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Taste test: boxed stuffing mixes

  Apple Cranberry Turkey Salad  photographed for #CookClub on Tuesday October 27, 2015, in Largo.

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

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Betty Crocker 86Great Value 67Kraft Stove Top 54
Judges'

comments
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.
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information77 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.


Also Sampled: 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.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to mstark@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.



Serving sizeHalf cupHalf cupHalf cup
Calories170170150
Fat/Fiber1g / 0g1g / 0g1g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium3g / 400mg3g / 400mg2g / 400mg
Carbs/Protein22g / 3g22g / 3g21g / 3g

Taste test: boxed stuffing mixes 11/20/15 [Last modified: Friday, November 20, 2015 10:32am]
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