14 Best Thanksgiving Stuffings and Dressings

It's delicious, no matter what you call it

Moist sausage dressing

The Spruce

Everyone loves a good Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing, whether it's cooked inside the bird, in a baking pan, in the slow cooker, or on the stovetop. In fact, for many people, it's considered the best part of their Turkey Day meal!

Dressing can be made with regular bread or cornbread and we've even got an awesome gluten-free stuffing that uses rice and almonds instead of wheat. Stuffing also lends itself nicely to plenty of flavor variations. You can add vegetables, dried fruit, and nuts for extra texture and color, sausage for moisture, and even briny, meaty oysters for mouthwatering umami flavor.

If you choose to cook your Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing in the bird, make sure you follow safe handling guidelines. A stuffed turkey or chicken must be roasted until the stuffing is fully cooked. Even if the poultry breast or thigh registers 165 F / 74 C, if the center of the dressing has not reached that temperature, it must cook until the stuffing is done. And don't remove the stuffing from the turkey before it's finished, because that could contaminate your bird. You'll also need to let your turkey or roast chicken rest for 20 minutes before you remove the stuffing and carve the meat. As with any hot food, refrigerate your Thanksgiving leftovers in shallow covered containers within 2 hours of cooking.

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Watch Now: Everything You Need to Know to Make a Delicious Thanksgiving Stuffing

  • 01 of 14

    Easy Crock Pot Cornbread Dressing

    Cornbread stuffing

     

    Lynne Mitchell / Getty Images 

    This crockpot dressing is made with equal parts cornbread and toasted day-old cubes of bread. Condensed cream of chicken soup ensures that it doesn't dry out as it cooks.

  • 02 of 14

    Traditional Chestnut Stuffing

    This classic holiday stuffing calls for fresh chestnuts, but canned ones work, too. They add a subtle nutty flavor and texture that pairs perfectly with the spices and aromatics used to season the bread.

  • 03 of 14

    Sausage and Apple Dressing With Cranberries

    Chopped apples and cranberries add fantastic fall flavor to this sausage dressing. If you like, add pecans for extra crunch.

  • 04 of 14

    Andouille Sausage Cornbread Dressing

    Spicy smoked andouille sausage adds a Cajun twist to this lively cornbread dressing. It's punched up with white and green onions, fresh bell peppers and celery for crunch and flavor.

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  • 05 of 14

    Old-Fashioned Giblet Dressing

    Giblet dressing

     

    Jeff R Clow / Getty Images 

    This traditional Southern dressing gets extra depth of flavor from a rich broth you make from giblets, the extra parts of the turkey usually found packaged inside the cavity of the bird.

  • 06 of 14

    Apple and Fennel Challah Stuffing

    Challah isn't just wonderful for French toast—it makes a great base for dressing, too! Sweet-tart fall apples, fennel, and sage add a comforting fall flavor to the bread. Bonus: This recipe uses vegetable stock and doesn't use eggs so the stuffing is completely vegan.

  • 07 of 14

    Moist Sausage Dressing

    Moist sausage dressing

    The Spruce

    Sausage, onion, and celery make this seasoned bread dressing an irresistible Thanksgiving side. Use fresh or canned low-sodium chicken stock in this recipe, along with fresh herbs if you have them.

  • 08 of 14

    Classic Southern Cornbread Dressing

    This home-style cornbread dressing is made the old-fashioned Southern way, with fresh cornbread crumbs, optional diced chicken, and aromatic dried herbs.

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  • 09 of 14

    Crunchy Acorn Squash Stuffing with Za'atar

    Crunchy Acorn Squash Stuffing with Za'atar

    Anita Schecter

     

    Sweet, nutty acorn squash combines with bread cubes, onion, fresh herbs, and za'atar seasoning for a Middle Eastern twist on the usual Thanksgiving stuffing. Its unique flavor will make this a new family favorite.

  • 10 of 14

    Vegan Cornbread Stuffing

    Though this cornbread stuffing is both vegetarian and vegan, it still delivers all the traditional flavor you crave on Thanksgiving. Making your own vegan cornbread is the first step and well worth the extra time.

  • 11 of 14

    Oyster Dressing

    Plump briny oysters are a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas ingredient that pair well with turkey, chicken, duck, and goose. This traditional bread dressing made from the tasty bivalves can be prepared separately in a pan or stuffed and cooked inside the bird.

  • 12 of 14

    Gluten-Free Vegetarian Rice Stuffing

    Peppers with rice stuffing

     

    OlekStock / Getty Images 

    Are you following a gluten-free diet? This vegetarian and vegan stuffing uses rice and almonds instead of bread for a satisfying side dish that also includes traditional ingredients such as celery, mushrooms, and spices.

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  • 13 of 14

    Slow Cooker Chicken and Stuffing With Swiss Cheese

    This slow cooker casserole uses packaged stuffing and condensed soups along with boneless chicken breast halves and melted Swiss cheese to form a simple, yet flavorful one-dish dinner.

  • 14 of 14

    Bread Dressing for Chicken or Game Hens

    Game hens

    Candice Bell / Getty Images

    This dressing, traditionally paired with chicken and turkey, is also excellent to use for stuffing rock cornish game hens if you're looking to showcase a different kind of bird on your Thanksgiving table.