The Best Way To Ensure The Perfect Texture For Stuffing

It's a staple side dish at Thanksgiving, goes great with gravy, and can be made with all different types of add-ins — yes, we're talking stuffing. In fact, many people forget that the dish was originally intended to cook inside the carcass of a turkey, versus a greased-up baking dish (per Market Basket Foods). To not let the name deceive, Southerners then began calling it "dressing," and it's also prepared differently depending on where you're from. In the South, it's nearly sacrilegious to use anything but cornbread in stuffing, and according to What's Cooking America, its tradition in Britain and New England states to add oysters to stuffing. However, three ingredients you will inevitably find that are most crucial in stuffing are celery, onion, and herbs.

There's no one "correct" way to make stuffing — it's a dish that you can play around with and throw in some of your favorite ingredients — but ratio is important in order to achieve the right texture. If you've ever eye-balled a stuffing recipe and found it to be crumbly instead of congealed and spoon-able, this is for you.

The more add-ins, the not-so-merrier

Whether you like extra meaty stuffing with ground sausage, oysters, or even beef, veggie-heavy stuffing with butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, or carrots, or stuffing on the sweeter side with dried fruits, cranberries, or a maple syrup drizzle, while all these concoctions make for a unique take on a traditional dish, when it comes to texture, the amount of ingredients plays a bigger role. The saying "the more the merrier" unfortunately doesn't apply here, because bread is not only the star of the show in stuffing, but it acts as the binder to hold everything together. So, when all the fun add-ins start to outweigh the binder, it makes for a stuffing that will easily fall apart — or not stick together at all.

According to Kitchn, a good rule of thumb is to always make sure the other ingredients only equate to half of the amount of bread in the dish. EatingWell also states that with bread being the binder, it needs liquid to activate, and to use 1 cup broth for every 4 cups of dry mix. This will ensure that your next stuffing dish can still be as customized as you like, with the peace of mind that the texture will turn out just right.