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How to Stuff a Turkey

Created January 10, 2017
Tips and tricks for how to make stuffing. Includes ideas for traditional stuffing and alternative homemade stuffing. Plus, learn how to stuff a turkey!
Easy Turkey Stuffing

How to Make Stuffing

Make the right stuff using our tips and tricks.

Traditional Stuffing

Classic stuffing is usually made with white bread. Using stale bread is best—it’s easier to cut, doesn’t get soft and mushy during baking, and has a fluffier texture than fresh bread.

For variety you can try just about any kind of bread: whole grain, sourdough, rye, French, Italian, herb or corn bread.

Stuffing Recipe Alternatives

You don’t have make stuffing with bread. Some people prefer rice stuffing and others love a stuffing made with meat or vegetables.

You can also add quartered onions and cloves of garlic to the turkey cavity. Or try wedges of lemon, orange, apples and fresh herbs.

Homemade Stuffing Fast

When you’re tight on time, the quickest way to make homemade stuffing is to use packaged croutons or stuffing mix. This way, you can prepare the stuffing just before you’re ready to stuff the turkey.

How to Stuff a Turkey

  • Pack it loosely. Allow about ¾ cup stuffing per pound. Pack stuffing loosely into the neck and body cavities of the turkey. (Stuffing expands while it bakes.)
  • Cook the leftovers. Place extra stuffing in a covered casserole dish alongside the poultry. Uncover during the last 30 to 45 minutes of baking so the top can get nicely crisp, crunchy and golden brown.
  • Prevent bacteria.
    • Never pre-stuff a turkey and put it in the refrigerator for later roasting. Always stuff your turkey just before cooking it. This prevents bacteria from contaminating the stuffing.
    • Cook stuffing until the center of the stuffing reaches 165º F to avoid any food safety issues.
    • Remove the stuffing from the turkey before carving and place it in a separate container. Don’t leave stuffing inside poultry because it won’t cool quickly enough, which can cause bacteria to grow.
  • Cook stuffing separately if you’re not roasting the turkey. If you are grilling, deep-frying, smoking or high-heat roasting your turkey, bake the stuffing separately.
    • Place stuffing in a greased 3-quart casserole or rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches.
    • Bake covered at 325º F for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.
    • To add turkey flavor, baste with juices from the turkey roasting pan.