Stuffing vs. Dressing: It Doesn't Matter, So Long As One Is on Your Thanksgiving Table

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Food Network Kitchen's Oyster Stuffing as seen on Food Network

Can you really call your stuffing a “stuffing” if it wasn’t cooked inside the turkey? Do New Yorkers make “dressing,” or is that only a Southern dish? How many ingredient mix-ins is too many when it comes to reinventing the stuffing wheel?

There are countless debates surrounding this all-important Thanksgiving side dish, but no matter what argument you believe, one thing is certain: A stuffing or a dressing (however you define it) ought to be on your table this turkey day. Check out Food Network’s all-star lineup of the best picks for both seasonal stuffings and dressings.

Oyster Stuffing

Tender, moist cornbread forms the base of this tried-and-true classic, seasoned with a duo of fresh herbs, plus crispy bacon for heft.

Cornbread Stuffing

Studded with smoked ham and bright red pepper, Michael Symon’s easy recipe is baked in two parts: once covered so the insides can warm up, then again uncovered for a few additional minutes so the exterior can feature the crusty bits you crave.

Sausage and Herb Stuffing

The beauty of Ina Garten’s timeless stuffing is that you don’t need to start prepping it days in advance to dry out the bread. She simply toasts freshly cut cubes for a few minutes to achieve the same effect.

Apple and Onion Stuffin’ Muffins

Follow Rachael Ray’s lead and prep a hearty stuffing mixture, then cook it in a muffin tin. Your guests can enjoy perfectly portioned servings. Bonus: To save time in the kitchen, Rachael starts with store-bought stuffing mix, so the prep work is a cinch.

Cornbread Stuffing with Pancetta, Apples and Mushrooms

This dish is made with three kinds of bread: cornbread, French and artisan. The Pioneer Woman’s big-batch stuffing can be baked on its own or stuffed inside the turkey — “if you’re into that kind of thing,” she says.

Sausage and Kale Thanksgiving Dressing

The kale trend isn’t over yet, and that means it’s time to feature this leafy green in your Thanksgiving dressing. Food Network Magazine pairs the kale with two natural complements — sausage and butternut squash — to create a fan-favorite side dish.

Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta

True to her penchant for celebrating both Italian and American flavors, Giada De Laurentiis dresses up a traditional stuffing with plenty of classically Italian ingredients, like day-old ciabatta bread, salty pancetta and even nutty Parmesan cheese for a decadent bite.

Sourdough, Wild Mushroom, and Bacon Dressing

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Sourdough, Wild Mushroom, and Bacon Dressing

Sourdough, Wild Mushroom and Bacon Dressing

“Chicken stock is the key to Thanksgiving. Don’t forget that,” Bobby Flay explains while prepping this dressing, which he ensures is especially moist with plenty of that chicken stock.

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