Cooked Turkey And Other Meats
Cooked turkey, steak, pork roasts, fish and chicken will keep about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. And about 6 months in the freezer. As with all food, the most important thing is to get it chilled as quickly as possible to limit bacteria growth. This means don't wait until the end of dinner to put food away. Carve the turkey, chicken or roast and put enough for everyone out on a platter. Then refrigerate the rest right away. You'll want to use tightly sealed containers or storage bags to keep your turkey from drying out. Consider food storage containers that stack to save room.
Stuffing will last about 4 days in the refrigerator and 2 months in the freezer. Chill leftovers immediately and place in a tightly sealed container or freezer bag.
Mashed Potatoes & Vegetables
These will keep about 3 days in the refrigerator, but they should NOT be frozen. That's because when they are frozen, the water inside the starch turns to ice and breaks the cell walls, causing the texture to change and making the food very dry.
Cooked pasta will keep three to five days in the refrigerator. Store it separately from any sauce to give you greater flexibility and to keep noodles from going mushy. Place your pasta in a container with a tight-fitting lid and drizzle with olive oil or a bit of butter, tossing to ensure it is evenly coated. This will keep the noodles from sticking together. If you will be using the pasta with in a day or two, you can choose to store with sauce as this will allow the flavors to soak into the noodles. To store plain cooked pasta in the freezer, toss with oil or butter and place in a freezer bag, being sure to squeeze out all the air. Use within two months.
Who has gravy left? If you do, it will last about a week in the refrigerator. If your gravy is dairy-based, DON'T freeze it. The dairy will tend to separate when thawed. Again, it's very important to cool the gravy as quickly as possible to prevent the growth of bacteria. Use an ice bath and put it in several small containers so it cools quickly.
Chill soups immediately and follow the protocol for gravy.
Cranberry sauce will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer. Chill it in a tightly sealed container.
Finally, trust your nose. If leftovers smell funny, throw them out.