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Stuffing and Dressing

Find out how to make stuffing from scratch. It's a snap!

Here are a few helpful hints to make stuffing from day-old white bread, store-bought croutons, cornbread, rice, and grains.

Bread Stuffings

Use a day-old loaf of firm or dense European-style bread instead of a soft and gooey white bread. Leave the crust on; cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and air-dry overnight.

If you add vegetables or meat to your dressing, be sure they are cooked and cut in relative proportion to the bread cubes.

Add enough liquid to keep the dressing moist but not soggy. Fresh turkey or chicken broth adds a wonderful flavor.

Cornbread Stuffings

For some folks, if it isn't made with cornbread it isn't stuffing. If you're in a rush, packaged cornbread stuffing can be used.

Make a couple pans of cornbread at least a day in advance--or weeks ahead and then freeze. Cut the bread into cubes and allow them to air dry overnight before proceeding with your stuffing recipe.

The Creole Cornbread Stuffing recipe provides an excellent recipe and easy instructions. Once you've got the process down try adding the richness and full flavor of crisp cooked bacon, sausage, or smoked ham, for a more robust filling stuffing.

Rice and Grain Stuffings

Rice and grains provide excellent foundations for creating non-bread stuffings.

Rice stuffings, known to some as "dirty rice," often appear on holiday or Sunday dinner tables. These stuffings are usually cooked with onions, peppers, poultry giblets, or livers, and plenty of seasonings. It's these ingredients that give the rice a 'dirty' but tasty appearance. Wild rice can be added to any stuffing recipe, be it white rice, brown rice, or bread. Wild rice adds a wonderful chewy texture and nutty flavor.

For added protein try experimenting with legumes and hearty grains such as lentils or rye. The key to success when using grains is to avoid over cooking them. Like pasta, cook all grains al dente, that is, tender yet still firm and a little chewy. They will finish cooking in your turkey or casserole dish. For a great rice stuffing recipe check out Dad's Oyster Dressing.

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Nov. 5, 2009 2:49 pm
I found a dressing resembling old fashion dressing but what was added to ingredients besides the broth was a big can of "Cream of Chicken" soup that did wonders for the mix ..absolute fantastic flavor.
Nov. 16, 2009 2:05 pm
I will be pressed for time next week and I was wondering, if I made an apple sausage and bread stuffing, this weekend and froze it until turkey day, would the texture be compromised when it thaws and gets reheated.....if anyone knows, it would be of great help! Thanks!
Nov. 18, 2009 10:35 am
I know frozen things are good but, any time you freeze and rethaw, it captures some but not all of the flavors as if you were to eat it right out of the oven after if cooled off. Its sounds good though :D Before the days come try and rethaw some so u can try it yourself if you can that is GOOD LUCK
Nov. 18, 2009 1:10 pm
teasingu2: The way my mom and I do stuffing (which has apples, sausage, and bread pieces like yours) is to brown the meat with some garlic and onion, then add some chicken or turkey stock and the cubed apple and let it simmer for a while to blend the flavors. We usually do this the day before the big dinner, and it can be refrigerated and poured over the bread crumbs right before you're ready to eat. Mix it all together and bake it for about 45-60 minutes and it's ready to go.
Nov. 19, 2009 9:47 am
Thanx sweets & regina....with both of your suggestions, maybe I'll just get my 2 teens off their cells, computers and video games and get their butts in the kitchen and help me! ( They will want to eat, ya know?) Sounds like a plan!!! Thanx again
Nov. 22, 2009 9:06 am
here's a twist, I, too, am going to make the Awesome Cranberry, Sausage, Apple stuffing but wanted to try it in the crock pot. The dressing/stuffing crock pot recipes call for 3x the bread ratio to liquid. Does this hold true for all? Will adding apple and sausage and cranberries change the amount? Guess I should have tried this in October...
Nov. 25, 2009 8:55 am
You guys have helped me without my even asking, thanks!
Billie Ruth 
Nov. 25, 2009 11:13 am
I need to bake enough dressing for about 30 people so I thought I'd use my roaster oven . I'll use about 3 lbs of Pepperidge Farm Mix and double recipe of cornbread...then broth seasoning and veggies. Will that be about right to fit in the oven? Billie Ruth Billlie Ruth
Billie Ruth 
Nov. 25, 2009 11:26 am
I need to bake enough dressing for about 30 people so I thought I'd use my roaster oven . I'll use about 3 lbs of Pepperidge Farm Mix and double recipe of cornbread...then broth seasoning and veggies. Will that be about right to fit in the oven? Billie Ruth
Nov. 25, 2009 7:01 pm
I've always considered "stuffing" to be that which is cooked in the bird and "dressing" to be cooked casserole style. We usually prepare one of each. A traditional bread/sage "stuffing" and a dressing consisting of apples, pear or cranberries - along with nuts and or sausage - add the traditional onion, celery, rubbed sage baked casserole style.
Dec. 20, 2009 3:20 pm
I am in search of a dish I made several years ago and would like to make for the holiday but can not find the receipe. The ingridents where brocolli, texas toast and cheese..... the main ones I can remeber. Please help!!!
Mar. 24, 2010 6:39 am
I've a question. We are not at all fond of rice stuffing. Is it at all possible to make this apricot dressing, using bread as main ingredients, and not rice? Thanks!
Oct. 31, 2010 10:48 am
My husband just had a heart attack so I am looking for help on low fat,low sodium stuffing recipe. I don't want him to feel like he is depriving the rest of us because I can't make our tradional thanksgiving fare,so I still want to be able to do turkey,stuffing,ect. I usually make sausage stuffing does anyone ever use turkey or chicken sausage in their stuffing? Help don't want him to feel he's bothering the rest of our family because of his dietary restrictions.we need to make this a life long change in our home so any help would be appreciated.Any heart healthy recipes would be loved ! Thanks to all who read this
Nov. 2, 2010 11:28 am
Patty, the turkey sausage is a great substitution! the flavor is very comparable. you need to add a little turkey or chicken stock to compensate for the lower fat content of the turkey sausage, this will help keep it moist.
Nov. 6, 2010 2:21 pm
Patty, I've used chicken andoille sausage as a substitute and get tons of flavor - it may have a little kick so try the sausage with lunch or dinner first to see if you like it.
Nov. 17, 2010 6:24 pm
They make a mild chicken sausage which is really good. My husband had a 5 bypass surgery at 51 last January so I've been trying to find similar type foods. Used the chicken sausage to make sausage & peppers a couple of weeks ago; it was awesome!
Nov. 18, 2010 4:03 am
Does anyone have any tips on how to make stuffing without an oven and no access to prepackaged stuffing?
Nov. 18, 2010 10:23 am
RosieL, I've never tried making my own stove top stuffing, but I would think it would work. You might want to give it a test run before Tday. You'd have to adjust the amts as you see fit and to taste. -Two day old bread or cornbread, evenly cut into small pieces -thinly sliced celery -Diced onion -other vegetables if desired (peppers, carrots, etc.) -Salt, black pepper, sage, thyme, garlic powder (or garlic) to taste. -Chicken broth -fruits/nuts/meats as desired (apples, sausage or bacon, pecans, etc.) Saute vegetables until translucent and tender. If using sausage, add to vegetables to brown. Drain off fat and discard. Add seasonings, stir well then add bread cubes. Slowly add enough broth to allow for absorption. Heat thoroughly and serve. I wish I could be more exact, but perhaps looking at other recipes will give you a guideline to amounts.
Nov. 24, 2010 3:36 pm
I noticed that the article, and the posters on this board, use the terms "dressing" and "stuffing" interchangeably. I used to use them that way myself until, in recent years, I've learned that if it's cooked in the bird, it's stuffing; if it's cooked outside the bird, it's dressing. Makes perfect sense to me! {:-)
Nov. 24, 2010 4:03 pm
Hi everyone, So the decision is yes it's ok to make dressing the night before and refridgerate until oven time? Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 29, 2013 6:15 am
I always make my cornbread dressing a month in advance and freeze. It works great as long as you freeze it uncooked. It also allows all the flavors to become more intense. I make a southern style cornbread dressing. This one tip has made holiday cooking much easier. I thaw in fridge a couple of days beforehand and then bake in oven day of big meal! No one can tell that it had been frozen. To freeze COOKED dressing ruins picks up funky freezer taste!!
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