Stuffing is one of the most traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Update your classic stuffing recipe to make it one of the most popular dishes at the Thanksgiving table.
Use a different grain
Instead of using regular old white bread cubes, switch up the main component and use rice, quinoa, or even orzo pasta. They work the same way as bread does by soaking up the delicious liquids and flavors, but they will add an exciting new element to your stuffing.
If you like using bread, use cornbread, challah, wheat bread, raisin bread, French bread, etc. You can use pretty much any kind of bread you desire and you can coordinate the flavors with the rest of the ingredients. For example, if you are making an apple-raisin stuffing, then use raisin bread to balance the flavors.
Stuffing can sometimes get mushy, especially when it’s baked inside the turkey, so add an element of texture like crunchy nuts to the mix. Any kind of nut will work, but almonds, pine nuts, or pistachios are some favorites.
Another way to get some texture is to mix in cracker crumbs or sprinkle them on the top as a crust if you are baking the stuffing in a casserole dish. Or, if you want to get really creative, you can use cracker crumbs in place of the bread. Oyster crackers or saltine crackers work the best. Even meat can add a level of texture, so mix in some sausage, ham, pork, chicken, or even shrimp or squid.
Add fruit (or interesting vegetables)
To add a little bit of sweetness to your stuffing, add some fruit or interesting vegetables. Apples, pineapples, raisins, pumpkins, pears, squash, pomegranate seeds, and prunes are some good examples. Simply chop your desired fruit or veggie and add them to the stuffing as you would any other vegetable.
Use fresh herbs
Fresh herbs have the most flavor so use those instead of dried. Rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, tarragon, and sage are some of the best flavors to use in stuffing.
Go global: Kick up your stuffing even more with a global twist. Make an Italian style stuffing with basil, tomatoes, garlic, Italian sausage, and Parmesan cheese, or try Asian flavors with ginger, sesame seeds, green onions, and soy sauce. Just think of your favorite ethnic meal and translate that to a stuffing recipe.