Planning for Leftovers

Cent$ible Nutrition News • November 2020 • Volume 24 | Number 2

What are Planned-Overs?
A holiday meal is a special occasion, usually full of foods we do not eat every day. With a little planning, leftovers, or planned-overs, from the holiday meal can last several meals.
A planned-over is a leftover from a meal that you plan to use in a future meal. The holidays are a great time to think about planned-overs because holiday meals often result in many leftovers. By planning ahead to use your leftovers, you can save time and money without letting any food go to waste.
Soups, casseroles, enchiladas, and more are possible with holiday leftovers. Before cooking your holiday meal, think about if you will have leftovers and how your might use them. If you want leftovers, plan for them by making a little extra during your holiday meal preparations. This might include cooking a slightly larger turkey, making a few more mashed potatoes, or having an extra can of green beans on hand.

Ideas for Planned-Overs

Leftover turkey

  • Turkey pot pie (use turkey, green beans/other vegetables)
  • Shepherd’s pie (use turkey, green beans/other vegetables, mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes)
  • Turkey noodle soup (use turkey; soup freezes well for meals later)
  • Turkey enchiladas
  • Turkey rice casserole

Leftover sides

  • Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos (use sweet potatoes or canned yams- drained and rinsed, if in syrup)
  • Salmon Croquettes (use mashed potatoes)

All of these recipes are available to you through the Cent$ible Nutrition Program! Contact your local educator to learn more.

Food Safety & Planned-Overs

Keeping food safe is key to enjoying planned-overs. Remember these tips as you cook, enjoy, and put away your holiday meals.

  • Cook all poultry, leftovers, and casseroles to 165°F.
  • Keep food out of the 40°F-140°F temperature range.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
  • Set refrigerator temperature to 40°F and freezer to 0°F.
  • Store leftovers in shallow containers so they cool quickly.
  • Leftovers are generally good for 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze leftovers that you cannot use in 4 days.
  • Frozen leftovers are generally good for 2-4 months.
For more food safety tips when cooking turkey, visit UW Extension’s Let’s Talk Turkey resources.

Download this newsletter as a PDF.

November's Feature Recipe

Orange bowl of diced sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon,

Baked Sweet Potato

This simple side is easy to make with just two ingredients and is a healthy alternative to traditional sweet potato casserole. Try dicing it before baking for a sharable side. 

In the Kitchen with CNP

Every month on Facebook CNP focuses on a different food. This month, CNP is sharing sweet potato facts, recipes, and more. Check out In the Kitchen with CNP to learn more!

* The Cent$ible Nutrition Program is funded by USDA SNAP-Ed and EFNEP. SNAP-Ed assists individuals and families who receive, or are eligible to receive, benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). EFNEP assists families and youth with limited resources  in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behaviors necessary for nutritionally sound diets and contributes to their personal development and the improvement of total family diet and nutritional welfare. Visit our income-qualification page to learn more. 

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program-EFNEP. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

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