How to Make Low Calorie Turkey Stuffing

White decorative bowl of stuffing on a striped tablecloth
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Is turkey stuffing an essential part of your Thanksgiving meal? For many of us, the holiday dinner wouldn't be complete without this traditional side dish. But stuffing isn't always the best choice for dieters. If you're trying to lose weight, make low-calorie turkey stuffing to keep your weight loss plan on track during the holidays.

Calories in Stuffing

There are only about 120-140 calories in one serving of stuffing. Brands like Pepperidge Farm and Stove Top contain similar ingredients and have similar nutritional profiles. But a single serving of turkey stuffing is only a half cup. Most of us scoop  more than a single serving onto our plates. In addition, we usually ladle a generous serving of gravy on top.

Nutrition in Different Types of Stuffing

Here's how the nutrition in different types of stuffing compares:

  • According to USDA data, a single one-cup serving of prepared bread stuffing provides 390 calories, 5 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 134 grams of sodium, and 27 grams of total fat. 
  • According to USDA data, a single one-cup serving of prepared cornbread stuffing provides 358 calories, 6 grams of protein, 44 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 124 grams of sodium, and 17 grams of total fat.
  • According to the manufacturer, a 3/4 cup serving of Pepperidge Farms Herb Seasoned Stuffing provides 160 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 600 milligrams of sodium.
  • According to the manufacturer, a single serving (28 grams) of Stove Top Savory Herb Stuffing provides 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 21 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of protein, 450 milligrams of sodium, and 2 grams of sugar.

Stuffing Portions

Stuffing isn't the worst food on the Thanksgiving table, but it's not the healthiest food either. Even though the calorie information for some brands of stuffing isn't too bad, what actually ends up on our plate is quite different. Your portion of stuffing and gravy can add up to several hundred calories. In addition, stuffing provides few nutrients and it's high in sodium. 

How to Make Low-Calorie Turkey Stuffing

If you make stuffing at home, the calorie, fat, and sodium content will depend entirely on the recipe you use. Many traditional recipes contain fat drippings from the turkey, butter, and other high-calorie, high-fat ingredients, like oil.

If you're looking for a healthy stuffing recipe to make at home, try this one:

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. cubed stuffing bread or frozen bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery with leaves
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Directions:

Mix the butter, chicken broth, and spices. Put milk, onion, celery, and bread in a large bowl. Pour the butter, broth, and spice mixture over and lightly toss.

Bake in a 13 x 9 pan at 375 F for 20-40 minutes, depending on how dry you like your stuffing. Drizzle chicken broth as the stuffing cooks if desired.

You can also try this low-carb stuffing recipe.

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