Packaged stuffing that comes close to homemade

Published On: Nov 19 2012 11:43:23 AM EST
Updated On: Nov 20 2012 05:00:00 AM EST

Anyone who hosts Thanksgiving dinner knows how much work it is. A good store-bought stuffing can help relieve some of the stress in the kitchen. But it has to taste good!

Consumer Reports’ taste testers sampled stuffings from Stovetop, Arnold, Pepperidge Farm, and even Great Value from Walmart. Each was prepared according to its directions, adding ingredients such as butter or margarine, celery, onions, and broth.

A good stuffing should have a fresh broth flavor, not bouillon, and taste of fresh vegetables, not dried or dried herbs. Some stuffings didn’t come close to homemade. Most of the stuffings tasted of chewy vegetables, crunchy crumbs, dried seasonings, overpowering herbs, and a flavor of bouillon.

But testers say there is hope. Two from Pepperidge Farm, the Herb Seasoned and Cornbread stuffings, are fresh-tasting, flavorful, and moist. Both of the Pepperidge Farm stuffings called for fresh ingredients like sautéed onions and celery. It’s a little more work, but it’s worth it for the taste. Consumer Reports says both would be a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving dinner, and no one needs ever to know the stuffing isn’t homemade.

Though you wouldn’t mistake turkey stuffing for a health food, Consumer Reports says you can make it a little more healthful by reducing the salt and fat. You can use a lower-sodium broth, cut back on the amount of butter, and add more fresh vegetables and herbs for more flavor, instead of more salt.

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