Recipe Makeover: 7 Tips For Healthier Dressing

cornbread dressing in skillet
I don’t know about you, but homemade dressing is one of my favorite holiday meals (Notice: I said “meals” instead of side dish because I can eat this all by itself). I mean, I can eat it all year long! And just in case you were wondering; no, dressing is NOT the same thing as stuffing. While stuffing is a Thanksgiving classic in many American homes, homemade dressing can actually be a healthier, more delicious alternative.


Because stuffing is literally “stuffed” into the turkey, absorbing excess fats from the turkey as it cooks. Baked dressing, on the other hand, includes all the ingredients of traditional stuffing without all that fat (ideally), plus vegetables and seasonings.

What are some ways to help make your dressing healthier?

1. Substitute whole wheat bread for white bread cubes in order to add more fiber to the dish. Also, using your own low-sodium homemade cornbread (do not add extra salt or butter) instead is a great way to add additional whole grains.

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2. Don’t use margarine! Instead, substitute it with olive oil.

3. Use more egg whites. For example, if your recipe calls for three beaten eggs, beat and use six eggs whites only. Or, use one whole egg and four egg whites.

**Expert Tip*: If you use chicken or vegetable stock, remember, the stock and soup help keep the dressing from drying out. It’s okay to be a little “soupy” when you place it in the oven. To season this moist cornbread dressing with lots of flavors, I add fresh celery, onion, and poultry seasoning, but don’t over-season. If you do it right, you’d love to eat it without any gravy.