Stuffing vs dressing: is there actually a difference between the two or are they two different names for the same dish? In this post, I'm going to break down all of the differences and similarities. Plus, you'll even get some tasty recipes to go with it!
Stuffing & Dressing Debate
We all know and love stuffing (and dressing) and commonly think of these tasty side dishes when the holidays roll around. However, if you've ever sparked up the discussion of whether you're chowing down on some stuffing or dressing, you may be wondering if there actually is a difference.
Let me just say that, while there is technically a difference between the two, it is much more of a linguistic feud (like 'pop' vs 'soda') instead of an actual discussion of the dish itself. So, do you prefer to call it 'stuffing' or 'dressing'?
Stuffing vs Dressing
It is not uncommon for the terms 'stuffing' and 'dressing' to be used interchangeably. In fact, they do contain the same assortment of ingredients: herbs, spices, vegetables, and some sort of starch or bread.
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In all actuality, the true difference simply comes down to how the dish is cooked rather than the ingredients or recipe itself.
What Is Stuffing
If you are wanting to be technical, stuffing is a mixture that is used to stuff another food (typically turkey). So if you are wanting to be true to the term, Thanksgiving stuffing could only be called 'stuffing' if it was actually cooked inside of the bird.
What Is Dressing
Dressing, on the other hand, features all of the same ingredients. However, it is baked in the oven in a separate casserole dish (as opposed to baking inside of the turkey).
Who Says 'Stuffing' Or 'Dressing'
Here lies the real difference between stuffing and dressing: the region in which you live. In fact, the country is pretty divided on which term to use.
In the North, you will probably attend a Thanksgiving feast that features a tasty side of stuffing. On the other hand, if you head down South, you'll probably be enjoying some dressing.
Even if the dish was baked inside of the turkey (making it technically stuffing), people in the South are still likely to refer to it as dressing. Just like people in the North are going to call it stuffing, even if it was baked in a casserole dish.
Therefore, the terms are used completely interchangeably. In fact, it is more of a regional difference, regardless of the baking method used.
Stuffing & Dressing Recipes
Now you know the true differences between stuffing and dressing. Leave a comment down below and let me know if you like to call it stuffing or dressing!
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Stuffing vs Dressing: Cornbread Stuffing
- To get started, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt your butter and add in the onion and celery. Saute the veggies until soft, about 5-7 minutes.2 tablespoon butter, ½ cup yellow onion, ½ cup celery
- In a large mixing bowl, add your crumbled cornbread and cooked vegetables.3 cups cornbread
- Gently stir in the beaten eggs, chicken stock, crumbled bacon, sage, salt, and pepper (*see note). Transfer to the prepared baking dish.2 large eggs, 2 cups chicken stock, 1 tablespoon ground sage, 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper, 4 strips bacon
- Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes, or until the edges of the stuffing begin to turn a light golden-brown color.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
- Bake up some fresh cornbread using Jiffy mix without sour cream, or use one of my favorite cornbread recipes like this creamed corn cornbread or sour cream cornbread.
- A 2-quart casserole dish is ideal for this recipe. If using a 9x13 baking dish, your stuffing will be in a thin layer and will bake faster.
- If desired, you can reserve some of the bacon to sprinkle over the top of the assembled cornbread stuffing.
- Omit the bacon and swap the chicken broth for vegetable stock to make a vegetarian stuffing recipe.
- To store: Keep your stuffing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Reheat small portions in the microwave or larger portions in the oven. Add in a splash of broth for extra moisture if necessary.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!