Taste test: boxed stuffing mixes
MONICA HERNDON | Times
Apple Cranberry Turkey Salad photographed for #CookClub on Tuesday October 27, 2015, in Largo.
Stuffing is one of those sides that can be personalized with very little effort. Add some onions, celery, sausage and spices, and stuffing mixes become homemade masterpieces. But when our goal is to get an entire holiday meal on the table at the same time, it's sometimes necessary to cut a few corners. So our judges sampled five boxed stuffing mixes designed to go from the stovetop to the tabletop within minutes.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent
© 2016 Tampa Bay Times
(out of 100)
|Betty Crocker 86||Great Value 67||Kraft Stove Top 54|
|This stuffing turned into a fluffy blend with a peppery flavored background. "It has a great homemade, buttery flavor with a nice array of spices including sage and thyme," said one judge. "It's really moist, too." She would consider adding extra celery, carrots and onion to boost the texture. Another said she liked the seasoning blend and was satisfied with the basic mixture. Judges said the stuffing was hearty enough to hold its own under gravy, mashed potatoes, turkey and cranberry sauce.||The golden color and flecks of dried spices gave Walmart's store brand of stuffing mix an edge over some of the others. "It's got a nice mixture of breads and plenty of flavor, without too much salty taste," said one judge. "I would add fresh spices to give this a kick."||This stuffing option was crumbly and had a consistency similar to corn bread. It also had a large amount of celery and green bits. Judges said it was a good base for added spices and onions or carrots. "It needs a bit of doctoring up, but it's good nonetheless," said one panelist. "This might be a good stuffing to prepare and then re-cook inside the turkey to add more flavor," said another.|
|All four judges said yes.||Three of the four judges said yes.||Two of the four judges said yes.|
|Shopping information||77 cents for a 6-ounce box from Walmart.||$1 for a 6-ounce box from Walmart.||$1.25 for a 6-ounce box from Walmart.|
Trader Joe's ($3.99 for a 12.4-ounce box, 31 points) and Winn-Dixie ($1.59 for a 6-ounce box, 42 points).
Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Liz Mergenthaler, dietetic intern with Pinellas County Home Extension. All foods were tasted blind.
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|Serving size||Half cup||Half cup||Half cup|
|Fat/Fiber||1g / 0g||1g / 0g||1g / 1g|
|Sugars/Sodium||3g / 400mg||3g / 400mg||2g / 400mg|
|Carbs/Protein||22g / 3g||22g / 3g||21g / 3g|