What to do With All Those Thanksgiving Leftovers

What to do With All Those Thanksgiving Leftovers

If your family is anything like mine, you probably always make way too much food for Thanksgiving. The reason? Leftovers! Thanksgiving food is way too good to enjoy just once, and if you're spending an exorbitant amount on this feast, you don't want to let any of it go to waste. 

We've put together some storage tips and re-heating tricks to make sure your hard earned money doesn't end up in the garbage disposal. Plus, we've got some tasty leftover recipes we've found for when you just can't handle another repeat of your Thanksgiving Day plate. Let's dig in!

The Turkey


This is probably the number one leftover from most people's Thanksgiving meal, because it's hard to know how many pounds your turkey should be to feed your family. If you've got leftovers, be sure you remove the stuffing and then slice all the meat from the bone before storing. You can keep it in the fridge in covered dishes or baggies for up to four days. To freeze, first wrap it in freezer foil or paper and then zip it in a freezer bag, removing as much air as you can. You'll want it cool before freezing, so place it in the fridge for a few hours and then transfer to the freezer. Frozen, cooked turkey is okay in the freezer for two to four months.

Recipes for leftovers:

The Mashed Potatoes


Much like turkey, you'll want to cool the potatoes down and get them into the fridge within two hours of cooking. Store in the fridge in an airtight dish or bowl wrapped with heavy duty foil, trying to keep as much air out as possible. For the freezer, I prefer freezer bags or filling air-tight dishes to the brim and sealing tightly. Whatever you can do to keep that air out! Leftovers are good in the fridge for up to four days and in the freezer for 6-12 months.

Recipes for leftovers:

The Stuffing


The stuffing should also be in the fridge to start the cooling process withing two hours of serving, and you'll want to be sure you remove it from the turkey before you put it away. If you store your stuffing in an airtight container or bag and you can freeze for up to one month. When reheating stuffing, especially if it's been in the turkey, be sure it's reheated to 165-degrees Fahrenheit before eating.

Recipes for leftovers:

The Bread


Bread dries out really quickly, and putting it in the fridge just speeds up that process. So, if you don't see yourself slicing it up within four days, wrap your bread first in plastic wrap and then in foil or freezer paper and pop it in the freezer. Bread and rolls can be kept in the freezer for two to three months.

Recipes for leftovers:

A few more tips:

  • Freeze any leftover wine in ice cube trays and use in recipes later.
  • Anything non-perishable that you didn't end up cooking, donate to your local food bank or shelter.
  • Keep your food safe and for the maximum amount of time by making sure your fridge is never over 40-degrees Fahrenheit while Thanksgiving leftovers are present.
  • Reheat mashed potatoes in a homemade double boiler, using a heat-safe bowl on top of a pan of boiling water and add extra cream and butter to refresh the flavor.

Do you have any leftover tips to add? Let us know in the comments!