leftover stuffing

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The Joy of Next-Day Stuffing

Editor
If you need us on Black Friday, we’ll be eating it till we’re stuffed

There’s no doubt about it. Stuffing is the highlight of Thanksgiving. Forget the turkey, forget the green beans. Bo-ring. Unless you’ve burnt it or don’t add enough butter, stuffing is the star of the show. But there is one dish that manages to taste even better than the stuffing served on Thanksgiving: stuffing you reheat the next day.

Game-Changing Stuffing Recipes

Don’t ask us how — we don’t know what sorcery is happening in the dark depths of your fridge overnight. But by morning the next day, the pillowy, soft layers of what’s essentially a bread-and-butter casserole have undergone a drastic transformation. They’ve become even better-tasting leftovers.

It’s the only side dish that does this. Turkey gets dry. Brussels sprouts get soggy. Green bean casserole loses its crisp. Even the clouds of marshmallows atop your sweet potato casserole lose their magic — they deteriorate and melt right into the mush once you microwave your serving. (Not that we don’t gobble up the whole tray anyway…)

We have a theory as to what makes leftover stuffing so special. When you think about it, stuffing is essentially just a sponge: chunks of bread tossed together with stock, butter, and whatever else you like to throw in there. On the day of, you bake it all together till you get those delectable crispy edges and a fluffy, flavorful middle. But overnight, the flavors and stocks get to really soak into the bread. And the next day, we’re practically racing to the fridge to reheat a sizable chunk before our families get to it first.

Be honest: You think next-day stuffing tastes better, too. It’s a good thing, really, because there are a bajillion ways to reheat and eat those heaps of leftovers. Stuff some in the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Wrap bites of it in bacon. Add some to a hash with eggs and call it breakfast. The sky is truly the limit.

And yet, the tried and true method of globbing some onto a plate and pressing “Quick 30” on the microwave does the trick every time.

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PSA: Your stuffing will only last in the refrigerator for three to five days, and that’s if you store it correctly. So please, stuff those leftovers in your face ASAP. Because though you could never get sick of stuffing, you can get sick from eating stuffing if it’s past its prime. Same goes for all your other Thanksgiving leftovers — here’s how long each dish actually lasts before it goes bad.