12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (2024)

These make-ahead stuffing recipes (prepped one or two days early!) will help set up a successful and low-stress Thanksgiving menu. Capitalize on the flavors of the season with these Thanksgiving stuffing recipes that feature bread, rice, or grains. Add them to your Thanksgiving side dish repertoire and prepare for the oohs and aahs.

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Olive Bread Stuffing with Fennel

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12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (1)

Salty, briny, and great for so much more than a co*cktail garnish, olives transform this make-ahead stuffing to the gourmet territory. Artisanal olive bread, buttered mushrooms, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs team up to lend deep rustic flavor to this Thanksgiving stuffing. Put the ingredients together up to 2 days before your big meal for easy prep on turkey day.

Test Kitchen Tip: Cover it in aluminum foil ($6, Target) before it goes in the oven, then uncover for the last 20 minutes of baking for an extra-crunchy top.

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Caramelized Onion and Carrot Stuffing

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12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (2)

Chances are you've got a bag of carrots in the fridge (or maybe some odds and ends leftover from a vegetable salad or side?). Wherever you source them, the sunny and sturdy root veggie is the star of this make-ahead stuffing recipe, so go ahead and break out the vegetable peeler ($6, Walmart) to help you prep Thanksgiving dinner. Dress it up with plenty of fresh sage and sourdough bread, and feel free to prep a full day ahead.

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Cranberry-Apple Corn Bread Stuffing

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Layer sweet and savory fall flavors for a memorable cranberry stuffing recipe that will make everyone want seconds. Use corn bread crumbles for the base, add sweet cranberries and apples for fresh flavor, then cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

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Wild Rice Dressing

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Wild and white rice replace traditional bread in this make-ahead Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Alongside conventional carrots and celery, port-soaked cranberries and toasted almonds amp up the color and flavor of this unique side dish. Toss it all together in a casserole dish ($39, Walmart), chill for up to 24 hours, then bake—stirring a few times to ensure each grain cooks evenly.

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Apple, Bacon, and Onion Stuffing Muffins

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12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (5)

No more fighting over the crispy edges! These individual muffin tin stuffing cups allow everyone to savor the center and the sides of the craveable casserole. Assemble them ahead of time in a non-stick metal muffin tin and reheat them 20 minutes before Thanksgiving dinner.

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Oysters Rockefeller Sourdough Stuffing

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Combine co*cktail hour fare and dinner into one delicious dish. This make-ahead stuffing recipe is filled with all the classic components of oysters Rockefeller: Spinach, Parmesan, and oysters, of course! We've also tossed in a bit of bacon for even more flavor. Build it up to 24 hours before dinner, then bake and serve the finished dish with hot sauce so your guests can adjust the heat.

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Paella-Style Stuffing

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12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (7)

Add a bit of Spanish flair to your Thanksgiving menu! This savory stuffing gets bold flavor from chorizo sausage, green olive, and saffron. A mix of bread and rice gives this holiday dressing a unique texture. Assemble it all in a classic paella pan ($19, World Market) or low skillet, then refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking.

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Roasted Chestnut Stuffing

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No need to roast chestnuts over an open fire. Get the same toasted nutty flavor in this hearty make-ahead stuffing that features several seasonal flavors in one easy, prep-a-day-ahead casserole. About an hour before dinner, pop it in the oven. How do you know exactly when it's done? Try this Test Kitchen pro tip: Use a food thermometer ($15, Target) near the center and watch for 165° F.

09of 12

Savory Butternut Squash Dressing

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12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (9)

Part rice-based and part bread-based, this make-ahead Thanksgiving stuffing will please fans of both. Rich, orange butternut squash and ripe, red cranberries shine through this fall favorite. A mixture of egg, half-and-half, and chicken broth creates an extra-moist stuffing for Thanksgiving.

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Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing

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12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (10)

Don't just take our word for it that you should try this make-ahead stuffing. BH&G home cook Jodi says it's "hard to improve upon this classic stuffing recipe!" Celery, onion, and fresh sage that lend comforting, traditional Thanksgiving flavor to toasted white bread cubes. We've updated the classic red plaid cookbook ($25, Target) instructions to add: It can be prepared up to 24 hours before baking (just chill in between, naturally).

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Squash-Mushroom and Farro Dressing

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Almost a meal itself, this stuffing recipe boasts hearty ingredients like farro, squash, and pancetta. Add it to your Thanksgiving spread with fresh sides like a green salad and roasted vegetables for a vibrant feast, or try it as a main for a completely vegetarian Thanksgiving menu. Either way, you'll sleep well once you have this dish chilling overnight before the big day.

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Apple, Bacon, and Leek Stuffing

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Sweet and savory come together in this Thanksgiving side dish. Prepare the fall apples, salty bread crumbs, and savory leeks and mushrooms and layer them in a casserole dish ($16, Target). This make-ahead turkey stuffing can be assembled up to 1 day before the holiday meal.

12 Make-Ahead Stuffing Recipes That Would Make Grandma Proud (2024)


Can you prepare uncooked stuffing ahead of time and refrigerate? ›

If you don't plan on stuffing the bird, but preparing the dressing as a side dish, you can prepare uncooked stuffing ahead of time as long as you freeze the stuffing immediately after mixing the wet and dry ingredients. USDA recommends that you never refrigerate uncooked stuffing.

What does adding egg to stuffing do? ›

Eggs: Two lightly beaten eggs help hold the dressing together and add moisture.

Can you make stuffing ahead of time and reheat? ›

YES! This stuffing is baked to golden perfection the day before the big meal. You store it in the fridge overnight and then simply warm it in the oven before dinner. Baking it twice allows the flavours to meld even more so this side dish is sure to be a star at the table.

Why can't you make stuffing ahead of time? ›

You haven't said whether you are going to cook the stuffing inside the bird or out, but it's fine to make almost any stuffing a few hours before you'll need it. The important thing is to keep it properly chilled so that bacteria won't have a chance to grow in it.

How long can uncooked stuffing stay in the refrigerator? ›

Do not refrigerate uncooked stuffing. If stuffing is prepared ahead of time, it must be either frozen or cooked immediately. To use cooked stuffing later, cool in shallow containers and refrigerate it within 2 hours. Use it within 3 to 4 days.

Is it OK to make stuffing a day ahead of time? ›

No matter where you fall, getting a head start on what can be prepared before the big day is essential. One question that always crops up: Can you make stuffing ahead of time? The short answer to whether you can making stuffing ahead of time is yes.

Is stuffing better with or without eggs? ›

It's a matter of preference, but adding a beaten egg to your stuffing mixture acts as a binder and keeps the bread moist.

What makes stuffing unhealthy? ›

Stuffing is not strictly a healthy food, because it is typically high in calories, fat, sodium, and refined carbohydrates. 1 But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it, All foods can fit into a healthy diet in moderation.

What can you use as a binder instead of eggs in stuffing? ›

16 egg substitutes
  1. Mashed banana. Mashed banana can act as a binding agent when baking or making pancake batter. ...
  2. Applesauce. Applesauce can also act as a binding agent. ...
  3. Fruit puree. Fruit puree will help bind a recipe in a similar way to applesauce. ...
  4. Avocado. ...
  5. Gelatin. ...
  6. Xanthan gum. ...
  7. Vegetable oil and baking powder. ...
  8. Margarine.
Mar 30, 2021

Why can't you refrigerate uncooked stuffing? ›

Because stuffing is an excellent medium for bacterial growth, it's important to handle it safely and cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer. Here are some common ques- tions consumers ask. Stuffing should not be prepared ahead.

How do you reheat stuffing so it doesn't dry out? ›

Heat the oven to 350°F and transfer the stuffing to an oven-safe dish (or, you can keep it in the dish that it was originally cooked in). If it seems dry, you'll want to add a splash of broth. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake again until crisp, 15–20 minutes.

Does stove top stuffing taste good? ›

The verdict: It's often said that we eat with our eyes first, and Stove Top's Traditional Sage stuffing was far and away the most visually appealing. Tasters appreciated that there was a a decent crunch in each bite, but we were most impressed by its seasoning.

Is it better to freeze stuffing cooked or uncooked? ›

“One advantage of freezing uncooked stuffing is that it has less of a tendency to dry out when being cooked,” says Sarah Brekke, M.S., Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen culinary specialist.

What happens if you don't cook stuffing? ›

It Could Give You Salmonella Poisoning

If that stuffing doesn't reach 165 degrees F, the bacteria won't be killed off, meaning you're passing it on to your guests.

How wet should stuffing be before baking? ›

The stuffing should be moist but not wet. If there is a puddle of broth at the bottom of the bowl, you've added too much. Add more bread to soak up the excess moisture. If the mix is still dry and crumbly, add more liquid and toss gently until it starts to clump together.

Can you put stuffing mix in the fridge? ›

Just mix the stuffing ingredients together and store in the fridge, freeing up time and reducing stress on Thanksgiving Day, when you're dealing with all the other prep! Try make-ahead stuffing this Thanksgiving to save time and oven space.

How long does uncooked stove top stuffing last? ›

If it has been stored properly in a cool, dry place, unopened Stove Top stuffing can remain suitable for consumption for approximately 6-8 months past the best before date. Once a package has been opened, its shelf life decreases.

Does dry stuffing mix go bad? ›

Stuffing mix often remains safe to eat past the best by date, typically retaining optimal quality for 12-18 months if stored in a cool, dry area. However, after the expiration date, it is advised to discard the mix to avoid any health risks.

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