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Grandpa’s Secret Stuffing

October 26, 2015

Grandpa's Secret Stuffing is filled with delicious ground beef, gluten-free bread, aromatics, lots of fresh ground pepper and is the perfect accompaniment to a turkey. Grandpas Secret Stuffing / http;//

Actually, Grandpa's Secret Stuffing is so good that this can stand on its own as the main dish and as a matter of fact it did this week. It is so delicious on its own that I just served it with a couple of different veggies and it was a complete meal.

Grandpas Secret Stuffing / http;//

You are just going to love how the outside of Grandpa's Secret Stuffing gets a little crispy on the outside and is tender and delicious on the inside. What sets Grandpa's Secret Stuffing apart from many other stuffings (dressings) is that it comes with a big pack of flavor and a big punch from the freshly ground pepper.

Grandpas Secret Stuffing / http;//

When I say a big punch from the freshly ground pepper, I mean a really BIG punch! Grandpa's Secret Stuffing recipe has 3 full teaspoons of pepper in it. You heard me right "3 teaspoons of pepper". Now of course you don't have to put the full 3 teaspoons of pepper in it if you don't want to but then is would not be Grandpa's Secret Stuffing, it would be just plain old boring run of the mill stuffing.

Grandpas Secret Stuffing / http;//

Finally, after years of secrecy, a few years ago I was able to get my hands on "Grandpa's Secret Stuffing" recipe and first published this recipe on November 26, 2011. Today, I went one step further. I made Grandpa's Secret Stuffing with gluten-free bread and even left out the egg as it really was not needed to hold the dish together. This recipe is happily gluten-free, egg-free and dairy free.

Grandpas Secret Stuffing / http;//

We call it "Grandpa's" Stuffing as all the grandkids, just love this recipe. My father has never shared this recipe and it has never been written down, until a few years ago. However, during my last visit home, over a cup of coffee and some persuasion he started to share his secret stuffing recipe with me. Grandpa's stuffing has been a celebrated family tradition in our family for many years. Thanksgiving would simply not be Thanksgiving, unless there was Grandpa's stuffing was on the dinner table. Grandpa is 91 years old young and in failing health but still spry and full of rich family history and stories. This recipe was passed on to him by watching his mother in the kitchen.

Grandpas Secret Stuffing / http;//

Grandpa's Secret Stuffing was  originally made with the remaining turkey giblets and other parts is parts. However, as the years went by and more and more grandchildren filled his home he left out these little ingredients to make the kids happy.

Grandpas Secret Stuffing / http;//>



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Grandpa’s Secret Stuffing

By HWC Magazine  , , , ,

October 26, 2015

Grandpa's Secret Stuffing is filled with delicious ground beef, gluten-free bread, aromatics, lots of fresh ground pepper and is the perfect accompaniment to a turkey. 

  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yields: 12 Adults or 2 Hungry Teenagers


olive oil - 1 tablespoon (a little extra to drizzle on top before baking)

onion - 1 small onion chopped

celery - 3 stalks chopped

garlic - 3-4 cloves peeled and minced

ground beef - 1.5 pounds

pepper - 3 teaspoons

chicken broth - 2 cups chicken broth

bread - 10 slices gluten free (or regular bread if no gluten allergies)

salt - to taste


1Preheat oven to 350 degrees F ( 176 degrees Celsius)

2Place a little olive oil sauce pan and add chopped onions, celery and garlic until slightly translucent- add a little salt and pepper.

3Add ground beef and add some more salt and pepper and cook until beef is browned. Take off burner and set aside to cool.

4In the meantime in a separate bowl place about 2 cups of chicken broth. Place the slices of bread into the chicken broth and squeeze water out. Place squeezed out bread into a clean bowl and pull apart bread into small pieces.

5Add cooled ground beef mixture to bread.  Salt and add the rest of the pepper and mix.

6Grease an oven proof casserole dish and place stuffing mixture inside. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top and pop into the oven for about 45- 60 minutes until the top is slightly golden brown.

7Serve hot and bring on the holiday cheer!

  • Oh wow, what a treasure for your to share “Grandpa’s Secret Stuffing” recipe with us all – sounds heavenly!
    🙂 Mandy

  • I love getting family recipes!

    • Hi Greg, Indeed those cherished family recipes are always keepers!

  • It’s the recipes handed down to us from our own family that are most delicious, if you ask me. Nothing can compete with the comfort foods we grew up with. It’s so wonderful that you were able to secure that recipe- I know from experience that those secrets can be hard to get!

    • Dear Hannah, I am so glad I was able to find out this family recipe but at the same time it makes me very sad as I know the only reason why he shared it with me as because of his ailing health and he does not want the family tradition to disappear. We have to treasure all the moments we have with him!

  • Family recipes passed down through the generations are simply the best! We always make my Mom’s stuffing, which was her mom’s recipe, and so on…! Your table looks beautiful and the stuffing sounds scrumptious. So glad you were able to create such a traditional feast in Hong Kong!

  • Dear Mary Anne and Mariel, thanks so much for stopping by. Your mom’s stuffing recipe at
    sounds fabulous. Looking forward to hearing about more recipes from Feast on the Cheap!

  • That looks wonderful, Bobbi…heirloom recipes are the best!

  • Looks amazing! Family secret recipes are the best, especially when you can get them to finally “give it up!” 🙂

    • Yes getting them to “give it up” is the most difficult part! Take Care

  • Shhhh, I promise not to tell… So glad you shared this one with us!

    • Thanks, I am sure you would have a good poem to match this recipe sequester. I love your poems! Take Care

  • Liz

    I’m so glad you finally have the recipe to pass down to generations to come. We make my great grandmother’s fruit salad at every holiday…and it makes me think of my mom and grandmother as I mix it up each time. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Dear Liz, thanks for stopping by. I was searching on your cooking website- “that skinny chick can bake”, for your grandmothers fruit salad but there are so many recipes. Do you have it listed or is this a family cherished secret? Take Care

  • How wonderful that you have this recipe recorded, and thank you for sharing it! What a wonderful recipe! No wonder it has been so cherished.

    • Dear Jill, thanks for stopping by. The secret in this recipe is the pepper, and lots of it. Looking forward to hearing more from Dulce Dough! Take care

  • Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot

    I’m glad you were able to save and share your grandpa’s secret recipe! I miss HK very much, and I can image what you mean about the difficulty in making a traditional Thanksgiving meal. This year, I prepared a Hainanese Chicken Rice dinner with several simple vegetables dish. Maybe you can try this next year if you are still living in Hong Kong? All of the ingredients needed will definitely be easier to find there! I’m glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving overseas!

    • Dear Sharon, I am so happy you stopped my website- a Happy holidays from HK! I visited your website and just love it. I love being on opposite sides of the world, cooking cuisines that we both love. I especially love how you integrate Chinese Medicine into your recipes. I am studying acupuncture at HKU so I love reinforcing all of the theories and understanding why some dishes are preferred with certain imbalances. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon. Take Care

  • Saved your recipe to make this Thanksgiving. I’ve been making sausage and rice stuffing for years it’s time to switch it up a little. I bet your dad’s secret recipe will be a new star on our table. Tell him thank you for sharing, it’ll make many happy tummies! Hugs

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Jas! I will be sure to thank him, it will make him so happy that you gave his recipe a go.

  • I actually think that I will love the version with turkey giblets… oops! Have a safe and fun trip home, can’t wait to see what you bring back for us! 😉

    • Bams Kitchen

      Actually the recipe is quite good with the giblets if you like liver pate as it kind of gives it that rich taste. However, with the boys i have to leave those parts is parts—out… LOL

  • I love all the pepper in this, Bobbi. No matter how much pepper is in a dish, I am always adding more to my plate although I have to be careful of doing that when at friends’ houses for dinner, lol. I am all over the place with stuffing so I’m definitely going to give this one a try and I love that it’s gluten-free! So nice that your Dad shared the recipe with you. I have an aunt that shared her French tourtiere recipe with me and it caused an outrage with her family, lol. I say if it’s delicious, share it! Can’t wait to try this. LOVE your beautiful shots 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Robyn! I am glad your a pepper lover as this dish is really delicious. Super simple and that is even better. Families recipes that are handed down are always the best. He would be proud if someone tried his recipe and liked it… he just that little sweet kind of guy. …21 more days until I see him..but who’s counting…

  • Perfect time of year for Grandpa’s secret stuffing! I’m so excited you get to make a trip home!!! I can only imagine how excited you are. 🙂 Safe travels and I look forward to hearing about your stuffing making experience this year.

  • Yay for stuffing season! Love those old secret recipes and always like meat in my stuffing. Thanks for sharing.

  • What a great share! I’ve never seen stuffing like this…love the crispy exterior and I can totally handle that huge punch of black pepper! I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving now!

  • This looks fabulous, Bobbi. Such recipes are treasure. This is an incredibly share. Thank you so much for sharing you “Grandpa’s Secret Stuffing” recipe with us. Have a great day! 🙂

  • 3 teaspoons of pepper makes for one heck of a BIG punch indeed! I am so in awe at how tender and juicy the middle of this stuffing seems to be! I’ve never made my own stuffing in fact Im not a big fan of stuffing as most of the stuffing I’ve tried has been dry – but not yours!

  • This is such a perfect recipe for this time of year! And how lucky that you were able to get this recipe from your Grandpa – such an important component of family history.

  • Damn…. Grandpa likes it spicy! 😉 Seriously though, this is such a wonderful recipe and story! Family recipes are absolute treasures – thank you so much for sharing yours! And I just love the presentation.

  • kitchenriffs

    I LOVE stuffing, and could easily eat it as my entire meal. This looks terrific — Grandpa knows his stuff. Our usual stuffing has become bread-based without giblets or other meat, but we used to make a stuffing developed by Mrs KR’s grandmother that was full of chicken (or turkey) livers. The stuff was so rich it was almost like pate! Anyway, wonderful recipe — thanks.

  • Hi Bam, your presentation is so beautiful, looks like Grandpa knows how to cook. Have fun visiting your family.

  • MiraL (@miralsl)

    I’ve been looking for a good stuffing recipe for a while! This one sounds so simple to make, but loaded with awesome flavors! Pinned to my Thanksgiving board

  • I am licking my lips as I am looking at your photos…this stuffing looks so good! 🙂

  • Saving this recipe for the holidays, thanks Grandpa for sharing. Have a safe and pleasant trip and a wonderful family reunion.

  • As soon as I saw this I thought it sounded familiar 🙂 You gave it a great face lift, Bobbi, I love the new presentation! Grandpa is sure proud of you.

  • I love this for the dairy-free and seasoning, Bobby would love it for the generous amount of black pepper. Love that this is a meal in itself. Maybe a side salad as a complement. Your grandpa makes one hell of a stuffing! So glad you shared it!

  • Great recipe!!

  • I definitely don’t need a turkey with that

  • It is great when such types of family recipes pass from older to younger and keep the traditions. I am so happy for you visiting your family! It is heartbreaking when you are so far away from your roots, I think! The stuffing looks amazing, pinned and stumbled!

  • Wow it is so moist! This stuffing recipe looks great and such a beautiful story behind it too 🙂

  • Jo Ann

    Hi, could you share what brand of gluten free bread you used? I haven’t had stuffing in so long and I really want to try this one.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Jo Ann. I actually made this recipe with Udi’s gluten free white bread In order to keep this stuffing tender and soft in the interior and crunchy on the exterior, allow ample time for the bread to soak up warm chicken broth and then when you squeeze out the bread, don’t squeeze all the moisture out just leave a little moisture in and it is perfect. I hope you give this recipe a try. Take care

  • Kathleen Richardson

    BAM, what a wonderful family recipe to share. I love that you made smaller individual servings, too, and wonder if you cooked them the same length of time as one big casserole.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Actually, I made the full large recipe in a large casserole dish and then just used my circle cutter to press out individual round servings. However, you could just divide the recipe by 4 and then it would be just enough for you and a couple meals of leftovers.. Grandpas stuffing tastes even better the next day.

  • I love love love stuffing!! This looks amazing!

  • Pingback: 45 Thanksgiving side dishes {recipe round up} - Family Food on the Table()

  • I really loved reading this post Bobbi! What a legend your grandpa is. I’m so happy that you’re visiting home to watch the “pro” make this!!! I adore secret family recipes and you know what? I’m squeezing this into my thanksgiving this year!! (Even though I’m Aussie, you think I let such a major food holiday pass without acknowledgement? Not likely!) PS I bet you can make this a complete meal. Check the recipe and I’d make it a complete meal too! I bet it’s also delicious made in a muffin tin so there’s a high ration of golden bits 🙂 <3

    • Bams Kitchen

      I am delighted to hear this Nagi. Actually we all call my dad, grandpa, as after 91 years of age, he has well earned the title. You can’t miss out on any of the major food holidays… lucky me I get to add something like 16 more Hong Kong holidays on to my original 6 from the States so I am one happy girl! Making the stuffing in a muffin tin is a brilliant idea. I hope you are on the beach soaking up some rays! Take care

  • I’m finally getting a chance to catch up on you & guessing that you’re probably already home…are you knee deep in snow?

    I really enjoy this post & recipe because I always think that our parent’s stuffing is the best. Once we get married and have to share the holidays, an in-law’s stuffing is never the same. My mother used to use all those parts is parts and frankly I still do (i don’t tell anyone or they wouldn’t eat the stuffing) but I think the liver is what gives it the flavor kick.

    I have to laugh though because all of my husbands sisters and his brother would rave about their mother’s stuffing. One Thanksgiving, her daughter decided to write down grandma’s secret stuffing recipe. Well, she finally admitted that all along she was using Stouffers.

  • The recipe from grandpa is amazing. You can be proud on him. This weekend is perfect for to prepare this pasta. Yummy.

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