How Long Do Turkey Leftovers Last?

Author: Susie Hill-Shepard

Under certain conditions refrigerated turkey leftovers last 3-4 days.

More Info: Refrigerated turkey and stuffing leftovers that were stored before sitting too long at room temperature are safe to consume within 3-4 days.  Gravy should be consumed within 1-2 days.  Frozen leftovers are best if consumed within 2-6 months.

Leisurely Dinners Make for Dangerous Leftovers

Because a big meal such as a turkey dinner with all of the fixings takes so long to prepare, serve, and enjoy, the food can sit for great lengths of time after it has finished cooking.  Leftovers are safe to store and consume only if they have been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours.  In hotter weather over 90°F, leftovers should not be stored if they have been sitting for more than one hour.

Safety Tip

Even if you have a lot of turkey or a large amount of stuffing leftover, avoid putting each in its own container.  Instead, divide and store the leftovers in a variety of small containers so that they will cool down more quickly.

Next Day Guest Appetizers

Perfect for houseguests or simply a snack on the go, make use of all of the leftovers including the rolls and cranberry sauce by whipping up a batch of Thanksgiving mini's.

Heat the leftover rolls, cut, and layer on turkey, stuffing, and a layer of cranberry sauce.  Heat up the leftover gravy for a dipping sauce and enjoy!


Works Cited

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Let's Talk Turkey

Morgan, Diane
The Thanksgiving table: recipes and ideas to create your own holiday tradition
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2001. Print.

purple arrowCite this Article

"How Long Do Turkey Leftovers Last?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

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