Unique Stuffing Ideas For Thanksgiving
If you're still getting your Thanksgiving stuffing from a box -- stop! Stuffing is not only one of the most important elements of your Thanksgiving dinner, but also one of the simplest. So there's no excuse not to make a delicious and unique stuffing from scratch.
One of the most common types of stuffing is, of course, bread stuffing. Bread stuffing can be unique and tasty in many ways, using different types of bread, spices, vegetables and even meat. You can always use white bread, but why be boring?
Here are great alternatives to white bread:
There are a few ways to cook the stuffing other than inside a turkey. In fact, you might want to avoid doing that, since cooking the stuffing inside the turkey can actually dry the turkey out. A simple way is just to prepare the stuffing, then put it in a casserole dish and bake it in the oven. You can also make a stovetop stuffing. If you have the time and want to prepare items in advance, use the slow cooker to make the stuffing the night before and let it slow-cook all day long.
You may not think about using rice in your stuffing but it's a good replacement for bread. You can even use similar grains like couscous, quinoa or even orzo pasta. Any type of grain works perfectly in stuffing because just about any flavor components complement it. Some grains do have different flavors -- for example, couscous has a slightly nutty taste, and different types of rice can have varying flavors (like wild rice versus white rice). With that in mind, it's a good idea to taste your grain before adding the other ingredients to be sure they work well. Also, be aware that all grains soak up liquid differently so you may need to add more or less liquid than given in the recipe if you switch the grains. Check the instructions on the grain package to determine how much liquid is suggested -- you don't want dry or soggy stuffing!
Just because turkey is the star of the table doesn't mean you have to use turkey in the stuffing. There are a huge variety of meats that can be used in stuffing. Sausage is a great choice for stuffing. You can use Italian sausage, spicy sausage, chorizo or any of your other favorite types of sausage. Be sure to match the flavors in the stuffing to the herbs and spices you use. You can even use ground meats like beef, pork or chicken, which work well with bread or grain. Finally, a tasty option for stuffing meats os shellfish, like crab or oysters. Keep the other ingredients simple in order to bring out the taste of the seafood. You can even try mixing the shellfish with meats to have even more flavor.
Vegetarian does not mean bland and boring, especially with stuffing! In place of meat, you can use fruit, vegetables and nuts.
Wild rice and mushroom stuffing
Makes 12 servings
Makes 12 servings
Apple and sage stuffing
Makes 8 servings
What is your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing recipe? Share in the comments section below!
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