Crock Pot Turkey and Primal Stuffing

Turkey1It’s easy to associate cooking a turkey with a long, laborious process and a huge amount of meat. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner for only 1 or 2 people, or you’re looking for an easier way to cook turkey so you can banish processed deli turkey from your life, this recipe for Crock-Pot turkey breast is what you need.

Turkey breasts on the bone are sold in most grocery stores year round. Crock-Pots are known for keeping meat moist and tender over a long, slow cooking time and turkey breast is no exception. Rub the bird down with herbs and butter (or just season liberally with spices), leave it alone for 7 hours, and return to a house that smells like Thanksgiving – even if it’s the middle of summer. No fuss, no muss.

This recipe cooks the turkey on a simple bed of shallots, celery and carrots but you can add as many different types of root vegetables as you like. One turkey breast half will easily feed two people, but leftovers aren’t likely. (One breast is probably enough if you just want some sliced turkey for lunches/salads during the week) If you want more meat, you can add another turkey breast to the Crock Pot without changing much else in this recipe; just add a little more butter, herbs and salt.

Looking for more complex Thanksgiving recipes? Instead try heritage turkey and mashed parsnips or roast goose.

Crock Pot Turkey

Servings: 2 to 4

Time in the Kitchen: 15 minutes of hands-on cooking and 4+ hours in the Crock-Pot



  • 4 to 6 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 6 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 g)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage (30 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (5 ml)
  • One single bone-in turkey breast (about 2 pounds/900 g) or 2 bone-in turkey breasts (about 5 pounds/2.3 kg)
  • 1 cup hot water or chicken stock


Lightly oil the bottom of the slow cooker.

Spread the shallot, celery and carrots out on the bottom of the slow cooker.

Melt the butter in a bowl and stir in the parsley, sage and salt.

herbs and butter

Place turkey breast on the veggies, skin side up, and rub it down completely with the butter and herbs. Pull up the skin and rub the meat as well.


Pour the hot water or stock around the turkey.

Secure the lid and cook on low until the meat is tender and the internal temperature reaches 165 ºF/74 ºC. This will take anywhere between 4 to 7 hours.

Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes or so before slicing.


Primal Stuffing

StuffingAt some holiday tables, stuffing is just as important as turkey on Thanksgiving. If you live in one of these homes and have been missing stuffing on Thanksgiving, or making a traditional recipe but wishing you had one that was more in-tune with the way you prefer to eat, then now is the time to give thanks. Finally, there is a Primal stuffing recipe (made from bread!) that can grace your table.

Yes, you read that correctly. The key ingredient in this recipe is bread. But not just any bread. This special loaf is straight from Primal Cravings, a cookbook full of fun and flexible recipes guided by primal/paleo principles. While the bread gives the stuffing the texture and bready flavor you might crave, bread isn’t the only thing this stuffing is all about. It’s also loaded with sausage, spinach, leeks and parsley. The flavor is rich, comforting and satisfying.

So if this recipe strikes your fancy, then proudly slide this stuffing onto the table, right next to the turkey. It just might become a new family tradition.

Looking for a totally bread-free stuffing? Try cauliflower and mushrooms stuffing or egg and sausage stuffing.

Servings: 6 to 8

Time in the Kitchen: 2 hours to make the bread, 1 hour 25 minutes to make the stuffing.

Primal Cravings Bread


Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour (90 g)
  • 3/4 cup potato starch (90 g)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (30 g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (10 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (5 ml)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup very warm water (180 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (15 ml)
  • 2 1/4-ounce packages Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise yeast (14 g)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (30 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin (10 ml)


Combine water and honey in a medium bowl. Sprinkle in yeast. Whisk together and let sit for a minute or two until the yeast is activated (noticeable by the pale foam that will develop on the surface of the water). Whisk in butter, eggs and powdered gelatin.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps.

Preheat oven to 375 ºF/190 ºC. Place a sheet of plastic wrap tightly over the bowl and let the dough rise on top of the preheating oven or in a warm, draft-free corner for 1 hour.

Lightly grease a 1.5 quart glass loaf pan, and place dough in it.

Bake until the bread is lightly browned on all sides, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Stuffing Ingredients:


  • 1 loaf of stale* Primal Cravings bread, cut into small cubes (*to make the bread stale, cut the bread into cubes and let dry overnight, or toast the cubes in oven at 350 ºF until the bread is about as crunchy as croutons)
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (450 g)
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced (230 g)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (75 g)
  • 8 ounces chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and well squeezed to remove moisture (230 g)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (60 ml)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup chicken broth (240 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (a pinch)


Put the sausage in a large saucepan with a little oil over medium-high heat, breaking the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. When the sausage is done, transfer it from the saucepan to a large bowl, leaving any grease in the saucepan.

In the same saucepan, saute the leek, mushrooms and celery until soft. (If there’s not enough grease from the sausage, add olive oil first)

Preheat oven to 350 °F/177 °C.

Butter a baking dish and set aside.

To the large bowl of sausage, stir in the leek, mushroom, celery, spinach, parsley and eggs. Add the cubes of bread, then the chicken broth, salt and pepper, mixing really well to cover.


Spread the stuffing out in a thin even layer in the baking dish. Cover with foil, bake 25 minutes. Remove foil. Raise heat to 450 °F/232 °C and bake until the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve alongside turkey and enjoy!


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13 thoughts on “Crock Pot Turkey and Primal Stuffing”

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  1. This is great albeit a wee bit labor intensive…even for T-Day prep. If I can delegate some of the family to handle much of the details, I’m all in with it. However, for one (or two or three or four, etc.) day out of the year, I don’t think it’ll be too terrible to go with the conventional Thanksgiving spread. I’ll have that much more impetus to work out more rigorously after the weekend….

  2. Just what I was looking for–a crock pot turkey recipe! Thanks. I love using the crock and then freezing the extras for easy to warm up meals.

  3. Great recipe Mark, looks delicious! I will be cooking this Primal food next week 🙂

  4. We will be having a smoked turkey this year, which means no stuffing. I think I will make this dressing for a side dish, it sounds fabulous. I think when I make the bread, I will add in a Tblsp or so of poultry seasoning to the dry ingredients. DOn’t know if it will make the dressing too herby, but it seems like a good idea for making this bread… add extra flavors if you wish with herbs and spices.

  5. Cajun cooking usually begins with a roux, which is traditionally made from flour and fat. In some dishes like gumbo, the quality of the end result is directly related to the darkness of the roux. It is easy to replace wheat flour with arrowroot or tapioca flour. But I’m not sure it will cook and darken the way wheat flour does. Anybody have experience with that as I will be making a smoked turkey carcass gumbo after Thanksgiving and the flour in the roux is the only non-paleo element in the gumbo.

    1. I have been adding cornstarch to my roux for years but not dark roux. I don’t know what the results would be with 100% alternative flour

  6. You might be able to bake the celery and onions and such in the bread. It would make it more flavorful. My grandmother used to make cornbread stuffing and put all the veggies and herbs in the cornbread mix before baking.

  7. Made the stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner. Doubled the recipe. Worth it! Delicious and plenty of leftovers. Thank you!