I posted a recipe for this Taco Soup and like a lot of things, soups are great freezer meals, but what about Thanksgiving food? Now is the perfect time to plan ahead for those delicious leftovers.
From the turkey to the sides, you can refrigerate or freeze everything. The only think I have found that doesn't do well in the freezer is lettuce. Almost everything else can be preserved easily for a future use.
I won't lie- I freeze absolutely everything (except lettuce- big mistake) and keep it that way for up to 6 months. Technically it should be 3 months, but there is a lot of confusion out there. As times get crazier, you may be glad you have some frozen food options or at least some leftovers! Check out this tip sheet for storing leftover foods!
- You can store almost any leftover in an airtight container for around 3-5 days. If you aren't sure, just make sure it still smells normal when you get ready to reheat!
- Soups and oatmeals may thicken in the refrigerator as they sit there so you may need to add more liquid when you go to use the leftovers.
- If you are carrying the food to go, store small amounts in containers rather than a huge batch. That way it's ready to go when you are!
- Foods that brown easily like avocado, bananas, apples, and guacamole could use a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to help them brown less quickly.
- Use a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. This is especially helpful for fruits and vegetables. Place a paper towel in the container and then seal it. Change the paper towel out each day to add even more time.
- Most leftovers are great in the freezer for up to 3 months (many last much longer). Just make sure you store them in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze cooked grains like beans, quinoa, and rice for easy access to staples for quick week night meals. Freeze them in the amount you would actually use to reheat them though so you don't end up with a ton of leftovers!
- Homemade muffins, bars, and other baked goods do well in a freezer bag or other air tight container for up to 3 months. You can put them straight into a lunchbox without having to thaw them (the same is true for yogurt!).
- Freeze leftover sauces like pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce to make it easy for a weeknight. Freezer bags help here because you can lay them flat to save room.
- You can use glass in the freezer, and should for foods you know you will want to reheat, but you'll probably want to let it thaw for a bit before introducing it to the heat. Sometimes the extremes make it shatter, so be careful with that! I don't usually use glass in the freezer --FYI, but I have been asked.