Thanksgiving is one of the most delicious holidays of the year. The fun comes in preparing—and enjoying—a feast for family and friends. But what to do with all that leftover turkey?

This year, Kirsten Dockendorff, product development chef at Kroger, offers tips to think beyond the sandwich and tap your turkey for everything from zesty enchiladas to simple dog treats.

“While leftover turkey sandwiches are delicious, it’s fun to get creative and think outside of the box to keep those post-Thanksgiving meals exciting,” says Chef Kirsten.

How to Keep the Leftover Bird Fresh


Here are some tips on making sure the leftover turkey tastes just as good the second (or third) time around:


• Only carve as much as you think you’ll eat on Thursday. Uncut meat won’t dry out as much in the fridge, so leave a whole breast or thigh intact and carve it as needed in the days to come.


• If you do carve the whole turkey, no big deal; cover leftovers in a little bit of gravy or stock before storing.


• Leftover turkey will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days. If you have more meat than you can eat before the weekend is up, portion and freeze it in a sealed container for up to three months, then thaw it in the fridge (overnight) or microwave whenever you have a craving.


And, be sure to check out these recipes for delicious ways to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into something even your dog will love!