away a long time ago and I want to keep this tradition going every Christmas which is coming up soon.

    I have been looking for this recipe for quite a long time and just found it to my surprise.

    Have a wonderful Christmas everyone 🙂

    Thank you so much!

  7. I have made this to go with my turkey each year… but i have tweaked it a bit… instead of the bread crumbs, I use the pepperidge farm stuffing mix which contains a lot of the herbs that I would put into the meat stuffing. I also use 3 heaping tablespoons of poultry seasoning. My family has always loved it and gives a twist to the traditional thanksgiving meal.

    1. How much of the pepperidge farm stuffing do you use compared to the breadcrumbs in above recipe? Also, do you put the pepperidge farm stuffing in a food processor or leave it as is?

  8. Thank you for posting this recipe! My grandmother made this exact recipe. The only difference was that she diced the potatoes into half-inch cubes. Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and yours!

  9. 5 stars
    My mom always omitted the potatoes and used a cup of grated parmesan ❤️
    We had mashed potatoes as a side. I still make it this way every year stuffed in the Christmas or Thanksgiving

  10. 5 stars
    We use bread cut up in cubes instead of bread crumbs. Add lots of poultry seasoning too. I believe this type of meat stuffing is from my grandfathers French Canadian side of the family.

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