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Stuffing from a box -- best brand and how to spruce up?

Hi All - I'm doing my first thanksgiving so I'm trying to manage what I'm cooking and make sure the risk reward is worthwhile. I've read a bunch of threads here saying that stuffing from a box is what people cheat on most, along with getting feedback from friends and family on it. So my question to you is, assuming I decide to make stuffing from a box, what is the best brand and is there anything that you do to "spice it up"? Thanks so much!

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  1. This may be an act of heresy for a foodie but I like it. I think Stovetop is actually pretty good. You can add some browned Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage and a few fresh onions and celery and it should be good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpc8015

      Agreed I like maple breakfast sausage, dried sour cherries and pecans too!

      1. re: jpc8015

        What's so hard about making stuffing. I take my big pot and a stick of butter, melt, and add chopped onion and celery and cook until soft. Then I take an unsliced loaf of bread and rip it up in pieces and throw it in and mix the butter and veg with the bread. Then pour in a box of chicken broth and mix until the bread soaks it up (you may need another box, too) dump it in a casserole dish and bake until top is crispy. Better than any package mix. Don't forget a little S & P and a sprinkle of sage.

      2. My father in law uses Pepperidge Farm Stuffing (in a bag) and adds browned sausage and onions, an egg or two, poultry seasoning and spreads it in a casserole dish. Lay bacon slices over the top and bake until brown and crispy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: sadiefox

          I second Pepperidge Farm Stuffing. I sauté some onion and celery, then add in some chopped chicken/turkey livers (if you're into that sort of thing) and add it to the stuffing. The livers give it this amazing taste. I've fooled my husband for years with this. I broke down last Thanksgiving and told him what the "secret" was..let's just say he's a little hesitant this year.

          1. re: krisrishere

            Another vote for pepperidge farm. I like to add sauteed (in butter) onion and celery and mix in poultry seasoning.
            I add a lb. of cooked and drained ground beef and a cup of cooked white rice.

            1. re: laliz

              Yet another vote for Pepperidge Farm. Personally, I always cube my own thin-sliced white Pepperidge Farm bread. Do it the day before and put it back in the bag w/ diced onion, celery & fresh sage. Thanksgiving morning I melt some butter and toss the bread mixture w/ the butter, salt & pepper and stuff my turket. Voila. Too easy and MUCH better than Stove Top. (you can pour some chix stock on it too, for a moister stuffing).

              1. re: lynnlato

                For some reason Arnolds tastes so much better to me than Pepperidge. I only use the cornbread version though. Then add tons of stuff, like sausage, mushrooms, vermouth etc etc.

          2. re: sadiefox

            Another vote for Pepperidge Farm. I always saute diced onion and celery in butter, then add diced water chestnuts and chopped roasted pecans (this year I tried chopped macadamia nuts but will go back to pecans next time). Dump the contents of the pan onto the bread cubes/crumbs in a large bowl, add chicken stock or premade turkey stock (made ahead with the roasted neck and wing tips), and mix the whole mess with my perfectly clean hands. Most of it goes into the bird, the rest into a buttered Le Creuset casserole. The stuff from the bird is nice and moist, the casserole gets a crispy outside from the buttered enameled cast iron and the top from the oven roasting, uncovered.

          3. I see that you are in the Boston area. You could call Great Harvest Bread Co (Newtonville or Lex) to reserve a loaf of the stuffing bread that they make only Thanksgiving and Xmas weeks. This is a wheat bread containing onion, celery, and sage. I make homemade stuffing but get this bread for sandwiches. It tastes just like good from-scratch stuffing. If you cube it and mix with some broth and a beaten egg, you'll have a stuffing that will fool everyone. My stuffing style of choice is added chopped apple and/or cider, and a handful of raisins or dried cranberries, and to saute, then dice, the liver ahead of time, mixing it into the stuffing before baking. Personally, I strongly dislike Stove Top and other shortcut stuffing mixes; they taste too much of additives and salt. I think the stuffing/dressing is the best part of a roast chicken or turkey, but would rather have the bird plain than with boxed stuffing.

            2 Replies
              1. Yup, I obsess about kinds of fresh food, farmer's markets, locally grown this 'n that, lovely restaurants but boxed stuffing, even plain old stovetop, rules.

                Brown the liver from the turkey (finely chopped) along with more celery and onion than you think right. You can also add sausage, leaves and/or parsley. I usually bake some in the turkey and some in a casserole and then mix them together but a scoop of each is good too.

                1. You would be better off eating the box than the stuff inside. There is nothing that can come close to a nice stuffing in the bird. Nothing. If you are concerned about health issues because of eggs in the stuffing, follow the ATK suggestion of heating the stuffing in a microwave prior to stuffing the bird.