Thanksgiving Leftovers Made Fresh Again

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is a holiday full of traditions, and the most universal tradition of all is leftovers. (Vegetarians may not serve turkey, but they serve plenty of everything else!) In fact Thanksgiving isn’t really just a one-day holiday. It keeps going until there’s no food left.

But dispensing of leftovers shouldn’t be a chore, it’s a treat. So here are some clever ways to share the Thanksgiving bounty with your departing guests.

Layer all the classic Thanksgiving menu items in a glass jar – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, etc. – and put mashed potatoes on the top, as they’ll create a more effective seal. Make sure the jar is totally full, as the less air there is in there, the longer the food will keep. Tie a ribbon around the top.

Tell your guests to store the jar in the fridge, or to freeze it if they don’t plan to eat it within a couple of days. To reheat, put the entire jar in simmering water for 5-10 minutes, or remove the metal lid and microwave the jar. (If removing from the freezer, bring the jar to room temperature before dropping it in hot water, as rapid extreme temperature changes can cause glass to shatter.) Of course, if eating out of a jar isn’t your thing, you can always remove the food and put it on a good old fashioned plate.

As another option, buy some to go cartons. Before your guests arrive, attach name cards to each carton with your guests’ names on them. After dinner, fill each container (or let guests do it themselves), and you’ve just provided a lovely parting gift.

Here’s a tip: If you’re sure you’ll have plenty of food, pack the leftovers before your guests arrive, so you’re not doing it as they’re leaving.

Get more of my easy DIY tips and hacks to inspire and simplify your time in the kitchen.

Get more of Cooking Channel’s best recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers.