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8 Thanksgiving Leftovers You Can Store in the Freezer and 3 You Can’t

Freezing leftover Thanksgiving food allows you to enjoy leftovers long after the holiday. Here's what to freeze and how to freeze it, plus some foods that don't freeze well.

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View of preparation of thanksgiving turkeyTetra Images/gettyimages

For a quick and easy reference on what you can freeze and for how long, download our handy guide! Also make sure you know how to reheat Thanksgiving leftovers to optimize taste, texture and temperature.

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Fruit-Glazed Roast TurkeyTaste of Home

Freeze: Turkey Meat

Good news: turkey meat is definitely freeze-able. You’ll need to remove the meat from the bones first. Slicing the meat will also help it to defrost evenly. You can eat the turkey with gravy as usual, but leftover turkey is quite versatile: it makes a great filling for casseroles, tacos and sandwiches.

How long to freeze: up to two months

Pro tip: Pour a bit of gravy over the meat before freezing; it’ll add moisture.

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Turkey carcass in roasting pantjp55/Shutterstock

Freeze: Turkey Carcass

Don’t just toss the picked-over bones and carcass: they’ll make a delicious, savory stock. If you can’t make stock within a couple days after cooking the turkey, freeze the carcass. Seal in a heavy duty freezer bag.

How long to freeze: Up to two months

Pro tip: You can use the same method as you would for chicken stock.

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Large white plate filled with buttery mashed potatoesTaste of Home

Freeze: Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes freeze well thanks to the heavy dose of cream and butter; potatoes made with broth won’t freeze as well. (There are a surprising number of ways to use them up.)

How long to freeze: up to one year

Pro tip: Freeze mashers in portions: dollop potatoes onto a baking sheet, freeze until solid and then seal in a bag. Alternatively, freeze potatoes in bulk in a quart container or freezer bag.

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Glazed Sweet PotatoesTaste of Home

Freeze: Sweet Potatoes

Cooked sweet potatoes freeze very well, whether you’re freezing roasted potatoes or a casserole.

How long to freeze: Up to one year

Pro tip: Casserole toppings, like marshmallows or crumble, won’t freeze well. Simply add fresh toppings when reheating the sweet potatoes.

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Foolproof gravyTaste of Home

Freeze: Gravy

Made a delicious from-scratch gravy from pan drippings? Stash it in the freezer alongside your leftover turkey. Seal in the smallest possible airtight container.

How long to freeze: Up to four months

Pro tip: Flour-based gravies can freeze; milk-based gravies will separate when defrosted.

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Cranberry SauceTMB Studio

Freeze: Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a breeze to freeze. Both homemade cranberry sauces and store-bought sauces—even canned—can be frozen. Get our best freezer-friendly cranberry sauce recipes.

How long to freeze: Up to two months

Pro tip: Leave some headspace in the jar, since cranberry sauce will expand during freezing.

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Easy Pumpkin Pie RecipeTaste of Home

Freeze: Some Types of Pie

Most types of pies freeze fairly well, especially those commonly enjoyed on Thanksgiving: apple, pecan and pumpkin. Defrost slowly in the refrigerator. Try one of our favorite pie recipes.

How long to freeze: Up to two months

Pro tip: The texture of the pie may change slightly. Light and fluffy pies, like chiffon or mousse, won’t freeze well.

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Thanksgiving StuffingTaste of Home

Freeze: Stuffing

Stuffing is resilient! Go ahead and freeze leftovers in a tightly sealed bag. Get our best-kept secrets for homemade stuffing.

How long to freeze: Up to one month

Pro tip: After defrosting, toast the stuffing on a baking sheet to refresh the texture.

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Cheddar & Spinach Twice-Baked PotatoesTaste of Home

Don’t Freeze: Baked and Twice-Baked Potatoes

Nope, you can’t freeze baked potatoes, whether plain roasted or twice-baked and stuffed. Simply put, the texture won’t hold up in the freezer.

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Green Bean CasseroleTMB Studio

Don’t Freeze: Green Bean Casserole

Unfortunately, you can’t freeze this beloved dish. Cooked green beans don’t hold up to freezing, and the topping will lose crunch. Best to eat up the casserole within a few days. Here’s how long Thanksgiving leftovers keep in the fridge.

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Pear Harvest SaladTaste of Home

Don’t Freeze: Salad

Whether you made a simple mixed greens salad or an elaborate platter salad, those fresh veggies and fruits aren’t going to freeze well. Go ahead and eat them up before they go soggy!

Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.