Traditionally, the delicious stuffing inside the turkey cavity is a side dish, usually made with bread, seasonings, and more. After food safety concerns, it eventually evolved into a Thanksgiving dressing.
The dressing is practically the same as the stuffing. But it’s cooked outside the turkey and inside a baking dish or casserole. However, certain regions still call it Thanksgiving stuffing, making it a modern misnomer.
Any way you call it, many households find their Thanksgiving dinner incomplete without this beloved side dish cuisine. While making a dressing no longer needs a turkey, you will need the best recipe.
1. Southern Cornbread Dressing
We’re starting our list with a fantastic recipe from the US south. This cornbread dressing is a Thanksgiving classic with savory flavors of sage, onions, and celery. The whole dish comes together into a moist, delicious affair.
For this recipe, you’ll make the cornbread from scratch using self-rising cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, eggs, and vegetable oil. Bake the cornbread, then crumble it into pieces.
Combine the crumble with butter, onion, celery, dried sage, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, crumbled toast, milk, eggs, and chicken stock or broth. You can also use turkey drippings for more elevated Thanksgiving flavors.
2. Simple Herb Sourdough Dressing
Many dressing recipes feature bread cubes. While the one above has cornbread, this simple recipe features a bread with unique flavors: sourdough.
This recipe uses day-old sourdough bread. By doing so, you get those fantastic, crispy bread edges. Besides bread, you’ll need butter, onion, celery, garlic, fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme), low-sodium chicken broth, eggs, kosher salt, and ground pepper.
While drying the bread in the oven, cook the butter, onions, celery, garlic, and herbs in a large skillet. Once done, combine the bread and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl before baking.
3. Challah, Wild Mushroom & Herb Stuffing
Another favorite bread for stuffing recipes is challah. For this entry, I’m featuring the best stuffing recipe that features challah, mushroom, and herb flavors.
You’ll need challah, unsalted butter, onion, celery, wild mushrooms, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, fresh sage, salt, freshly ground pepper, and chicken broth. For convenience, use poultry seasoning (instead of herbs) and pre-sliced mushrooms.
Prepping the stuffing is pretty similar to the other recipes. Make dried bread by toasting challah cubes, then cook the vegetables with herbs and seasoning. Combine everything in a very large bowl, cover, refrigerate, and then bake in a dish.
4. Lucy Buffett’s Oyster Dressing
If you want a novel Thanksgiving dressing, I highly recommend this Lucy Buffet recipe. For one, it highlights the bold sea flavors of oysters. You’ll hardly find that in a Thanksgiving classic, which makes it all the better.
Preferably, you’ll use Gulf oysters. This recipe needs two bread types: cornbread and white. You’ll also need onions, celery, bell pepper, chicken broth, lemon juice, hot sauce, fresh parsley, sage, truffle or sea salt, and white pepper.
Overall, this dish has an impressive and satisfying complex of flavors. Despite a lot going into it, it highlights the star, which is the oysters.
5. Wild Rice Stuffing
Don’t like bread? Then hold it! Bread isn’t necessary to make fantastic stuffing recipes. This gluten-free wild rice stuffing combines great flavors without a classic bread mixture.
You’ll need a wild rice blend, chicken broth (GF), bay leaf, salt and pepper, bacon, butter, shallot (or onion), mushrooms, celery, thyme, garlic, sage, almonds, and cranberries. Fresh parmesan cheese is an optional ingredient.
The ingredients listed above demonstrate the sophistication of this dish. There are a lot of complex and familiar flavors you wouldn’t think of combining. But when they come together, they make beautiful food.
6. Sausage and Apple Stuffing
You can’t miss out on this classic stuffing recipe. It’s an excellent blend of sweet and savory. You won’t think any other side dish could be more perfect than it.
To make the toasted bread, you’ll need sourdough, olive oil, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. But if you prefer cornbread, challah, or other bread types, you can use those, too.
Other stuffing ingredients are pork or turkey sausage, celery, gala apples, onion, sage, thyme, pepper, apple cider vinegar, salt, and chicken stock. Choose your sausage and apples carefully, as they impart the essential flavors in this dish.
7. Roasted Chestnut Stuffing
Elevate your stuffing by adding chestnuts to the mix. This recipe combines cornbread, sausages, and roasted chestnuts in one heavenly dish. The textures and flavors are impeccable!
To make this stuffing, you’ll need cornbread, roasted chestnuts, kosher salt, and black pepper. You must also have butter, onion, celery, pork sausage, garlic, thyme, parsley, rosemary, chicken stock, and eggs.
You can add nuts, cranberries, oysters, and herbs if you want. Once you have everything, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set the stove to medium heat. This recipe takes less than an hour to make.
8. Cauliflower Stuffing
Thanksgiving is not an excuse to pack on the carbs, especially when you have this easy cauliflower stuffing recipe. It’s vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, keto, and paleo-friendly so you can enjoy a holiday dinner healthily.
You’ll need vegan butter, an onion, carrots, mushrooms, celery, cauliflower, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (optional). You can use any oil or vegetable broth if you don’t have vegan butter. Use the broth if you want this fat-free.
This is an easy, one-pot recipe, so no need to preheat the oven or prepare a baking dish. Just cook everything over medium heat and serve.
9. Cranberry Dressing
So far, most of our recipes have flavors of vegetables, herbs, and meat. How about we include one that highlights fruity flavors? This cranberry dressing makes a fruity-licious side dish for your holiday dinner.
You’ll need onions, celery, chicken broth, sage, salt, pepper, dried cranberries, and unseasoned bread cubes. If you don’t want cranberries, swap them for golden raisins or dried cherries.
Cook the vegetables, broth, and seasonings before adding them to the cranberries and bread mixture. Place everything in a side dish and bake at 350 degrees F. If you’re making this a day ahead, extend the baking time.
10. Slow Cooker Stuffing
Is your oven full and busy? Make your dressing with a trusty crockpot or slow cooker instead. It’s the same delicious stuffing but easier and simpler to prepare. You can make them hours in advance; all you have to do is wait.
For this slow cooker stuffing recipe, you’ll need butter, pepper, salt, poultry seasoning, and onions. You must also have celery, bread (dried and cubed), parsley, herbs, chicken broth, and eggs.
You can be creative by adding sausage, cranberries, mushrooms, and other fave stuffing additions. This recipe is flexible and convenient, making Thanksgiving prep a breeze.
10 Amazing Dressing Recipes for Thanksgiving
Complete your Thanksgiving menu by adding one of these amazing dressings!
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Simple Herb Sourdough Dressing
Challah, Wild Mushroom & Herb Stuffing
Lucy Buffett’s Oyster Dressing
Wild Rice Stuffing
Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Roasted Chestnut Stuffing
Slow Cooker Stuffing
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a dressing for Thanksgiving in 30 minutes or less!