Best and Worst Grocery Store Stuffing + Photos

USA News

Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple that’s pretty easy to make.

stove top, mrs cubbison, and sunny select boxed stuffing mixes

Using boxed stuffing saves a little extra time and money.

Chelsea Davis

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.

stove top turkey stuffing mix

The box says it’s made with real turkey broth.

Chelsea Davis

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.

stove top turkey stuffing mix cooking

This mix didn’t call for many extra ingredients.

Chelsea Davis

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.

cooked stove top turkey stuffing mix

It had decent turkey flavor, but it was over-seasoned.

Chelsea Davis

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.

stove top cornbread stuffing mix cooking

I love cornbread, so I had high expectations for this one.

Chelsea Davis

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.

cooked stove top cornbread stuffing

I was a bit let down by this mix, especially since I really like cornbread.

Chelsea Davis

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.

sunny select chicken stuffing mix

The heavy chicken flavor made it taste like instant noodles to me.

Chelsea Davis

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.

sunny select stuffing mix

The box says it’s made with real chicken broth.

Chelsea Davis

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.

cooked mrs. cubbison stuffing mix

Letting the mixture sit and gently mixing it gave it a light and fluffy texture.

Chelsea Davis

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.

mrs. cubbisons stuffing mix cooked and plated

It had a freshness to it that the others lacked.

Chelsea Davis

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.

stove top, mrs. cubbison, and sunny select stuffing

Mrs. Cubbison’s mix tasted the most like homemade stuffing.

Chelsea Davis

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.

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