Stuffing is definitely one of the favorite dishes among many Americans, including myself. It is a holiday dish that’s amazing aroma always excites my senses, in a good way of course.
Although many people tend to make it on Christmas and Easter, just before the Holiday season, it is a Thanksgiving trademark really.
It is a side dish that goes well with your Thanksgiving turkey or ham. Because it is so delicious and many people can not find an adequate substitute for it, it is often slightly overdone with its making. This leaves a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers, which is a shame to throw in the trash.
From there, the question arises of whether you can freeze stuffing. And yes, you can definitely freeze stuffing, both leftovers or the whole batch of your favorite holiday meal if you have made it ahead of time.
It is just important to know what are the ways to go through the process properly. So, if you want to know the exact answer to that question, your best bet is to continue reading.
Can You Freeze Stuffing?
Yes, you can freeze stuffing. You can freeze both cooked and uncooked stuffing. It is, however, important to follow the right steps of the freezing process that are explained in this article and your stuffing will be good to go.
If frozen properly, the stuffing will stay good in the freezer for 3-6 months.
What Is Stuffing And How To Make It?
Before I head to the explanation of the freezing process itself, for those of you who are not so familiar with this amazing dish, I will briefly explain what stuffing is and how to make a simple but delicious stuffing.
What Is Stuffing?
Some people confuse these two, but stuffing is actually the same as dressing. It is the favorite side dish of many types of meat, especially turkey on Thanksgiving Day, but it also goes well with pork and beef.
When it comes to making stuffing, you can’t really go wrong. There are many ingredients that can go into this incredible dish but the most traditional ones include chopped vegetables, breadcrumbs, and various seasonings, as well as sweet potatoes.
Most of the stuffing recipes call for some kind of liquid that will give the mixture some extra moisture. Stock or chicken broth is most often added to the mixture. When it comes to cooking, it is most often cooked on the stovetop or roasted inside a bird cavity.
How To Make Your Own Homemade Stuffing?
Here are a few simple steps that you need to follow in order to make your own delicious homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner.
1. First, slice the bread into 1-inch cubes. You can choose any bread you like, but I would recommend you use sourdough bread. Cornbread is also a good alternative.
2. Dry the bread by letting it sit on the countertop for 1-2 days.
3. Prepare the herbs. It is best to use fresh ones, but you can add dry herbs as well. You can use some kind of seasoning like poultry or accent seasoning.
4. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
5. After the butter has melted, add the dry seasoning, onion, and celery, and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.
6. You can now transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl and add the previously made mixture, as well as the fresh herbs that you have prepared.
7. In order for your stuffing to be moist, add a little broth to the mixture. Do not add too much as you don’t want it to become soggy.
8. Add some pepper and salt as well.
9. Now, you can transfer your mixture to the baking dish or oven-safe dish. Or if you’re making stuffing balls, put them on a baking sheet.
10. Bake it at 350 degrees F. The cooking time is 35 minutes.
11. After those 35 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
12. Your delicious stuffing is finally ready for serving and enjoying.
Can You Freeze Cooked Stuffing?
The answer to the question: can stuffing be frozen is definitely positive no matter what type of stuffing you’re dealing with. If you don’t have time to make stuffing on Thanksgiving day or if you have some leftovers that you don’t want to throw in the trash, you can always freeze them.
How To Freeze Cooked Stuffing?
Freezing cooked stuffing is not a complicated process at all. There are really just a few steps that you need to follow and your stuffing will be perfectly safe in the freezer.
STEP 1: First, you need to cool your stuffing to room temperature. According to the two-hour rule, you shouldn’t let it stay on the countertop for more than 2 hours because it can become unsafe.
STEP 2: Your next task is to portion your stuffing. It is best to make small portions that you are going to use after freezing.
STEP 3: Wrap those portions properly. You can wrap them in a layer of foil, plastic wrap, or clingfilm. I would recommend using clingfilm to avoid any air that can lead to freezer burn. Freezer burn will ruin the texture and flavor of the dish.
STEP 4: Pack those wrapped portions into freezer bags or in an airtight container. Make sure that you pull out all the excess air if you are using freezer bags.
STEP 5: Finally, you can label the bags or the containers with the exact date of storage and store them deep in the freezer.
How Long Does Stuffing Last In The Freezer When Cooked?
Cooked stuffing can last in the freezer for about 3-6 months. It will be good after 3 months for sure, but there may be a loss of quality, as stated by the USDA.
So, this really depends on the types of ingredients that you used to make the stuffing. For example, if your stuffing contains raw eggs, it is not good to keep it in the freezer for too long because eggs are not that suitable for freezing.
Can You Freeze Uncooked Stuffing?
Yes, you can also freeze uncooked stuffing. So, if you are planning to make stuffing for Thanksgiving, and you don’t have that much time to prepare the ingredients and cook the mix on that day, you can prepare that mix ahead, freeze it, and cook it that day.
How Do You Freeze Uncooked Stuffing?
The process of freezing uncooked stuffing is very similar to the process of freezing cooked ones. So, let’s see what those simple steps are.
STEP 1: First, you need to prepare the mix of ingredients that your stuffing recipe suggests, without cooking it of course.
STEP 2: Next, transfer that mixture into the tray that you will use for cooking. Make sure that the tray is both freezer-safe and oven-safe.
STEP 3: After transferring the stuffing onto the tray, you must wrap it properly using a layer of foil or clingfilm. I would suggest you wrap it in another layer in order to make sure that there are no gaps where air can enter.
STEP 4: Finally, you can label the wrapped tray with the exact date of storage and put it deep in the freezer.
How Long Does Uncooked Stuffing Last In The Freezer?
Uncooked stuffing, just like cooked ones, can stay in the fridge for about 3-6 months. If you have some ingredients in the stuffing that are not so suitable for freezing, like for example raw eggs, I wouldn’t recommend you to freeze it for more than 3 months.
Or, you can also freeze other ingredients and add those not suitable for the process later. But, that is up to you and your personal schedule.
How To Reheat Stuffing Properly?
You can use an oven or microwave to reheat frozen stuffing. Personally, I would always recommend you reheat stuffing, as well as any other type of food, in the oven. Only if you don’t have much time or if you are dealing with really small portions, can you use the microwave.
If you choose to use it, pour a little broth before placing it in a microwave-safe dish in order for it to maintain its moisture. Cover it with a piece of parchment paper and microwave for 2-3 minutes.
However, if you have a large batch of stuffing and a little more time, it is best to choose the oven method.
All you have to do is to preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, place the stuffing into an oven-safe dish, and cover it with foil. You can bake it for about 15 minutes. After that, you can remove the foil and bake your stuffing for 5 more minutes until it’s done.
What To Do With Leftover Stuffing?
If you did not use all the stuffing and you don’t want to store it in the fridge or freezer, do not worry. There are numerous ways to use those leftovers and to enjoy the new dish that contains your favorite holiday side dish. Here are some ideas.
• Stuffing waffles with the help of a waffle iron.
• Turkey and stuffing dumplings are a combination that will delight your taste buds even more.
• Stuffing patties and leftover mashed potatoes because it is always a great idea to mix stuffing and mashed potatoes and cover it with some leftover gravy.
• Stuffing muffins with the help of muffin tins for the most delicious muffins ever.
• Leftover Thanksgiving nachos that combine turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy that are topped with some Monterey Jack cheese.
• Using stuffing as a side for sandwiches is always a good idea if you want to keep things simple.
Can You Prepare Uncooked Stuffing Ahead Of Time And Refrigerate Or Freeze It?
You can prepare uncooked stuffing ahead of time if you freeze it immediately. Just follow the steps for freezing uncooked stuffing properly and it will be fine in the freezer for 3-6 months.
However, it is not recommended to refrigerate uncooked stuffing because it will be at huge risk of spoilage.
This is the recommendation provided by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).
Can You Freeze Dressing?
Yes, you can freeze dressing. Dressing and stuffing are practically the same things with a few differences that are not important for the freezing process.
You can freeze dressing just like you would freeze stuffing. That means that you just need to follow the same steps of the freezing process that you need to follow when freezing stuffing.
How Long Can You Keep Uncooked Stuffing In The Fridge?
It is not recommended to refrigerate uncooked stuffing because of the really big risk of harmful bacteria growth. It is always best to cook stuffing immediately.
If you don’t want to cook it right away, you can freeze it within 2 hours and use it in a time frame of 3-6 months. Just make sure that you follow the proper steps for freezing uncooked stuffing.
Is It Better To Freeze Stuffing Cooked Or Uncooked?
It is better to freeze uncooked stuffing than to freeze cooked ones. The main reason for this is the fact that the freezing of uncooked stuffing will enhance its flavor if you freeze it properly of course.
On the other hand, freezing cooked stuffing won’t do any harm, but if you let it stay in the freezer for too long, there is a possibility of deterioration in flavor and texture.
What Is The Best Way To Thaw Stuffing?
It is best to reheat stuffing right from frozen. That means that it doesn’t need to be thawed at all, for example, in the fridge or on the countertop. In fact, it is not recommended to thaw it.
Can You Freeze Sage And Onion Stuffing?
Yes, you can freeze sage and onion stuffing because both sage and onion freeze well. Both cooked and uncooked, together in stuffing, they can be frozen without any problems for up to one month.
In one of my previous posts, I explained how to tell if an onion has gone bad, so take a look.
Freezing Stuffing The Proper Way
As you could have seen, the answer to the question of whether you can freeze stuffing is definitely positive. If you are prone to home cooking, you can freely make your own homemade stuffing and freeze it by following these simple steps explained in the article.
This is especially the case if it is that wonderful time of year, i.e. holiday. If you don’t have the time to make stuffing on Thanksgiving day, you can make it ahead of time, freeze it, and reheat it on the day that you want to use it.
You can also freeze uncooked stuffing and it is even recommended to do that because you will enhance the flavor profile of your favorite holiday dish.
All you have to do is to follow the steps of preparing, freezing, and reheating that are explained in the article and the stuffing will be good to go.