How to store Thanksgiving leftovers, shelf life, clean up tips and more

Top tips for saving and eating leftovers.

November 24, 2023, 4:00 AM

Before making a sandwich out of leftovers or a turkey pot pie, figure out the fridge life of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Here's how long your leftovers will last in the fridge, freezer or both, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

How long turkey lasts after Thanksgiving

The star protein will last four days in the fridge. In the freezer, it can last four months for best quality -- after that span it will dry out and lose flavor.

How to store leftover turkey

Cut the leftover turkey into small pieces and store separately in small, air-tight containers.

Stock photo of a dinner table filled with Thanksgiving foods.
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How long gravy will last after Thanksgiving

Gravy can last up to four days in fridge and up to four months in freezer.

To easily reheat gravy, add to a sauce pan and bringing to a rolling boil. Cover with a lid to heat all the way through.

How long homemade cranberry sauce stays fresh

The sweet and tart side stays good for a week to 10 days in the fridge. Freezing is not recommended.

Canned cranberry sauce

Store in an air-tight containter and refrigerate after opening to keep for up to two weeks. Like fresh cranberry sauce, freezing is not recommended.

How long potatoes and yams stay good after Thanksgiving

The two starches can be stored for four days in the fridge and up to two months in the freezer.

Thanksgiving Leftovers
GMA, ABC News Photo Illustration

How long stuffing keeps after Thanksgiving

Up to four days in the fridge and two to three months months in the freezer in properly stored containers.

How long pies can last after Thanksgiving

Fruit pies can be kept at room temperature for two days, according to They can then be stored in the fridge, loosely covered, for up to two more days. An unbaked crust will keep for two months in the freezer, while a baked crust will keep for four months.

More tips for Thanksgiving leftovers

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

Stock photo of traditional Thanksgiving menu items in containers.
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Leftovers should always be reheated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on November 23, 2018.

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