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How to Freeze Leftover Turkey

Leftover holiday Turkey? NO PROBLEM! When you know HOW TO FREEZE Leftover Turkey, you’ll be saving money, time and have Leftover Turkey you can use later! 

a whole turkey ready for how to freeze leftover turkey

Why This Recipe Works

  • You Can SAVE a ton of money by buying on sale.
  • It tastes the same after it has been in the icebox! Who knew?
  • Having It in the freezer is like having an entire meal ready to go!

Here’s How You Do It. 

STEP 1. Make sure it is in a container you want to freeze it in (zip lock freezer bag, wrapped in plastic wrap and butcher paper?). Write on the container the date you frozen it, a use by date 

turkey leg in a freezer bag

STEP 2. Place it in the freezer. 

freezer bag of leftover turkey in freezer

Can You Freeze Leftover Turkey? 

Yes, you can freeze Leftover Turkey easily but just placing it in the freezer. This does not affect the taste of Leftover Turkey. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can You Freeze Leftover Turkey with bone?

Yes, you can freeze a bone in Leftover Turkey, just follow these directions. It’s best to remove the turkey from the bone for reheating purposes though.

Can You Freeze A Whole Turkey? 

Yes, absolutely you can! Simply follow the directions below. 

Can I Freeze a Leftover Turkey? 

Yep! Sure can! This recipe will show you how. It’s the same for all kinds of Leftover Turkey! 

What is the Best Way To Freeze A Leftover Turkey? 

The very best way to freeze a Leftover Turkey is to see the recipe card below and use the instructions for wrapping in plastic wrap followed by freezer paper. Freezer paper can be found at the grocery store where you will find plastic wrap, aluminum foil and parchment paper. 

Can I Eat Leftover Turkey That Has Been Frozen For A Year or More? 

That is really a judgement call. Essentially, if the meat has been frozen at 32F, it should be fine. However, freezer burn can set in and that will ruin the meat. Check the meat well for freezer burn before preparing it. 

How To Know If Frozen Leftover Turkey is  Bad

If you notice….

  • The meat appears encased in ice crystals or frost
  • Meat is very light colored and dry
  • The meat  has been in the freezer longer than 6 months.
  • There was a lot of air in the package.

Can I Freeze It? 

Yes, you can freeze it. Place the slices in a freezer safe package (plastic bags) and place in the ice box. This will keep for 3-6 months. 

How to Thaw Leftover Turkey
Method 1: 

  • Remove the package from the freezer wrapping.
  • Place the Leftover Turkey in the refrigerator.
  • After 2-3 days the Leftover Turkey should be thawed. 

Method 2: 

  • Remove the package from the freezer
  • Place it in a large plastic zip top bag.
  • Place in a  large bowl of cool water or in a very clean sink. 
  • Check every 30 minutes replace the water at least hourly. 
  • When thawed, place in the refrigerator. 

How Long Does It Take Leftover Turkey To Freeze? 

That depends on how much you are trying to freeze. A large Leftover Turkey may take 24 hours to freeze. A small Leftover Turkey may only take a few hours 

How Long Can You Freeze Leftover Turkey? 

Leftover Turkey that is wrapped in a sturdy freezer package can last 3-6 months easily. You’ll want to follow the instructions for how to freeze it that are in the card below.

Does Freezing It Change The Taste? 

Freezing It does not change the taste or texture at all. Leftover Turkey that has been frozen tastes exactly as you would expect and this is a great way to save it for later. 

The perfect roasted turkey

The Perfect Roasted Turkey

Tips and Tricks

  • Buy more than you need when it is on sale and save some for later! 
  • Use your bird soon. Don’t let it stay frozen longer than 6 months. 
  • Remember that Leftover Turkey will go bad after you thaw it, use it in a reasonable time.
  • Don’t try to save it if it is on the verge of spoiling, it will still spoil quickly when you thaw it. 
  • To thaw it, place it in the refrigerator on the day before you plan to use it. 
  • Great info about your holiday turkey!
  • This also works for Turkey Breast!
  • Ground turkey is a lovely way to enjoy this delicious bird! Try the Best Recipe for How to Cook Ground Turkey!

If You Enjoyed This Recipe, You Might Also Want To See…

How to Freeze Cheese

How to Freeze Lunch Meat

Freezing Steaks.

How to Freeze Raw Meat

How to Freeze Milk. 

Ya’ll Help Me Out, OK?

Please leave me a 5 STAR comment below. This helps others find Loaves and Dishes on the internet!


The perfect roasted turkey

How to Freeze Leftover Turkey

Leftover holiday Turkey? NO PROBLEM! When you know HOW TO FREEZE Turkey, you’ll be saving money, time and have Cooked Ham you can use later!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: freezing turkey, how to freeze leftover turkey
Prep Time: 1 minute
freeze time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 1 minute
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 214kcal


  • 1 lb Leftover Turkey


  • Use a sharpie marker to write on the zip lock bag : today’s date, use by date (3-6 months), how many days until expired. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and seal. Place into the freezer. Read on for freezing whole turkey.
  • If freezing a whole turkey, Freeze the turkey in the store wrap container for no more than 2-3 weeks.
  • If you need to freeze for longer, then wrap the turkey inside the store container with several layers of plastic wrap followed by several layers of freezer paper. Secure well with tape. Be sure to label the Cooked Ham well.
  • Place the turkey in the freezer until needed.


  • Buy more Turkey than you need when it is on sale and freeze some for later!
  • Use your frozen turkey as soon as you can. Don’t let it stay frozen longer than 6 months.
  • Remember that turkey will go bad after you thaw it, use it quickly.
  • Don’t try to freeze turkey that is on the verge of spoiling, it will still spoil quickly when you thaw it.
  • To thaw turkey, place it in the refrigerator a day or two before you plan to use it.


Nutrition Facts
How to Freeze Leftover Turkey
Amount Per Serving
Calories 214 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 124mg41%
Sodium 117mg5%
Potassium 271mg8%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 44IU1%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!


I’ve been struggling ya’ll. I’ve been angry about some stuff that happened in the past few days and that has “stolen” my gratitude (which is the wrong attitude by the way). Nobody stole anything. It’s my fault, I’m in control of what affects me.

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Friday 17th of November 2023

Yay! We no longer have to eat turkey for 3 days in a row to not waste it. I tried this method with fresh caught trout, and it kept beautifully! Thank you for sharing.

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 18th of November 2023

So welcome!


Saturday 9th of January 2021

This was most helpful. Thank you so very much for the write up!!! 😘

Wendi Spraker

Monday 11th of January 2021

Thanks Debbie! :)


Tuesday 10th of December 2019


Wendi Spraker

Thursday 12th of December 2019

Hi Tamara! Thank YOU!

Wendi Spraker

Friday 25th of October 2019

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