The Stuffing: Bread, Corn Bread, or Grains?
"My family is ready for something new this year."
If so, there are choices here that will surprise while delivering that perfect Thanksgiving combination of earthy flavors and starchy comfort.
Classic Herb Stuffing
A straightforward holiday stuffing calls for great bread; we love the nutty toasty dimension of a bakery whole-grain loaf. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot mixture until tender but not browned. The added moisture from the veg will help soften the bread and make for a more cohesive stuffing. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a bowl rather than a baking dish for more even coverage, and let the mixture stand a few minutes before baking. The bread will soak up the eggy liquid like a sponge so nothing is left behind.
Sausage and Chestnut Dressing
Chestnuts bring rich, nutty flavor without adding much fat or many calories, as would pecans or walnuts. You can find whole roasted chestnuts in the baking aisle.
Dirty Farro Stuffing
Give nutty whole-grain farro the dirty rice treatment with the classic trinity (onion, bell pepper, and celery) and spicy andouille sausage. The chicken liver adds incredible richness without any livery flavor—it's the "secret" ingredient that will have guests scraping the dish clean. Use turkey liver if your bird comes with one, or omit the liver all together for a side with a little less depth that’s still delicious. You can try brown rice, barley, or wild rice in place of farro. To turn this side into a leftover main, reheat with a splash of chicken stock and stir in a can of unsalted, rinsed, and drained black-eyed peas.
Southern Corn Bread Dressing Squares
The original recipe is made with two sticks of butter, but we lightened it by saving most of the butter for the crispy top. Look for stuffing mixes free of additives, unhealthy fats, and sugar, such as Arrowhead Mills, Trader Joe's, or Whole Foods 365.
Chorizo and Roasted Poblano Wild Rice Stuffing
Hot cooked wild rice is incredibly nutty and fragrant, a perfect counter to smoky paprika, quick roasted poblano peppers, and spicy fresh chorizo. Look for ground, raw Mexican chorizo rather than Spanish chorizo (cured, cased sausage). The rice will absorb the drippings from the sausage as the two bake together in the casserole dish. If you can’t find Mexican chorizo, try hot Italian pork or turkey sausage. We treat the rice the same as a bread stuffing—binding it with a mixture of stock, eggs, and butter—for a richer, more cohesive stuffing that will brown beautifully in the pan.
Classic Corn Bread Dressing
This is the quintessential Thanksgiving side dish in the South. It is made from crumbled corn bread, with no added French or sourdough bread to cut it, so the texture is unique. Loads of aromatics give this dressing its flavor; don't be tempted to use less.
Apple, Cranberries, and Pecan Stuffing
We give the classic holiday side a fall spin with fresh apple, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. For the vegetarians at your table, you can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock. Raisins and walnuts can work in place of the cranberries and pecans.
Farro Stuffing with Butternut Squash, Red Onion, and Almonds
In this nontraditional stuffing, earthy flavors and starchy comfort come from whole-grain farro, not bread. You can assemble up to 2 days ahead. Take out of the fridge, let stand at room temperature 45 minutes, then bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
For a holiday side with earthy, savory depth, add a trio of mushrooms: creminis, meaty shiitakes, and mild white button mushrooms. A splash of sherry vinegar picks up the browned bits in the pan and rounds out the flavors beautifully. The mushrooms will release plenty of liquid after a couple of minutes in the pan; be patient and let these juices evaporate so your stuffing will be rich, not soggy.
Apple-Sage Stuffing Cups
The muffin cups give you crispy edges and a tender interior in half the time, though the stuffing won't hold its shape like a traditional muffin. Presliced bread and prechopped onion and celery save time.
Simply Herby Stuffing
Sometimes less is more. This simple stuffing still makes a bold flavor impact.
Tri-Pepper Chorizo Stuffing
The Mexican pork chorizo in this recipe takes your stuffing on a tasty trip south of the border.
The apples offer this recipe a unique crunch and fun fall flavor.
Make your stuffing stand out from the bunch. Mushrooms lend an almost meaty texture to this holiday side dish.
Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Raisins
Italian Ciabatta bread is studded with chestnuts and raisins. This recipe is perfect for the bread stuffing lovers–but with a little Mediterranean flair.
After you've tried this delectable dish, you'll wonder why you waited so long to bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to your Thanksgiving table.
Fennel, Sausage, and Caramelized Apple Stuffing
Go traditional with a twist: Sourdough bread, sausage, and apple is a classic combo, but our bread stuffing also has licorice notes from fresh fennel.
Ham, Gruyère, and Onion Stuffing
This recipe brings a hearty dose of comfort food to an already-classic side dish.
Corn Bread, Chorizo, and Jalapeño Dressing
On the corn bread side, our version veers away from Dixie toward the Southwest, with chorizo sausage and a little kick from a jalapeño pepper.
Chestnut, Cranberry & Leek Stuffing
The delicious mix of flavors in this side dish are sure to make an impression on your family and friends.
Farro, Caramelized Onion, and Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Farro has earthy flavor and a satisfying chew—a bold choice for nontraditional stuffing. Blended with wild mushrooms and sweet caramelized onion, this dish bursts with fall flavors.
Guests will adore this autumn-inspired recipe, stuffed with diced butternut squash and flecks of crispy bacon.
Wild Rice Stuffing with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pecans
Wild rice stuffing flecked with pecans and dried cherries offers another whole-grain medium. Be sure to cook the rice to al dente first before assembling the stuffing to bake—this way, the grain cooks to the right consistency. If you're worried about mushiness, start with a pilaf method: Sauté the grains in a few teaspoons of oil for a minute or two. The oil coating helps prevent overabsorption.