When you think of Thanksgiving, what do you think of? Is it the delicious feast that your mom forces you to eat an hour before dinner because “a bird needs room to breathe?” Or is it the mashed potatoes with gravy, the cheesy rolls, pumpkin pie, and turkey?
Whatever you’re thinking about, it’s probably not the stuffing. Stuffing is likely the last thing on your mind when you are faced with a plate full of food.
But stuffing can be amazing! It can be savory and juicy or sweet and decadent. And stuffing doesn’t have to be limited to just one type of food.
The best part about stuffing? You can make it out of anything that isn’t pure meat. Here are some other great alternatives to traditional pork stuffing that will make your Thanksgiving dinner complete.
The Best Alternative to Pork Stuffing
When it comes to Thanksgiving, a lot of people think about the turkey and mashed potatoes. But what about the stuffing? The stuffing is the best part of the meal. And just because you’re eating a turkey doesn’t mean that your stuffing can’t have meat in it. In fact, there are so many other types of stuffing out there. Turkey, chicken, and even cheese… they all make for great options when it comes to stuffing.
The best alternative to pork stuffing is up to you! You can use anything from turkey or chicken to bacon or sausage. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s savory and juicy with lots of rich flavors. And don’t forget to try some varieties on this list at least once before Thanksgiving day arrives!
Turkey stuffing is a great alternative to traditional pork stuffing. It’s made from ground turkey and vegetables like celery, onions, carrots, and garlic.
The stuffing is typically seasoned with poultry seasoning or sage. You can also use breadcrumbs or matzo meal to make the turkey stuffing mixture more like bread pudding.
Add a handful of chopped mushrooms to your stuffing. This will add both texture and flavor to the dish!
This stuffing is a really healthy option and contains a lot of heart-healthy, fiber-rich vegetables. To make this stuffing, you will need to chop up 1/2 cup of onion, 1/4 cup celery, 3 cloves garlic, 2 cups butternut squash, 1 parsnip, and 2 cups carrots. Saute the veggies in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 10 minutes until they are soft and cooked through. Add in some salt and pepper and mix well with the vegetables.
In a large mixing bowl, add in 4 cups cubed bread (1 loaf), 5 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins (or if you want Thanksgiving flavors try 3 tablespoons each dried cranberry and apple pie spice!), 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried), 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning (or just use the herbs it already has), and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all of these ingredients well with your hands.
Next pour in the cooked veggies into the mixture and stir it into the bread cubes until everything is moistened evenly before baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to one hour.
Sweet Potato Stuffing
Sweet potatoes might not be a traditional Thanksgiving food, but they are a holiday favorite. And when you add in some cranberries and pecans to the mix, you’ll have a sweet and spicy stuffing that will give your taste buds something to dance about.
Who doesn’t love cornbread? It’s crunchy and sweet and makes the perfect side dish to a Thanksgiving turkey. Well, it also makes a great stuffing base. Check out this recipe for cornbread stuffing for some inspiration:
-1 loaf of fresh white bread, cubed (about 9 cups)
-2 cups cooked, crumbled bacon
-1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
-4 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
-1 tablespoon butter or margarine
-3/4 cup chicken broth
-3/2 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained well
-1 teaspoon salt
Dressing Up Your Dressing
**If you’re not a huge fan of pork, try using a dressing that’s made from a different type of meat. **A turkey stuffing will have the same flavor as a pork stuffing, but it will be gluten-free for those who can’t eat wheat. You can also make your stuffing out of mushrooms. Mushroom stuffing is usually cooked with butter and onions to give it a rich, savory flavor. These types of dressings are great because they offer a nice change from the traditional Thanksgiving flavors.
Whether you’re vegetarian, trying to eat healthier, or just don’t like the taste of pork, there are plenty of alternatives to stuffing your holiday dinner with.
Honestly, we think these make for even better stuffing than the original. So the next time you’re getting ready for a holiday meal, don’t be afraid to try something new and creative. You never know: you may end up loving it more than the original!