This recipe for Instant Pot Stuffing is a version of bread stuffing. But instead of being baked in the oven or stuffed inside a turkey, this rich, buttery stuffing is made in the Instant Pot freeing up oven space.
Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, you are going to love this recipe for what I call bread stuffing made in the Instant Pot.
This recipe has been inspired by my Papa's Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing, but instead of being baked in the oven, or stuffed into a turkey, this recipe is prepared in the Instant Pot and the results are spectacular.
Why You Will Love Instant Pot Stuffing
- Saves space in the oven. Even with two ovens, I have found myself running out of space to prepare a large Thanksgiving feast.
- Avoid food poisoning. When you stuff a turkey or chicken with stuffing, you must ensure that your stuffing reaches 165 degrees F, according to the USDA. By the time the stuffing reaches a safe temperature, the turkey will be WAY OVER cooked. And there is nothing much worse than an overcooked turkey.
- Incredibly moist. By using the moist heat of the instant pot, the stuffing turns out just as moist as if it were stuffed inside a bird.
- The flavor is incredible. This recipe for Instant Pot Stuffing may sacrifice oven space and is faster to prepare, but it is still everything you want when it comes to bread stuffing. It is simple, yet perfect.
Notes on Ingredients & Equipment
- Bread: You can make stuffing with any bread you like, and this is a great time to use stale or dried-out bread. I typically opt for white bread, as it reminds me of the stuffing served at my childhood Thanksgiving, and the mild flavor of the white bread does not overwhelm the delicate flavors in this recipe.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter, or a vegan butter substitute if you need your stuffing to be dairy-free. I don’t suggest using oil in place of the butter, as the results would be a bit greasy, and we want a rich, buttery stuffing.
- Celery & Onions: Not only will celery and onions add flavor to the stuffing, but they also will add texture to an otherwise softer dish.
- Seasonings: This recipe for stuffing is kept really simple and is only flavored with salt, pepper, and dried thyme leaves. Feel free to add up to 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning to add flavor reminiscent of a boxed stuffing mix.
- Stock: You will need low-sodium broth or stock of some sort to make flavorful stuffing. I recommend using store-bought or homemade chicken stock, Instant Pot Chicken stock, turkey stock, or even vegetable broth.
- 7-inch Heat-Safe Baking Dish: We are going to cook out stuffing using pot-in-pot, so you need to make sure you have either a 7-inch baking dish or bundt pan that fits inside your inner pot.
How to Make Stuffing in the Instant Pot
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Dry out the Bread. You want to use stale bread or allow the bread of your choice to dry out overnight so that it becomes dried out. This will allow the bread to absorb the butter and stock making it super flavorful.
Saute the onions and celery. To give your stuffing flavor and a bit of texture, you want to saute the onion and celery in melted butter. You can do this right inside the Instant Pot using the saute function.
Mix the stuffing right in the Instant Pot. Even though we are not cooking our stuffing directly in the inner pot, add the dried-out bread and stock right to the inner pot along with the sauteed onions and celery. That will save on the amount of dirty dishes to wash.
Adjust liquid as needed. Add more liquid if needed until the cubed bread is fully moistened. How much stock you need will really depend on how your bread is dried out, you want your bread to be fully moist, but not soggy. I typically use 1-½ to 2 cups of stock.
Cook the stuffing pot-in-pot. There is not enough liquid to cook the stuffing directly inside the inner pot, therefore you need to transfer the stuffing mixture to a greased 7-inch baking dish designed for the Instant Pot.
Brown if desired. After pressure cooking, the Instant Pot stuffing is rather moist, which is exactly as it would be if it was stuffed in a turkey. However, if you like crispy, browned bits on your stuffing, pop the pan of stuffing under a preheated broiler for a few minutes, until golden. Alternatively, use an air fryer lid to brown the stuffing.
- Refrigerate: Before storing leftover stuffing, allow it to cool slightly. Cover your baking dish tightly with foil or plastic wrap or transfer the leftover stuffing to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Reheat individual servings on a heat-safe plate in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
If you learn better through video and visual presentation, be sure to check out my YouTube video for Instant Pot Stuffing.
More Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Green Beans
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you made this recipe for Instant Pot Stuffing, be sure to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Stuffing
- 1 pound bread
- 4 tablespoons butter plus more for greasing pound
- 1 cup minced onion about 1 large onion
- 1 cup diced celery about 2-3 stalks of celery
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves not ground thyme
- 1½-2¼ cups low-sodium chicken stock
- Cube the bread into 1-inch cubes and spread it out evenly in a single layer onto a sheet pan. To dry out the bread, you have two options. You can cover the sheet pan, and with a clean kitchen towel and leave it out to dry overnight. Alternatively, you can toast the bread in a 350℉ oven for 10-15 minutes to dry out
- When ready to prepare the stuffing, turn the Instant Pot to saute, add in the butter, and let melt. Once the butter has melted, add in the diced celery and onion and saute the mixture until the onions begin to soften about 3-4 minutes. Once the onion is softened, add in the salt, pepper, and dried thyme leaves and saute for just a minute or two longer to toast the spices. Then turn the saute function off.
- Add in 1 cup of stock into the inner pot and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add in the cubed, dried bread and give everything a good stir, adding ¼ cup more stock as needed, until the bread is fully moistened, but not soggy.
- Grease a 7-inch cake pan or 7-inch bundt pan with butter. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the pan and cover tightly with foil.
- Pour 1.5 cups of cold water into the inner pot of the instant pot. Place the metal rack or trivet in the inner pot and then place the pan on the rack.
- Place the lid on the inner pot and be sure the vent knob is sealed. Set the cooking time for 20 minutes on high pressure if using a cake pan, or 15 minutes on high pressure if using a bundt pan.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, you can allow pressure to release on its own or carefully do a quick release of pressure. This is one recipe it won't make a difference if you do a quick release or natural release of pressure.
- Remove the pan of stuffing from the inner pot and remove the foil.
- To achieve a browned, golden exterior, pop the pan of stuffing under a preheated broiler for 3-5 minutes, until golden. Alternatively, use an air fryer lid to brown the stuffing.