Have you ever wondered about the difference between stuffing and dressing? Are the two words interchangeable? I have answers to both of those questions.
Recipes for stuffing or dressing are pretty much the same and the two words have become interchangeable in American culture. The usage of either term tends to be regional. In the South the term ‘dressing’ is often used, whereas in the West it is more common to use the term ‘stuffing’. Here is a breakdown of the two:
- Stuffing is what you put inside of the bird (aka turkey since we are talking about Thanksgiving). Stuffing is generally made a little dryer than dressing because it absorbs juices from the turkey as it cooks.
- Dressing is the same thing as stuffing except that it is baked in a separate dish instead of putting it inside of the bird. A dressing requires more moisture than a stuffing. Often dressing is baked covered for the majority of the cooking time; then the cover is removed for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time so that the top can brown a little or get somewhat crispy in a few places (depending on personal preferences).
- Sooooo…what do you call it when you have too much stuffing for the bird and so you bake the rest of it in a separate dish. Is there a name for that? Technically you have stuffing and dressing. Oh wait, I know exactly what you call it. Stressing.
The following are two favorite dressings/stuffings. Follow the links for the recipes with step-by-step instructions. The first recipe, Sourdough Artichoke Parmesan Dressing, can be used as both a stuffing and a dressing. It has been our family’s favorite dressing since 1994. The second recipe, Southern-style Cornbread Dressing, is truly a dressing. It is the dressing on which I grew up and many Southerners have very similar recipes.