Now that Thanksgiving dinner is over, you can add one more item to your list of one left your table hungry. In fact, look at all those leftovers! Here, thanks to Pondera County Extension Agent Wendy Wedum, are a few valuable tips for handling and storing leftovers safely:

Having leftover turkey and other dishes means you can have additional tasty meals after your feast. But there are limits on how long you can safely keep leftovers. Even when refrigerated properly (below 40 °F), leftovers should be eaten, frozen or discarded within 3 to 4 days.

  • Refrigerate cooked leftovers promptly - within 2 hours. Your refrigerator needs to be at 40 °F or below (check with appliancethermometer).
  • Divide leftovers into smaller portions and store in shallow containers in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat leftovers to 165° F as measured with a food thermometer. Sauces, soups and gravies should be reheated by bringing them to a boil.
  • When microwaving leftovers, cover food, stir, and rotate for even cooking. 
  • Use frozen leftover foods within 3 months for best flavor, remember to reheat to 165° F.


Of course, there are only so many ways you can serve leftover turkey...check that...there are so many ways to serve leftover turkey! The mouthwatering photo above is Tempting Turkey Casserole. Click HERE for the recipe from Taste of Home magazine.

Leftover Turkey Bake (recipe HERE) looks yummy, too, and so does Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini (HERE).

Chances are you still have cranberry sauce. Turn it into dessert. HERE is the recipe for Gingered Cranberry pear Crisp.