serving dish of roasted butternut squash and brussels sprout agrodolce

Thanksgiving Leftovers Guide

Follow these tips to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into delicious meals. By repurposing your feast’s fixings, you can help minimize food waste and keep your family well-fed, all while taking a much-needed break. Let’s crack this wishbone!

Storing Your Ingredients

After weeks of prepping, chopping, baking, stirring and ultimately serving your hard-earned Thanksgiving meal, it’s time to relax and let your leftovers do some of the heavy lifting. The recipes we have in store won’t look or taste like repurposed leftovers but rather exciting meals, served up with revived, made-from-scratch flavors.

Once your Thanksgiving meal is finished, take a stroll through that remains and organize it into basic food groups - meats, veggies, starches, breads and condiments.

Then, tackling one food group at a time, begin to prep your ingredients for easy use. Pull leftover meats from the bone, mix small amounts of compatible fruits and vegetables, and toast breads to prep for homemade breadcrumbs.

Store your expertly prepped leftovers in sealable, sustainable, and reusable containers, and label them with the date they were initially prepared. At Florida Crystals®, we always keep an eye out for eco-friendly storage items.  Glass containers, boxes made from compostable materials and reusable silicone bags are just a few Earth-friendly options that we love and that you can rely on.

How Long to Store Thanksgiving Leftovers

Now it’s time to pop these handy ingredients into the fridge or freezer to be used in your choice of homemade recipes. Separating your leftovers into individual “pack” sizes will help cut down on the time your ingredients spend in the microwave and keep them tasting their best.  Just be sure to follow proper guidelines for leftover use based on how and where you store them.

Leftover Type

Stored In Fridge

Stored In Freezer

Cooked Turkey

2-3 Days

2 Months

Raw Turkey

1-2 Days

1 Year

Tofurkey

2-3 Days

1 Year

Dinner Rolls

1 Week

2-3 Months

Stuffing

4 Days

2-3 Months

Sweet Potato Casserole

4-5 Days

2-3 Months

Green Beans Casserole

3-4 Days

Not Recommended

Mashed Potatoes

3-4 Days

2-3 Months

Gravy

3-4 Days

2-3 Months

Cranberry Sauce

10-14 Days

2-3 Weeks

Salad

1-5 Days

Not Recommended

Pie

2-3 Days

6 Months

Wine

3-5 Days

Not Recommended

Create Authentic Recipes That You Feel Good About 

With a little creativity, you can repurpose these standard Thanksgiving leftovers into something new and exciting.

Turkey & Tofurkey 

Leftover turkey, or our tofurkey, is a versatile leftover that can be put to good use in lots of ways. In fact, you can use bits of your fantastic holiday entrée to craft a sensational tofurkey sandwich, a satisfying post-holiday delight that everyone will love.

slice of tofurky with apricot stuffing on a white plate

Cranberry Sauce

Whether you’re using this traditional Thanksgiving staple as a topping or an ingredient, there are an array of ways to repurpose your leftover cranberry sauce. One creative way is to whip up our moist and tasty Gluten-Free Holiday Cranberry Cake. It’s sure to provide a sweet surprise to any guests you might still be entertaining.

slices of gluten-free holiday cranberry cake with raw cranberries

Green Beans & Corn

Combine yesterday’s green beans, bacon, and corn to create this hearty dish. Substitute the bacon with ham, turkey or our tofurkey depending on the ingredients you have available. You can use these ingredients to create our Green Bean Casserole With Candied Corn & Bacon, a fast lunch item your post-holiday guests will be thankful for.

green bean casserole in a white serving dish

Mashed Potatoes, Yams & Pumpkins 

Leftover mashed potatoes and yams can be kept in the fridge for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to a year. These root vegetables are a primary ingredient for our Vegan Potato Dinner Rolls, and leftover pumpkin can be transformed into our amazing Pumpkin Pie Bites.

pumpkin pie bites

Gravy

Due to the limited shelf life of gravy, we suggest storing it in an airtight container or in an ice cube tray, no matter whether you keep it in the fridge or the freezer. This will help retain its ideal consistency once it’s reheated and served. One clever use for leftover gravy is using it to bring out the flavors of soups. This trick works great with our Roasted Tomato & Coconut Soup.

creamy roasted tomato and coconut soup on a wooden board

Tips for Reheating Your Leftovers

When reheating your holiday leftovers, the idea is to make the food safe to eat without sacrificing flavor and texture in the process. For leftover turkey or meats, pour broth or gravy over the top before reheating. This will ensure that they retain their desired moisture before being added to your recipes.

The number of homemade recipes you can create from your Thanksgiving occasion’s leftovers is only limited by your imagination. So stock up on your favorite Florida Crystals® organic, minimally processed raw cane sugars, and make all your recipes with ingredients you can feel good about with every bite. From our Florida Crystals® family to yours, have a happy and healthy holiday!