Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, there’s no doubt about it: You can’t have a Thanksgiving feast without the ubiquitous bready, crispy, herb-packed side dish. Mixed with gravy or piled high all on its own, Thanksgiving stuffing is arguably our favorite part of the whole meal (but don’t tell the other dishes). But first, we’ve got to talk about the elephant in the room: Is it dressing or stuffing? Is there even a difference between the two?
The 40 Best Thanksgiving Dressing and Stuffing Recipes You Haven’t Tried Before
Stuffing vs. Dressing: What’s the difference?
FYI, “stuffing” and “dressing” are basically the same thing, but you might hear it differently based on where you’re celebrating. In the Midwest and South, it’s more commonly referred to as dressing (yep, even if it’s stuffed inside the turkey), but West Coasters and New Englanders probably know the dish as stuffing. According to the dictionary, stuffing is defined as “a mixture used to stuff another food, traditionally poultry, before cooking,” while dressing is cooked in a separate pan (and not inside the turkey cavity). For the sake of deliciousness, we use the term interchangeably.
The best part about stuffing (er, dressing): There are about a million and one ways to make it your own. Don’t believe us? Take these 40 Thanksgiving dressing and stuffing recipes as proof.
2. Julia Turshen’s Sheet Pan Stuffing With Sausage And Spinach
Hello, genius Thanksgiving hack. Cooking the dish on a baking sheet instead of in a casserole dish means the crispy-to-soft ratio is one to one. (Yes, please.)
4. Baked Cauliflower With Pomegranate Seeds And Thyme
Nope, it’s not your mother’s traditional stuffing. It’s better, because it’s gluten-free and made with one of our go-to veggies.
8. Creole Cornbread Stuffing
Cornbread is a popular base for Southern-style dressing. This one is packed with corn, poblanos, cayenne and all the smoky spices.
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9. Wild Rice And Vegan Stuffing With Roasted Sweet Potato And Apple
Whether or not they’re vegan, everyone at the table will swoon for this roasty, rice-based stuffing. The pomegranate arils add a touch of bright flavor at the finish.
13. Forbidden Rice Stuffing With Wild Mushrooms And Delicata Squash
Sure, it’s gluten-free, but that’s not why we love this alternative stuffing. We just can’t get enough of the gorgeous color and rich, savory flavor. (And don’t get us started on the squash.)
14. Cornbread, Sausage And Collard Green Stuffing
We never thought to put dark leafy greens in our stuffing, but we certainly wish we had. Don’t skip the toasted pecans, either.
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18. Gluten-free Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing
Hidden inside all that (gluten-free) cornbread is a festive mix of butternut squash and all the seasonal herbs. Translation: We’ll be having seconds.
19. Cornbread Stuffing With Sausage, Fennel And Pear
The hot Italian sausage is unexpected, but with fennel and sweet pear, it works. (Psst: This makes just enough for leftovers.)
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20. Gluten-free Stuffing Salad With Warm Onion Dressing
Want to serve stuffing but keep it on the healthy side? This salad has all the familiar components (crusty bread, onion, herbs), plus lettuce and a warm onion dressing.
26. 5-ingredient, 15-minute Instant Pot Mushroom And Onion Stuffing
Honestly, you had us at five ingredients. The 15-minute cooking time is just an added benefit.
27. Farro, Butternut Squash, Sausage And Dried Cherry Stuffing
The farro adds a welcome nuttiness to this traditional stuffing. Don’t skip the dried cherries: They’re just tart enough to keep everyone coming back for seconds.
28. Gluten-free Apple And Sausage Stuffing With Sage
There are four types of fresh herbs in this recipe. Overkill? We think not.
30. Quinoa ‘stuffing’ (quinoa With Butternut Squash, Cranberries And Pistachios)
Does it count as stuffing if there’s no bread in sight? Sure does, especially for this surprisingly healthy version that comes together in about 45 minutes, start to finish.