While there’s nothing wrong with undoctored boxed stuffing, there are very simple ways to make it taste amazing! Keep reading for some simple and affordable ideas to upgrade boxed stuffing.

How to doctor up boxed stuffing: A few simple tweaks can take boxed stuffing from boring to extraordinary!

Why Doctor Up Boxed Stuffing?

A lot of Thanksgiving foods – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce – are one-dimensional in flavor. That is, every bite is the same, whether you eat a little or a lot.

With boxed stuffing, every bite tastes the same.

But there are SO MANY OPTIONS for adding ingredients to stuffing that make it taste better. To make every bite a little different.

Read THIS Before Doing Anything To Boxed Stuffing

Remember: Boxed stuffing is already salted and spiced. Stove Top, Pepperidge Farm, Great Value, Essential Everyday, Brownberry, Hy Vee, and other brands of boxed stuffing are already seasoned.

Adding salt, chicken broth, garlic powder or any other seasoning to boxed stuffing will make it more salty. If you plan on adding any of these ingredients to your stuffing, start with a little bit and go from there. Otherwise your stuffing will be really salty.

A better approach? Consider adding additional ingredients to your stuffing, like fresh herbs, vegetables, fruit, and meat. Keep reading for specific ideas.

How to doctor up boxed stuffing: Make this herb and mushroom stuffing with two simple add-ins.

40 + Ways To Upgrade Boxed Stuffing

Start by preparing the stuffing according to the instructions on the box. Then, follow instructions for adding the following to the prepared stuffing:

Add Some Chopped Fresh (Or Dried) Herbs To Stuffing

  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Scallions/green onion

Sauté Or Roast Fresh Vegetables In Butter And Fold Any Of The Following Into The Stuffing

Make sure to sauté or roast the vegetables until fork tender. Butter is the preferred fat to cook the vegetables in, as it adds great flavor and blends well with boxed stuffing.

  • Onions
  • Caramelized onions
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Fresh garlic
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potato
  • Parsnips
  • Corn kernels
  • Red bell pepper
  • Jalapenos
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Water chestnuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Carrots

Adding sautéed carrots and onions to boxed stuffing is a simple and inexpensive upgrade.

Sauté Fresh Fruit And Fold Into The Stuffing

Chop the fruit into bite-sized pieces and sauté in butter before adding it to your boxed stuffing.

  • Apples
  • Figs
  • Apricots
  • Pears (with sautéed onions, below)

Boxed stuffing with pears and onions. Click through for 40+ boxed stuffing upgrade ideas!

Add Cooked/Browned Meat To Stuffing

When it comes to adding meat to boxed stuffing, a little bit goes a long way. Make sure to cook/brown the meat before adding it to the stuffing.

  • Bacon
  • Pork sausage
  • Ground beef
  • Giblets
  • Ring bologna or smoked sausage (diced)
  • Crispy pancetta
  • Chorizo

Note: Since many of these meats are quite salty, start by adding a small amount and go from there.

Add Additional Ingredients To Stuffing

These ingredients add interesting flavor and texture to boxed stuffing.

Simple applesauce stuffing recipe, made with seasoned bread cubes and applesauce.

Creative Ingredient Combinations To Add To Boxed Stuffing

You can add one additional ingredient to your stuffing – or you can mix it up and try one of these delicious flavor combinations:

  • Bacon and fig
  • Pancetta and pear
  • Apple, sage, and pecan
  • Dried cranberries and bacon
  • Mushroom, onion, and parsley
  • Garlic and rosemary
  • Roasted sweet potato and Brussels sprouts
  • Chorizo and corn

Making boxed stuffing better is simple. Just remember to proceed with caution when adding salty ingredients (chicken broth, salt, garlic powder, etc.) – and have fun getting creative with various add-ins.

Stuffing Add-In FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions I’ve received regarding upgrading boxed stuffing with additional ingredients.

What can I add to boxed stuffing to make it taste better?

Check out the list of 40+ ideas, above. You can add one singular ingredient to your stuffing (like chopped bacon) or add a combination of ingredients for more variety (like sausage, celery, and rosemary).

What is the process of adding extra ingredients to stuffing?

Start out by preparing your stuffing according to package directions. Then, prepare additional ingredients (roast vegetables, chop up fresh herbs, etc.) Fold the extra ingredients into the prepared stuffing. You can eat it this way, bake it or keep it warm in a low oven.

What should I do if my stuffing is dry?

If your stuffing doesn’t have enough moisture or fat, it may be dry. You can add additional water (1 tablespoon at a time) or mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Additionally, some of the extra ingredients listed above will add moisture to boxed stuffing, like sautéed pears or apples.

How do you fix bland stuffing?

Boxed stuffing can be bland, but it’s easy to add more flavor, texture, and aroma by adding additional ingredients. See list above for specific ideas. For a crowd-pleasing flavor combination, add some chopped bacon, fresh chives, and sautéed carrot.

How much of each ingredient should I add?

It’s up to you! If you’re making one box of stuffing, you don’t need a lot of each ingredient. Start with 1/2 cup of roasted vegetables, 1/3 cup cooked chopped meat, and a tablespoon or so of fresh herbs.