Go Back
+ servings
Little individual dressing servings on a wooden platter.
Print Recipe
5 from 18 votes

French Canadian Meat Dressing Recipe

French Canadian Meat Dressing Recipe is Grandpa’s SECRET Thanksgiving turkey stuffing made with ground beef, gluten-free bread, aromatics, lots of fresh ground pepper.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 227kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • Muffin Tin or Casserole Dish


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    (reserve 1 tablespoon for drizzling on top before baking)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
    we like to use 90 - 92% lean and 8-10% fat
  • 3 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
    gluten free
  • 10 slices bread
    gluten free (or regular bread if no gluten allergies)
  • salt to taste


  • parsley to garnish (optional)
  • carrot julienned slices to garnish (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F ( 176 degrees Celsius)
  • Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in sauce pan and add chopped onions, celery and garlic until slightly translucent- add a little salt and pepper. (Reserve the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil right before baking)
  • Add ground beef and add some more salt and pepper and cook until beef is browned. Take off burner and set aside to cool.
  • In 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.
  • Add cooled ground beef mixture to bread.  Salt and add the rest of the pepper and mix.
  • Grease an oven proof muffin tin or casserole dish and place stuffing mixture inside. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top. Bake UNCOVERED in the oven!
    If you like crispy edges, place your dressing in a greased muffin pan and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and slightly crispy.
    If you prefer to bake your dressing in a casserole dish, bake in the oven for about 50 - 60 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.
    You can also stuff a turkey (or other poultry of choice) with our prepared French Canadian Meat Dressing Recipe. Just prepare your poultry and stuff the dressing in the inner cavity. Bake according to the required time needed for the weight of the turkey, goose, duck, chicken or pheasant.
  • If desired, garnish with parsley and little julienned carrot slices before serving.
  • Serve hot and bring on the holiday cheer!



Do not cover the dressing while it is baking, or it will prevent the dressing from getting the little crispy browned edges that we all love.
Dressing can be made 24 hours in advance and then baked just before your guests arrive. Leftovers can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.
We really love those crispy edges to the dressing so we like using cupcake or muffin tins to bake the dressing. In addition, these little MEAT MUFFINS, are super cute to serve as a side dish for any holiday or fall or winter gathering. 
If desired, feel free to chop up the turkey giblets and fry up with the ground beef. For all of our French-Canadian friends out there, you know this ground beef Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing usually is made with the chopped up fried turkey giblets along with the ground beef. Turkey giblets are those parts is parts bag that is usually found inside the cavity of the bird when you get it from the store. The giblet package usually has the heart, liver, gizzard and neck of the bird. Waste not want not is the motto of our ancestors. However, if you have kids like we do, we skipped adding these to the dressing recipe. 
Recipe Exchanges and Substitutions
  • We like to use lean beef with 90% to 92% lean beef and 8% to 10% fat as we do not like all that extra fat. In addition, if it is lean, you can save a step of draining the beef after it is cooked. A little fat left in is a good thing as it makes it moist and gives it the crispy edges that everyone craves.
  • Feel free to use regular bread instead of gluten-free, if no gluten intolerances. It’s a great way to use up that day-old bread.
  • This dressing recipe is very black pepper forward. Reduce amount as needed for your spice and heat level. 
  • If you want to make this recipe vegan, exchange the ground beef with chopped mushrooms and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Chanterelle mushrooms are so delicious. 
Do you have to cook the stuffing before putting into the turkey?
The ground beef, giblets, vegetables and aromatics should all be fully cooked before stuffing the cavity of the turkey or other poultry. This is to prevent any illness. A stuffed turkey takes longer to cook than an unstuffed turkey. A stuffed turkey takes too much time to cook the internal stuffing to the temperature required for safe consumption. If you baked your turkey long enough to cook the stuffing to the proper safe temperature if would be dry.  No one likes dry turkey. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg