Food

Thanksgiving stuffing and dressing recipes that are even better than turkey

Ah, ye age-old stuffing vs. dressing debate: It resurfaces every year around Thanksgiving. What is the difference? Is there a difference? Is one supposed to be tossed into a salad? Which is better?

Some people say that if it's cooked alongside the turkey, it should be called "dressing," and if it's cooked inside the bird, it should be called "stuffing."

Others think that the terms are interchangeable, no matter how you prepare it, and that it's really based on where you are in relation to the Mason Dixon ("dressing" is a Southern term).

But no matter what you call it, it's all gravy (so to speak). So, we've rounded up a bunch of our favorite dressing/stuffing (druffing? stressing?) recipes — and they're so good, they may just steal the show from your big turkey centerpiece.

Wild Mushroom Cornbread Dressing
Wild Mushroom Cornbread Dressing
Alessandra Bulow / TODAY
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Star chef Bobby Flay cooks his mushroom-cornbread stuffing in a cast iron pan to give it a wonderful golden-brown crust.

Oyster Dressing Grandmère

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Try Martha Stewart's upside-down Thanksgiving turkey with John Besh's oyster dressing

Play Video - 7:04

Try Martha Stewart's upside-down Thanksgiving turkey with John Besh's oyster dressing

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Go old-school with this famous dressing from Louisiana chef John Besh: lots of butter, chunks of bacon, a heavy sprinkling of cayenne and paprika, and, of course, a heaping portion of fresh oysters.

Baked Butternut Squash with Italian Sausage Stuffing

Holly Sander / Taste and See / TODAY Food Club

With butternut squash, ground turkey, sage, thyme, sourdough bread, Asiago and Parmesan cheese, you're going to want to remake this after Thanksgiving, over and over again.

Southern Sage Cornbread Dressing
Southern Sage Cornbread Dressing
TODAY
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Elizabeth Heiskell believes this dressing is so amazing, she will only eat it a couple times a year so as not to make it commonplace. It needs to be revered. And it will undoubtedly steal the show from the turkey on Thanksgiving.

Al Roker's Sausage and Chestnut Cornbread Stuffing

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Sausage stuffing 2 ways: Classic Thanksgiving recipes with brioche or cornbread

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Sausage stuffing 2 ways: Classic Thanksgiving recipes with brioche or cornbread

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Al uses cornbread, spicy pork sausage, chestnuts and dried cranberries to add some excitement to his Thanksgiving stuffing.

Quinoa, Cornbread and Cranberry Stuffing
Quinoa stuffing
Frances Largeman-Roth / TODAY
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10
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Surprise! Healthy and satisfying stuffing does exist. This vegan version gets body from the cornbread, depth from the mushrooms and celery, texture from the pecans and quinoa, and sweetness from the dried cranberries.

Bread Stuffing with Turkey Sausage
Katie Workman shares her recipe for bread stuffing with turkey sausage
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Servings:
8-10
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You can certainly cook this in the turkey, should you be so inclined, but we prefer it in a pan (does that making it technically "dressing"?), so that the top gets crispy and browned.

Fast and easy Thanksgiving sausage stuffing muffins
Sausage Stuffing Muffins
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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18
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There's no need to cut and toast bread for this super-speedy Thanksgiving dressing. It's double-quick in that it is quickly baked in muffin tins and uses store-bought, packaged salad croutons (NOT stuffing mix).

Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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Servings:
10 to 12
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Get the work done before the big day. You can prep this meaty and delicious dressing up to two days before the big day, then just pop it in the oven.

Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing
Beau Macmillan and Al Roker show How to make sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving.November 11, 2016.
Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY
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Servings:
10
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Use brioche bread, breakfast sausage, chestnuts, and apples to add depth to a Thanksgiving stuffing.

Potato Stuffing

Holl G. / TODAY Food Club

Combine your two favorite mushy Thanksgiving foods — stuffing and mashed potatoes — into one, comforting super-dish.

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