Food

Sensational stuffing: 5 easy new recipes for this essential Thanksgiving side

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Families have been known to battle about stuffing. Some prefer to keep it straightforward, with bread and herbs, butter and broth. Others like adding everything from oysters to sausage to dried cranberries. Then, there’s the other argument: Should the stuffing actually be stuffed inside the bird or should it be baked separately as a flavorful starchy side? (We vote for cooking it outside the bird: Not only does it form a more delicious crust in the pan but you can be sure it’s safe to serve, with no lingering bacteria from potentially under-cooked turkey.) 

A classic white bread stuffing is always delicious and you’ll find a sensational version of that here. But if you’re on a paleo, gluten-free or a vegan diet or you don’t have oven space and want to use your slow cooker — or if you just want to mix things up — try one of the other stellar recipes here. They’re so good that one of them might become a new family tradition.  

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Slow cooker stuffing: Save space in the oven and make this sausage-and-apple-studded bread stuffing in your slow cooker. For this recipe, store-bought dried bread cubes aren’t just a handy shortcut — they’re required, as they hold up best in the cooker’s gentle heat. 

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Pancetta and sage stuffing muffins: Does everyone at your table fight for the crispy edges of stuffing? Here is your solution: Stuffing muffins (stuffins?). If you can’t find pancetta, you can substitute bacon, which will give the stuffing a smokier flavor.

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Herb stuffing: White bread cubes? Check. Lots of fresh herbs? Check. A stick of butter? You got it. If you’re a traditionalist who prefers that the stuffing doesn’t overshadow the turkey, this is the stuffing for you. It tastes like the stuffing of your childhood, only better. 

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Herbed wild rice and quinoa stuffing: With cranberries, apples and pecans, this rice-and-quinoa stuffing just tastes like fall. Not only is it delicious — it happens to be gluten-free and vegan as well. 

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"Cornbread" sausage stuffing: If you thought stuffing was out of the question because of your paleo diet, think again. This recipe  from "The Grain-Free Family Table" author Carrie Vitt, calls for “corn” bread (made from coconut and almond flours) to create a terrific sausage stuffing.

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