5 Stuffing Makeovers

Lighten up your favorite stuffing recipe with these simple tricks.

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Stuffing Mixture of Sausage and Fennel on a Spoon

Sausage Fennel

Stuffing Mixture of Sausage and Fennel on a Spoon

Photo by: Karl Juengel / Studio D ©2009, Hearst Communications, Inc.

Karl Juengel / Studio D, 2009, Hearst Communications, Inc.

This turkey day favorite can rack up the calories quickly, but you can’t have a traditional feast without it! So what’s a stuffing lover to do?

One cup of traditional homemade stuffing with tons of butter, white bread and piles of sausage or bacon can run about 450 calories. Boxed versions may not break the bank on calories, but most are filled with preservatives and sodium. Instead, make your own version using a wide array of delicious ingredients. With a few simple tweaks you can easily lighten up your favorite stuffing recipes.

Fennel Sausage Stuffing (pictured at top)
Suggested ways to lighten up this recipe:

• Halve the amount of Italian sausage — use only 1 ounce of meat per serving

• Cut the butter down to 1 or 2 tablespoons
• Use low-sodium chicken broth
• Use whole-wheat bread to up the fiber
Stuffing Mixtute Made of Bacon, Vegetables and Bread on a Spoon

FNM Bacon Jalapeno

Stuffing Mixtute Made of Bacon, Vegetables and Bread on a Spoon

Photo by: Karl Juengel / Studio D ©2009, Hearst Communications, Inc.

Karl Juengel / Studio D, 2009, Hearst Communications, Inc.

Suggested ways to lighten up this recipe:
• Use Canadian or turkey bacon
• Substitute 1 tablespoon canola oil for butter
• Use low-sodium chicken broth
• Reduce the cheese to 3/4 or 1/2 cup
• Use all white bread instead of any cornbread
Stuffing mixture on a spoon

Stuffing mixture on a spoon

Photo by: Karl Juengel / Studio D ©Hearst Communications, Inc.

Karl Juengel / Studio D, Hearst Communications, Inc.

Suggested ways to lighten up this recipe:
• Instead of a stick of butter, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of canola oil
• Use low-sodium chicken broth
• Use whole-wheat bread
• Reduce the pecans to 3/4 cup
Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom
Prop Stystli: Marina Malchin ,Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom
Prop Stystli: Marina Malchin

KO_FN_03NicoiseRiceStuffing3_094.tif

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stystli: Marina Malchin ,Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stystli: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2012

Kana Okada, Kana Okada 2012

Suggested ways to lighten up this recipe:

• Use nonstick cooking spray instead of butter to coat the baking dish

• Halve the amount of pancetta
• Reduce the amount of cheese to 4 to 6 ounces
• Use a combination of 4 whole eggs and 8 egg whites

FN_SIDES_STUFFING_SILO_0024.tif

Photo by: Chris Court

Chris Court

Suggested ways to lighten up this recipe:

• Use nonstick cooking spray instead of butter to coat the baking dish

• Reduce the bacon to 6 ounces
• Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter or canola oil to cook the bacon
• Instead of cornbread, use 16 cups of potato bread
• Reduce the pecans to 3/4 cup

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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