Adapted by Jessica Kovarik, RD, LD, former Extension Associate; Based on materials by Susan Mills-Gray, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist and Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
When cooking a turkey, you typically have leftovers. With some creativity and safe food handling, you can enjoy turkey-based meals with little preparation and cooking.
Anytime you prepare, cook and store food, you must practice safe food handling methods to be sure your leftover turkey is safe to eat. During mealtime, do not let the turkey sit out for more than two hours after it has been cooked. For safe storage, remove the stuffing and de-bone the turkey. Store the turkey in shallow containers in the refrigerator because shallow containers allow the turkey to cool faster, preventing growth of harmful bacteria.
Unless you freeze the leftovers, be sure to use the turkey and stuffing within 3-4 days. Leftover gravy should be used within 1-2 days. Other cooked dishes can be stored up to 4 days.
For more tips on storing and reheating leftovers and recipes for using them, including Turkey Chinese Casserole and Turkey Chili, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/nutritionarticles/nut202.htm
Photo credit: Tom French