The meals and memories have been made. Once Thanksgiving has come and gone, there are surely leftovers to deal with. Do you struggle each year with deciding what to do about your leftovers? From storage tips to weekend meals, we have a few ideas to avoid wasting your hard-cooked Thanksgiving food.
On Thanksgiving night when everyone is getting ready to pack leftovers, be sure all of the food has cooled down completely. Pack them into several smaller containers as opposed to one larger one and avoid stacking the containers in the refrigerator as this can trap the heat.
While it may seem easier to cover casserole dishes with foil or plastic wrap, take the extra time to place them in small containers to preserve freshness and save refrigerator space.
Leftovers can be kept safely in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you plan to store anything in the freezer, you’ll better avoid the growth of bacteria and your food will be safe for at least two months. Just remember to pack items in airtight freezer bags or containers and write the date on everything.
The weekend after Thanksgiving is the ideal time to use those leftovers in other creative recipes for your meals. After trying some of these, your Thanksgiving food may be better the second time around!
- Liven up a casserole with fresh herbs. Sprinkle parsley or basil on top of a green bean casserole for an extra kick with the next day’s dinner.
- Add a biscuit mix to your leftover meats and vegetables to create a delicious pot pie. This is the perfect Saturday or Sunday lunch.
- A pasta salad mix will pair deliciously with turkey and cranberries. You’ll have a fall dish to share with friends and family with a unique twist.
- Turkey sandwiches are a classic for the day or two after Thanksgiving. Add spices and herbs or a seasoned mustard to a roasted turkey sandwich for an amped-up version of the usual meat and bread.
- Use tomatoes and shredded turkey in a baked pasta using any boxed pasta from your pantry. Melt some cheese on top for the perfect touch to a delicious pasta casserole.
- It may feel easier to order pizza the weekend after Thanksgiving, but try a turkey pizza with what you already have instead! Add shredded turkey, tomato sauce, and other vegetables to bread or pizza dough for a combination that is sure to enlighten your taste buds.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of your normal tupperware or turkey sandwich when storing and using your Thanksgiving leftovers this year. Let the creativity flow, avoid excessive food waste and share your favorite leftover meals with others!