If your turkey has been in the fridge for too long, is it edible? And what about stuffing, mashed potatoes, chickpea casseroles, cakes, and all your other Thanksgiving favorites?
Preparing a Thanksgiving table is a lot of work and effort, you’ll want to make sure nothing goes to waste and that you have plenty of leftovers to enjoy for the rest of your holiday weekend. But, how long are Thanksgiving leftovers good for? Long enough, if you follow this advice:
How Long Are Thanksgiving Leftovers Good For?
If you want to store cooked food, it’s important to follow some food safety rules. First, don’t leave any perishable food out for more than two hours, and always keep the freezer at 0°F and the freezer at 40°F or less.
Second, check the food if something looks or smells off, throw it out. Finally, follow the tips below on how long are Thanksgiving leftovers good.
Leftovers from your turkey can last for three to four days in the refrigerator and up to three months in the freezer. Just make sure you cut the turkey bones first. A little trick: you should add a bit of gravy to the meat to help keep it moist.
Get an extra turkey you didn’t use? You can store thawed raw turkey in the refrigerator for one to two days, and up to a year in the freezer. But if your turkey (whether cooked or raw) has a strong odor or slimy film, soak it.
Gravy, or any other broth made with meat, will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator. If you store it in the freezer, it can keep for one to two months. We recommend storing it in an airtight container or in an ice cube tray. For the best flavor, boil the gravy on the stove before serving.
As one of the favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, mashed potatoes are often made with butter and cream. According to food safety experts, this dish should be refrigerated and used within four days. If stored in the freezer continuously at 0ºF, mashed potatoes will still be safe to eat, however, the quality may suffer.
Green Bean Casserole
Like mashed potatoes, chickpea casseroles will keep for about 4 days in the fridge and are safe to eat in the freezer. Since most recipes for this dish feature, deep-fried onions, dairy, and green beans that have been cooked multiple times, we don’t recommend freezing this casserole.
Make sure to cook all the dishes you can with leftovers in the time possible. The stuffing will only last three to four days in the refrigerator. In the freezer, it’s good for up to a month.
Cranberry sauce is one of those Thanksgiving staples and you’re sure to make plenty of leftovers. Right after Thanksgiving dinner, store leftovers in an airtight container or glass jar, your cranberry sauce will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator or up to two months if stored in the freezer.
Pumpkin pie is also one of the favorites at Thanksgiving. If you can’t finish the cake after dinner, keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days, or you can freeze it for 2 months.
Baked goods are not created equal, especially when you are dealing with leftovers. Apple pie only keeps for up to three days in the refrigerator and two months in the freezer. To make sure it retains its sweetness and crispiness, wrap it tightly with cling film or aluminum foil, or secure it in a plastic bag.
If you have any leftover canned corn, it will keep for three to four days in the fridge as long as it is stored in a can and in a glass or plastic container.
Macaroni and cheese
Gooey, creamy mac and cheese are always ideal for a quick and delicious meal, and if you store it properly in the fridge, you can enjoy it for up to four days. It can also keep for months if you freeze it.
Leftover bread can be kept for up to five days in the refrigerator. If you don’t eat it right away, you can keep it in the freezer for up to three months. Like freezing any leftovers, don’t forget to note the date on your bread before freezing.
Too many opened bottles lying around? If you’re like us, you know wine shouldn’t be wasted. Both white and red can keep for three to five days in the refrigerator or up to two months in the freezer. Thawed wine is safe to drink, but flavors may vary. If your leftover wine smells like vinegar, pour it out.
Cook and reheat leftovers correctly
There are a few Thanksgiving leftovers that you should be aware of. First, all leftovers should be cooled down as quickly as possible, and preferably reheated only once. While food is still safe to eat, the more you reheat it, the more flavor and texture the food will lose.
Our tricks? Divide each dish into servings before storing. Then you take each portion just enough to reheat!
Also, there is the only number to keep in mind whether you’re cooking food for the first time or reheating: 165º. The CDC recommends reheating all leftovers to 165º before eating.
Well, now you know “how long are Thanksgiving leftovers good”. Basically, you have until the Monday after Thanksgiving to enjoy your favorite leftovers from the fridge. After that, chuck ’em!