How Long Will It Keep? The Complete Guide to Storing Holiday Leftovers

yummytoddlerfood

prime-rib-dinner

We hosted my parents last year for the Holidays, and while it was a small gathering, there was a lot of energy due to my super-excited three year old. In an effort to spare myself from having to cook much the rest of the weekend, I tried to make plenty of food so that we could enjoy the holiday leftovers. There were turkey sandwiches, cranberry sauce spooned over thick Greek yogurt and granola, and many more slices of pie. But as the weekend went on, I started to wonder: Is this still safe for us to eat?

To make sure that the leftover food stays safe after the main meal is over—because you guys, the smell test is not a reliable indicator of whether something is still good or not!—I’ve put together a complete guide to storing holiday leftovers with everything you need to know. From what to put the leftovers in—my favorite options are the roomy Gladware Deep Dish containers, mason jars, and Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bags—how to reheat them, and how long to keep them for, we have all of your leftover cravings covered. Because, of course: safety first!

Turkey

How to store: To keep your turkey from becoming discolored as you keep it fresh, wrap it tightly in ClingWrap or foil, and store in a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag, removing as much air as possible. 
How to reheat: Warm in a 325 degree F oven until the turkey registers 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Add a little broth or water if needed for moisture. 
Keep for: 3–4 days or 4 months in the freezer

Roast Beef or Prime Rib

How to store: Wrap sliced meat tightly in ClingWrap or store in a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag.
How to reheat: Warm in the oven to at least 130 degrees F and/or sear in a skillet
Keep for: 3–4 days or 2–3 months in the freezer

Brisket

How to store: Wrap sliced meat tightly in ClingWrap or store in a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag.
How to reheat: Place slices in a baking dish, skim fat from juices, and pour juices over meat. Cover with foil and heat in a 300 degree oven until hot.
Keep for: 3–4 days or 2–3 months in the freezer

Ham (Cured or Uncured)

How to store: Wrap sliced meat tightly in ClingWrap or store in a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag.
How to reheat: Heat slices in a skillet or wrap a few slices in foil and heat in a 275 degree F oven for about 10 minutes per pound.
Keep for: 3–4 days or 1–2 months in the freezer

Shrimp Cocktail

How to store: Store in a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag with as much air removed as possible.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer (Thaw from frozen overnight in the fridge.)

Stuffing

How to store: Cool and store in a Gladware Deep Dish container within 2 hours of removing from oven to store in the fridge, or cool and store in a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag to store in the freezer.
How to reheat: Heat to 165 degrees F in a baking dish in the oven.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge or freeze for 2–3 months

Mashed Potatoes

How to store: Cool and store in Gladware Deep Dish containers, stirring in a little extra milk or cream—they should be really easy to stir.  
How to reheat: Warm in a baking dish in the oven until hot, serving with additional butter or milk as needed.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge

Potatoes Au Gratin

How to store: Cool and store in Gladware Deep Dish containers or wrap the baking dish tightly with CllingWrap.
How to reheat: Warm through until hot in a 325 degree F oven, about 30–35 minutes.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge

Sweet Potato Casserole

How to store: Cool and store in Gladware Deep Dish containers.
How to reheat: Warm through until hot in a 350 degree F oven, about 30 minutes.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge

Gravy (Flour-Based Gravy Only)

How to store: Place in small mason jars, storage containers, or an ice cube tray.
How to reheat: Thaw in the fridge overnight, if frozen, and heat to a boil before serving.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge (as long as you bring it to a boil before serving) or 2–3 months in the freezer 

Latkes

How to store: Once cooked and cooled, transfer to baking sheets and arrange in a single layer. Place the baking sheets into the freezer and freeze until the latkes are hard. Place into Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bags to store in the freezer. 
How to reheat: Preheat the oven to 425 and place frozen latkes on baking sheets. Bake for about 15–20 minutes, turning once, until brown. Place on a paper towel lined platter, then serve hot.  
Keep for: up to 2 weeks in the freezer

Green Bean Casserole

How to store: Place into an Gladware Deep Dish container and store in the fridge. (Cooked green beans turn to mush when frozen.) 
How to reheat: Heat through in a 350 degree F oven for 20–30 minutes.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge

Roasted Vegetables

How to store: Place into Gladware Deep Dish containers or zip-top Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bags with as much air removed as possible.
How to reheat: Place onto a baking sheet and broil on low until warmed through (or heat in the microwave if you don’t care if they are crispy or not).
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge or 2–3 months in the freezer

Cranberry Sauce

How to store: Place into small airtight storage containers suitable for the fridge or freezer.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer (Thaw from frozen in the fridge.)

Cheese Plate

How to store: Re-wrap cheeses individually in parchment or wax paper, then in ClingWrap. Store in the fridge.
Keep for: Check the expiration date on the original package or store in the fridge for 3–5 days.

Rolls

How to store: Place into a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag and remove as much air as possible for the freezer or a Gladware Deep Dish container for the fridge.
How to reheat: Remove from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Warm through in the oven.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge or 3–4 months in the freezer

Pie

How to store: Fruit pies, not cream or custard pies, are a great option for the fridge or freezer. Place a whole pie or slices, separated, uncovered in the freezer on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm. Place into a Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bag, removing as much air as possible, or wrap well in ClingWrap or foil.
How to reheat: Thaw overnight in the fridge and warm through in the oven (or eat cold).
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge or 3–4 months in the freezer.

Cookies

How to store: Place unfrosted cookies in a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible or in a freezer-friendly storage container. You can also keep unfrosted cookies at room temperature in a Gladware Deep Dish container—just store each kind of cookie separately to prevent the flavors from transferring.
How to reheat: Thaw at room temperature.
Keep for: 3 days at room temperature (or in the fridge if they have a cream cheese frosting) or up to 3 months in the freezer

Cheesecake

How to store: For the fridge, place slices into Gladware Deep Dish containers. For the freezer, freeze slices on a baking sheet until firm, about 2–3 hours, then transfer to Glad Zipper Gallon Freezer Bags with as much air removed as possible.
How to reheat: Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Keep for: 3–4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer

Image: Getty/Dvbirago

This post was sponsored by Glad.