8 Celebration-Worthy Stuffings for Your Thanksgiving Feast
Second perhaps only to the centerpiece turkey, stuffings and dressings are some of the most-craved and comforting dishes on your Thanksgiving table. Whether you stuff your bird or not, these bread-based casseroles are both simple to prepare and versatile enough that you can suit them to your family’s tastes and whatever ingredients you have on hand. A classic stuffing will often include diced apples, onions and celery, but rich ingredients like mushrooms, diced squash, chorizo and even crab meat do wonders to dress up a bread bake. Here are a few celebration-worthy stuffings that you’ll want to add to your Thanksgiving menu.
Every Thanksgiving, Katie Lee pays homage to her Southern grandmother's homemade stuffing recipe, which makes excellent use of leftover cornbread. Katie's version includes a few updates — the most important of which is her earthy herb butter for sauteing the onions and celery. If you have any extra, try rubbing it on your turkey before roasting; it's divine.
This hearty seafood stuffing has roots along the Northeastern coast, where oysters are plentiful — but you don't need to be a New Englander to make it like an expert. Food Network Kitchen's simple recipe combines tender oysters with crumbled cornbread and juicy bacon for ultra-savory results. To save time, try to find already shucked oysters in their liquor (juice) at your local supermarket or seafood monger.
Aarón Sanchez makes this Thanksgiving staple sing by adding big, spicy chunks of chorizo. Cornbread, vegetables and herbs fry up with chorizo before going into the oven. As a garnish, cilantro and cojita cheese add a layer of fresh Mexican flavor.
Soft, tangy cubes of sourdough bread yield an exceptionally flavorful stuffing that's crisp on the edges and tender in the middle. Make sure to add plenty of chicken stock to your dressing before putting it in the oven to make sure it stays moist. You can also add more before serving to give the dressing a richer, juicier dimension.
For anyone who's skipping out on bread, a rice stuffing provides an easy alternative. This one is loaded with butternut squash, leeks and cranberries.
If you're forever loyal to the taste of traditional stuffing, consider switching things up with a new presentation method. Rachael Ray uses dolled-up stuffing mix as the base for quick-cooking, individual stuffing muffins. The best part about baking stuffing in muffin tins is that they come out crunchy all over — plus they cook up extra quick.
If the turkey isn't enough, try this rich and hearty stuffing made with beef, pork and Italian sausage. It's perfect if you're hosting a crowd of serious carnivores.
For a real big departure from classic Turkey Day stuffing, try this simple recipe made with lump crab meat and cubed potato bread. We like to think of it as Thanksgiving's crab cake.
Discover more creative ways to stuff your Thanksgiving bird with these holiday stuffing and dressing recipes from your favorite Food Network chefs.