How Long Do Christmas Leftovers Last?


Leftover turkey and stuffing. Baked ham and mashed potatoes. Eggnog and cookies. The only thing better than the Christmas meal itself is feasting on the leftovers the next day!

So how long can you safely keep Christmas leftovers and what's the best way to store your leftover turkey, ham or duck and all the fixings? To make the most of your leftovers, you’ve first got to ensure that they’re being kept in a safe storage environment. Most Christmas leftovers will stay fresh and tasty for at least a few days in the refrigerator and a month or more in the freezer.

Storing Christmas Leftovers Safely

•Refrigerate leftover turkey, ham, goose and other meats, stuffing, gravy and other cooked dishes within 2 hours of serving.

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

•Divide leftovers into smaller portions and refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.


How Long Christmas Leftovers Last


Storage Time





Turkey, Goose or Duck — whole, cooked


3-4 days

2-3 months

Ham — baked at home, leftovers


3-4 days

3-4 months

Gravy — homemade


3-4 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

Cookies — homemade or bakery-purchased

2-3 weeks

5-7 days if frosting or filling contains eggs or dairy products

8-12 months

Fruitcake — baked

1 month

6 months

1 year

Eggnog — homemade


1 day

6 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


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.



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