What Do You Do With Leftovers?

You spend all that time planning and preparing all the family favorites for Thanksgiving dinner.  Now that dinner is over you have to figure out how to safely store the leftovers.  If that isn't enough you then have to decide how to serve them again as "planned-overs" instead of leftovers.

Follow these practices for packing safely in the refrigerator and freezer as well as one of my favorite recipes for planned-over that viewers request each year.

First Things First : SAFETY

Don't remember your Thanksgiving meal because of a trip to the emergency room with food borne illness.

  • All perishable potentially hazardous foods need to be refrigerated after 2 hours.
  • Put refrigerated foods (cold foods) away immediately after each meal. You can use an ice chest in which to place cold foods if the refrigerator is overloaded.
  • If you are refrigerating leftover hot foods, be sure they are cooled to 70 F before placing in the refrigerator. Check with a food thermometer. Vent one or two corners of the covering to allow any remaining heat to escape.
  • Cool hot foods quickly for storage by reducing the size, reducing the depth of the food, adding ice directly to the food to cool or use an ice water bath. Clean the sink and make a half ice, half tap water mix and place the pan of food in the mixture to cool.
  • Carve the leftover turkey off the bone.


  • Deviled eggs can be used in potato salad, tuna salad, turkey salad, or egg salad sandwiches.
  • Mashed Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes can be used to make potato pancakes. Or turn into loaded potatoes using bacon bits, cheese, green onions, and sour cream.
  • Cornbread dressing can be combined with seafood for a pleasant stuffing or casserole base on which to bake fish fillets.   Serve cornbread dressing with baked pork chops.  Add beaten egg to leftover cornbread dressing to make hushpuppies or fritters.
  • Use leftover vegetables for soups.
  • Any recipe using cooked chicken can be made with cooked turkey.
  • Freeze foods in family size packages for later use that will not be eaten within 3 days.

This is one of my favorite ways to use leftover turkey.  Hope you like it too, Nancy

Turkey Tetrazzini

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti (3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup cooked mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped pimento
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

Melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine in heavy saucepan.  Add flour and stir until blended.  Gradually add milk and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add salt and pepper.  Combine white sauce with turkey, spaghetti, mushrooms, pimento and cheese.  Place in buttered 2-quart casserole.  Combine bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle on casserole.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until well browned.  Makes 6 servings.