Thanksgiving Side of the Day: Sausage and Kale Dressing

by in Holidays, November 15th, 2010

sausage and kale dressingThe age-old question remains: What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing? Traditional wisdom holds that stuffing is actually cooked inside the turkey, while dressing is cooked separately and served alongside. Makes sense, right? But in my experience, it really comes down to geography. My family (from New York and Pennsylvania) never stuffs the bird, but we always call our savory bread pudding-style side dish “stuffing.” Go further South, and everything is “dressing,” as I learned at my first Thanksgiving with my fiancé’s family in Louisiana.

I’m not sure why Food Network Magazine decided to call this one dressing—maybe there was a Southerner in the room. Call it what you wish; it’s filled with many ingredients I love—kale, fennel sausage, focaccia—and is definitely going to show up on my spread this year.

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Comments (49)

  1. Jen says:

    The first helping is dressing. The second helping is filling. The third helping is stuffing.

  2. YukonCornylius says:

    It's "Stovetop Stuffing", not "Stovetop Dressing"! Besides, telling someone to "go stuff it" is more fun than saying "go dress it".

  3. Julie says:

    My family always called it dressing. My mom would buy two loaves of bread, break it up and let it dry out. On Thanksgiving she would add celery, onion, an egg and salt and pepper. Mix it all together then add some of the juices from the turkey to wet it down and then bake for 30-40 minutes. That, to me is Thanksgiving dressing.

  4. Lori Burtch says:

    I'm from L.I. NY and always had dressing with our dinner. The dressing was stuffed into the bird the night before and refrigerated overnight. With lots of butter, celery, onion, thyme, and stale bread chopped up, it was delicious, absorbing the juice of the turkey as it cooked. Makes me so homesick. Here in CA, they really go for the stove top boxed stuff an seem to love the convenience of cooking it on the stove.

    • some cook says:

      I'm a Californian and never use boxed dressing for Thanksgiving, and don't know anyone who does. How are you supposed to use up your stale bread (other than dressing or bread pudding?) Maybe you just have some lazy friends or in-laws living here. Unlike several other items on the Thanksgiving menu, I've never seen an empty spot on the shelf where the stove top stuffing/dressing is. You state: I've always HAD, not always made, perhaps it's time to cook your own and share it with those who "really go for" the boxed type.

  5. Sue Deaton says:

    I was always told that stuffing went the turkey and dressing you backed in q pan..

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