Here's How Much Stuffing Everyone Will Actually Want At Thanksgiving

For a holiday that's supposed to be all about thankfulness and togetherness, Thanksgiving certainly stirs up its share of familial disagreements — however friendly they might be — about the centerpiece of the day, the Thanksgiving meal. From whether the cranberry sauce should come jellied from a can or be homemade, to differences of opinion regarding whether green-bean casserole is a worthy side dish yet again this year, to questions of preparing the main bird in the oven versus deep-frying the Thanksgiving turkey safely, the holiday can be a minefield for culinary disputation.

Even the arguably most tasty part of the Thanksgiving feast, the stuffing — or dressing, as it is also called — can be a subject of familial disagreement on the question of whether it should be cooked inside the turkey, or outside of the bird as a completely separate side dish. A helpful hint here, that may settle the argument for some families, is that in 1996, according to the The Washington Post, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended not cooking the stuffing inside the turkey. The agency, though, seems to have relented a bit in more recent years, issuing careful guidance several years ago for preparing inside-the-bird stuffing.

So how much stuffing is enough?

Whether it's prepared inside or outside the turkey, one of the vexing questions facing Thanksgiving dinner hosts is how much stuffing should be prepared for the meal. Two sources, Parade and Food Network, each tell hosts to plan for three-quarters of a cup of stuffing for each person. According to handy guides from both sources, that's 3 cups for four guests, 6 cups for eight guests, 9 cups for a dozen guests, and so on. But Food Network goes on to suggest that hosts who know their guests are big fans of stuffing should prepare an extra batch — outside of the turkey, of course, if you're doing your first round of stuffing inside the bird.

To plan a successful Thanksgiving dinner, you'll definitely want to be sure you nail the stuffing. If you're making your first foray into preparing the stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner, or if you're just looking for something different to try this year, there's plenty of help out there. Martha Stewart has tips for making stuffing and you can majorly upgrade the dish using some Thanksgiving stuffing hacks.