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Exactly How To Reheat Stuffing – I Test 4 Methods [Pics]

Everyone loves stuffing, but I always seem to cook too much of it.

And when there’s a massive roast to be devoured, there’s bound to be some leftovers.

The question is what to do with those leftovers?

Can you return the stuffing (also known as dressing) to its former glory by reheating it the next day?

I did an experiment to find out.

The best way to reheat stuffing is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the stuffing in an ovenproof dish and drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of stock over it. Cover the dish with foil and reheat the stuffing for 15-30 minutes. Uncover the dish for the last 5-10 minutes to crisp the top.

A note on my experiment

stuffing in 4 different vessels: an air fryer, a bowl, a skillet, and a baking tray.

I tested out four different methods of reheating stuffing:

  • On the stove (warm and chewy)
  • In the oven (my favorite method but a bit slow)
  • In the microwave (quick but left the stuffing a bit stodgy)
  • In an air fryer (super crispy outside)

Heating the stuffing on the stove worked surprisingly well and is definitely a method I’d use again. 

The oven also worked really well, turning out stuffing that was almost as good as new. 

The air fryer is good if you want a crunchy outside.

And, of course, the microwave was super quick and easy.

The stuffing will dry out quite a bit while it’s in the fridge, so when you’re reheating it, you’ll need to add extra moisture. 

Note: I’m technically talking about dressing here because my stuffing was never inside a bird!

Reheating stuffing on the stove

Heat a pan over medium heat, adding oil or butter and 2-3 tablespoons of stock. When the pan is hot, spoon your stuffing into it and press it down slightly to make a stuffing pancake. Heat it for 2-3 minutes without turning it over. Once it’s browned, flip it and heat for a further 2-3 minutes.

stuffing pressed down in a skillet

How to reheat stuffing on the stove:

  1. Heat a pan over medium heat, adding a little vegetable oil or butter to it.
  2. Drizzle a few tablespoons of stock or water into the pan to add moisture. 
  3. Spoon the stuffing into the pan stirring in the extra moisture, and then flatten it like a pancake.
  4. Heat the stuffing for 2-3 minutes until it’s golden brown.
  5. When it’s brown, turn it over and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, pressing down on it occasionally.

Depending on how you like your stuffing, you can make the ‘pancake’ thin and crispy or thicker for a softer inside.

Just don’t make it too thick, or it won’t heat through before the outside burns.

If you prefer less crispy stuffing, skip the oil and butter and be generous with the extra liquid. 

You can add up to a ¼ cup’s worth. 

I always opt for stock over water because it adds more flavor, but use low-sodium stock, or the dish can get overly salty.

My verdict

I can understand why this is a popular method. 

The outside turned crispy, and the butter added some flavor, while the inside was moist and chewy.

The downside is that things can go wrong quite quickly.

You’ll get less consistent results than heating the stuffing in the oven.

Reheating stuffing in the oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the stuffing from the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature. Put the stuffing in an ovenproof dish and drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of stock over it. Cover the dish with foil and heat it for 15-30 minutes. Uncover the dish for the last 5-10 minutes to crisp the top.

top down view of stuffing in baking tray, partly covered with foil

Note: timings will vary greatly depending on how much stuffing you’re reheating, how dense the stuffing is, and the type of oven you’re using. 

How to reheat stuffing in the oven:

  1. Remove the stuffing from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  3. Transfer the stuffing to an oven-safe dish and add a few tablespoons of chicken or vegetable stock (low-sodium is best) for extra moisture.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and heat for 15-30 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil covering for the last 5-10 mins to give the stuffing a crisp top.

The crispier you like your stuffing, the less time you should cover it with foil (although be careful not to burn the top).

As well as the extra stock, I like to drizzle some melted butter over the top of the stuffing for added flavor.

To test if the stuffing is hot all the way through, stick a knife into the thickest part and feel the metal when you pull it out. 

If the metal is warm, your stuffing is ready.

Top tip: split the stuffing up and place it into a greased muffin tray to make ‘stuffing muffins’- Yum!

My verdict

I liked this method, but it’s pretty slow (unless you have a toaster oven).

Usually, the best way to reheat something is the same way you cooked it, which rings true for stuffing.

You get the soft inside and the crispy top. 

My stuffing ended up very similar to the freshly made version.

Reheating stuffing in the microwave

Transfer the stuffing to a microwave-safe bowl and add a splash of broth or butter to keep it moist. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel or some parchment paper. Heat in 30-second intervals until the stuffing warms through. Stir between intervals for even heating.

stuffing in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with a damp paper towel

How to reheat stuffing in the microwave:

  1. Spoon the stuffing into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. To add back the moisture lost in the fridge, splash some broth or melted butter onto the stuffing.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel or some parchment paper to trap the moisture.
  4. Heat the stuffing in 30-second intervals until warm, stirring the stuffing in the breaks.

Aim to serve and eat the stuffing quickly after heating. 

Microwaved stuffing stales much quicker than average once it starts to cool down – and you don’t want to end up eating cardboard.

My verdict

One of the downsides of using the microwave to reheat the stuffing is that you lose the crispy topping. 

But you get warm stuffing super quickly, and there’s no waiting around.

Sometimes, the microwave can give the bread a gummy texture, but I found my stuffing okay.

Reheating stuffing in an air fryer

To reheat the stuffing in an air fryer, set the air fryer to 350°F (180°C). Add some chicken or vegetable broth to the stuffing to moisten it. Shape the stuffing into balls or smaller portions and place them into the air fryer basket. Heat the stuffing for 5 minutes.

stuffing balls in air fryer basket

How to reheat stuffing in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Mix the stuffing with some broth and, optionally, some melted butter.
  3. Shape the stuffing into balls or smaller portions and place them in the air fryer basket, making sure air can circulate around them freely.
  4. Heat the stuffing for 5 minutes, checking carefully that the outside doesn’t get burnt.

Avoid heating bigger portions of stuffing because the outside will dry out before the inside gets warm. 

I had to learn this the hard way, which is why I suggest making smaller balls of stuffing.

To get a super crispy outside, spray the stuffing with some cooking spray before you put them in the air fryer.

My verdict

I mixed my stuffing balls with some melted butter, so they were super crunchy on the outside but still had a soft inside. 

The only thing you need to watch out for is that the air fryer has a habit of drying things out if you don’t watch it carefully.

How to store stuffing

To store leftover stuffing, allow it to cool to room temperature and then place it in an airtight container. Place a dry paper towel on top to absorb moisture. This stops the stuffing from getting soggy. Stuffing will last for 3-4 days in the fridge. For longer-term storage, you can freeze it. 

top-down view of stuffing on open airtight container

It’s important that you allow the stuffing to reach room temperature before sealing it in the container.

If you seal hot stuffing, condensation will form and leave you with mushy stuffing.

To cool your stuffing quickly, spread it out on a baking tray so the heat has an easy escape route. You can also use an ice bath. 

You can also store prepared but unbaked stuffing in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Simply cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. 

Can you freeze stuffing?

Stuffing holds up well in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can freeze both cooked and uncooked stuffing. If planning ahead, slightly undercook your stuffing during the first bake so that when you reheat it, it doesn’t overcook. 

stuffing in a labeled freezer bag

How to freeze stuffing:

  1. Cool the stuffing to room temperature. You can do this quickly by using an ice bath.
  2. To freeze the stuffing in its baking dish, cover it with a dry paper towel and then seal it with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil.
  3. Or you can portion the stuffing out and place it in freezer bags.
  4. Remove as much air from the freezer bags as possible before sealing.
  5. Label and date the stuffing before storing it in your freezer.
  6. Use the stuffing within 3 months. 

Removing the air from the freezer bags helps protect the stuffing against freezer burn.

An effective way to remove as much air as possible is to suck it out with a straw. 

Or you can dunk the freezer bag in a bowl of water, and the pressure will force the air out.

Or course, if you have a vacuum sealer, you should use that!

Another option is to create stuffing balls (or any shape you want) and flash freeze these on a baking tray before putting them in a freezer bag. Then you can easily pull out 2-3 stuffing balls for a quick dinner. 

How to reheat frozen stuffing

It is best not to thaw the stuffing before reheating it, as it will get soggy and mushy. Instead, reheat it directly from frozen in a 350°F (180°C) oven. Cover the stuffing with foil and heat it for 20-30 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes of heating to crisp the top.

When you’re checking on the stuffing sprinkle a few tablespoons of broth over the top if it seems a bit dry.

Exactly How To Reheat Stuffing

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover stuffing.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: American
Keyword: reheat stuffing, stuffing
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 386kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion stuffing
  • 3 tbsp stock chicken or vegetable, optional

Instructions

  • Remove the stuffing from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Transfer the stuffing to an oven-safe dish and add a few tablespoons of chicken or vegetable stock (low-sodium is best) for extra moisture.
  • Cover the dish with foil and heat for 15-30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil covering for the last 5-10 mins to give the stuffing a crisp top.

Notes

Note: timings will vary greatly depending on how much stuffing you’re reheating, how dense the stuffing is, and the type of oven you’re using.
The crispier you like your stuffing, the less time you should cover it with foil (although be careful not to burn the top).
As well as the extra stock, I like to drizzle some melted butter over the top of the stuffing for added flavor.
To test if the stuffing is hot all the way through, stick a knife into the thickest part and feel the metal when you pull it out.
If the metal is warm, your stuffing is ready.
Top tip: split the stuffing up and place it into a greased muffin tray to make ‘stuffing muffins’- Yum!
 

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 386kcal

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