Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Alternatives to the Usual Turkey Stuffing

Thanksgiving dinner is never complete without a stuffed turkey in the center of the table. In fact, the famed breaded stuffing is so inculcated in tradition that almost the same traditional recipe is repeated all throughout the country come Thanksgiving Day. Why not try something different this year and awaken your palate? Surprise your family and friends with these delectable stuffing ideas.

Image courtesy of winnond |

Sausage and Rice
Complement the delicate flavor of the turkey with this quick and easy Sausage and Rice stuffing recipe that’ll delight your guests with its rich flavors and textures.

Sliced Sausages (choose spicier varieties to add a kick to your dish)
Onion and Garlic
Fresh Herbs (a good mix of your favorite herbs)
Olive Oil
Mashed Pumpkin or Squash
Salt and Pepper

1. Cook the rice as directed but throw in half of your fresh herbs in the cooking water to add a hint of flavor.

2. Sauté the onion and the garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the sliced sausages and keep in the pan until slightly browned.

3. Rub the outside of the turkey with the residual oil left in the pan to add flavor.

4. Mash a cup of boiled pumpkin or squash. Mix it together with the rice, sausage, and the rest of your fresh herbs. Season it with salt and pepper and let the mixture cool.

5. Stuff your turkey as you normally would.

Autumn’s Fruits
Take advantage of the wonderful flavors of the season with this sweet stuffing recipe that utilizes your favorite autumn produce.

A variety of nuts (pecans, pine nuts, cashews, and chestnuts)
Fresh Herbs (a good mix of your favorite herbs)
White Wine
Olive Oil

1. Gently brown the all the nuts and set them aside.

2. Throw all the fruit, spices, herbs, onion, olive oil, and water into a pot and let them stew. Reduce the mixture until most of the moisture has seeped from the fruit. Let it cool and collect any excess juice into a bowl.

3. Rub the outside of the turkey with the juices from the stewed fruits.

4. Once the mixture has cooled, place it into a food processor together with the nuts and breadcrumbs. You want to run it through the processor only a couple of times so that the ingredients are evenly mixed but still retain their texture.

5. Stuff your turkey as you normally would.

Image courtesy of Jeff Ratcliff |

Squash and Cheddar
The combination of squash and cheddar is delightful when paired with the delicate flavor of roasted turkey. The sharp cheddar is balanced by the squash, creating a delectable balance of flavors.

Grated Cheddar
Garlic and Onion
Fresh Herbs (a good mix of your favorite herbs)
Salted Butter
Salt and Pepper

1. Boil a pot of squash and mash it until it’s chunky. Be careful not to overmash, as you want to ensure the stuffing still has a little bit of a bite to it. Add a pat of butter to the mash.

2. Before it cools down, mix in the grated cheddar. You want about 2 cups of mash for every 1 cup of cheddar. Season it with salt and pepper, then let it cool.

3. Stuff your turkey as you normally would.


Give these flavorful recipes a try, creatively altering them to suit your tastes. Incorporate your refined taste and preference into your stuffing recipe and you’ll be able to create a Thanksgiving dinner that you family and friends will surely remember.

About the Author
Inspired by my passion for the visual arts and my years of experience in the field of design, I enjoy a life of style and artistry. I am a devoted follower of minimalism and I believe in the marriage of form and function. I try to live by these principles, from my subtle but classic fashion sense when it comes to clothes and jewelry, to the various projects I manage and work on in my professional career Influenced by the refined grace of Coco Chanel, the timeless beauty of my favorite city, Stockholm, and the new ideas and trends I read from design books, I try to infuse my life with elegance and sophistication. Join me on Balsam Hill’s blog to get my tips and advice on home design and personal style.

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