Saving Thanksgiving Dinner

This week is Thanksgiving and it seems almost everyone will be making so many of the delicious foods they love to eat. But, sometimes there’s so much food leftover from Thanksgiving dinner that it would require the local National Guard to polish it off. However, if you have a freeze dryer, you can save all of your leftover Thanksgiving dinner without worrying that you have to eat it all in the next few days.

You can freeze dry anything from gravies, turkey slices and pies to fresh vegetables and casseroles. Simply take your leftover items and place them on your trays like in the photos below. For things like pumpkin or cream pies, we love to mash up the crust and the filling together and scoop it with a melon baller into small cookie-size scoops. This makes it possible to eat your pie later as bite-sized crunchy cookies. And, the best part is, all of the things you freeze dry will retain their flavor and nutrition just like the day you first served them.

freeze dried meat two trays of freeze dried zucchini and yellow squash green beans on freeze dryer trays white meat on freeze dryer trays

All of the foods in these photos can easily be reconstituted with warm or hot water. Freeze dry them for use at Christmas, to enjoy during a long New Year’s Eve celebration, or for busy weeknights after the holidays are over. You can freeze dry entire entrees together – the flavors won’t mix – or in individual portions for work and school lunches or to send to a friend or relative who had to miss Thanksgiving dinner. By saving your Thanksgiving leftovers, you’ll be saving money, reducing food waste and giving yourself kitchen-free nights when you really need them.


The biggest key to long shelf life is fat content. Lean meats and dairy have a shelf life of up to 25 yrs when packaged properly. For long term storage, it is best to avoid freeze drying meats and meals that have high fat content.

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