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Quick Guide to Stuffing

The most delicious foods are waiting for you this season, and we’re here to help you discover them. Through mid-November we’re featuring must-have information on the season’s best ingredients and dishes — winter squash, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, stuffing and pies! — to help you plan the tastiest celebrations and everyday meals.

The most delicious foods are waiting for you this season, and we’re here to help you discover them. Through mid-November we’re featuring must-have information on the season’s best ingredients and dishes — winter squash, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, stuffing and pies! — to help you plan the tastiest celebrations and everyday meals.

Sausage and Kale Stuffing

Stuffing may be the most debated dish on the holiday table. From calling it stuffing or dressing (it’s the same!) to the ingredients (cornbread? oysters?) to the cooking method (stuffed in the turkey or baked separately), everyone has an opinion.

What’s not up for discussion? With a delicious balance between moist/crisp and savory/bright, stuffing is the season’s best side dish.

SELECTING

Most classic stuffings start with sautéed vegetables like onion and celery, cubed bread and seasonings like sage, thyme and oregano.

Then as specified by family and regional traditions, fruits, nuts, meats and seafood impart additional flavors. Choices abound!

Bread. From spongy sourdough to seeded hearth bread to challah to cornbread, any bread that can go stale works for stuffing.

Broth. For moistening the stuffing homemade broths are always great but store-bought 365 Everyday Value® Organic Broths are a time-saver!

Remember to use vegetable broth if cooking a vegetarian stuffing.

Add-ins. Proteins are often used in stuffing to provide delicious savory notes and can be anything you like, such as sausage, turkey giblets, bacon, ground turkey or beef, and oysters.

Fruits like apples, cranberries, dried cherries and raisins add texture and a slight sweetness to the stuffing.

And don’t forget nuts like pecans, walnut or even pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Special diets. Have gluten-free needs? No problem. Swap in Whole Foods Market™ GlutenFree Bakehouse® time-savers: Stuffing Cubes, Cornbread or 10-Minute Stuffing Mix. Also, add gluten-free chicken broth to your shopping list.

For dairy free recipes, use non-hydrogenated, non-dairy margarine in place of butter and dairy-free cornbread.  

Cornbread Stuffing with Poblano Peppers

Cornbread Stuffing with Poblano Peppers

PREPARING

Time-saving tips. Store-bought bread cubes, corn bread and 365 Everyday Value® Organic Stuffing Mix and Broths are time savers you’ll be thankful for on the big day!

Do-ahead. If making your own bread cubes, dry them out a couple days in advance. You can chop veggies (use a food processor for extra speed!), roast and chop nuts and brown sausage, if using, the day before.

To stuff or not to stuff. Cooking the stuffing in the bird is another matter of preference. If you choose to stuff your bird, be aware that doing so could increase the risk of food-borne illness, so do it safely — always stuff loosely; estimate ½ to ¾ cups stuffing per pound of turkey. Do not stuff the bird ahead of time. Stuff it with freshly prepared stuffing just before roasting. And be sure the stuffing and turkey BOTH register 165°F separately.

You can bake extra stuffing in a casserole dish.

Mushroom Stuffing with Shallots and Fresh Herbs

HOLIDAY RECIPES

Reach for a classic or consider a recipe with kale, poblano peppers or oysters. That’s how new family traditions are started!

Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts

EVERYDAY RECIPES

Stuffing is too scrumptious to reserve just for holiday meals. Serve it as an accompaniment to chicken or other meats or stuff a winter squash.

  • Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts. This vegan dairy-free recipe is great as a side or stuffed in squash as an entrée. Swap in raisins for cranberries and pecans for walnuts if that’s what you have on-hand.

  • Stuffins. Give each person their own perfect serving of stuffing, baked in a muffin tin. Stuffing mix is a welcome shortcut.

  • Harvest Stuffed Acorn Squash. Cranberries, apples, sweet potatoes, rice, walnuts and sage — all in a stuffing! Scoop out spoonfuls of the season’s best flavors from sweet, tender acorn squash.

Savory Stuffing Cakes

LEFTOVERS

You’ll want to make extra stuffing just to ensure you can dive into these dishes after your meal.

  • Savory Stuffing Cakes. Easily transform leftover stuffing into these delicious cakes. Top with crisp bacon and an egg for a super simple day-after breakfast.

  • Thanksgiving Weekend Strata is a savory bread pudding and a great way to use leftover stuffing. It is best prepared the night before it’s baked.

  • Meatloaf. Use leftover stuffing in place of cracker or bread crumbs for a totally new spin!

Be sure to check out more of our favorite stuffing recipes, and for additional seasonal recipes, tips and how-tos, visit our holiday guide.

Are you making a traditional holiday stuffing recipe or are you trying something new this year? Share in the comment below.

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