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.
I will be talking about store-bought pre-cooked ham. They might be refrigerated and 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 ham.
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. It should be considered contaminated and decarded if it was left in the danger zone of 40° and 140°F range for more than 2 hours.
The meat 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.
❄️Storing Leftover Ham
The first option is the refrigerator. Generally, ham can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days, but it can vary by type. Please see the FoodSafety.gov Ham Storage Chart for details if you have something other than a store-bought pre-cooked ham.
Yes, ham and ham bones will freeze well. There are those old wives' tales that you can not freeze ham. They are wrong—ham and ham bones both can be frozen.
Most common hams are good for 1-2 months frozen. There is some variability by type of ham, so please see the FoodSafety.gov Ham Storage Chart for details.
If you know that you need to freeze some of the ham for later, do that part of the ham as soon as possible. Seal it well; divide it into smaller units if it is large.
To thaw your ham after it's been frozen, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator. It should thaw in about 24 to 48 hours, depending on the size.
🐖Leftover Ham Recipes
We can all do ham and cheese sandwiches and breakfast dishes like ham and eggs. I don't think you need recipes there, but here are some of our favorite recipes that have ham or where ham can make a great addition.
🍖Leftover Ham Bone Recipes
There is not much you can do with a ham bone besides 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 four days if sealed well and maybe frozen for three months.
Two chicken recipes, both with turkey options.
Originally Published April 20, 2019.