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Make-Ahead Stuffing

Make-Ahead Stuffing: A Time-Saving Thanksgiving Delight

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning the perfect feast for your loved ones. While the turkey often takes center stage, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without a delicious stuffing. But let’s face it, preparing a homemade stuffing right before the big day can be a stressful and time-consuming task. That’s where the magic of make-ahead stuffing comes in!

What is Make-Ahead Stuffing?

Make-ahead stuffing is a game-changer when it comes to Thanksgiving meal prep. It’s a method that allows you to prepare your stuffing in advance, saving you precious time and reducing stress on the day of the feast. By following a few simple steps, you can have your stuffing ready to go well before the turkey hits the oven.

How Does Make-Ahead Stuffing Work?

The beauty of make-ahead stuffing lies in its simplicity. Instead of baking the stuffing inside the turkey or making it from scratch on the day of, you pre-cook the ingredients and assemble the dish ahead of time. Then, you can refrigerate or freeze the stuffing until you’re ready to serve it.

Why Should I Make-Ahead Stuffing?

If you’ve ever hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, you know how chaotic the kitchen can get. With so many dishes to prepare and limited oven space, having a make-ahead stuffing recipe in your arsenal can be a total game-changer. Not only does it free up precious oven real estate, but it also allows you to focus on other important tasks while still serving a delicious, homemade stuffing.

How to Make Make-Ahead Stuffing

The process of making make-ahead stuffing is straightforward and can be tailored to your taste preferences. Start by sautéing aromatic vegetables like onions, celery, and carrots in butter until they’re tender. Next, mix in your choice of bread cubes, herbs, and seasonings. Finally, moisten the mixture with a flavorful broth and transfer it to a baking dish.

Tips for Perfect Make-Ahead Stuffing

1. Choose the Right Bread: Opt for a sturdy bread like sourdough or French bread, as it holds up well when reheated.

2. Get Creative with Add-Ins: Consider adding ingredients like dried cranberries, sausage, or even nuts to elevate the flavors of your stuffing.

3. Don’t Over-Moisten: Be cautious while adding the broth to avoid ending up with a soggy stuffing. You want it to be moist but not overly wet.

Storing and Reheating Make-Ahead Stuffing

Once you’ve assembled your make-ahead stuffing, it’s time to store it properly. If you plan to serve it within a day or two, refrigeration is the way to go. Simply cover the baking dish tightly with foil or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. If you want to make it even further in advance, you can freeze the stuffing. Wrap it well in foil or place it in an airtight container before freezing.

To reheat the refrigerated stuffing, simply pop it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 20-30 minutes, or until it’s heated through. If you’re reheating frozen stuffing, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven. Remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.


1. Can I use any type of bread for make-ahead stuffing?

Yes, you can use any type of bread that you prefer. Just make sure it’s sturdy enough to hold up when reheated.

2. How long can I store make-ahead stuffing in the refrigerator?

You can store make-ahead stuffing in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before reheating and serving.

3. Can I make make-ahead stuffing gluten-free?

Absolutely! There are many gluten-free bread options available now, so you can easily make a delicious gluten-free stuffing.

4. Can I add meat to my make-ahead stuffing?

Yes, you can add cooked sausage, bacon, or even leftover turkey to give your stuffing an extra burst of flavor.

5. Can I reheat make-ahead stuffing in the microwave?

While it’s possible to reheat make-ahead stuffing in the microwave, it may not retain its texture and flavor as well as reheating it in the oven.

6. Can I freeze make-ahead stuffing for longer than a few days?

Absolutely! If stored properly, make-ahead stuffing can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

7. Can I make vegetarian make-ahead stuffing?

Yes, you can easily make a vegetarian version of make-ahead stuffing by omitting any meat-based ingredients and using vegetable broth instead.

8. Can I make make-ahead stuffing for a smaller gathering?

Absolutely! You can easily adjust the quantities to make a smaller batch of make-ahead stuffing that suits your gathering.


Make-ahead stuffing is a game-changer for busy Thanksgiving hosts. By preparing your stuffing in advance, you can save time and reduce stress on the day of the feast. Whether you choose to refrigerate or freeze it, make-ahead stuffing allows you to serve a delicious, homemade dish without the last-minute hassle. So this year, give yourself the gift of a stress-free Thanksgiving by incorporating the magic of make-ahead stuffing into your holiday menu.

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Make-Ahead Stuffing

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 16


  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of diced onion
  • 2 cups of diced celery
  • 16 cups of breadcrumbs (not moist)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of dried sage
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (can adjust quantity as required)


  • Try making make-ahead stuffing this Thanksgiving to save time and oven space. Who doesn't enjoy a low-maintenance side dish?
  • Certainly, you can prepare stuffing ahead of time, which is a great way to get a head start on Thanksgiving cooking while also freeing up much-needed oven space. This stuffing can be made up to three days in advance.
  • Here's what you'll need for this make-ahead stuffing:
  • - 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • - Onion and celery
  • - Butter
  • - Chicken broth
  • - Salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, thyme, and sage
  • - Turkey or chicken (optional)
  • Follow these steps to make this make-ahead stuffing:
  • Melt butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook and stir onion and celery in the melted butter until they become tender, which should take about 10 minutes.
  • Mix in the bread crumbs, salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, thyme, and sage until well combined.
  • Add enough chicken broth to moisten the mixture.
  • Remove the skillet from heat and allow the stuffing to cool to room temperature.
  • Spoon the stuffing into large resealable bags and refrigerate for up to three days.
  • If you're planning to stuff your turkey, place the stuffing in the turkey's cavity and cook it according to your recipe.
  • If you're using the stuffing as a side dish, bake it in greased casserole dishes in an oven prehe
Keyword Ahead, and, Bread, Dish, Dressing, Entertaining, Events, Herb, Herbs, Holidays, Ideas, Make, Recipes, Side, Spices, Stuffing, Thanksgiving
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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