The One Thing You Should Never Put In Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thanksgiving dinner is nothing if not controversial, and no, we don't mean when your crazy uncle brings up politics or the person your mother really should have married. The menu itself is fraught ... really ... people can't even agree whether it should be called dressing or stuffing. Food & Wine does point out that most of us agree that stuffing is cooked inside the bird, while dressing is cooked outside the bird, though there are also regional differences that dictate our chosen nomenclature. And, there are certainly differences of opinion on what should go in said dressing or stuffing. The trouble is there are so many good options and so many styles of stuffing.

You can opt for oyster dressing, flavored with thyme, bay leaves, and sage. There's a classic country bread stuffing, with herbs, fennel, and onions. You can go for a southern influence with cornbread dressing with sage and black pepper, or you can go way out with bacon and jalapeƱo stuffing made with potato bread. Served as a complement to roast turkey or holiday ham, stuffing is frequently the star of the show. But, there's one thing that can mar your Turkey Day perfection.

Don't skip this step with your veggies

Regardless of which vegetables and aromatics you choose for your dressing, Southern Living explains that they should always be cooked until they're a little caramelized. Traditional celery and onions, along with any non-traditional vegetables, once caramelized, impart a depth of flavor to stuffing that you'll miss if it's not there. In addition, if you don't cook your vegetables, you may end up with crunchy, undercooked bits that mar the texture of the dish.

Vegetables for dressing can be caramelized in a saucepan or skillet on the stove, or you can roast them in the oven. You may even want to try our secret ingredient for kicking up the flavor of those roasted, caramelized veggies. One additional benefit of cooking vegetables like celery and onions before they go in your stuffing is to release some of the moisture they hold, which can contribute to soggy dressing. Cooked, caramelized vegetables bring in the hearty flavors of autumn, pulling together whatever ingredients your family insists on for Thanksgiving stuffing.