This Secret Ingredient Is The Key To The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Ever

gnocchi and sausage stuffing in a white baking dish

Every year, without fail, there's always a ton of end-all-be-all tips for the best Thanksgiving stuffing ever. While most of guides stick to just changing up the type of bread to use (like cornbread, a French baguette, and sourdough), Team Delish knows that the real secret ingredient your stuffing is missing isn't even bread at all. It's, wait for it, gnocchi.

Yes, that doughy, weeknight dinner wonder is making its Thanksgiving debut and we are all the better for it. Gnocchi stuffing is, bar none, the dish you must make all holiday season long.

"I had one goal in mind for this stuffing," says senior food editor Makinze Gore, who developed the gnocchi stuffing. "Make something anyone would be so excited to make for Friendsgiving and everyone else would be envious they weren't the ones that brought it."

If you, too, like to inspire food envy wherever you go and really want to shake up your holiday table, you'll be happy to know that the stuffing recipe works as a side, but just might steal the spotlight entirely. "Italian sausage provides a lot of extra flavor to the dish and makes it passable as a main dish if no one volunteered to roast a turkey this year," says Gore. Oops, been there.

Even traditionalists will flip for this break-the-internet-good stuffing, and the recipe is just as simple as the original. Toasting the gnocchi first (much like you would with your loaf of bread) ensures that you get those signature crunchy toasty edges and tops that everyone will fight over. The crispy-pillowy Italian dumplings will then absorb all the flavor you layer into your stuffing, like fennel-y Italian sausage, fresh sage and thyme, plus the trinity of yellow onion, carrots, and celery. The chicken broth then infuses savory flavor into the gnocchi, while also keeping the dumplings fork-tender and ready to get crisp around the edges.

Much like traditional stuffing recipes, toasting the gnocchi is key, so don't skip it: "The pieces that end up towards the top come out crispy just like a stuffing would and is undoubtedly the best part of stuffing," says Gore.

Perhaps the best part of this stuffing recipe? You can rest assured that you won't have to battle the crowds at the grocery store to score that last loaf of sourdough. Chances are, you already have a bag of frozen or shelf-stable gnocchi on hand, just waiting to get turned into the most popular thing on your Thanksgiving table.

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