We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Are Stuffing and Dressing the Same?

A bowl is filled with baked Thanksgiving dressing.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

For decades, there’s been an ongoing feud about stuffing versus dressing. Which one is better? Are they actually the same Thanksgiving side dish or different?

While stuffing and dressing are essentially the same, there are some differences that set them apart, but mostly, it just depends on where you live.

The side dish’s moniker—stuffing or dressing—comes down to geography (for the most part). States in the South and on the East Coast prefer to call it dressing. Meanwhile, those on the West Coast and most northern states proudly call it stuffing. Some states, though, have another name entirely. For example, in Pennsylvania, some residents call the dish “filling.”

HVH Ceramic Casserole Dish with Lid Oven Safe

Bake and store your stuffing or dressing in a beautiful casserole dish.

Outside of location, the biggest difference is in the names themselves. Stuffing is, well, a food designed to be stuffed inside another (like a turkey). On the other hand, dressing is a food that’s cooked outside of the turkey cavity completely. As for ingredients, both dressing and stuffing tend to include ingredients like crispy bread and cooked vegetables, so ultimately, it’s their cooking method (like if you put it inside the turkey) that truly sets them apart.

No matter what you prefer to call it, we can all agree that this delicious side dish is an excellent addition to a memorable Thanksgiving meal. If you do prefer to cook this ingredient inside your turkey, though, make sure you know how to stuff a turkey safely for a delicious and safe holiday meal.

Kelsey Opel Kelsey Opel
Kelsey Opel is a freelance writer and digital storyteller based in Austin, Texas. She enjoys writing for food, entertainment and mental health spaces. Off the clock, she loves indulging in an avocado margarita and chips and queso at her favorite Tex-Mex spot in town. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?