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?
A Good Rule of Thumb
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. The trick: Divide each item into individual servings before storing.
Turkey: 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. Add a splash of gravy to the meat to help retain moisture.
Gravy: The good stuff 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.)
Cranberry sauce: 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.
Mashed potatoes and yams: 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.
Pumpkin pie: If you can resist eating a slice immediately after the big holiday 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.
Apple pie: Pies aren’t created equally, especially when it comes to how you treat leftovers. America’s favorite 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.
Stuffing: 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.