9 Thanksgiving Stuffing & Dressing Recipes for Your Best Feast Ever

A must-have for your Thanksgiving menu!

August 23, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

Most families serve stuffing (or dressing) for Thanksgiving, and those who do will insist that theirs is the best. That’s because there are an endless number of ways to make stuffing. First, the bread. Are you using sourdough, cornbread, country white, or a boxed mix (hey, no judgment here)? And then for the mix-ins: Are you adding sausage or keeping it vegetarian-friendly with mushrooms? We even took an unbiased approach to find the best Thanksgiving stuffing recipe–for the record, Absolute Best Test columnist Ella Quittner found that the best bread is cornbread for “a soft, plush texture beneath a crispy top crust.” As for the cooking method, go for a deep-dish bake followed by a quick broil for the best texture.

Looking for even more Thanksgiving stuffing recipes? Here’s a handful that’ll complete your feast.

Our Best Thanksgiving Stuffing & Dressing Recipes

1. Traditional Sage Stuffing

For the purists, there’s this timeless, unfussy Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Treat it as building blocks for future turkey days–any old white bread will do (literally—the older, the better, as long as it doesn’t have mold). It’s dressed up with salted butter, onions and celery, fresh sage, and white pepper, which is more fragrant and less assertive than black pepper.

2. Best Old-Fashioned Sage & Onion Turkey Stuffing Ever

Some of the best Thanksgiving stuffing recipes run generations deep, including this one. The sage- and poultry seasoning-infused stuffing is extra creamy, thanks to the inclusion of a beaten egg and whole milk. It’s not quite as custardy as some stuffing recipes, but it’s enough to keep the bread from drying out on your dinner plate.

3. Cornbread Stuffing, but Make It Taco

We’ve already established that cornbread is the best bread for making stuffing, right? Right. From here, add ingredients that you’d use to make your go-to taco (yep, you read that correctly). For recipe developer Sohla El-Waylly, that means ground beef, quick-cooking vegetables, grated cheddar cheese, and an assortment of fiery seasonings like Ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, and cumin seeds.

4. Josh Quittner’s Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

The secret to this family-favorite stuffing recipe is cornbread. That is, pre-packaged cornbread stuffing. Dress it up with pan-fried sausage, nuts, dried cherries, lots of earthy spices, and mushrooms. Always mushrooms.

5. Grandy's Sausage Stuffing

Here, you’re not just making Thanksgiving stuffing; you’re also making the sausage for the stuffing. It’s not necessarily the recipe to try your hand at if you’re hosting Thanksgiving and cooking everything single-handedly, but if you’re having (or attending!) a potluck-style Thanksgiving, this is the dish to show off with.

6. Challah, Mushroom, & Celery Stuffing

Challah bread is just as good to use for Thanksgiving stuffing as cornbread is. That’s because it naturally has a delicious, decadent flavor and buttery texture that brings natural moisture to the dish.

7. Sourdough Stuffing With Kale, Dates & Sausage

For non-traditionalists, there’s this Thanksgiving stuffing recipe made with turkey sausage rather than the usual pork. After all, it is Thanksgiving! An entire pound of kale makes a bold appearance, as do fresh dates and two super spicy chile peppers.

8. Brown Butter Stuffing

One easy way to amp up traditional Thanksgiving stuffing is by browning the better, aka heating it a little longer than you normally would until the milk quite literally browns and becomes nutty. The butter releases aromatic notes that pair super well with herbs like sage and rosemary.

9. Ciabatta Stuffing With Chorizo, Sweet Potato, & Mushrooms

A super hearty stuffing recipe that could practically function as the Thanksgiving dinner. In a Food52 contest, our readers voted this their all-time favorite Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, so nothing’s holding you back.

Share your family's go-to stuffing (or dressing!) recipe for Thanksgiving in the comments below.
52 Days of Thanksgiving
Check It Out
52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

Check It Out

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • bayberlee
  • Karl
  • Douglas Heathcock
    Douglas Heathcock
Former Food52 Staff Editor


bayberlee September 12, 2022
THANK YOU for the recipes in your newsletters ~ it seems especially fitting to be thankful for interesting recipes that can be used anytime during the calendar year! Dressing/Stuffing is my favorite dish of a (grand OR simple) meal, throughout the year! Sometimes a meal may be comprised solely of Dressing/Stuffing. These “advanced copy” offerings will allow me time to “diligently” [tongue-in-cheek — because it’s not a chore at all!] experiment before a ‘big event’ meal — 👏👏 —Yay! And then, on to performing delicious due diligence of product testing! —👏👏 — Yum! Appreciations for any & all recipes passed along, gratis, any time of the year. One of these recipes will be tonight’s menu. Can’t wait to try them all. Thanks again ~

Summer☀️Fall🍁Winter❄️Spring🍃 — of the Seasons, I will sing…and make dressing!

Peace out! ☮️☯️👋💞
Karl August 24, 2022
It's still tropical heat and humidity; it's depressing to see Thanksgiving recipes three months before Thanksgiving when we still have an whole months of summer and the fall season to get through.
Douglas H. November 11, 2022
Not everyone waits until the last minute, however I am reading it for the first time on 11/11 only 2 more weeks until thanksgiving.