Can Thanksgiving Leftovers Be Frozen?
For many of us, Thanksgiving leftovers are as exciting as the dinner itself! Anyone who wants to extend this holiday's deliciousness has probably considered freezing every morsel of Thanksgiving dinner remnants to keep them edible for as long as possible. If you're unsure about what will or won't hold up in the freezer, here's a handy guide for freezing the most popular Thanksgiving favorites. Play your cards right, and you'll be digging into Turkey Day leftovers for weeks!
Turkey is at its finest when eaten fresh, but freezing it is certainly an option. You'll get the best results by removing all the meat from the bones before you freeze it. The bones and other scraps can be used to make a stock or stew.
This beloved carb-rich side dish may get a bit mushy when thawed, but freezing it will definitely extend its life. Be sure to seal it up in an airtight container before tossing it into cold storage, and it'll keep for up to three months.
The velvety coating that pairs perfectly with everything on your Thanksgiving plate is ideal for freezing! For best results, pour your (cooled!) gravy into ice trays and pop out individual cubes for thawing as needed.
Sorry to break this to you: If you're hoping to extend this fluffy, buttery delight beyond a few days in the refrigerator, you're in for a disappointment. Mashed potatoes unfortunately don't freeze very well, and the texture becomes mealy once reheated. It's best to take full advantage while they're fresh.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This one's a bit of a mixed bag. The sweet potato itself should be fine to freeze, but any toppings may not fare so well. Nuts or streusel crumbles will likely get soggy and unappetizing upon reheating, so use your discretion.
Cranberry jelly doesn't freeze well, as it gets watery and mushy during thawing. Cranberry sauce, however, is great for freezing. You can pour it directly into a freezer bag, or use the same ice cube tray technique as the gravy.
Whether it's in the form of one solid loaf or a pile of rolls, bread is A-OK for freezing. Wrap it tightly in plastic, and it'll keep for up to six months… but the sooner you eat it, the better it will taste.
The results of freezing depends on the type of pie. Pumpkin and other custard-type pies usually freeze well when tightly wrapped in plastic. About 12 hours before you plan on eating it, put it into the refrigerator to thaw slowly. As for apple pie, thawing it after freezing might cause the crust to become a bit soggy, but just add some ice cream or whipped cream and you probably won't notice!
It's only natural to want to prolong the goodies of Thanksgiving by freezing them – but first you need to make sure you have the space for it! Why not invest in a chest freezer? They're low-maintenance, they easily fit into your basement or garage, and many models can be found for under $200. Shop P.C. Richard & Son today and get the freezer space you need in time for the holidays!