Thanksgiving Dressing Recipes to Explore for Your Dinner Menu

Are you looking for some delicious Thanksgiving dressing recipes?

The second most important item on your Thanksgiving menu - after the turkey - is what you serve with it. To my mind, that is the stuffing or Thanksgiving dressing.

Most families have a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, but other cooks like to experiment and try something new.

Below is a Thanksgiving dressing recipe that cooks in a crock pot; just throw everything in, stir it up and leave to cook while you attend to the rest of the meal. You'll have to check it every couple of hours and add extra chicken broth to make sure it's not drying out. This Thanksgiving dressing is delicious and tastes like it was cooked inside the turkey.

You will need:

  • 10 to 12 slices of cubed bread - preferably whole grain or oatmeal - allowed to dry out overnight
  • 2 diced Granny Smith apples
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
  • 2 cups sausage - either diced or crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten together
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth to be used as needed

Directions for this Thanksgiving dressing recipe:

  • Combine all the ingredients in the crock pot except for the butter and water.
  • Add the butter and water and mix well.
  • Drizzle with about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Check every couple of hours and, if the mixture looks dry, add a little extra chicken broth.
  • Fluff with a fork before serving.

Mushroom and Nut Stuffing

A more exotic choice for a Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing is one that includes dried and fresh mushrooms and hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans - whichever you and your guests will prefer.

For this Thanksgiving dressing recipe, you will need:

  • 1 large loaf unsliced bread
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 oz dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans - toast them if you prefer
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 leeks cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 lbs crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced - or use white mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 3 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs

Directions for this Thanksgiving dressing recipe:

  • Trim the crusts from bread and cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
  • Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool and place in a large bowl.
  • Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a simmer in a small pan.
  • Remove from stove and add dried mushrooms. Let them soak about 30 minutes until soft enough to chop.
  • Reserve the broth for later use.
  • Melt the butter in a very large skillet and add the leeks and shallots.
  • Cook about 5 minutes until softened, then add the fresh mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes more.
  • Add celery, garlic, and chopped dried mushrooms to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushroom mixture to the bread cubes in large mixing bowl.
  • Add the nuts, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  • Add the beaten eggs. Stir well to combine.
  • Slowly add the reserved mushroom broth until the stuffing is moist enough.
  • Scoop stuffing into a large buttered casserole dish and loosely cover with foil.
  • Bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven until heated through - about an hour.
  • Uncover the dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more until the top is crisp.

Country Potato Dressing

For a different kind of Thanksgiving dressing recipe, why not try Country Potato Dressing? This is made by adding mashed potatoes to a fairly traditional recipe but makes a delicious change - and you can use leftover mashed potatoes! The following recipe makes 6 servings.

Ingredients needed for this Thanksgiving dressing recipe:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 8 slices stale bread, cubed
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions for this Thanksgiving dressing recipe:

  • Melt the butter in a small frying pan and saute the onion and celery until soft.
  • Remove from the stove and stir in the chicken broth.
  • Combine bread cubes, seasonings, mashed potatoes, onion mixture and beaten egg in a large bowl.
  • Transfer the dressing to a greased 2qt. baking dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

Of course, you can always use the easy way out and make your Thanksgiving dressing recipes by buying two or three boxes of stuffing mix at the supermarket and adding your own ingredients. This is my preferred method!

Just add cooked, crumbled sausage, sauteed mushrooms, dried or fresh cranberries, or whatever your heart desires! Hide the boxes and tell your guests it's an old family Thanksgiving dressing recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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