How Long Are Thanksgiving Leftovers Good For?
Satisfy your holiday food cravings year-round by properly refrigerating and freezing your Turkey Day favorites.
It’s that time of year again: wandering through pumpkin patches, bundling up in scarves and whipping out trusted holiday recipes, like pecan pie. There’s nothing like cooking up a full Thanksgiving feast for your family—and having plenty of leftovers for weeks to come. How long do leftovers last? Long enough if you follow this advice:
A leftover Thanksgiving turkey lasts for three to four days in the fridge and two to three months in the freezer. Just make sure to carve it off the bone first (which you can learn how to do here). We like adding a splash of gravy to the meat to help retain moisture.
Gravy doesn’t have a very long refrigerator shelf life: just one to two days, although it keeps two to three months in the freezer. To achieve a flavor that evokes fresh Thanksgiving Day memories, bring the gravy to a boil on the stove before serving. (This only refers to homemade gravy—like our classic turkey gravy.)
Green Bean Casserole Leftovers:
A creamy green bean casserole will last about four days in the fridge. Since most recipes contain dairy, crunchy fried onions and green beans that have been cooked multiple times, we suggesting skipping freezing this casserole. You should definitely add one of these green bean casseroles to your Thanksgiving table.
Cranberry Sauce Leftovers:
Stored in a glass or plastic container, your cranberry sauce will last for up to two weeks in the fridge. Put it in the freezer to last up to two months. While this certainly applies to the store-bought variety, there’s nothing quite as good as our favorite lemon cranberry sauce.
Mashed Potatoes and Yams Leftovers:
Whichever you prefer, you’ll be able to keep mashed potatoes or yams in the fridge for up to five days or up to a year in the freezer. However, this doesn’t apply to ones that you bake—they won’t fare as well in the freezer. Before storing, place in a clean container separate from the one in which they were served at dinner. And to capture all the flavors of fall, try our apple mashed potatoes.
Pumpkin Pie Leftovers:
Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean pumpkin pie season is. If you can resist eating the whole pie after dinner, leave it in the fridge for up to four days, or up to two months in the freezer. Be aware that the texture might change once reheated, but the flavor should stay the same. Of course, we’re fairly certain that with this spiced pumpkin pie, you won’t have leftovers.
Apple Pie Leftovers:
Pies aren’t created equally, especially when it comes to how you treat leftovers. Apple pie will only last up to three days in the fridge and two months in the freezer. To make sure it retains its sweetness and crispness, wrap it tightly with either plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or secure it in a plastic bag. Need inspiration? Try our upside-down apple pie this year.
Though bread can last up to five days in the fridge, storing it there is not recommended and can leave it stale. If you’re not going to eat it immediately, you can keep it in the freezer for up to three months.
After it’s removed from the turkey, your stuffing can have another life in sandwiches or just as a snack. It will last for up to four days in the fridge and a month in the freezer. Mix up your usual recipes with this raisin-studded apple stuffing.
Have a few too many open bottles lying around? If you’re anything like us, you know wine should never go to waste. Both white and red can last three to five days in the fridge, but you can freeze it for up to two months. Thawed wine is safe to drink, but the flavor might change; we recommend cooking these wine-y recipes to use it up.
Leftovers should be cooled down as quickly as possible and reheated only once. While the food will still be safe to eat, the more you put it through reheating, the more taste and texture it will lose. Our trick? Divide each item into individual servings before storing.
Turkey Day meals shouldn’t end just because the holiday’s over. Knowing how long leftovers last can help you store everything from pie to turkey to cranberry sauce for the following week or the months to come.