9 Things to Add to Stuffing Mix to Make It Taste Homemade
Looking to dress up your dressing? Here's what to add to stuffing mix for Thanksgiving—or any other family dinner.
Fruit, especially dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, figs and apricots can seriously improve a dreary box of stuffing. That bit of sweetness plays beautifully with other flavors on the table. I’ve found that fresh fruits like apples and pears are stellar as well.
Nuts are a delicious, simple way to add some crunch to your Turkey Day fare. In fact, lightly toasted nuts add a layer of texture not only to stuffing, but the Thanksgiving spread as a whole. Our top picks? Pecans, walnuts, almonds and pistachios.
If you (or someone at your Thanksgiving table) is allergic to nuts, but loves a rich, nutty flavor, look no further than brown butter. A touch sweet, a tad savory, brown butter is easy to make and wonderfully delicious. It’s definitely something to add to recipes on a regular basis.
It’s a universal truth that bacon makes everything taste better. Adding some chopped bacon (or pancetta) to your stuffing mix is a surefire way to improve its flavor. Cook the bacon before mixing it into the stuffing.
Use sausage to amp up your stuffing’s flavor. If pork isn’t your thing, you could use beef, tofu or chicken sausage instead. This chicken apple sausage would be a glorious addition to any Thanksgiving stuffing.
Another great way to add a mouthwatering savory element to stuffing is by adding mushrooms. They’re vegetarian-friendly, which is perfect if you need a veggie option for your guests.
Something as effortless as a chopped onion can completely transform your stuffing mix. Red and Spanish/yellow onions have a sharper bite to them, while white onions are much milder. You could always use shallots for a sweeter, more subtle flavor. Learn more about the different types of onions and when to use them.
Keep things easy with a dash of paprika or a sprinkle of cayenne. Or, totally change your stuffing mix with a spice blend like Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, poultry seasoning, adobo or Lawry’s.
A little grated cheese can make even the most standard boxed stuffing mix taste outstanding. A good cheddar or Parmesan brings a bit of sharpness, but there are loads of great-tasting milder versions. Gouda, mozzarella and provolone are some of our top picks. Just make sure to shred the cheese yourself.