7 Easy Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes That'll Spice Up Your Holiday Table

It's common knowledge that even though the Thanksgiving meal revolves around the turkey, the bird isn't exactly the star of the show. There's the cranberry sauce, the pies, the sweet potatoes, and, of course, the stuffing. Stuffing, in my humble, stuffing-loving opinion, is like family jewelry. Recipes get passed from generation to generation, with the expectation that you will either adhere to them exactly or add your own unique spin. Even better, there is no stuffing recipe that cannot be improved with more butter, more chicken broth, or more thyme. Stuffing is the quintessential recipe-hater’s recipe: proportions are inexact, ingredients can be shuffled around, and no batch will turn out quite like another. In my mother’s words (she makes great stuffing): “Good stuffing is like good sex. It makes you go back for seconds, sometimes thirds.”

In the spirit of celebrating Thank-heavens-for-stuffing-giving, here are 7 easy Thanksgiving stuffing recipes that run the gamut from traditional to over-the-top, incorporating ingredients like crabmeat, quinoa, roasted pumpkin, and apple sausage.

Fair warning: stuffing is the only dish on the Thanksgiving table that doesn’t improve with age (everything else is better leftover, think about it), so always cook just enough to leave ‘em wanting more next year.

Classic Stuffing

From Savory Sweet Life comes this classic stuffing recipe. If you use veggie broth, margarine, and an egg substitute, this dish can be totally vegetarian!

Stuffing Muffins

This recipe for stuffing muffins (literally: traditional stuffing in muffin form) comes from Endless Simmer's awesome list of non-traditional ways to do stuffing.

Pumpkin-Leek Stuffing with Turkey Sausage

This recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen serves 30: make sure to adjust the proportions accordingly if you have a smaller group.

Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing

This traditional recipe from The Comfort of Cooking features stale french bread and plenty of butter. Incorporate mushrooms and some sauteed garlic for an even more flavorful option.

Apple Sauce Mac 'n Cheese with Apple Sausage

For those who don't like stuffing (they do exist, I just don't agree with them) here is an amazing recipe from Adventures in Cooking that combines a few of the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing-ey flavors into, you guessed it, mac 'n cheese.

Deep-Fried Stuffing Balls

From the brilliant mind behind Hoosier Homemade and Pocket Change Gourmet comes this recipe for deep-fried stuffing balls. Their family used them for a Thanksgiving leftovers dinner, but there's no reason they can't be a part of the main event.

Sausage & Apple Stuffing

This recipe, from The Comfort of Cooking, adds apple and Italian sausage to give the basic recipe a sweet and salty kick.

Quinoa Stuffing

For the health-conscious and adventurous among us: Big Girls Small Kitchen's quinoa-based stuffing recipe incorporates sausage, leek, and squash.

Seafood Stuffing