15 Surprising Thanksgiving Leftovers That Freeze Perfectly

Fabiana Santana | Oct 30, 2017 Food & Party


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Thanksgiving leftovers are as popular as the meal itself. When the fridge is jam-packed, though, it's time to think outside of it. Freezing is a great way to tackle Thanksgiving leftovers so they can keep on giving for those nights where a quick meal is essential. According to the USDA, leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen immediately after the meal ends and the food has cooled. Seal and wrap leftovers well in freezer-safe storage bags or bins and date the outside.

Gravy, cooked meat or poultry, soups, stews, and even casseroles and leftover bread can be frozen up to three months. Even that turkey can have a second life after some time in the freezer. It's true that raw meat and poultry maintain their quality longer frozen than their cooked counterparts -- mostly because moisture is lost during cooking -- but when sealed correctly, cooked turkey, ham, beef, and more can be frozen for months. Some foods, though, just don't freeze well. Dairy-based sauces, soups, and foods tend to separate when reheated and can easily spoil like mayonnaise and cream sauce. Similarly, foods with high water content like lettuce, salads, and slaws just turn soggy in the freezer.

Freezing keeps food safe by preventing the growth of bacteria. So, it is important to store leftovers at the right temperature. The ideal freezer temperature is 0 Fahrenheit. At this temperature, most foods can be stored indefinitely. But they will taste best if used within two to three months.

What other Thanksgiving leftovers that can be saved? Here's the rundown on the foods to freeze.

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