Dressing or Stuffing?

Posted by Ed Lonsinger on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at 1:20pm.


Which side do you fall on, dressing or stuffing? There's plenty of debate over the correct terminology of the popular Thanksgiving side dish. If you grew up south of the Mason-Dixon line, chances are that you may be firmly planted in camp dressing, while the rest of America cries stuffing. While both are delicious there are a few distinct characteristics of each.

Dressing - typically made with cornbread and cooked outside of the bird, most likely in a dish of its own. You can find it in the South, parts of the Midwest, and in certain pockets of New England. It's rumored that the term dressing originated in the 1850s when old Victorians deemed stuffing too crude a word for a dish to be named. Honey, I do declare!

Stuffing - typically made with sandwich bread or another simple loaf such as Italian or Sourdough. While the name stuffing indicates it was cooked inside of the bird, to many families it is simply the name of the bread-laden side dish, regardless of where it was cooked. Stuffing is found throughout the entire country.  

We here at 4JRE don't mind either, as long as it tastes delicious! Check out our updated best-of-both-worlds recipe for Holiday "Stressing", but please don't fret none. 

Holiday "Stressing"
serves 8 to 12
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 large onion, diced small
1 cup celery, diced small
1 cup carrots, diced small
4 cups store-bought cornbread stuffing
4 cups store-bought seasoned stuffing
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, half as much if using dried
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock or broth
3 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large paper towel-lined plate, leaving 2-3 tablespoons of fat in the pan.

3) Saute onion, celery, and carrots in the sausage fat until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. 

4) Once softened, remove vegetables from the heat and place them in a large bowl. Add the sausage, cornbread stuffing, seasoned stuffing, herbs, and cayenne if using. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper, then stir in the eggs. Note: certain brands of stuffing are more heavily seasoned than others, so we like to taste our mixture first before adding salt and pepper. You can always add more seasoning, but you can't remove it once it's there. 

5) Mix to combine and pour into a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Bake until golden brown and fluffy but still moist, 45-55 minutes. 



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