How Long Are Thanksgiving Leftovers Good For? (Includes Printable Chart)
Overflowing with a cornucopia of leftovers? You can store most of your Turkey Day favorites in the fridge or freezer. Here's how long Thanksgiving leftovers are good for.
It’s that time of year again: wandering through pumpkin patches, bundling up in scarves and whipping out trusted Thanksgiving recipes. If your feast makes enough food to last days (or weeks), you might ask yourself: How long are Thanksgiving leftovers good for?
In general, most cooked leftovers will last three to four days in the refrigerator, but some foods can stretch a bit longer, and others will go bad more quickly. Here’s a chart to reference:
|Leftover Type||Stored in Fridge||Stored in Freezer|
|Cooked Turkey||3-4 days||2-3 months|
|Raw Turkey||1-2 days||1 year|
|Gravy||1-2 days||2-3 months|
|Green Bean Casserole||4 days||N/A|
|Cranberry Sauce||2 weeks||2 months|
|Mashed Potatoes/Yams||5 days||1 year|
|Pumpkin Pie||4 days||2 months|
|Apple Pie||3 days||2 months|
|Bread||5 days||3 months|
|Stuffing||4 days||1 month|
|Wine||3-5 days||2 months|
A leftover cooked Thanksgiving turkey will keep for three to four days in the fridge and two to three months in the freezer. Before freezing, it’s best to carve the turkey off the bone to allow it to freeze and defrost more evenly. (You can freeze the carcass separately if you want to make turkey stock.) To help retain moisture when it’s time to reheat turkey, add a splash of gravy to the meat.
You can also store raw turkey in the fridge for one to two days and in the freezer for up to a year. (Note that frozen turkey, once thawed, cannot be re-frozen.)
As a rule of thumb, we recommend erring on the side of caution. If your turkey (cooked or raw) has a slimy film or a strong odor, pitch it.
Gravy doesn’t have a very long shelf life: just one to two days in the refrigerator, although it keeps two to three months in the freezer. One of our favorite tips for freezing leftovers is to freeze liquids, like gravy, in ice cube trays and store the frozen cubes in an airtight container. To achieve the freshest flavor, bring the gravy to a boil on the stove before serving.
We recommend only freezing homemade gravy, and be warned that dairy-based gravies don’t freeze well.
Green Bean Casserole Leftovers
Your creamy green bean casserole will last about four days in the fridge. The crunchy topping will get softer as time goes by; pop it into the oven to reheat to crisp it up a bit.
While casseroles have a reputation for being freezer-friendly, green bean casseroles don’t freeze so well. The dairy in them can curdle, green beans will dry out and that crisp topping will get very sad. Eat leftovers up quick!
Cranberry Sauce Leftovers
Cranberry sauce will last for up to two weeks in the fridge. To maximize longevity, store it in an airtight container, and use clean utensils every time you serve. In the freezer, cranberry sauce will last up to two months. While this certainly applies to the store-bought variety, there’s nothing quite as good as our favorite homemade cranberry sauce.
Mashed Potato and Yam Leftovers
You’ll be able to keep mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to a year. All types of yams, from roasted to mashed, can be frozen, but baked or boiled white potatoes don’t freeze well. Before storing, place in a clean container separate from the one you served at dinner. Be careful when reheating mashed potatoes to prevent them from drying out.
Pumpkin Pie Leftovers
It’s hard to resist eating all of a delicious homemade pumpkin pie. But if you happen to have leftovers, they will keep in the fridge for up to four days. You can also freeze the pie for up to two months. Be aware that the texture might change after freezing, but the flavor should stay the same.
Apple Pie Leftovers
Thanks to its extra moisture content compared to pumpkin pie, apple pie will only last up to three days in the fridge. To make sure it retains its crispness, wrap it tightly with either plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or secure it in a plastic bag. You can freeze the pie for up to two months, sliced or whole. You can reheat apple pie in the oven, air fryer or microwave.
Bread can last up to five days in the fridge, but we don’t recommend storing it there. The cold air will dry out the crumb and harden the crust. If you’re not going to eat it in a day or so, keep bread in the freezer, where it will last for up to three months. For best results when freezing bread, wrap it tightly and label the package with the date.
Stuffing is a surprisingly tricky leftover to store. If you made a stand-alone stuffing side dish, refrigerate it for up to four days—as long as it’s cooked. The USDA does not recommend refrigerating uncooked stuffing. Cooked stuffing will keep a month in the freezer.
If you cooked your stuffing inside the turkey, remove any leftovers from the bird before refrigerating or freezing, or it won’t reach a safe temperature when reheated.
As long as you follow these guidelines, stuffing leftovers make lots of delicious recipes, from sandwiches to casseroles.
Have a few too many open bottles lying around? Both white and red wine will last three to five days in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to two months. Thawed wine is safe to drink, but the flavor might change; we recommend these recipes for cooking with wine to use it up. If your leftover wine is giving off a vinegar-like smell, pour it out.
How to Reheat Thanksgiving Leftovers
Leftovers should be cooled down as quickly as possible, and then reheated only once. While the food will be safe to eat, the more you put it through reheating, the more flavor and texture it will lose.
Our trick? Divide each item into individual servings before storing. When you reheat Thanksgiving leftovers, use your favorite reheating method. Most leftovers reheat well in the microwave, oven or on the stovetop. Heat until steaming, and make sure to stir any dense foods, like mashed potatoes, so they reheat evenly. For frozen food, thaw slowly by leaving them in the fridge overnight, then reheat and eat promptly.