How to Stuff a Turkey

Everyone knows the stuffing is the best part of the bird! These foolproof instructions will ensure that yours is delicious.


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Are you hosting Turkey Day this year? Make it a feast to remember with these recipes and cooking tips.

You Will Need

  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Oven-safe casserole dish
  • Skewer
  • Cooking twine
  • Meat thermometer
  • Turkey breast (optional)
  • Foil (optional)


  1. When stuffing your turkey, make the stuffing at the last minute so it can go into the bird warm, reducing the potential for bacteria to grow around it during baking.

  2. Step 1

    Prep the turkey

    Make sure your turkey is completely thawed. Remove the giblet package from the cavity, rinse the bird inside and out with cold water, and pat it dry.

  3. Step 2

    Make the stuffing

    Make the stuffing just before you're ready to cook the turkey. If you want to do some prep work ahead of time, keep the recipe's wet ingredients chilled and separate from the dry ones until it's time to stuff the turkey.

  4. Plan on 1 cup of stuffing per pound of turkey -- more if you're cooking for a Thanksgiving crowd!

  5. Step 3

    Stuff the turkey

    Stuff both the neck and body cavities loosely; otherwise, it won't cook evenly and bacteria could grow. If there's any left over, put it in a buttered, oven-safe casserole dish and refrigerate it. Cover and stick it in the oven about 30 minutes before the bird is done. Uncover it and cook for an additional 10 minutes for a crispy, golden top.

  6. Step 4

    Keep stuffing inside

    Keep the stuffing from spilling out by sticking a skewer through the neck flap and tying the legs together with cooking twine. Immediately place the stuffed turkey in a preheated oven set no lower than 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

  7. If you're cooking a turkey breast, hold the stuffing in with a piece of foil.

  8. Step 5

    Check the temperature

    When the turkey is done, stick a meat thermometer into the center of the stuffing to make sure it's reached 165 degrees. Bon appetit!

  9. When stuffing is cooked outside the bird, the correct term is "dressing."