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Alternative Thanksgiving Stuffings

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What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? Is it the tender and juicy turkey, the warm buttered rolls, or perhaps the beloved pumpkin pie?

I’d venture to guess that for many people, the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. It’s one of the few things on the dinner table that we only enjoy once each year, and it’s a quintessential wintery taste that reminds us of time with family and friends.

While that’s all well and good, eating the same recipe each and every year can get a little old. Shake it up a little this year by offering one of these Thanksgiving stuffing alternatives.

Note: All quantities below are based on recipes that serve 10-12 people.

Spicy Stuffing

Add some heat to your usual Thanksgiving stuffing with a little jalapeno.

Dice a half cup of fresh jalapenos. To the jalapenos, mix 3 tablespoons of crushed garlic and a cup of diced yellow onion (usually about 1 medium-sized yellow onion). Sautee with a generous portion of oil. All that oil will become infused with jalapeno heat, so add all of it to your usual stuffing recipe.

Hearty Harvest Stuffing

These additions bring out the natural flavors of the stuffing ingredients, plus they contribute a little extra density and flavor of their own. Just add:

½ cup of dried cranberries

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds

1 ½ cups of diced apples

To add an even greater dimension of flavor, roast the diced apples in the oven with a little bit of oil and maple syrup for 15 minutes before adding them to the mix.

Thai-Infusion Stuffing

While this adaptation is not for the staunch traditionalist, it might please the palette of gourmet-loving guests. To your usual stuffing recipe, add:

1 can of coconut milk

½ cup of chopped unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoons of fish sauce (available in some grocery stores and at your local Asian supermarket)

1 cup diced green onion

1 cup sauteed white onions

Serve with fresh lime slices and Thai chili sauce.

Italian-Inspired Stuffing

This stuffing alternative is always a welcome adaptation to the usual Thanksgiving stuffing.

1 cup freshly diced roma tomatoes

1 cup diced white onions

1 lb Italian sausage

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon fresh-cut basil

1 cup ricotta cheese

Roast together the sausage, roma tomatoes, onions, oregano, and basil, then mix the combination into your stuffing recipe. Seperately, mix in the ricotta cheese.

All-American Burger Stuffing

This all-American Burger stuffing adds the following ingredients to your usual stuffing recipe:

½ lb fried bacon

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 cup diced mushrooms

Simple, yet satisfying!

Sweet and Tangy Stuffing

To make this stuffing simply add to your normal recipe:

½ cup of orange rinds

1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen cranberries

16 oz. pineapple juice

½ cup grated coconut

Do you have an alternative stuffing recipe that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Some recipes adapted with the help of this source and this source.

Image via Flickr user aon