How to Prepare Stuffing in Advance


When preparing a holiday dinner, there are a lot of dishes to juggle on the day of the big feast, so many cooks choose to prepare certain dishes ahead of time. However, precautions should be taken when pre-cooking any dish, including one of the most popular holiday side dishes--stuffing.

Step 1

Prepare pre-packaged or homemade stuffing according to recipe instructions, making sure your stuffing has a sufficient amount of liquid to keep it moist, since according to the USDA, bacteria is destroyed most effectively in moist environments.

Step 2

Cook your stuffing in the oven to a safe internal temperature, which according to the USDA is 165˚ F. Then move your stuffing to shallow storage containers.

Step 3

Refrigerate the stuffing overnight and up to three to four days before you plan to serve, or freeze your stuffing for up to four months.

Step 4

When reheating your stuffing on Thanksgiving, cook it to an internal temperature of at least 165˚F. Use a food thermometer to ensure the stuffing has cooked to the proper temperature.

Tips and Warnings

  • According to the USDA, the bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses are at their most dangerous between 40˚F and 140˚F, so stuffing needs to be refrigerated within two hours of cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • Pre-packaged or homemade stuffing, prepared according to instructions
  • Shallow food storage containers
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven


  • USDA: Tips to Safely Handle and Prepare Stuffing This Thanksgiving Holiday
Keywords: precooked stuffing, turkey stuffing, Thanksgiving precooking

About this Author

Kelly O'Gea entered journalism in 2009. Since then, she has been the general editor of the collegiate publication "GAMBIT." O'Gea has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southeastern Louisiana University.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Prepare Stuffing in Advance