Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple that’s pretty easy to make.
Stuffing is a quintessential Thanksgiving side that’s primarily made of herbs, butter, stock, and dried bread cubes.
Although it’s not a difficult side to make, the boxed version is super easy to prepare and can save you loads of time — and oven space.
To find the best store-bought option, I tested four types of boxed stuffing from three brands: Stove Top, Mrs. Cubbison’s, and Sunny Select.
First, I made Stove Top’s turkey stuffing mix.
The packaging says it’s ready in five minutes, and it’s true. Preparing the Stove Top stuffing took little to no effort.
The process of making it was really easy.
First I brought 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of butter to a boil. Then I stirred in the stuffing mix.
Once it was cooked, I let it sit (covered) for five minutes.
It was a lot saltier than I would’ve liked.
After fluffing the cooked stuffing mix, it had a pretty good texture. It wasn’t overly mushy, but it didn’t have the crunchy edges you’d usually get if you made it in the oven — this was the case for all of the boxed stuffings.
Taste-wise, I thought it was extremely salty and over-seasoned. I could taste the turkey flavor, but it was pretty mild and easily overwhelmed by the seasoning.
If I were to make this again, I’d sautéed vegetables into the butter (using half of the recommended 1/4 cup) before proceeding to prepare the mix.
Things like celery, onion, sweet potato, or diced pear would’ve helped — really anything to round out the saltiness.
Making Stove Top’s cornbread stuffing mix was similar.
The cornbread stuffing was prepared exactly the same way as the turkey-flavored Stove Top mix.
In the future, I’d consider adding some fresh vegetables to this mix.
It tasted slightly sweeter than the turkey version, and I could faintly get the cornbread flavor. But this stuffing was equally as salty and over-seasoned, in my opinion.
I wish it had more cornbread flavor. It tasted very similar to the turkey mix, but it didn’t have a meaty aftertaste.
If I were to make this again, I’d also add sautéed vegetables, like onion and celery, along with chopped parsley for some freshness.
Sunny Select’s chicken-flavored stuffing mix was really similar to Stove Top.
This stuffing was also prepared the exact same way as the Stove Top ones.
I thought it was way too over-seasoned, so this one was a miss for me.
After preparing the Sunny Select stuffing, I thought it tasted like Cup-O-Noodles or Chicken in a Biscuit.
It was really salty and too over-seasoned for my personal taste.
Just like the previous two, it needed some added vegetables to balance it out.
This recipe required more effort, but it was worth it.
I started by melting two sticks of butter in a large saucepan and sautéing the vegetables until they were translucent.
Next, I stirred in 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, brought it to a boil, and covered it, letting it simmer for three minutes.
The last steps included gently adding in the stuffing mix and letting it stand for five minutes.
I liked the flavor and texture of Mrs. Cubbison’s mix.
This stuffing had a sweet taste to it and was significantly less salty than the others. It was savory without being over-seasoned, and it was the most balanced of all the ones I tried.
The texture was better, thanks to the vegetables, and wasn’t overly mushy.
I think it’s also worth it to note that it had the shortest ingredient list (no hard-to-pronounce additives).
My favorite out of the four stuffings was Mrs. Cubbison’s.
For all of them, I recommend using unsalted butter and low-sodium stock (if any stock) to avoid making them saltier.
Beyond that, the best mix I tried was from Mrs. Cubbison’s, which had the most balanced flavor and the best texture. It tasted the closest to homemade.
I appreciated the vegetables and think all the other boxes would benefit from the added freshness. Next time, I’d probably also add a few herbs to Mrs. Cubbison’s to make it even more flavorful.
If I wanted a richer, meatier flavor I’d add sausage as well. But I’d be careful not to make it too salty.