6 Thanksgiving stuffing recipes — because there’s more than one way to (not) stuff a turkey

Stuffing is a must for Thanksgiving dinner, but unless you’re actually stuffing it into the turkey (which we don’t recommend for safety reasons), technically it’s dressing. Call it what you want; if it’s not on the Thanksgiving table, things could go wrong. A simple approach, white bread and aromatics will get you as much goodwill as a complex, ingredient- and labor-intensive masa stuffing. However you decide to prepare it, just be sure to serve the stuffing.

Discover Ben Mims Classic Thanksgiving Recipes for her stuffing recipes (and more). Here, his Sourdough and herb stuffing bursting with flavor thanks to lots of onions, celery and fresh herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme. The recipe is vegetarian and can be easily modified to be vegan if desired.

Tangy sourdough bread gets lots of flavor from sautéed celery and onions and rustic winter herbs in this simple, crispy Thanksgiving stuffing with olive oil.

Time2 hours

YieldsFor 8 to 12 people

For a meatier, sweeter and chewier alternative, try Mims’ Spicy cornbread and sausage dressing. It uses breakfast sausages to impart herbal and maple flavors and kicks chili flakes. The recipe includes easy instructions for making the precise amount of cornbread you’ll need using a mix, or you can use your own favorite cornbread recipe or buy it pre-made (anything goes, we don’t judge).

In this Southern take on the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing, lightly sweet cornbread meets breakfast sausage, chili flakes and aromatics.

Time2 hours

YieldsFor 8 to 12 people

If you like your dressing a little more complex, the late Times food critic Jonathan Gold dreamed up pork sausages with apples and chestnuts in his stuffing. Roasting and peeling chestnuts add to the festive air of the occasion. It’s a bit more labor intensive than a more basic stuffing, but the richness and flavors are worth it.

Late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s Pork Sausage and Apple Sausage Stuffing recipe features crumbled chestnuts and apple sausage for an amped-up Thanksgiving side dish.

Time1h30

YieldsFor 8 to 10 people.

It’s called bread pudding, but this wild mushroom bread pudding is perfect served as a dressing alongside a freshly roasted turkey. Rich and rustic, it calls for heavy cream and grated Swiss cheese along with the ingredients you’d expect in a stuffing recipe.

This Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding is a simple, rustic dish — and it’s a great substitute for the bland, doughy stuffing that often appears on Thanksgiving tables.

Time1h40

YieldsFor 8 people

Chef Ray Garcia makes his stuffing with masa — the corn dough used to make tamales — which also makes it a gluten-free option. Bone marrow, roasted potatoes, poblano peppers and lots of Swiss chard are some of the other ingredients that make this stuffing truly unique.

Ray Garcia, chef at LA’s Spanish restaurant Broken, shares his Thanksgiving masa stuffing recipe that includes potatoes, bone marrow and Swiss chard.

Time3 hours

YieldsFor 8 to 12 people

Another gluten-free option is wild rice stuffing sprinkled with roasted butternut squash, toasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds. It is also a great option for vegetarians. For a vegan version, replace the butter with vegan margarine.

This wild rice Thanksgiving stuffing recipe combines ingredients that match its nutty flavor profile: diced butternut squash, toasted hazelnuts, and pomegranate seeds.

Time1h20

YieldsFor 16 people


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Rozella J. Cook