Make your Thanksgiving dinner extra fabulous with these 9 Easy Add-Ins for Stuffing, plus a delicious traditional stuffing recipe. Also works for boxed stuffing!
9 Easy Add-Ins for Stuffing
It’s Day 4 of our Week of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes, and I thought I’d give you a little twist on an old classic! Stuffing! So we’ll start off with your basic traditional stuffing recipe. This one is my grandma’s delicious stuffing recipe, and we use it for all holidays.
THEN we have 9 different easy add ins for stuffing variations for you to make your Thanksgiving dinner truly unique and even more delicious! The original traditional stuffing recipe serves 6-8. I usually double it for our family gatherings.
You can also use these Easy Add-Ins for Stuffing with boxed stuffing. Simply prepare the boxed stuffing according to package instructions. Stir in the add-ins. Then cover and bake at 350° for 10-20 minutes, until heated through.
Traditional Stuffing Recipe
- 1 large loaf of bread (1 pound)
- 1 cup water or chicken broth
- ¼ cup onion
- ¼ cup celery
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- **1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- Cut your bread into ½ inch cubes. Allow to sit on your counter until firm (I usually leave mine out a full day. But if you're in a time crunch you can put the cubes in a buttered baking dish in the oven at 375° for 10-15 minutes until crisp.)
- In a large bowl or baking dish, pour the water or chicken broth over the bread. Stir to cover. You may need a little more or a little less, so add a little at a time. All your bread pieces should be damp but not sopping wet.
- Mix in onion, celery, poultry seasoning, and sage, if you're using it.
- Add butter (cut into teaspoon sized portions) and egg. I usually mix this part using my clean fingers because it's easiest to get it fully incorporated that way. You don't want to disrupt the bread structure too much so just mix until incorporated.
- If you're stuffing your turkey, you're all set. Just put it in and cook your turkey. If you're cooking in a separate dish, place your dressing in a greased baking dish and cook at 350° for about 40 minutes, until firm and golden.
9 Easy Add-Ins for Stuffing
1. Old-Fashioned Giblet Stuffing
- giblets from one turkey, finely chopped
Directions for Old-Fashioned Giblet Stuffing:
Add your giblets with your onions and celery.
For boxed stuffing, cook the chopped giblets in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter before stirring in.
2. Cheddar Jalapeno Stuffing
- 2 chopped jalapeno peppers
- 2 cups sharp cheddar, divided
- 4-6 scallions thinly sliced
Directions for Cheddar Jalapeno Stuffing:
1. Saute your jalapenos in a skillet in 1 tablespoon of butter until tender.
2. Add jalapenios, 1 cup cheddar, and the scallions with the onions and celery.
3. Top with remaining cup of cheddar before baking.
3. Smoked Sausage and Pepper Stuffing
- 12 ounces smoked sausage or andouille, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
Directions for Sausage and Pepper Stuffing:
1. Cook sausage and pepper with 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet until sausage is browned and peppers are tender.
2. Add sausage, pepper, and oregano with celery and onions.
4. Bacon and Gouda Stuffing
- 1 pound of bacon
- 2 cups of Gouda, shredded
Directions for Bacon and Gouda Stuffing:
1. Cook bacon in a skillet until brown and crispy. Drain and allow to cool. Coursely chop.
2. Add bacon and 1 cup of Gouda with celery and onions.
3. Top with remaining Gouda before baking.
5. Pumpkin Herb Stuffing
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small-medium pumpkin peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (4-5 cups)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped sage
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Directions for Pumpkin Herb Stuffing:
1. Saute garlic and shallots in a skillet in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat until golden.
2. Add the pumpkin and herbs and saute for another 5 minutes.
3. Add pumpkin herb mixture with onion and celery.
4. Add honey with egg and butter.
(For boxed stuffing, follow the first 3 steps. Then stir the honey into the pumpkin-herb mixture. Then stir that whole mixture into the stuffing before baking.)
6. Mushroom and Rosemary Stuffing
- 2 pounds mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
Directions for Mushroom and Rosemary Stuffing
1. Saute mushrooms in a skillet in 2 tablespoons butter until tender.
2. Add mushrooms, parsley, and rosemary with the onions and celery.
7. Sausage and Sage Stuffing
- 1 pound Italian or Breakfast sausage, casings removed
- 3 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped (or 5 teaspoons dried sage)
Directions for Sausage and Sage Stuffing
1. Brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through.
2. Add sausage and sage with onions and celery.
8. Apple Cranberry Stuffing
- 2 Gala apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves
Directions for Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Add all extra ingredients in with the onions and celery.
9. Caramelized Onion Stuffing
- 3 onions, coursely chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
Directions for Caramelized Onion Stuffing
1. Omit onions from original recipe. Add onions and butter to a large skillet and cook on medium-low heat until caramelized (can take up to an hour, but don’t rush it. It’s worth the wait.)
2. Add onions, chives, and thyme with celery.
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