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Don't Dump That Turkey Just Yet

Thanksgiving’s over and now you have a pile of turkey with no takers. Freeze that bird for future weeknight meals. But first, browse our tips below to make sure you’re both smart and safe about it.

  1. Don't wait. It might sound like a good idea to put your feet up after Thanksgiving dinner and deal with the leftovers later, but turkey, stuffing and gravy shouldn't be left out of the fridge longer than two hours after cooking.
  2. Remove the stuffing from your cooked turkey as soon as you can. Refrigerate for one to two days or freeze up to three months.
  3. Before you wrap up your turkey, carve meat off the bone and slice the breast meat. (Legs and wings may be kept whole.) Leftover turkey will keep two to three days in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer.
  4. Freeze gravy in separate containers in small batches. Refrigerate for one to two days or store in the freezer for up to a month.
  5. Before serving: Thaw frozen cooked turkey, stuffing and gravy in your fridge. Turkey may be eaten cold or reheated to a temperature of 73°C (165 °F). Gravy should be brought to a rolling boil before eating.

Turkey dinner timesavers

How you pack your Thanksgiving leftovers matters. Check out the tips below.

  • Pick out a couple of recipes before you shove the turkey in the freezer. Try Turkey and Broccoli Pasta and Lemon Turkey Pot Pie.
  • While deboning the bird, shred, dice or chop the meat according to your recipe directions.
  • Place in plastic bags or shallow freezer containers.
  • Write the name of the dish on the container in marker.