Nourish PA: Better-for-You Thanksgiving Dressing

Fun fact: “Dressing,” when it refers to a dish like this, is really just stuffing that isn’t cooked in the cavity of a turkey or chicken. This method is a great way to make a meat-free version (using vegetable broth), or to lighten up this traditional side dish, which is usually loaded with fat from the bird. Our better-for-you take includes lots of vegetables, which are softened with water instead of butter or oil, and utilizes low-sodium broth. This Thanksgiving dressing can also be made with any type of bread, so use what you’ve got! White or wheat bread, potato bread and corn bread are all fantastic choices.

Better-for-You Thanksgiving Dressing

Serves 8
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
10 min 55 min 65 min


  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, ground sage or dried thyme
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or chicken broth
  • 11 cups stale bread (any type), cubed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet over medium heat, add water, onion, carrots, celery, garlic powder and poultry seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Combine bread, cooked vegetables, broth, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Spoon into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Cover with foil and bake 30-35 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes, until golden-brown on top.
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