Leftover ham and turkey are great problems to have, but there are a few challenges for smaller households. Time for some easy and delicious recipes to use them.
I will be talking about store-bought pre-cooked ham. They might be refrigerated sealed at the store, and they might be spiral-cut. If you have a different type of ham, I have provided some links with options for most other types of hams.
For the turkey, it is the leftovers from cooking a fresh whole turkey or a breast.
Before we proceed, please be sure we are dealing with safe leftovers. If it was left in the danger zone of 40° and 140°F range for more than 2 hours, it should be considered contaminated and decarded.
The ham should have been properly thawed if frozen and stored refrigerated under 40°. And have not spent more than two hours in the food danger zone of 40° and 140 °F during serving. See Summer Food Safety for a more detailed discussion.
The first option is the refrigerator. Generally, ham can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, but it can vary by the type of ham. Please see the FoodSafety.gov Ham Storage Chart for details if you have something other than a store-bought pre-cooked ham.
Can You Freeze Ham?
There are those old wives' tales that you can not freeze ham. They are so wrong. Ham and ham bones both freeze great.
If I know that I'm freezing some of the ham for later, I do that part of the ham as soon as possible. I seal it well, and if it is a large amount, I divide it into smaller units.
Most hams you and I deal with are good for 1-2 months frozen. Again there is some variability by type of ham. Please see the FoodSafety.gov Ham Storage Chart for details.
To thaw your ham after it's been frozen, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator. Depending on the size, it should thaw in about 24 to 48 hours.
Don't forget you can also freeze the ham bone.
🐖The Best Leftover Ham Recipe
We can all do ham and cheese sandwiches, and breakfast dishes like ham and eggs. I don't think you need recipes there, but now for our favorite recipe.
We always buy too much ham just to have this later. Great comfort food. In addition to freezing the leftovers, we always look forward to this recipe.
🍖Leftover Ham Bone Recipes
There is not much you can do with a ham bone other than soup. But it is an excellent option since the broth is just incredible.
From a "cooking for two" viewpoint, these recipes are too big unless you have freezer space. If you do, these are great options. If you don't have freezer space, give the ham bone to a friend.
🦃Leftover Turkey Recipes
Not everybody had ham, so let's take care of the leftover turkey.
Leftover freshly cooked turkey is refrigerated for 4 days if sealed well. And may be frozen for 3 months.
Two chicken recipes, both with turkey options.
Originally Published April 20, 2019.