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When to Toss Those Leftovers

Posted by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 33 Replies

If you're lucky, you have a very full fridge right now with lots of leftover goodies from your Thanksgiving feast. But at some point you're going to run out of things to do with this stuff, and at that point you're going to start wondering exactly how long you can keep it around.

Cranberry sauce lasts the longest, at a whopping 10-14 days.You can use it as a condiment for pork, thin it with some vinegar and oil for a zingy salad dressing (trust me on this, it's delicious) or eat right out of the container. This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, as well as one of the healthiest, so it's good to know you can keep it around.

Turkey is good for about five days, which means you should be finishing up your turkey leftovers by Tuesday. If you haven't yet deconstructed your bird, do so now and wrap it in smaller portions of foil versus one big package. You can even double-wrap, label and freeze some for a few won't taste so hot on its own but can be a welcome addition to soups and casseroles. And, of course, it can be a key ingredient subbed in for chicken in a lot of freezer casserole recipes.

Gravy goes bad fast, in a day or two. Eat that stuff now!

Mashed potatoes, stuffing and green bean casserole have about the same shelf life as your turkey, 3-5 days. Mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole freeze surprisingly well....the rest of it, eat now.

Leftover wine (a concept with which I am not familiar) lasts about 3-5 days, or you can freeze it in ice cube trays and use in stews and sauces year round.

Personally, I always have the ceremonial turkey sandwich the next day composed of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on white bread (which I rarely eat the rest of the year), and then make turkey broccoli casserole Monday or Tuesday night. What's your favorite thing to do with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Image ŠIStockPhoto/HHLtDave5

by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Rhonda on Nov. 29, 2013 at 8:07 AM

we eat leftovers for a day or two....after that things that are left (rare) go to the dogs.

by Gold Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM
Usually there gone by the end of the weekend
by Peggy on Nov. 29, 2013 at 9:56 AM

we will have another dinner today, then the next days will be turkey sandwiches or whatever we can get out of it.  I'm also making turkey soup just have to find a recipe I like!

Good to know about how long everything is fresh for...thank you for that information

by Silver Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Good stuff to know!

by Mandee on Nov. 29, 2013 at 3:46 PM
Thanks for the info. We just eat ours.
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by Sarah on Nov. 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM
Great information there.
We usually don't have too many leftovers and I send a lot home with others too
by Lauren on Nov. 30, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Great tips!  Though I've never had leftover wine, I love the idea of freezing it for cooking.  

We didn't have many leftovers this year as we don't have the fridge space and only cooked for the 5 of us but what we did have we ate the next day.  All that's left is a couple of slices of pumpkin pie (but I assure you those won't last much longer either.)

by Tracy on Dec. 1, 2013 at 7:17 AM

We eat ours for the next day then throw out the rest except for desserts

by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 10:21 AM
We don't have any leftovers. We took home enough for one extra meal but that's all!!
by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 10:38 AM
We don't get offered leftovers. But I am making a turkey this week because I want leftovers haha. I love turkey sandwiches the most!
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