Stuffing vs. Dressing

Whether a stuffing is a dressing, or vice versa, is as much about semantics as whether it is cooked inside or outside the bird. Some people will tell you that it’s called stuffing when cooked inside the bird, and dressing when cooked separately. And in the south, they call both versions dressing. They are really one and the same. One thing we know for sure: both are tasty, fragrant, comforting and satisfying. And required eating at the Thanksgiving meal.

Read on for stuffing and dressing tips, ideas and recipes.

Expand on Basic Stuffing

While recipes for holiday stuffing tend to build on bread, plenty call for grains like rice or wild rice, or even cooked chestnuts as a primary foundation.  Our Chestnut, Walnut and Fennel Sauté recipe is a perfect example. See? We don’t call it stuffing or dressing.

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Chestnut, walnuts, fennel, pearl onions … and truffle butter.

Either way, a stuffing or dressing presents you with an opportunity to add a few choice ingredients that can elevate the whole meal.

Take advantage of the bounty of autumn harvests, and include fresh ingredients such as crisp apples and pears, wild chanterelle and black trumpet mushrooms, or truffles like the White Alba and Winter Black varieties available in fall and winter.

For a full-on gourmet departure, fill your bird with a simple loose dressing of just a few intensely-flavored ingredients; for example Wild Boar Sausage and minced bits of turkey liver sautéed with prunes plumped in black tea, and golden raisins soaked in port – of course, throw the port in too.

Six Stuffing Recipes

  1. Our Wild Boar Sausage and Apple Stuffing recipe is a classic and a favorite at Thanksgiving (see featured image).
  2. The sweet, buttery flavor of brioche works well in this Brioche Stuffing with Duck Sausage and Pears, whether roasting a whole bird or stuffing a turkey breast roulade.
  3. Try roasting your turkey with this Bourbon and Pecan Stuffing recipe and 4-side roasting technique.
  4. Roast Goose with Spiced Pears has stuffing that is rolled into balls and roasted after the goose gets cooked.
  5. Alsatian-Style Roast Goose is loosely packed with pork, veal, bread, chestnuts and foie gras. It’s superb for a holiday meal.
  6. For a true delicacy, consider a boned bird or turkey breast filled with a duxelles of fresh wild mushrooms as in this Turkey Breast with Mushroom Stuffing recipe.


Do you stuff the bird? Or cook the stuffing outside the bird? It’s a divisive subject, so weigh in by commenting below. Or find us on social media; tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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