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Thanksgiving Leftovers – About The Table

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers. It’s not only convenient and delicious to eat the next day, but it’s a great way to stock your fridge and create new recipes, such as a turkey sandwich or a pot pie.

But how to store Thanksgiving leftovers properly? Follow our tips: 


  • Keep the turkey fresh and juicy

First, define when you are likely to eat the turkey leftovers. Are you planning to use them the next morning?  Or do you want to keep them for a little longer? 

If you are eating the leftovers right away: the best way to store the meat is using a plastic bag. This way, the bird will take up the least amount of room in the fridge, and preserve its moisture and texture because there is less air in the bag, compared to a large food storage container.

If it’s already broken down and sliced, separate white and dark meat in different plastic bags for easier reheating. If you have larger pieces, such as unsliced breasts, drumsticks, or thighs, keep them intact for preserving all the juices. 

For food safety reasons, try to refrigerate the turkey leftovers within two hours!

If you want to eat the leftovers later: freezing is the best way to store the turkey leftovers for a few weeks, even months!

Try to store it in larger chunks versus slicing it. Keeping the meat in big chunks means less exposure to air to ensure freshness. Tie the bird up with two or three plastic bags if necessary. If you have a vacuum seal, better yet. Use it to extract the air from the bags before stocking the leftovers in the freezer.

  • Turn the thanksgiving leftovers into new ingredients 

Do you have a whole carcass and little to no meat on the bones? Great. This way you can create your own turkey stock for soups, casseroles, and more.

First, throw the carcass in a big stock with a carrot, half an onion, a couple of bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, and seasoning. 

Cover with water and let it simmer for a few hours. Once the broth is rich and dark, let it cool and then store it in plastic bags or in an ice cube tray for easier reheating. Properly stored, the turkey leftover stock can last up to three months in the freezer. 

  • Share the Thanksgiving leftovers with your guests!

It’s possible you’ll have more than turkey pieces to store. What to do with all the Thanksgiving leftovers? Separate what you want for yourself and then prepare a food container for each guest with a little piece of everything. 

You can add some slices of turkey with gravy, complete with sides, bread, and whatever else you know they will love in their day-after lunch.

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