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Consumer Reports: Ranking best stuffings

November 22, 2012 2:45:24 PM PST
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's got to taste good!

A moist, perfectly browned turkey is a must on Thanksgiving. And it isn't complete without a delicious stuffing.

Of course, preparing a holiday dinner from scratch is a lot of work. Can you wow your guests with a store-bought stuffing? Consumer Reports tested 11 to see if you can cut a few corners and still get tasty results.

Testers looked at ones from Stovetop, Arnold, Pepperidge Farm, and even Great Value from Walmart.

Each stuffing was prepared according to directions adding ingredients like butter or margarine, celery, onions, and broth.

"We want a stuffing to have a fresh broth flavor, not bouillon, and you want it to taste of fresh vegetables, not dried or dried herbs," said Ellen Kloz.

These 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," adds Kloz.

But testers say there's 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, saut?ed onions and celery. It's a little more work, but it's worth it for the taste," adds Kloz.

Consumer Reports says both would be a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving dinner? and no one need ever know the stuffing isn't homemade.

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

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