Turkey and cranberry sandwhich

How long do Thanksgiving leftovers keep?

When there’s no more room in your stomach for Thanksgiving food, it’s time to make some space in your fridge. Leftovers make for easy meals, but unfortunately they don’t last forever. Food safety becomes a concern just a few days after cooking, and they can cause serious illness if not eaten in a reasonable amount of time. Read on to discover how long your Thanksgiving favorites will last in the fridge and in the freezer.

Turkey

Fridge: Up to 4 days
Freezer: Up to 3 months

It’s not Thanksgiving without the turkey, and thankfully this meat is relatively low in fat. Be aware that dark meat does have a higher fat content, as does the skin. You can cut down on calories by sticking to white meat.

Stuffing

Fridge: Up to 4 days
Freezer: Up to 1 month

Stuffing is a staple of the holiday, but it’s easy to stuff yourself on this not-so-healthy side dish. Healthier options like steamed vegetables will make your leftovers delicious and nutritious!

Steamed vegetables

Fridge: Up to 4 days
Freezer: Up to 1 year

Steamed vegetables are easy to add to any meal, and are a great way to add some healthy color to your Thanksgiving plate. They freeze for up to a year and a quick source of vitamins!

Cranberry sauce

Fridge: Up to 2 weeks
Freezer: Up to 2 months

Cranberry sauce is a real trooper, lasting up to 2 weeks in the fridge! While the canned stuff might be high in sugar, fresh cranberry sauce is a good source of fiber, antioxidants and Vitamin C.

Mashed potatoes

Fridge: Up to 5 days
Freezer: Up to 1 year

The carb of choice for the holiday isn’t always a healthy choice. Keep the skins on for added fiber, and use only a small amount of low- or nonfat milk to keep the calories down.

Gravy

Fridge: Up to 2 days
Freezer: Up to 3 months

A spoonful of gravy goes a long way. It’s packed with salt and sodium, and the calories add up quickly. Consider adding flavor to your mashed potatoes in other ways, like simply using spices.

Pumpkin pie

Fridge: Up to 4 days
Freezer: Up to 2 months

There’s no shame in ending the evening with a slice of pumpkin pie! Before packing it away in the fridge or freezer, cut it into small pieces to reduce temptation down the road.

 

For more tips about food and meal prep, check out our posts on the Health Minute blog.