35 Crave-Worthy Stuffing Recipes to Make for Thanksgiving
Healthy Stuffing Recipes
When it comes to making Thanksgiving stuffing, there is one big decicion you'll want to make—Bread, Corn Bread, or Grains? These healthy stuffing recipes are sure to surprise while delivering that perfect Thanksgiving combination of earthy flavors and starchy comfort.
First up, our Triple-Herb Pumpernickel Sourdough Stuffing. This delicious stuffing actually boasts five herbs, though hearty sage, rosemary, and thyme are most prominent. Look for bakery-style bread loaves, not presliced sandwich bread. If you can’t find pumpernickel, you can substitute seeded rye bread.
Ezekiel Bread Stuffing
Ezekiel Bread—that extra hearty sprouted-grain loaf you often find in the freezer section—is fantastic for making stuffing. Not only is it chock full of protein and free of added sugars, but the thicker bread also yields a crisp, less soggy stuffing that’ll hold up to the rest of the Thanksgiving plate.
Pancetta, Kale, and Raisin Stuffing
Torn bread gives this healthy stuffing a lovely rustic appearance, but you can cube it if you’d rather. Kale, pancetta, and raisins all provide a flavor update, and there’s just enough red pepper to give a hint of heat.
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, Apple, and Herb Stuffing
This healthy stuffing recipe captures the traditional stuffing vibe with the flavors of sausage, aromatic vegetables, sage, and thyme. The bread soaks up all the goodness and stays moist inside, with a crispy layer on top. Bulk sausage is ideal, but you could use links and just remove the casings. You can skip the first step if you cut the bread into cubes and let them dry on the counter for 24 hours.
Wild Mushroom and Barley Stuffing
This stuffing is full of hearty texture from chewy barley, crunchy pecans, and meaty mushrooms. Tart-sweet dried cherries and nutty Gruyère cheese build even more flavor for a substantial side guests will love. Swap the chicken stock for unsalted vegetable stock or water to make the dish vegetarian. Reheat leftovers with a splash of stock for a slightly looser, though equally delicious, stuffing.
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.
Acorn Squash With Wild Rice Stuffing
This two-for-one dish of wild rice stuffing and roasted acorn squash is a sure crowd-pleaser. You can cut the stuffed halves into quarters so they don’t take up as much room on the plate. Wild rice takes about as much time to cook as long-grain brown rice, which you can use as a substitute. You can also make the rice ahead and refrigerate. Reheat with a splash of water before adding to the sausage mixture.
Pear, Sage, and Golden Raisin Stuffing
Pears are at their peak in late fall and their firm texture is ideal for baking. Here we fold them into a classic sourdough stuffing with plump golden raisins and fresh sage. A little thick-cut bacon goes a long way here, leaving just enough drippings in the pan to sauté the vegetables. You could also use diced pancetta (such as Boar’s Head). Look for a whole-wheat sourdough loaf from the bakery section—the thick crust and hearty texture will absorb more liquid. Cut leftover stuffing into squares and reheat in the oven to crisp the edges.
Wild Rice–Pecan Stuffing
This stovetop recipe would make a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving table. Both wild and brown rice reach the perfect level of tenderness (without getting mushy); the wild rice gets a bit of a head start so that everything cooks to the ideal texture at the end.
Whole Grain Farro Stuffing With Miso Mushrooms
While a miso-flavored whole-grain stuffing might not be traditional, the savory, earthy flavor is right at home on the holiday table.
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.
This hearty bread captures the essence of classic cornbread stuffing but is quicker and easier to make.
Stuffing Muffin Cups
There's a whole lot of Thanksgiving dinner flavor packed in these hand-held muffin cups. Stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce, and gravy all get used up—and, they can be assembled in a snap.
View Recipe: Stuffing Muffin Cups
Acorn Squash With Sage-Cranberry Rice Stuffing
Hack the cooker so that you can make smaller amounts with great results. For a stew or braise, use smaller amounts, place into 8- or 10-ounce ramekins, and set those down in the cooker to slowly simmer to perfection while you’re at work. With this recipe, you’re basically treating the slow cooker like a small steam oven.
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.
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.
Ham, Gruyère, and Onion Stuffing
This recipe brings a hearty dose of comfort food to an already-classic side dish.
Chestnut, Cranberry & Leek Stuffing
The delicious mix of flavors in this side dish are sure to make an impression on your family and friends.
Guests will adore this autumn-inspired recipe, stuffed with diced butternut squash and flecks of crispy bacon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 over-absorption.