Before you turn your nose up at stuffing, it’s come a long way since the days when it was *basically* made with a bag of croutons. With a little time and gourmet treatment, it can easily turn into one of the best Thanksgiving sides at your table. It’s versatile and simple to prepare, and you can easily make it ahead with little effort. Heck, you could even add shredded turkey and cranberries to it and it could be a one-pot Thanksgiving meal. If you’re a stuffing lover or if you’re ready to give it another shot, scroll down to discover 16 of the best recipes to shake up your Thanksgiving menu.

Apple Pecan Stuffing Recipe

1. Apple Pecan Stuffing: The key to having a stuffing that isn’t total mush is including contrasting textures. Try adding fresh apple and pecans to yours and you’ll be amazed at the difference. (via Home. Made. Interest.)

Bacon Wrapped Sage and Sausage Stuffing Recipe

2. Bacon Wrapped Sage and Sausage Stuffing: When all else fails, add bacon and everything will be alright. The fat from the pork keeps the stuffing moist while adding major flavor to the whole dish. (via Erren’s Kitchen)

Caramelized Onion, Apple and Sausage Whole Grain Stuffing Recipe

3. Caramelized Onion, Apple and Sausage Whole Grain Stuffing: Experimenting with different types of bread will give you a unique stuffing every time. This whole grain take has a nutty flavor that goes well with sweet caramelized onion and apple. (via With Salt and Wit)

Cornbread Dressing With Sausage and Fennel Recipe

4. Cornbread Dressing With Sausage and Fennel: No one would dare call this dressing bland. Sausage and fennel add a licorice flavor to the mix; the cornbread is sweet and buttery and various herbs and white wine ground everything with a savory base. (via Bon Appetit)

Mushroom Leek Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

5. Mushroom Leek Cornbread Stuffing: These stuffing balls have a dryer texture, which is perfect for dipping in gravy. Plus, the fun shape means that even the kiddos will want to try them. Score! (via Mother Would Know)

Cranberry and Sage Stuffing Muffins Recipe

6. Cranberry and Sage Stuffing Muffins: Every year, the whole family fights over the corner pieces of the stuffing. This time, make it in a muffin tin and everyone can have their own. (via Jerry James Stone)

Tortilla Chip Chorizo Stuffing Recipe

7. Tortilla Chip Chorizo Stuffing: Add a little playfulness to your Thanksgiving table with this Tex-Mex version of stuffing. It gets a surprising crunch from tortilla chips and a zesty bite from chorizo sausage. (via The Bitten Word)

Gluten-Free Walnut and Kale Quinoa Stuffing Recipe

8. Gluten-Free Walnut and Kale Quinoa Stuffing: If you really want to show your family that you’ve got it together, show up with a traditional stuffing AND this vegetarian and gluten-free version. Your health-conscious aunt will be happy and that usually means everyone’s happy. (via Healthy Seasonal Recipes)

Herbed Sausage, Cranberry and Apple Stuffing Recipe

9. Herbed Sausage, Cranberry and Apple Stuffing: Any dish that can be made ahead of the big meal is a holiday winner. This stress-free stuffing is easy to assemble early, so all you have to do is pop it in the oven right before dinner. (via Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Herbed Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing Recipe

10. Herbed Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing: Who says stuffing has to be made with bread? The starch in this recipe consists of quinoa and wild rice for a cleaner approach. (via Kitchen Treaty)


11. Paleo Butternut Sausage Stuffing: You definitely won’t miss the dairy, gluten and grains in this *scrumptious* Paleo stuffing. The sausage, apples and butternut squash more than make up for what is missing. (via The Paleo Running Momma)


12. Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing: This rustic Italian-style stuffing is studded with fresh herbs, crusty Ciabatta bread and sausage. Rest assured, it will create tons of chatter at your Thanksgiving dinner table. (via SAVEUR)


13. Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Stuffing: Looking for a stuffing that packs *maximum* flavor for *minimum* effort? Look no further than your slow cooker! (via A Spicy Perspective)


14. Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing: When Grandma asks for no-frills stuffing, you have to deliver. This one will make you look like a rock star while still pleasing the traditionalists. (via Averie Cooks)


15. Stuffing in a Bundt Pan: Presentation matters, even when it’s just you and your family partaking in dinner. If your stuffing recipe is more on the moist side, bake it in a bundt pan for a beautiful centerpiece. (via A Spicy Perspective)


16. Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing: Switching out the traditional breakfast sausage for Italian sausage adds a layer of flavor to your stuffing that no one will expect. Pair that with chunks of cornbread and your family and friends won’t know what to do with themselves. (via Savory Simple)

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