What would Thanksgiving be without turkey and stuffing? It's not easy to cheat on the turkey, but what about taking a shortcut by using a packaged stuffing? Consumer Reports’ food experts cooked up nine popular stuffings to determine which were tastiest.

They were all prepared using unsalted butter and lower-sodium chicken broth. Some directions called for fresh chopped veggies. Five of the mixes were in the herb or chicken category. There were several very good standouts that will make a yummy side for your turkey.

Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing is a flavorful stuffing made with white bread and whole-wheat bread. Tasters detected a slight butter flavor along with sage and poultry seasonings.

Stove Top Lower Sodium Stuffing Mix for Chicken is a good, mild base that could be doctored with fresh carrots, apples, or water chestnuts, for example.

Pepperidge Farm also took the top slot in the second category with its Classic Cornbread Stuffing. It has a slightly grainy cornmeal texture, and the poultry seasoning flavors come through.

Consumer Reports tasters also tried gluten-free options. Aleias Gluten Free Savory Stuffing Mix calls for the addition of fresh carrots, onions, and celery, and is very good.

Whatever you prepare, don’t take the risk of making your guests ill at Thanksgiving. To help keep bacteria out of your stuffing, Consumer Reports suggest that you bake it separately from the turkey. Also, Consumer Reports found that most pop-up thermometers are not accurate. Invest in a good thermometer and roast your bird to 165 degrees.