The best boxed stuffing is savory, nostalgic, and, most importantly, easy as hell to make. Some of the stuffings you’ll find in boxes or bags at the grocery store actually require you to—get this—chop and saute onions and celery to add to the mix. At that point you’re just buying a bag of croutons, right?
For this taste test, we focused on truly instant box stuffing—the kind that only requires water, half a stick of butter, and about five to eight minutes of your precious Thanksgiving Day prep time. There’s no shame in taking advantage of shortcuts when there’s a big, stupid parade to watch on TV and beer to drink in the fridge, especially when boxed stuffing tastes as good as it does. There’s something magical about the way dried bread, dehydrated vegetables and herbs, and powdered poultry flavoring can come together to create something so fluffy, flavorful, and rib-sticking.
Also worth pointing out: Stuffing shouldn’t be a thing we only eat on Thanksgiving. It’s an incredibly quick and easy weeknight side that makes something like a grocery store rotisserie chicken feel special. Whether you’re preparing a big holiday meal or just craving the comfort of reconstituted bread bits any ol’ time, these are the best three boxed stuffing brands you can buy.
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- Stove Top Traditional Sage Stuffing Mix
When we’re doing taste tests here at Sporked, more often than not we find that the generic and store brand products we source are just as good as name brand products. Welp, that’s not the case with stuffing. Stove Top really does taste better. And of all the Stove Top varieties (there are many), this is the best. I don’t know if I could necessarily single out sage, but this stuffing is—pardon me—absolutely stuffed with herb flavor. It’s fluffy and savory, and even has a little bit of sweetness thanks to the addition of dehydrated carrots. In fact, this was the only stuffing mix we tried that included carrot bits. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the Stove Top varieties (although their take on cornbread stuffing was a little lackluster), but if you want the best stuffing, seek out a box of this.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Stove Top Turkey Stuffing Mix
If you want a boxed stuffing with actual poultry flavor, I’m tellin’ ya, Stove Top is the way to go. The generics we tried just didn’t have the same, rich turkey flavor. It actually tastes like there’s roasted turkey drippings in the bread bits, and I think that makes this the best boxed stuffing to make if you aren’t making a turkey and just want that big bird flavor any night of the week. It’s buttery, fluffy, and delicious. All of these stuffings looked nearly identical when I plated them, but Stove Top edged out the others with its added bit of richness.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Kroger Cornbread Stuffing
Stuffing made with cornbread isn’t my preference, but I get why people like it. It’s a little bit denser and mealier than stuffing made with other types of bread, and I imagine that makes it pret-ty ideal if you’re busting out the waffle iron to make leftover stuffing waffles. This stuffing from Kroger did the best job of channeling the sort of grainy consistency of moistened cornbread. While the Stove Top Cornbread was weirdly salty—yes, all boxed stuffing is salty, but this was aggressive saltiness—Kroger’s cornbread stuffing has a pleasant, rich flavor that won’t have you guzzling water all through dinner. If cornbread is your preference, this is the best box stuffing.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
Best of the Best
Other products we tried: Great Value Turkey Stuffing, Signature Select Turkey Stuffing, Great Value Cornbread Stuffing, Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing, Stove Top Savory Herbs
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