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Dressing or Stuffing with Variations

Growing up on the farm in Pickerington, Ohio, it was always dressing; never stuffing, and it stayed dressing, after moving to Louisville later.  It never had cornbread in it. 


Here’s the scoop (I think!):  If it’s not cooked in the bird, it’s dressing ~ if it is cooked in the bird, it’s stuffing.  Sometimes I stuff the bird, sometimes I don’t, and other times, I do both; but it’s all dressing to me.

Last weekend, I made an early Thanksgiving dinner for some people we were happy to have visit.  Along with all the usual Thanksgiving dishes, I wanted to try this recipe from Christopher Kimball’s, The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook.  This is one of my favorite cookbooks, sort of unique as it is filled with old farmhouse “receipts” which are in the spirit of farmhouse cooking ~ using simple ingredients, simply prepared, and updated, or not, by Keller. 

This is a basic country dressing, made a touch more elaborate with the addition of apples and dried cherries.  Pecans, walnuts, or almonds, may be added, as well as chestnuts, prunes, raisins or browned sausage meat.  As it only takes a half-hour to bake, it can be put in the oven at the point when the turkey is done, since the bird has to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

I will be making this again on Thanksgiving Day! 



Poultry Dressing


4 cups homemade bread cubes, rice, cornbread or barley
4 tablespoons butter
1½ cups chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup scallions or chives
1½ cups dried cherries, or raisins, apples or prunes
½ cup pecans, or walnuts, toasted (optional)
½ pound sausage meat, crumbled and browned
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, thyme or oregano
¼ cup white wine
¼ to ¾ cup chicken broth, do not use so much as to make it mushy
Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat butter in a skillet and sauté onions for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add celery and scallions; sauté for 2 minutes.
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.
Be light with the liquid, starting out with only ¼ cup broth.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter a 2-quart baking dish and add dressing.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove foil and for an addition 15 minutes or until the dressing is brown and crisp on top.


Just what do you serve on Thanksgiving ~ stuffing or dressing?


  1. My Mom always made dressing, because she never stuffed the turkey. She would put the neck of the turkey on top. I could never eat it that way. It wasn't until I began to make my own turkey, that I made stuffing. Now I add apples, cranberries and walnuts, but my hubby likes the traditional kind.

  2. Pam, you nailed it. If it ain't stuffed into the bird it ain't stuffing. A couple of my personal preferences would be (and, mind you, I haven't made dressing in forever) to include dried cranberries or apricots, just because I like them so much. Also, my nut preference would be pistacchio or sunflower seeds. But if you made me your recipe just as it is, I would elbow my way to the table right past Granny.

  3. Great dressing recipe that looks so delicious! I usually make 2 different kinds of dressing and 1 stuffing recipe, whether I stuff the turkey or not. Good to be back here after a 2 month recovery from eye surgery. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Becky, your stuffing sounds really good! Bill would agree with your hubby on the traditional version!

    Stephen, oh, pistachio nuts! That sounds great! Cranberries or apricots would be delicious too. I see now that I will just have to try many versions!

    Marguerite, welcome back! It's great to see you here again and I hope all is going well for you! I bet you make a Cajun version of stuffing! Yum!

  5. I should really try something like this. My mother brought me up on parsley and thyme stuffing and it is the only stuffing I ever make!! Have a good weekend Diane

  6. Diane, it's good with the fruit and nuts. I hope you try it!

  7. We're "dressing" people here! I grew up with dressing, sometimes with cornbread, sometimes without. Yours looks wonderful, with the fruit and nuts. :)

  8. Looks great, that's one of my hobbies. Cooking, dressing and baking. Dressing is one of my favorite, and yours look great!

  9. Dressing or stuffing, this looks delicious!

  10. Dressing/stuffing is such a great part of the T-Day meal! This looks fabulous!

  11. Sweet Pam, this looks absolutely delicious! We love stuffing so much that there is never a bit of leftovers. :) I would love to try your recipe - it sounds perfect! Have a wonderful day! xoxo

  12. oh, this makes me so exciting for thanksgiving!

  13. It is always dressing to me too! I love to add apples to my Thanksgiving dressing, it is the only way my son will eat it.

  14. Pam, thanks for linking this in to Your Favourite Cookbooks. Cheers

  15. The dressing looks so good Pam, the only thing I would add to this recipe is chopped oysters. We always had Oyster Dressing. However coming from Virginia, and having the Chesapeak Bay right here known for oysters may have made a big difference in doing this.


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