One of the staples on Thanksgiving tables across the country is stuffing. It is arguably one of the standout dishes on Turkey Day, and whether you are stuffing the turkey or serving it as a side dish, everyone can agree that there must be stuffing on the Thanksgiving table. Some argue that if it's not used to stuff the bird, it must be called dressing. But whatever you call the mixture of seasoned bread cubes and vegetables, we can all agree that it must be delicious.
There are a few options for how to prepare stuffing. If you want to make stuffing from scratch, you must leave several days ahead of time for the bread to dry out. Alternatively, to speed up the drying-out process, you can cut the bread into cubes and spread them in an even layer on a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly toasted. Then add sautéed vegetables, herbs, and chicken stock and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Some prefer to use cornbread instead of white bread. Any of these types of bread will work—you could even use gluten-free bread. For a quick and super easy alternative, simply use a store-bought stuffing mix, which can be ready in less than 10 minutes. Check out our list of the best store-bought stuffing mixes to make sure you choose the right brand.
So, what are the stuffing options? Frist, you can stuff the turkey. Remember if you are taking this route that the stuffing inside must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and this often requires a longer cooking time. Some argue that juices from the uncooked turkey can seep into the stuffing and therefore create the danger of salmonella poisoning. So for a safer route, you can cook the stuffing (or dressing) separately in a casserole dish.
Follow some of these tips and make sure that you make the standout dish right this holiday. For interesting twists on serving and using leftover stuffing, check out a few of these recipes.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.
For more turkey talk, head over to The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving