Swanson’s Great Stuffing Debate and a $500 Giveaway!

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Swanson.

Should the stuffing be in the bird, or should it be baked separately on the side? That’s the big question. The great stuffing debate at Swanson is where we can vote about this question plus others concerning the stuffing, or should I say dressing? When it’s on the side, it is referred to as dressing.

My father liked it in the bird, but my mom wanted it on the side, so they took turns. One year it would be in the bird, and the following year it would be on the side. My mom didn’t like the stuffing in the bird because she said it made the stuffing taste gamy and the bird dry, because you have to cook the bird longer to get the stuffing up to temperature. Instead, she stuffed the bird with chopped potatoes and onions, apples, or oranges. My Dad preferred the bird was stuffed because he said that was the more traditional thing to do. He was a strong believer in following traditions, and never understood why mom would want to dirty an additional dish just to make the dressing on the side.

Swansons Great Stuffing Debate and a $500 Giveaway! @EclecticEveryday

Now, I always make the dressing on the side. I also feel that cooking the stuffing in the bird makes the bird dry and the stuffing taste gamy. I stuff my turkey with apples, oranges, or fresh herbs. My favorite way is to stuff the turkey with lots of fresh herbs and butter. Then I will pour pinot grigio wine into the cavity and around the bird and bake it in a baking bag.

Over the years I have tried just about every add-in to make different dressing variations. There is much debate in different families on what should be included or excluded from the stuffing. Cranberries and apples are a recent add-in that I have fallen in love with. I love to add them to a cornbread dressing like I have done in the recipe below. Bacon is an addition I don’t think anyone could disagree with unless your a vegetarian. Bacon makes everything better. Sausage and mushrooms are a favorite addition to my mom’s traditional dressing recipe, which I have also done in the other recipe below. Celery and onions are a classic combination that I just can’t leave out of any of my dressing recipes. Fresh herbs and spices are another addition that I have to add because they make everything taste so much better. Butter is an add-in my mom always used, and that I also add to all my dressing recipes. However, oysters are the only add-in that my family definitely passes on. We prefer our oysters on the half shell, fried, steamed or in a stew, but we’ll pass on adding them to the dressing.

The biggest question, after determining if you should have stuffing in the bird, or dressing on the side though is whether to have traditional or cornbread dressing.

Swansons Great Stuffing Debate and a $500 Giveaway! @EclecticEveryday

This was a huge debate in our home, because my mom and my older sister always disagreed on the stuffing. Mom liked traditional dressing, made with Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing, and my sister insisted on cornbread dressing. Every Thanksgiving that I can remember, when my sister was visiting, we always had both. Mom couldn’t stand my sister’s cornbread dressing. She said cornbread was to be eaten as bread, and never put in the dressing. My sister hated my mom’s moist traditional stuffing. She said it was too moist, and had a general despise for it.

For our family now, we make dressing with both traditional stuffing mix and cornbread stuffing mix.  For the purposes of the Eclectic Recipes Great Stuffing Debate, I have made a recipe for traditional stuffing with added mushrooms and sausage very similar to my mother’s recipe from Swanson’s broth, and my own recipe for Cranberry Apple Cornbread dressing, a recipe that will surely impress my sister.

Swanson’s Moist and Savory Sausage and Mushroom Dressing

Swansons Great Stuffing Debate and a $500 Giveaway! @EclecticEveryday

  • 2 1/2 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness, or Certified Organic)
  • Generous dash ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 package (14 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb pre-cooked sage and fennel ground pork sausage


  1. Heat the broth, black pepper, celery, and onion in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the stuffing, sausage and mushrooms. Mix lightly.
  2. Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart shallow baking dish. Cover the baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.

Recipe Note: you can also use a 3-quart casserole for this recipe. Alternate Preparation: for crunchier stuffing, bake the stuffing uncovered.
Flavor Variation: For traditional stuffing, omit the sausage and mushrooms.
Flavor Variation: for Cranberry & Pecan Stuffing, stir 1/2 cup each dried cranberries and chopped pecans into the stuffing mixture before baking, and omit the mushrooms and sausage.

Cranberry Apple Cornbread Dressing

Swansons Great Stuffing Debate and a $500 Giveaway! @EclecticEveryday

  • 2 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural GoodnessTM, or Certified Organic)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package (14 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Cornbread Stuffing
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 crisp apples, chopped ( I used Braeburn)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Add celery, onion, apples, cranberries poultry seasoning, and flat leaf parsley to a large bowl. Mix well. Add cornbread stuffing, butter and broth. Mix lightly.
  2. Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart shallow baking dish. Cover the baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.

Recipe Note: you can also use a 3-quart casserole for this recipe. Alternate Preparation: for crunchier stuffing, bake the stuffing uncovered.

For a $1 off coupon for  a 26 oz carton of Swanson Chicken Stock click here. When you visit, just watch the video, it is a hilarious video about a family’s stuffing debate. Then share the video with friends to get your coupon.

So here’s the question for a chance to win a $500 Visa card from Swanson broth, cornbread or traditional? And should it be stuffing in the bird, or dressing on the side? Please tell me about your family’s stuffing debate in the comment section below. What are your favorite add-ins? What add-ins should always be excluded?

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There are also 3 more bloggers participating in Swanson’s Great Stuffing Debate. For three more chances to win, be sure to visit the BlogHer.com exclusive offers page and enter those giveaways too.

463 Responses to “Swanson’s Great Stuffing Debate and a $500 Giveaway!”

Comment Pages 1 3 4 5
  1. 401
    Chris — November 30, 2010 @ 4:13 am

    We love traditional stuffing, in fact we like the Stovetop stuffing from a box the best! And we always serve it on the side. I’m recently married and it was just my wife and I for Thanksgiving this year so there were no debates over food!

  2. 403
    Talitha Lee — November 30, 2010 @ 7:38 am

    Traditional with half in the bird and half on the side. We all agree my mom makes awesome stuffing and none of us know exactly what she puts in it, she tends to fiddle the recipe a bit every year.

  3. 404
    Mackenzie — November 30, 2010 @ 8:02 am

    I like traditional stuffing, with mushrooms and sausage outside the board.

  4. 405
    julia — November 30, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    We have always made traditional, non cornbread stuffing, on the side. But with TONS of extras: onions, celery, raisins, apples, walnuts, mushrooms. You name it, we might throw it in there and I LOVE it like that!

  5. 406
    Jay F. — November 30, 2010 @ 9:13 am

    We almost always end up with traditional stuffing on the side. The Mother in Law takes charge of the stuffing. No debates.

  6. 407
    Lisa Taylor — November 30, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    I prefer cornbread dressing. We never stuff our bird. Celery is a must in my book. lezanac@yahoo.com

  7. 408
    carol y — November 30, 2010 @ 10:06 am

    We always cook it outside. I like it crispy and in the bird it gets soggy and odd colored. We never add more than onions for a veggie-onions sauted in butter and we like it basic.

  8. 409
    Nadine L — November 30, 2010 @ 10:34 am

    We like our stuffing cooked inside the bird, with no celery. My favorite recipe is one I make with Chestnuts, Pinenuts and Cranberries. Hubby Prefers Sausage and Apples. So we compromise and I alternate each year

  9. 411
    Shelley Mitchell — November 30, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    I cook it on the side. My in laws swear that I am the only one who can cook the stuffing like there grandma used to. So I get volunteered to cook the stuffing every year!

    msjem2001 at yahoo dot com

  10. 412
    Shannon — November 30, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    I usually prefer traditional over cornbread only recipes, always dressing on the side for me. I don’t like too many add ins, definitely not nuts because that’s not the texture I prefer in dressing. We don’t debate because everyone agrees that the family recipes are good.

  11. 413
    Jennifer D — November 30, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

    Always traditional and always on the side. I am not a fan of turkey so if it is in the bird I wont touch it.

  12. 414
    Amy Delong — November 30, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    we do not stuff the bird,we do stuffing on the side pretty simple,but we all like it no debate here!

  13. 415
    Justine — November 30, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

    I prefer traditional, not cornbread…and your mom had it right, not in the bird! I agree that it gives it a bad flavor and I prefer mine straight out of a dish! I think all good stuffing should have onions, mushrooms, and lots of seasoning…I think there should never be corn in stuffing, it’s disgusting to me!

  14. 416
    Justine — November 30, 2010 @ 12:57 pm
  15. 417
    michelle tucker — November 30, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    Cornbread stuffing all the way. Mom adds some breadcrumbs to it too! On the side, the stuffing is too moist when in the bird. We add in chicken pieces and sauteed onions and celery.
    michedt (at) gmail (dotcom)

  16. 418
    Pamela — November 30, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    Traditional stuffing, outside the bird with NO raisins. That is the only stuffing served in my home.

  17. 419
    Anne — November 30, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    I love cornbread, but my husband doesn’t. So I make traditional, but I add in apples and cranberries because I like them. I always bake it outside the bird, stuffing it seems like too much work.

  18. 420
    Anne — November 30, 2010 @ 1:57 pm
  19. 421
    heatherzilla — November 30, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    In my family, my grandmother always makes the turkey and dressing, with the dressing as a side dish. She makes homemade cornbread the day before and crumbles it for the dressing. It is delicious!
    The only add-in I would suggest is cranberries. We have cranberries on the side.

  20. 422
    heatherzilla — November 30, 2010 @ 2:24 pm
  21. 423
    Emma Peel — November 30, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    Yes Traditional stuffing inside the Bird and I like to add mushroom and sausage

  22. 424
    donsterb — November 30, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    my mom makes it, so I don’t know. I only make stovetop but I use chicken broth.

  23. 425
    Deb K — November 30, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

    We make our stuffing with chicken broth~celery and onions.


  24. 426
    Janice Whitaker — November 30, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    I like the giblets in my dressing .The kids think thats gross

  25. 427
    Sand — November 30, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    My mom always makes two different stuffings because there is always a savory vs. sweet debate.

  26. 428
    loni — November 30, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

    We asbolutely always cook Stovetop….no other stuff in our stuffing!

  27. 429
    sarah — November 30, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

    My family and I like traditional stuffing in the bird – bread, celery, onion, seasoning.

  28. 430
    AB Smith — November 30, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

    traditional all the way and in bird!

  29. 432
    Tesa S. — November 30, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    We always have my grandmother’s cornbread dressing on the side, and I always use Swanson’s chicken broth to moisten it.

  30. 433
    Pam817 — November 30, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    Down south (Florida) my family enjoys traditional dressing with oysters. To keep all the flavors wonderful we use Swanson’s vegetable broth served with turkey gravy! OMG…….mmm mmm good!

  31. 434
    dddiva — November 30, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

    We are lucky we go to the big family deal at 1 where cornbread dressing is served, and make our own big meal here that evening (mostly cuz we LOVE the leftovers and my gravy is way better 😉 ) and make our soft bread stuffing but the big debate was who got the corners, but now we make some stuffing rings we invented earlier this year.

  32. 436
    Carrie M — November 30, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    We are all about traditional stuffing and not in the bird!

  33. 437
    Breanne — November 30, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

    I don’t eat stuffing so it’s definitely on the side!

  34. 438
    Geoff K — November 30, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    I’m personally a fan of cornbread stuffing on the side, and I love to add dried fruit, especially cranberries and cherries, to it for a nice kick. One item I actually prefer to exclude is celery, which I’m not a fan of, but that is a source of debate here since everyone else likes the different textures in their stuffing. So I usually make half a batch with and half without the green stuff!

  35. 439
    Geoff K — November 30, 2010 @ 6:47 pm
  36. 440
    nanjhall — November 30, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    The picture of that mushroom stuffing looks really tasty! If we are stuffing the bird, I like traditional stuffing. If it is going in a casserole dish, than I like cornbread stuffing.

  37. 441
    nanjhall — November 30, 2010 @ 7:01 pm
  38. 442
    Barbara Long — November 30, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

    Bacon and mushrooms should always be in the stuffing but no nuts (hubby can’t have them).


  39. 443
    Jessica Kaufman — November 30, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    i prefer the traditional Pepperide Farm Stuffing. I cook it on the side and not in the bird. I’ve heard that cooking inside is not good. Never tried it before. I add in Bacon and lots of Chicken Broth. One year we made it with goat cheese and it was yummy.Not sure what to leave out of it I guess lots of veggies.

  40. 444
    Jessica Kaufman — November 30, 2010 @ 7:33 pm
  41. 445
    R Hicks — November 30, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

    We go with traditional and as a side typically. Almost always has nuts and cranberrys

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  42. 446
    R Hicks — November 30, 2010 @ 7:35 pm



    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  43. 447
    Kirsten — November 30, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

    My husband makes stuffing and its the best. He makes it in the turkey and does not use cornbread.

  44. 448
    Heather W — November 30, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

    traditional, stuffed in the bird! my father makes THE best stuffing
    Lovefool827 (at) yahoo (dotcom)

  45. 449
    brian e. — November 30, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway…ours is the usual stuffing vs dressing debate, so we usually do both; we do a cornbread with spicy chorizo sausage & chiles stuffing/dressing to give the meal a bit of a kick !

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  46. 450
    brian e. — November 30, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/brianpiero/status/9788442363826176

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  47. 451
    mineola — November 30, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

    I’ve always cooked our stuffing in the bird & added apples, onions, fresh herbs, cranberries & walnuts, tarragon, parsley– rarely, sausage. Never tried cornbread stuffing but don’t have an aversion to it. These days I’m inclined not to put the dressing in the bird- to allow it to cook faster & retain moisture. As long as you use good quality broth / stock such as Swanson’s, you’re good to go with flavor. Overall I like the texture better when the stuffing isn’t in the bird.

  48. 452
    Misty — June 15, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    We always ate our stuffing in a separate pan while growing up. We had a sausage and apple stuffing with the giblets/broth. I also like the Cornbread stuffing my mother-in-law makes. I like how the stuffing is crispy a bit on top and around the edges. I continue to make stuffing in a pan and not in the turkey.

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