Stuffing Safely

  • Never stuff the turkey in advance in an effort to save time.
  • Once you have decided on a stuffing recipe, mix ingredients quickly and lightly stuff the washed cavity just before placing the bird in the oven.
  • Chopping vegetable ingredients and bread preparation can be done in advance, but liquids and/or moist ingredients should not be added to dry ingredients until just before stuffing the turkey.
  • Allow 1/2 to 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey.
  • Stuffing needs room to expand during cooking, do not over-stuff.
  • The stuffing recipe may be more than your turkey can hold. Place extra stuffing in a greased pan or casserole dish and bake separately.
  • Stuffing contains potentially hazardous ingredients, such as broth, eggs and meat, etc. That means these ingredients could cause illness if not properly cooked and stored.
  • Stuffing must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 165°F to be safe.
  • Stuffing should be removed from the cavity of the bird to a separate dish before carving the turkey.
  • Do not leave stuffing and other leftovers out for more than 2 hours. Refrigerate leftovers immediately following the meal.
  • Store leftover stuffing in the refrigerator and use it within 1 to 2 days.
  • Reheat leftover stuffing to 165 degrees F before serving.

Check the USDA stuffing basics.