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How Long Do Thanksgiving Leftovers Last?

For many people, the high point of Thanksgiving isn’t the big meal itself — it’s feasting on the turkey leftovers the next day! So how long can you safely keep Thanksgiving leftovers and what's the best way to store your leftover Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings?

To keep your Thanksgiving leftovers fresher longer, you’ve first got to ensure that they’re being kept in a safe storage environment. Most Thanksgiving leftovers will stay fresh and tasty for at least a few days in the refrigerator and a month or more in the freezer.

Some general tips:

•     Refrigerate leftover Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, gravy and other cooked side dishes within two hours of serving. It's okay to place warm food in the refrigerator.

•     Carve leftover turkey meat off the bones before refrigerating. Place the leftover turkey and stuffing in separate containers.

•     Divide leftover turkey and other cooked dishes into smaller portions and refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.

The following is the shelf life of Thanksgiving leftovers:

 

Storage Time

Item

Pantry

Fridge

Freezer

Turkey — whole, cooked

 

3-4 days

2-3 months

Gravy — homemade

 

1-2 days

2-3 months

Cranberry sauce

 

10-14 days

1-2 months

Stuffing — cooked

 

3-4 days

1 month

Mashed potatoes or yams; green bean casserole

 

3-5 days

10-12 months

Pumpkin pie — baked

 

3-4 days

1-2 months

Apple pie — baked

2 days

2-3 days after pantry storage

1-2 months

Wine, red or white — opened bottle

 

3-5 days

1-2 months

Bread — soft-crusted

4 -5 days

 

2-3 months

hard-crusted

1 -2 days

 

2-3 months

 

 

 

 

 

*Freezer time shown is for best quality only — foods kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.

Related Articles:

Does Pumpkin Pie Have to Be Refrigerated?
Is It OK to Put Hot Food Directly Into the Fridge?
How Long Do Spices Last?

 

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