Stuffed: The Best Fruits and Veggies For Your Thanksgiving Stuffing

Although the bird gets all hype, a freshly made stuffing is what really gives us wings on Thanksgiving. Choosing the right fruit or vegetable to use in your dish can open up a world of possibilities far beyond your garden-variety stuffing. From battle hardened classics to rising stars, here are our favorite picks.

Fennel

 Some chefs may be leery to use fennel due to its strong, specific flavor, but in truth, chopped fennel can add a wonderful crispness to your stuffing. It pairs particularly well with pork, so try throwing in some sausage or bacon into your stuffing as well.

  • Pro Tip: Save your fennel fronds to garnish the final product.

Cranberries

We’re firm believers that cranberries can find a place on any Thanksgiving dish and stuffing is no exception. The overall tartness of the berry is much more approachable when cooked, and easily fits in with fall herbs like rosemary and thyme.

Onion

Seriously, can you ever go wrong with caramelized onions? Yellow onions bring an integral “bite” into many stuffing recipes, but more importantly, they’re extremely versatile and can improve savory-forward flavor profiles.

Apples

The autumn superstar can be a phenomenal option for your stuffing, offering a juicy sweetness that can keep your stuffing from being “too” savory. Try pairing with bacon, onion, and fresh herbs for best results.

Celery

Celery and stuffing have been going steady for generations. Aside from bringing a crucial crunch, celery adds a little color to your presentation, keeping it from being overtly brown or yellow.

Mushrooms

If you’re looking to bake your stuffing into a turkey rather than serving it on its own, a mushroom based stuffing can do wonders. However, your chosen mushroom variety can make a big difference on the overall product; we’d recommend using button or portobello mushrooms for best results.

Pears

The subtle sweetness of pears can really help tie a vast flavor profile together, as the cold weather fruit pairs well a variety of common stuffing ingredients. Sage can be a particularly powerful herb to have in your arsenal as well, as the two ingredients work in tandem to bring a sweet earthiness onto the plate.