How to store your leftovers
Love this recipe? Try these.
One thing we’re very keen on here at Lean on Turkey is making sure that leftover turkey gets used up. There’s a whole section of our website devoted to all the fantastic dishes you can make with just a few ingredients and some leftover turkey. It’s a great way to save money, it’s tasty and it’s healthy.

However to make any of our fantastic dishes that use your turkey leftovers you need to address a couple of other questions. How do you store your leftovers? How long will they last?

Fortunately we’re here to show you how to store those leftovers so that they’ll last as long as possible!
How long is “As long as possible”?
If you keep your turkey stored in the absolute best possible conditions it ought to be safe to eat for another three days. If the bird was stuffed the stuffing will have to be removed and stored separately, since the extra moisture will increase the risk of infection.

This means that if you have big Sunday roast dinner you should be able to have turkey based packed lunches or dinners well into the middle of the week.
Timing is everything
Of course, those times are for the most optimum of circumstances. To be sure that leaving the turkey for that long will be safe you need to make sure it’s prepared properly. To start with, that means it has to have been cooked properly.

With turkey the meat must have been cooked to at least 165°F (74°C) throughout, with the dark meat being cooked closer to 180°F (82°C) to be on the safe side. To be sure, use our turkey timer calculator to get the best cooking time for your bird.

Once your turkey is properly cooked the clock is ticking from the moment you remove it from the oven. Once it’s out of the oven it will be in the “danger zone” between 140°F (60°C) and 40°F (4°C). If it stays there for more than two hours it’s going to start growing all sorts of unpleasant bacteria, so make sure it’s in a refrigerator cooler than 40°F (4°C) before you hit that time limit.
Preparing turkey for storage
As well as getting the timing right, the size of the pieces of turkey you’re storing are also a factor. Wherever possible you should store large pieces of turkey. When you break them down you’re exposing more surface area and creating more room for bugs to breed.

Wash your hands before handling the turkey, then wrap it in cling film before putting it in the fridge.
When it comes to reheating your turkey, the recipes on this site will tell you how to do it safely. However as a general guideline make sure the turkey is heated to at least 165°F (74°C), in some sort of sauce or gravy to get the best results.

Then serve it up and enjoy!
View other recipes

Leftover Turkey and Vegetable Casserole


Welcome to

How to store your leftovers